Indian-Scottish Neil Balfour is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music and the National Opera Studio. A former Britten Pears and Concordia artist, he is the first opera singer to be booked by the Glastonbury Festival in the Astrolabe Tent and the first to beatbox in an opera at Longborough Festival Opera.
Recent highlights include his American debut as Father in Kamala Sankaram’s opera, Thumbprint (Portland Opera); Prince Yamadori Madam Butterfly, Safin The Shoemaker (Welsh National Opera); Man 2 Frida (Northern Opera Group); Jean Arp Sophie (Tête à Tête); a recital with Roderick Williams for Thaxted Festival; a Sondheim recital for Oxford Lieder; and Paul Rissmann’s Alice in Wonderland Suites (London Symphony Orchestra).
His operatic engagements include Colline La bohème (Mananan Opera & OFMAN Madrid Opera Studio); Mercurio La Calisto(Longborough Festival Opera), Don Alfonso Così fan tutte, Quince A Midsummer Night’s Dream and, Lord Ellington La vie Parisienne (RNCM); Dottore Grenvil La traviata (Devon Opera); Cold Genius King Arthur (Glastonbury Festival); Mustafà L’italiana in Algeri and Don Pasquale Don Pasquale (Mananan Opera); and Claggart Billy Budd Re-imagined (The Royal Opera House L&P Department). He has also covered Figaro Le nozze di Figaro (Longborough Festival Opera).
Roles in contemporary opera and world premieres include Ibn Al-Haytham Al-Haytham’s Light and Texy/Everywhere Back into the World(English Touring Opera); Father Mysterious 44 (the first electronic opera); Dad/La-La A Shoe Full of Stars (YAM Awards Best Opera 2018); and Punch Crocodile (a dark-web animated opera).
In concert hehas performed Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess (Leeds Philharmonic Orchestra); Haydn’s Mass in time of War; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and an eclectic mix of song recitals for Leeds Lieder, &Piano, Britten Pears Arts and the Leeds Opera Festival.
Neil is the first classical artist for sE Electronics and NORD (world-leading microphones & digital pianos), director of ArtSongStory (compelling videos of art-song) and founder of the Koko Koncerts (classical stars in a coffee shop). He is also in partnership with Penhaligon’s British perfume house, Kapow meggings and VivoBarefoot shoes. His work as a voiceover artist has had over 100 million plays.