Gary Griffiths

Introduction

Winner of the Welsh Singers Competition in 2012, Gary Griffiths was a finalist in the Wales in the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.  He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where in 2009 he won of the prestigious Gold Medal Competition. 

At the Welsh National Opera, where he began as an Associate Artist, he made a critically acclaimed debut in 2011 as Guglielmo (Così fan tutte).  His other roles with the company include Cecil (Maria Stuarda), Masetto (Don Giovanni), Claudio (Béatrice et Bénédict), and Schaunard in a new production of La Bohème (for which he was awarded the Welsh Theatre Critics’ Award).   His future appearances include Ned Keene (Peter Grimes) for Grange Park Opera and Figaro (Le Nozze di figaro) for New Zealand festival Opera.

Earlier roles have included Germano (La Scala di Seta) for British Youth Opera; Dog/Innkeeper (The Cunning Little Vixen) for Grange Park Opera; and L'Incognito (L'Assedio di Calais), Le Comte (Chérubin), Mr. Gedge (Albert Herring), Arsenio (La Spinabla) and Marquis de la Force (les Dialogues des Carmelites) for the Guildhall School Opera and opera highlights on tour with Scottish Opera.

His recent concert appearances include Berlioz ‘Les Troyens’ with Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra, Handel’s ‘Messiah’ with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the Royal Festival Hall, Mozart’s Requiem with the orchestra of the Welsh National Opera conducted by Christoph Poppen, a gala performance at the National Eisteddfod of Wales with the Welsh Chamber Orchestra, and a performance of ‘Belshazzar’s Feast’ at the Barbican with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins.  His concert repertoire includes Mendelsson’s ‘Elijah’; Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ and ‘Mass in C Minor’; Haydn’s ‘Die Jahreszeiten’, ‘Nelson Mass’ and ‘Paukenmesse’; Brahms’ ‘Ein Deutsches Requiem’; Duruflé’s ‘Requiem’; and Handel’s ‘Messiah’. 

A committed recitalist, he has appeared at the Oxford Lieder Festival with Sholto Kynoch, the Cowbridge Music Festival with Joseph Middleton, King’s Place with Iain Burnside, the Ludlow English Song Weekend with Simon Lepper, Chipping Campden Music, in Harrogate, Dore Abbey and St. David’s Hall, Cardiff. 

Gary is the recipient of the WNO Chris Ball Bursary, the WNO Sir John Moores Award and the Elizabeth Parry Family Bursary, and is supported by the Joseph Strong Frazer Trust.  He is a Samling Scholar and studies with Robert Dean.  In recording, he appears on Catrin Finch’s Lullabies CD for Deutsche Grammophon.


For an up-to-date biography, please contact Henry Lindsay

 

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Repertoire

ALMEIDA: La Spinalba (Arsenio)

BERLIOZ: Béatrice et Bénédict (Claudio)

BRAHMS: Ein Deutsches Requiem

BRITTEN: Albert Herring (Mr Gedge)

BRITTEN: Peter Grimes (Ned Keane)

DONIZETTI: Don Pasquale (Malatesta)

DONIZETTI: L’assedio di Calais (L’Incognito)

DONIZETTI: L’elisir d’amore (Belcore)

DONIZETTI: Maria Stuarda (Cecil)

DURUFLÉ: Requiem

DYSON: The Canterbury Pilgrims

FAURÉ: Requiem

HANDEL: Messiah

HAYDN: Die Jahreszeiten

HAYDN: Nelson Mass

JANACEK: The Cunning Little Vixen (Dog / Innkeeper)

KARL JENKINS: The Armed Man

MASSENET: Cherubin (Le Comte)
MENDELSSOHN: Elijah 

MOZART: Mass in C Minor

MOZART: Requiem

MOZART: Le nozze di Figaro (Il Conte)

MOZART: Die Zauberflöte (Papageno)

MOZART: Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni, Masetto)

MOZART: Così fan tutte (Guglielmo)

MOZART: La Finta Giardiniera (Nardo)

CARL NIELSON: Springtime on Fyn

POULENC: Dialogues des Carmélites (Marquis de la Force)

PUCCINI: La bohème (Schaunard, Marcello)

ROSSINI: La Scala di Seta (Germano)

TCHAIKOVSKY: Eugene Onegin (Onegin)

WALTON: Belshazzar's Feast

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Press

Britten

Peter Grimes

Grange Park Opera

He’s matched by Gary Griffiths – a Ned Keene with a twinkle in his eye as well as a pill in his pocket. Alexandra Coghian, The Arts Desk, 31st May 2014
Gary Griffiths delivered the humour well as Ned Keene. Mark Pullinger, Bach Track, 31st May 2014
Gary Griffiths was an alarmingly predatory, powerfully sung Ned Keene. Peter Reed, Classical Source, 31st May 2014
Bob Boles impressed as did Gary Griffiths, a young baritone with a wonderful voice. George Smart, Harper’s Bazaar, 2nd June 2014
Gary Griffiths shines as a cheery Ned Keene. Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 2nd June 2014
...the admirably affable Ned Keen played by Gary Griffiths, who was all mad hatter's hair and lothario's swagger. Emma Sleight, Huffington Post, 6th June 2014
There are some good performances, notably Stephen Gadds commanding Balstrode and Gary Griffiths' swaggering, drug dealing, apothecary, Ned Keene. David Mellor, The Daily Mail, 11th June 2014
A glorious representation of apothecary Ned Keene by Gary Griffiths. Mark Ronan, 16th June 2014

