Bass-Baritone

Ashley Riches

He is a member of the 2017/18 BBC New Generation Artist scheme.

© Debbie Scanlon

Introduction

British bass-baritone Ashley Riches read English at the University of Cambridge where he was a member of the prestigious King’s College Choir. He went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and subsequently joined the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House.

He has appeared with the Royal Opera, English National Opera, Opera National de Lorraine, Berlin Philharmonic, Gabrieli Consort and Philharmonia Orchestra with conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robin Ticciatti, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Christian Curnyn and Sir Roger Norrington.

This season will see his first Count Almaviva The Marriage of Figaro at the English National Opera, Claudio Agrippina at the Grange Festival, Purcell’s King Arthur with the Academy of Ancient Music under Richard Egarr, Schumann Requiem with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Egarr and Levite Solomon also with the SCO under Peter Dijkstra, Mozart Requiem with the Bremen Philharmonic under Paul McCreesh and Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.


Contact


Performance Schedule

  • More info  
    28 Mar 18 MOZART The Marriage of Figaro
    English National Opera

    “On Ashley Riches the role of Count Almaviva fits like a glove – he’s haughty, sulky, spoilt, predatorily lubricious, and his sound is darkly seductive.”
    Michael Church, The Independent, 5 April 2018

    “Ashley Riches is all charisma and machismo as the Count…”
    Rebecca Franks, The Times, 2 April 2018

    “Ashley Riches cuts an imposing figure as the Count, authoritative and lascivious…”
    Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 5 April 2018

    “… Ashley Riches gives a remarkably assured account. He takes advantage of his height to dominate proceedings; his character’s actions within, and reactions to, the intrigue are to the fore. You get a real sense of what drives this aristocrat and what frustrates him. Riches’s singing is also first rate – his warm coppery tone sounds very well in the large theatre.”
    Alexander Campbell, Classical Source, 29 March 2018

    “Ashley Riches both sang and acted superbly as the hapless Count, puffing out his chest, squaring his shoulders, striding imperiously in his black leather boots, but ever sporting an air of slight bafflement as to how everyone else seemed to be in the know. Riches’ recitatives were fluently and convincingly delivered and in ‘Vedrò mentr’io sospiro’ he used all of his vocal might and nuance to offer a momentarily persuasive riposte to the uncovered plotting of Susanna and Figaro.”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 30 March 2018

    “Ashley Riches is a convincing Count, revealing his strong bass-baritone…”
    Sam Smith, Music OMH, 31 March 2018

    “…Riches gave us a beautifully three dimensional portrait, so that his behaviour never tipped over into the extreme and there was always a facade to put on. Riches and Lucy Crowe developed a nicely complex relationship between the married couple, you sense the attraction as well as the problems. And Riches really was seductive, which helps enormously.”
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 30 March 2018

    “Just as good, though, was Ashley Riches’s Count, who projected vain overconfidence and seductive swagger…”
    Ditlev Rindom, Opera, May 2018

  • More info  
    16 Dec 17 BERNSTEIN Wonderful Town
    Barbican

    “The opening “Christopher Street” showcased an impressive Ashley Riches.”
    Gavin Dixon, Arts Desk, 17 December 2017

    “A terrific cast, including Nathan Gunn, Duncan Rock, David Butt Philip and Ashley Riches…”
    Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, 24 December 2017

  • More info  
    08 Aug 17 BERLIOZ La Damnation de Faust
    Royal Albert Hall, BBC Proms

    “…the chorus managed brilliantly with lighter moments earlier on, and after the drinking song by Ashley Riches in his comic turn as Brander…”
    Mark Ronan, MarkRonan.com, 9 August 2017

    “Ashley Riches with his own strong bass-baritone also went to town on his effective portrayal of Brander, and overall this performance felt as polished as it was entertaining from start to finish.”
    Sam Smith, Music OMH, 8 August 2017

    “Add the characterful, vigorous contributions of Gardiner’s massed choruses and a genuinely comic cameo from young bass-baritone Ashley Riches and you had exactly the kind of overflowing evening this music was made for, layering sensation on sensation.”
    Alexandra Coghlan, Independent, 9 Augsut 2017

  • More info  
    04 Jun 17 MOZART Don Giovanni
    Opera Holland Park

    “There are some fine singers to support the enterprise. Ashley Riches makes a masterful Don Giovanni. Tall, suave and honey-toned he oozes a sense of privilege and entitlement.”
    Howard Shepherdson, Limelight, 13 June 2017

