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William Shimell

Baritone

Biography

William Shimell in action.
William Shimell in Manon, The Royal Opera © ROH/Bill Cooper, 2014

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.

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