Mozart

Le nozze di Figaro

Festival Opera, New Zealand

[Gary Griffiths] "with a fine baritone voice he was as good a bumbling object of Susanna's irritation in the first scene as later, the sharp-witted scherner devising ways to thwart the Count." Lindis Taylor, Classical C, February 18th 2014

Donizetti

Maria Stuarda

Welsh National Opera

Gary Griffiths is a solid, just sufficiently sinister Cecil, whether hanging around upstage with his notebook or directing matters from the front.  Mark Walsh, The Arts Desk. 14th September 2013
Gary Griffiths provides a wonderful contrast to this charm as Elizabeth’s right hand man, Lord William Cecil – his sinister stage presence is a joy to behold. Jacqui Onions, The Public Review, September 2013
Gary Griffiths was the most balanced dramatically and vocally as a chilling Cecil. Mike Smith, Wales Online, 15 September 2013
Gary Griffiths does wonders with little as Elizabeth's revolting sidekick Cecil. Tim Ashley, The Guardian, Monday 16 September 2013
Gary Griffiths sang securely and created a plausibly menacing Cecil – it wasn’t hard to believe that this was the man who encouraged the creation of Sir Francis Walsingham’s highly efficient network of spies and did much to sustain it. Glyn Pursglove, Seen and Heard, Wednesday September 18th 2013
Gary Griffiths's richly focused baritone, fresh from BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, brought weight to the role of the obsequious Guglielmo Cecil Opera Now Magazine, October 2013

Puccini

La Boheme

Welsh National Opera

Gary Griffiths's gloriously ostentatious Schaunard all but stole the show... Griffiths has just been announced as the Welsh competitor for Cardiff Singer of the World 2013 and on this showing he is already a consummate stage-animal who has the full measure of his sturdy, lustrous baritone: definitely one to watch, and surely a fabulous future Marcello. Katherine Cooper, Whats on Stage, 13 June 2012
Gary Griffiths made a nicely, flamboyant Schaunard. Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph, 4th June 2012
Gary Griffiths’ Schaunard was wittily acted and very decently sung. Glyn Pursglove, Seen and Heard International, 5th June 2012
There are many good performances...David Soar (Colline) and Gary Griffiths (Schuanard) both sing strongly. Richard Morrison, The Times, 4th June 2012
Gary Griffiths is a witty, arty Schaunard. Stephen Walsh, The Arts Desk, 3rd June 2012

Mozart

Don Giovanni

Welsh National Opera

...coupled with memories of his recent Guglielmo in WNO’s Così, this was continuing confirmation of what a promising young singer he is. Glyn Pursglove, Seen and Heard International, 18 September 2011
Claire Ormshaw and Gary Griffiths were well matched as the young lovers Zerlina and Masetto, very nicely sung and played… Keith Clarke, Musical America, 19 September 2011
Masetto was the Welsh [baritone] Gary Griffiths who made a very strong impression with his attractive, plush timbre and convincing acting… Faye Courtney, Opera Britania, 26 September 2011Opera Britania, 26 September 2011
Gary Griffiths made his mark as a bumptious Masetto Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 19 September 2011

Mozart

Così fan tutte

Welsh National Opera

The other stand-out star is Gary Griffiths as a caddish Guglielmo. Griffiths is just out of college, yet his quality baritone and sure comic timing should push him quickly up the ladder. Richard Morrison, The Times, 23 May 2011
Griffiths revealed a real capacity for physical comedy and created a knowing, hubristic bluster that made one relish his come-uppance when it arrived. Griffiths – not long graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama – looks to be very promising. Glyn Pursglove, Seen and Heard, 23 May 2011
This Guglielmo is a young Welsh singer, performing the role that Bryn Terfel first sang with the WNO and Griffiths certainly has echoes of a young Bryn in his stature and charisma… Earthiness in his portrayal is very much in evidence all the way through, and by using the Punch and Judy to bat ice cream tubs from Botticelli’s Parlour in the finale of Act 1, this Guglielmo flirts with the action with physicality and a strong stage persona. Griffiths has a wonderfully velvet baritone, and an engaging looseness on stage which lends itself perfectly to this character. Bethan Dudley Fryar, Opera Britannia, 20 May 2011
…his vocally excellent Guglielmo Mike Smith, Western Mail, 23 May 2011