Scottish baritone Donald Maxwell made his Royal Opera debut in 1987 as English Archer (The King Goes Forth to France) and has returned regularly to The Royal Opera, his many roles including Herald (Lohengrin), Gunther (Götterdämmerung), Faninal (Der Rosenkavalier), Krušina (The Bartered Bride), Fritz Kothner (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Lockit (The Beggar’s Opera), Alcindoro (La bohème) and Hortensius (La Fille du régiment). In the 2014/15 Season he returns to sing Second Priest (Die Zauberflöte) and Alcindoro.
Maxwell was born in Perth and 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 and with international companies including the Metropolitan Opera, New York, La Scala, Milan, Vienna State Opera and Paris Opéra. His repertory has included many key 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. His many character roles include Fra Melitone (La forza del destino), Somarone (Béatrice et Bénédict), Pooh-Bah (The Mikado) and Doolittle (My Fair Lady).
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