    “Ashley Riches, tall, fair and handsome, sang the title role with a golden timbre laced with incipient seduction…”
    Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage, 6 June 2017

    “In the title role, Ashley Riches has the elegance and swagger to make us believe in him to the bitter end…”
    Hannah Nepil, Financial Times, 6 June 2017

    “Dane Lam conducts well, while Ashley Riches is good in the title role with his smooth baritone and natural presence.”
    Sam Smith, Music OMH, 5 June 2017

    “…his singing is virile, expressive and very suave….”
    Alexander Campbell, Classical Source, 3 June 2017

    “Vocally, he sounded in good form, singing his Serenade most beautifully.”
    Mark Pullinger, Bach Track, 4 June 2017

  • More info  
    09 Feb 17 GILBERT & SULLIVAN The Pirates of Penzance
    English National Opera

    “Riches, with his firm bass-baritone, and Lucy Schaufer, with her sensitive portrayal of a superficially comic character, also make an impression as The Pirate King and Ruth respectively.”
    Sam Smith, Music OMH, 13 February 2017

    “…it was the swashing and buckling of Pirate King Ashley Riches that injected some much-needed oomph in to the pacing – not to mention some excellent singing.”
    Olivia Bell, Bach Track, 11 February 2017

    “As the Pirate King, Ashley Riches combines flair with fanfaronade…”
    George Hall, The Guardian, 12 February 2017

    “… Ashley Riches brought an appropriate touch of the good-natured head-boy to the nobly born Pirate King.”
    Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph, 10 February 2017

  • More info  
    10 Oct 16 PURCELL The Fairy Queen
    Academy of Ancient Music, Barbican Centre

    “Ashley Riches’ riotous Drunken Poet – ‘I’m drunk as I live boys, drunk’ – was blessed with a wonderful swagger of demeanour and voice; his confession of poverty was couched in such soft sweetness…”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 14 October 2016

    “Ashley Riches was a great asset, his fun drunken poet in the first scene a massive contrast to the section on Winter that closes the fourth act (“Now Winter comes slowly, pale, meagre and old.”) Riches has great stage presence, which tied to his fine, focused bass is a great combination.”
    Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard, 12 October 2016

    “And what singers they were…bass Ashley Riches, a Radio 3 New Generation artist, swaggering with great panache as the drunken poet…”
    Cara Chanteau, Independent, 11 October 2016

  • More info  
    24 Oct 15 PUCCINI La bohème
    English National Opera

    “…Riches’s raunchy, funny Schaunard is one of the best of recent years.”
    Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 19 October 2015

    “Duncan Rock as Marcello and Ashley Riches as Schaunard gave strong performances.”
    Barry Millington, Evening Standard, 19 October 2015

    “Pick of the bohemian boys were the two baritones: Duncan Rock’s sympathetic, warmly sung Marcello, and Ashley Riches’ more incisive Schaunard.”
    Mark Pullinger, Bach Track, 17 October 2015

  • More info  
    22 Aug 15 BACH Christmas Oratorio
    Academy of Ancient Music, Barbican Centre

    “The real star of the evening was young Ashley Riches, only two years out of the Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artists programme, and the total artist: range secure from top to bottom, a highly dramatic way with the text and pure musicianship.”
    David Nice, The Arts Desk, 23 December 2015

    “…the increasingly impressive bass Ashley Riches brought authority and clear German to his recitatives.”
    Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 27 December 2015

Discography

  • More info  
    The Discovery Recital CD

    Label: Opus Arte

    Release Date: 29 Sep 17

    This recording features the current members and alumni of the Jette Parker Young Artists programme.

    Soprano: Francesca Chiejina
    Soprano: Kiandra Howarth
    Mezzo-soprano: Hanna Hipp
    Tenor: Luís Gomes
    Tenor: David Junghoon Kim
    Baritone: Ashley Riches
    Bass: David Shipley
    Piano: David Gowland

  • More info  
    SULLIVAN Songs

    Label: Chandos

    Release Date: 03 Mar 17

    Soprano: Mary Bevan
    Tenor: Ben Johnson
    Bass-baritone: Ashley Riches
    Piano: David Owen Norris

