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Iestyn Davies

Countertenor

After reading Archaeology at St John’s College, Cambridge, Iestyn Davies studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

An esteemed Handelian, he has delighted audiences globally with his vocal agility in roles such as Bertarido, Orlando, Rinaldo, Ottone Agrippina and David Saul. Committed also to contemporary music, his intelligent and considered interpretations have led to fruitful collaborations with Thomas Adés, George Benjamin and Nico Muhly.

On the opera stage, he has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, New York; the Lyric Opera of Chicago; Teatro alla Scala Milan; the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; English National Opera; Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Welsh National Opera; Teatro Real Madrid; Salzburg Festival and in Munich, Vienna and Zurich. Highlights in the 2021/22 season included Arsace Partenope in Madrid, Ottone Agrippina in Hamburg and Munich and Bertarido Rodelinda for the Metropolitan Opera, New York.

Concert engagements have included performances at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan with Dudamel, the Concertgebouw and Tonhalle with Koopman and at the Barbican, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Lincoln Centre, Carnegie Hall and at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall with orchestras that include the New York Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, English Concert, Britten Sinfonia, Concerto Köln, Concerto Copenhagen, Ensemble Matheus, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Recent highlights include a French tour of Handel Duets with Ensemble Jupiter; and Bach’s Mass in B minor and Handel’s Radamisto with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in California.

In the 2022/23 season, highlights include a world premiere production of music by Dowland at the Barbican with lutenist Thomas Dunford, featuring visuals by Netia Jones, concerts at Carnegie Hall, New York and the Berliner Philharmonie, and Ottone L’incoronazione di Poppea in Versailles.

An outstanding recitalist, he has performed in Vienna, Tokyo, Paris and New York in repertoire ranging from Dowland to Clapton. He is a regular favourite at London’s Wigmore Hall and Kings Place where he has curated residencies.

His recital discs have won three Gramophone Awards, and he performed on the Grammy-winning recording of Thomas Adès’s The Tempest. He is the recipient of a Royal Philharmonic Society Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award for his singing role in Farinelli and the King opposite Mark Rylance (premiered at London’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, transferring to Broadway). Iestyn is also featured on soundtracks for the Ridley Scott films Kingdom of Heaven and The Last Duel singing the music of Harry Gregson-Williams. In 2017 he was awarded an MBE by the Queen for his services to music.

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