English tenor Barry Banks made his Royal Opera debut in 1989 as Beppe (Pagliacci). He has since sung Pang (Turandot), Brighella (Ariadne auf Naxos), Don Narciso (Il turco in Italia), Ernesto (Don Pasquale) and Italian Singer (Capriccio in concert) for The Royal Opera. In the 2014/15 Season he returns to sing Don Narciso.
Banks grew up in Stoke-on-Trent and sang from boyhood. While a teenager he played trumpet and cornet in country brass bands. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and the National Opera Studio, and began his career with English National Opera, Welsh National Opera and Opera North. He made his European debut as Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) in Leipzig and his American debut as Candide with Lyric Opera of Chicago, and has since performed at many of the world's leading opera houses. Recent engagements include Don Narciso and the title role of Mitridate, re di Ponto for Bavarian State Opera, Don Ramiro (La Cenerentola) in Bergen, Count Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia) for Berlin State Opera, Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Hoffmann (Tales of Hoffmann) and Duke of Mantua (Rigoletto) for ENO, Iago (Otello) for Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and at the Salzburg Festival and Elvino (La sonnambula), Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore), Count Almaviva, Carlo (Rossini’s Armida) and Flute (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) for the Metropolitan Opera, New York.
Banks has made many recordings, including a disc of bel canto arias for Chandos, Berlioz’s Grande Messe des morts for LSO Live and several opera recordings for Opera Rara.