  • More info  
    BACH St John Passion

    Label: Chandos

    Release Date: 01 Apr 17

    Conductor: David Temple

    Jesus: Ashley Riches
    Soprano: Sophie Bevan
    Counter-tenor: Robin Blaze
    Tenor: Benjamin Hulett
    Evangelist: Robert Murray
    Bass-baritone: Neal Davies

    Bach Camerata

  • More info  
    BACH St Matthew Passion

    Label: SDG

    Release Date: 10 Mar 17

    Conductor: Sir John Eliot Gardiner

    Evangelist: James Gilchrist
    Jesus: Stephan Loges
    Soprano: Hannah Morrison
    Soprano: Zoë Brookshaw
    Soprano: Charlotte Ashley
    Counter-tenor: Reginald Mobley
    Alto: Eleanor Minney
    Tenor: Hugo Hymas
    Baritone: Alex Ashworth
    Bass-baritone: Ashley Riches
    Bass: Jonathan Sells

    English Baroque Soloists
    Monteverdi Choir
    Trinity Boys Choir

  • More info  
    HAYDN Paukenmesse and Nelson Mass

    Label: RPO

    Release Date: 02 Dec 16

    Conductor: Hilary Davan Wetton

    Soprano: Rachel Nicholls
    Soprano: Grace Davidson
    Mezzo-soprano: Anna Harvey
    Tenor: Mark Wilde
    Bass-baritone: Ashley Riches

    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    City of London Choir

  • More info  
    Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Shakespeare Sonnets

    Label: Resonus Classics

    Release Date: 30 Mar 15

    Bass-baritone: Ashley Riches
    Piano: Emma Abbate

  • More info  
    BACH St Matthew Passion

    Label: AAM Records

    Release Date: 30 Mar 15

    Director and Harpsicord: Richard Egarr

    Evangelist: James Gilchrist
    Jesus: Matthew Rose
    Pilatus: Ashley Riches
    Soprano: Elizabeth Watts
    Mezzo-soprano: Sarah Connolly
    Tenor: Thomas Hobbs
    Bass: Christopher Maltman

    Academy of Ancient Music
    Choir of the AAM

Repertoire

Opera
BERLIOZ Béatrice et Bénédict (Claudio)
BRITTEN The Rape of Lucretia (Tarquinius)
BRITTEN A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius)
BRITTEN Albert Herring (Sid)
BRITTEN Owen Wingrave (Title Role)
HANDEL Acis and Galataea (Polyphemus)
MASSENET Manon (Lescaut)
MOZART Don Giovanni (Title Role)
MOZART The Marriage of Figaro (Figaro, Count Almaviva)
MOZART Così fan Tutte (Guglielmo, Don Alfonso)
MOZART The Magic Flute (Papageno)
PUCCINI La Bohème (Marcello, Schaunard)
PUCCINI Turandot (Mandarin)
PURCELL Dido and Aeneas (Aeneas)
PURCELL King Arthur
PURCELL The Fairy Queen
STRAVINSKY The Rake’s Progress (Nick Shadow, Keeper of the Mad House)
STRAVINSKY Oedipus Rex (Creon)
STRAUSS Ariadne auf Naxos (Harlequin)
SULLIVAN The Pirates of Penzance (Pirate King)
SULLIVAN The Mikado (KoKo)
TCHAIKOVSKY Eugene Onegin (Title Role)
VERDI La Traviata (Douphol)

Concert
BACH St Matthew Passion
BACH St John Passion
BACH Magnificat
BACH  Christmas Oratorio
BEETHOVEN Mass in C
BEETHOVEN Missa Solemnis
BRAHMS German Requiem
BRITTEN War Requiem
DURUFLE Requiem
DURUFLE Messe ‘Cum Jubilo’
DVORAK Requiem
DVORAK Stabat Mater
ELGAR The Apostles
ELGAR The Dream of Gerontius
HANDEL Messiah
HANDEL Israel in Egypt
HANDEL Alexander’s Feast
HANDEL Judas Maccabaeus
HANDEL L’Allegro, il Pensieroso ed il Moderato
HAYDN The Seasons
HAYDNThe Creation
HAYDN Harmoniemesse
HAYDN Paukenmesse (Missa in tempore belli)
HAYDN Nelson Mass
MENDELSSOHN Elijah
MOZART Mass in C
MOZART Requiem
MOZART Vespers
PUCCINI Missa di Gloria
ROSSINI Petite Messe Solenelle
ROSSINI Stabat Mater
TIPPETT A Child of Our Time
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS A Sea Symphony
VERDI Requiem