Christopher Purves has firmly established himself as one of the leading British baritones of his generation. Through his celebrated interpretations of a diverse and eclectic range of roles and repertoire, he is in great demand with many prestigious theaters around the world. He started his musical life as a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, and went on to become a member of experimental rock group Harvey and the Wallbangers.
Operatic highlights of the 2017/18 season include Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande in Hong Kong and at Glyndebourne, and Trinity Moses in The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Weill) for Zurich Opera. In concert, Purves will sing Balstrode in Peter Grimes at the Edinburgh Festival, Peasant in Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder with Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms, Creon in Oedipe (Enescu) with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, l’Enfance du Christ (Berlioz) with Robin Ticciati and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and Bach’s St Matthew Passion with Richard Egarr and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
Recent operatic highlights include Don Giovanni for the English National Opera, Alberich (Götterdämmerung) for Houston Grand Opera and Bayerische Staatsoper, Gamekeeper (The Cunning Little Vixen) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, his debut at the Opéra de Paris in Schoenberg’s Moses und Aaron, the title role Gianni Schicchi at Opera North, Sharpless (Madama Butterfly) in his house debut at Chicago’s Lyric Opera, Balstrode (Peter Grimes) at Teatro alla Scala, and Nono’s Al gran sole carico d’amore at the Salzburger Festspiele.
Purves has a great affinity for contemporary repertoire and has created roles in a number of notable premieres, most recently singing Walt Disney in the world premiere of Phillip Glass’s The Perfect American at Teatro Real Madrid and ENO. He also premiered George Benjamin’s Written on Skin to widespread critical acclaim, and for composer Sir James Macmillan, Purves has created roles in The Sacrifice at Welsh National Opera, Ines de Castro at Scottish Opera, and Parthenogenesis at the Edinburgh International Festival.