British baritone William Shimell made his Royal Opera debut in 1985 as Schaunard (La bohème) and has since sung Albert (Werther), Marcello (La bohème), Olivier (Capriccio), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Nick Shadow (The Rake’s Progress) and De Brétigny (Manon) for The Royal Opera.
Shimell studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at the National Opera Studio. He made his London debut in 1980 as Masetto (Don Giovanni) and has since sung for many of the world’s leading opera companies, including La Scala, Milan, Vienna State Opera, Opéra-Bastille, Teatro Real, Madrid, Metropolitan Opera, New York, and Glyndebourne Festival. Particularly acclaimed for his Mozart roles, he has sung Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Don Giovanni (recorded for EMI), Guglielmo and Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte) and Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) worldwide. His other repertory includes the title role in Hercules, Dandini (La Cenerentola), Malatesta (Don Pasquale), Tomsky (The Queen of Spades) and Sharpless (Madama Butterfly). Shimell has also performed in concert with leading orchestras, his recordings including Stravinsky’s Pulcinella.
Shimell has a parallel career as a film acto, credits including starring with Juliette Binoche in Abbas Kiarostami’s Copie conforme (2010) and a role in Michael Haneke’s award-winning Amour (2012). In his spare time he enjoys sailing.
William Shimell as De Brétigny in Manon © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014
William Shimell as De Brétigny, Nadezhda Karyazina as Rosette, Rachel Kelly as Javotte, Simona Mihai as Poussette and Christophe Mortagne as Guillot de Morfontaine in Manon © ROH / Bill Cooper 2014
William Shimell as Don Alfonso, Sally Matthews as Fiordiligi, Charles Castronovo as Ferrando, Troy Cook as Guglielmo, Nino Surguladze as Dorabella and Helene Schneiderman as Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte © Richard Hubert Smith / ROH 2010