Scottish baritone Donald Maxwell sings Alcindoro (La bohème) and Hortensius (La Fille du régiment) for The Royal Opera in the 2013/14 Season. He has sung regularly for The Royal Opera since 1987, his roles including Herald (Lohengrin), Gunther (Götterdämmerung), Faninal (Der Rosenkavalier), Krušina (The Bartered Bride), Hortensius, Fritz Kothner (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) and Lockit (The Beggar’s Opera).
Born in Perth, Scotland, Maxwell studied geography at Edinburgh University and singing with Joseph Hislop. He is a former member of Scottish Opera and Welsh National Opera, and has sung leading roles with all the major British opera companies. He has also sung with distinguished opera companies abroad including the Metropolitan Opera, New York, La Scala, Milan, Vienna State Opera and Paris Opéra. His repertory has included many leading baritone and bass-baritone roles, including Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), the title role in Rigoletto, Iago (Otello), the title role in Falstaff, the Dutchman (Der fliegende Holländer), Marcello (La bohème), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Golaud (Pelléas et Mélisande), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Athlete (Lulu) and the title role in Wozzeck. Recently he has focused on character roles including Fra Melitone (La forza del destino), Somarone (Béatrice et Bénédict), Pooh-Bah (The Mikado) and Doolittle (My Fair Lady).
In addition to performing, Maxwell was Artistic Director of Buxton Festival (1999) and has been Director of the National Opera Studio (2001–8) and Head of Opera Studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (2004–9).
Patrizia Ciofi as Marie and Donald Maxwell as Hortensius in La Fille du régiment © ROH / Catherine Ashmore 2014
Patrizia Ciofi as Marie, Ewa Podles as La Marquise de Berkenfeld and Donald Maxwell as Hortensius in La Fille du régiment © ROH / Catherine Ashmore 2014
Donald Maxwell as Hortensius and Ewa Podles as La Marquise de Berkenfeld in La Fille du régiment © ROH / Catherine Ashmore 2014
Donald Maxwell as Alcindoro, Simona Mihai as Musetta, Charles Castronovo as Rodolfo and Ermonela Jaho as Mimì in La bohème © ROH / Catherine Ashmore