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Bryn Terfel

Bass-Baritone

Biography

Bryn Terfel in action.
Bryn Terfel in Die Walküre (Der Ring des Nibelungen), The Royal Opera © ROH/Clive Barda, 2012

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 and the Dutchman (Der fliegende Holländer), and in gala performances for The Royal Opera. In the 2014/15 Season he returns to sing Dulcamara (L'elisir d'amore) and the Dutchman.

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. He 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 with 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. His interests away from singing include vintage wines, golf and art.

Videos

News and features

Opera stars to perform at Proms in the Park 2014 events

Opera stars to perform at Proms in the Park 2014 events

19 August 2014

Vittorio Grigolo and Bryn Terfel among those appearing at events around the UK on the Last Night of the Proms.

Your reaction: Faust

Your reaction: Faust

5 April 2014

What did you think of David McVicar’s production of Gounod’s grand opera?

Listen: Bryn Terfel and Joseph Calleja - 'Singing in French is very difficult'

Listen: Bryn Terfel and Joseph Calleja - 'Singing in French is very difficult'

3 April 2014

The stars of Faust tell BBC Radio 3’s In Tune about the production, and how you can inhabit a character too thoroughly.

Gallery: Bryn Terfel recording the voice of Méphistophélès for The Crackle

Gallery: Bryn Terfel recording the voice of Méphistophélès for The Crackle

2 April 2014

Welsh bass-baritone's voice to be used in Matthew Herbert’s new opera.

Cast change: Bryn Terfel and Lucio Gallo to sing in Tosca

Cast change: Bryn Terfel and Lucio Gallo to sing in Tosca

27 February 2014

Welsh bass-baritone to sing on 16, 19 and 26 June; Italian baritone to sing on 21 June, replacing Sebastian Catana.

Opera star Bryn Terfel to present the LIVE relay of Don Giovanni

Opera star Bryn Terfel to present the LIVE relay of Don Giovanni

7 February 2014

The Welsh bass-baritone will introduce audiences to Mozart’s tragicomedy live from the Royal Opera House.

Photos

Bryn Terfel in a recording session for The Crackle © ROH / Lottie Butler 2014

Bryn Terfel and members of the creative team in a recording session for The Crackle © ROH / Lottie Butler 2014

Bryn Terfel in a recording session for The Crackle © ROH / Lottie Butler 2014

Matthew Herbert in a recording session for The Crackle © ROH / Lottie Butler 2014

Bryn Terfel in a recording session for The Crackle © ROH / Lottie Butler 2014

Bryn Terfel and members of the creative team in a recording session for The Crackle © ROH / Lottie Butler 2014

Bryn Terfel in Faust © Catherine Ashmore, 2004

Bryn Terfel in Tosca © ROH/Catherine Ashmore, 2011

Bryn Terfel

Bryn Terfel as Don Giovanni and Melanie Diener as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni © Catherine Ashmore 2002

Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès and Joseph Calleja as Faust in Faust, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès and Joseph Calleja as Faust in Faust, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Joseph Calleja as Faust and Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès in Faust, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès and Sonya Yoncheva as Marguerite in Faust, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès and Sonya Yoncheva as Marguerite in Faust, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès and Sonya Yoncheva as Marguerite in Faust, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Joseph Calleja as Faust and Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès in Faust, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès and Joseph Calleja as Faust in Faust, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès and Joseph Calleja as Faust in Faust, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès and Simon Keenlyside as Valentin in Faust, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Jihoon Kim as Wagner and Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès in Faust, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Simon Keenlyside as Valentin and Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès in Faust, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès in Faust, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès in Faust, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

Bryn Terfel as Méphistophélès and Joseph Calleja as Faust in Faust, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014

The Queen with Angela Gheorghiu, Bryn Terfel, Tony Hall, Prince Philip and Artists of The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera at the Royal Opera House's One Extraordinary World Gala © Andre Uspenski/ROH 2012

Bryn Terfel as Wotan in Das Rheingold © Clive Barda/ROH 2004

Bryn Terfel as Wotan in Die Walküre © Clive Barda/ROH 2012

Bryn Terfel in rehearsal for Der Ring des Nibelungen © Clive Barda/ROH 2012

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 © Clive Barda/ROH 2012

Stig Andersen as Loge, Bryn Terfel as Wotan and Sarah Connolly as Fricka © Clive Barda/ROH 2012

Bryn Terfel as Wotan © Clive Barda/ROH 2012

Ann Petersen as Freia, Andrew Rees as Froh, Stig Andersen as Loge, Bryn Terfel as Wotan, Iain Paterson as Fasolt and Sarah Connolly as Fricka © Clive Barda/ROH 2012

Bryn Terfel as Wanderer in Siegfried © Clive Barda / ROH 2012

Bryn Terfel as Wanderer and Maria Radner as Erda in Siegfried © Clive Barda / ROH 2012

Bryn Terfel in Die Walküre (Der Ring des Nibelungen), The Royal Opera © ROH/Clive Barda, 2012