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Bryn Terfel

Bass-Baritone

Biography

Bryn Terfel in action.
Bryn Terfel and Ben Knight in Boris Godunov © ROH 2016. Photograph By Catherine Ashmore

Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel made his Royal Opera debut in 1992 as Masetto (Don Giovanni) and has since sung Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Jokanaan (Salome), Balstrode (Peter Grimes), Falstaff, Don Giovanni, Méphistophélès (Faust), Wotan (Der Ring des Nibelungen), Scarpia (Tosca), Gianni Schicchi, the Dutchman (Der fliegende Holländer), Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore), the title role of Boris Godunov and in gala performances for The Royal Opera. In the 2016/17 Season he returns to sing Hans Sachs (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg).

Terfel was born in North Wales into a music-loving family and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Rudolf Piernay. In 1989 he won the Lieder Prize in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. He made his professional debut in 1990 as Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) with Welsh National Opera and now sings at the world’s leading opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York, La Scala, Milan, and Vienna State Opera. Along with major roles in operas by Mozart, Verdi, Wagner and Puccini, his repertory includes Nick Shadow (The Rake’s Progress), the four villains (Les Contes d’Hoffmann) and Sweeney Todd. In 2010 he sang Hans Sachs (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) to great acclaim for WNO.

Terfel appears regularly at the BBC Proms, including at the Last Night of the Proms in 2008 and in 2013. He is a recording artist with Deutsche Grammophon and also appears on many opera DVDs. Terfel was made a CBE in 2003 and was awarded The Queen’s Medal for Music in 2006.

Videos

News and features

The Royal Opera's <em>Boris Godunov</em> to be performed at BBC Proms on 16 July 2016

The Royal Opera's Boris Godunov to be performed at BBC Proms on 16 July 2016

13 April 2016

A concert performance of Musorgsky's opera will star Bryn Terfel and will be conducted by Antonio Pappano.

Watch: ‘It’s strong and it’s epic’ – Members of the cast and creative team on <em>Boris Godunov</em>

Watch: ‘It’s strong and it’s epic’ – Members of the cast and creative team on Boris Godunov

23 March 2016

Bryn Terfel and Antonio Pappano share their thoughts on why Musorgsky's opera is a masterpiece.

<em>Boris Godunov</em> relayed live to cinemas on 21 March 2016

Boris Godunov relayed live to cinemas on 21 March 2016

11 March 2016

Bryn Terfel stars in the live cinema relay of Richard Jones' new Royal Opera production.

Photos

Bryn Terfel as The Dutchman in Tim Albery’s production of Der fliegende Holländer

Bryn Terfel as The Dutchman, Torsten Kerl as Erik and Anja Kampe as Senta in Tim Albery’s production of Der fliegende Holländer

Bryn Terfel as The Dutchman and Anja Kampe as Senta in Tim Albery’s production of Der fliegende Holländer

Bryn Terfel as The Dutchman and Anja Kampe as Senta in Tim Albery’s production of Der fliegende Holländer

Bryn Terfel as The Dutchman in Tim Albery’s production of Der fliegende Holländer

Bryn Terfel as Boris Godunov

Bryn Terfel in Boris Godunov

Bryn Terfel as Boris Godunov and members of the Royal Opera Chorus in rehearsal for Boris Godunov, The Royal Opera

Bryn Terfel as The Dutchman in Der fliegende Holländer

Bryn Terfel as The Dutchman and Adrianne Pieczonka as Senta in Der fliegende Holländer

Bryn Terfel as The Dutchman and Peter Rose as Daland in Der fliegende Holländer

Bryn Terfel as The Dutchman in Der fliegende Holländer

Lucy Crowe and Levente Molnár in L'elisir d'amore

Bryn Terfel in L'elisir d'amore

Bryn Terfel in Tosca

Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès and Joseph Calleja as Faust in Faust, The Royal Opera,

Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès and Joseph Calleja as Faust in Faust, The Royal Opera,

Jihoon Kim as Wagner and Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès in Faust, The Royal Opera,

Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès in Faust, The Royal Opera,

Bryn Terfel in a recording session for The Crackle

Bryn Terfel in a recording session for The Crackle

Bryn Terfel as Wotan in Die Walküre

Bryn Terfel in rehearsal for Der Ring des Nibelungen

Eric Halfvarson as Fafner, Andrew Rees as Froh, Iain Paterson as Fasolt, Bryn Terfel as Wotan, Peter Coleman-Wright as Donner, Stig Andersen as Loge and Sarah Connolly as Fricka

Bryn Terfel as Wotan in Das Rheingold

Bryn Terfel and John Graham-Hall in Boris Godunov

Bryn Terfel and John Graham-Hall in Boris Godunov

Bryn Terfel in Boris Godunov

Bryn Terfel as Boris Godunov and John Graham-Hall as Andrey Shchelkalov in rehearsal for Boris Godunov, The Royal Opera

Bryn Terfel and Antonio Pappano discussing the music of Boris Godunov

Adrianne Pieczonka as Senta and Bryn Terfel as The Dutchman in Der fliegende Holländer

Bryn Terfel as The Dutchman and Adrianne Pieczonka as Senta in Der fliegende Holländer

Bryn Terfel as The Dutchman and Adrianne Pieczonka as Senta in Der fliegende Holländer

Bryn Terfel as The Dutchman, Peter Rose as Daland and Adrianne Pieczonka as Senta in Der fliegende Holländer

Bryn Terfel as The Dutchman and Peter Rose as Daland in Der fliegende Holländer

Bryn Terfel as The Dutchman and Peter Rose as Daland in Der fliegende Holländer