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Iestyn Davies

Countertenor

Biography

Iestyn Davies in action.
Iestyn Davies and Barbara Hannigan in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera © ROH 2016. Photograph by Stephen Cummiskey

English countertenor Iestyn Davies made his Royal Opera debut in 2009 as Spirit (Dido and Aeneas) and has since sung Creonte (Niobe, regina di Tebe), Britten’s Canticles Angel 1/The Boy (Written on Skin) and Francisco (The Exterminating Angel). In the 2019/20 Season he sings Ottone (Agrippina).

Davies studied at St John’s College, Cambridge, and the Royal Academy of Music. Opera engagements include Francisco for Salzburg Festival, Francisco, Terry Rutland (Marnie), Trinculo (The Tempest) and Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) for the Metropolitan Opera, New York, Oberon for English National Opera, Houston Grand Opera and La Scala, Milan, David (Saul) and Rinaldo for Glyndebourne Festival, Ottone (L’incoronazione di Poppea) for Zürich Opera and Glyndebourne Festival, Ottone (Agrippina) for Bavarian State Opera, Bertarido (Rodelinda) for English National Opera, Hamor (Jephtha) for Welsh National Opera, Polinesso (Ariodante) for Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Angel 1/The Boy for Paris’s Opéra Comique, and the Munich and Vienna festivals.

Davies has sung with orchestras and ensembles including the English Concert, New York Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and in recital at Carnegie Hall and the Wigmore Hall, where he has curated his own residency. He has twice been awarded the Gramophone Recital Award, and in 2017 won the Gramophone Baroque Vocal Award. Davies recently made his Broadway debut in a revival of his West End theatre project, Farinelli and the King, with Mark Rylance and received an Olivier Award nomination. He was made an MBE in 2017.

News and features

Bryn Terfel knighted in New Year's Honours 2017

31 December 2016
Bryn Terfel knighted in New Year's Honours 2017

Welsh bass-baritone honoured alongside director Richard Eyre and countertenor Iestyn Davies.

Jonas Kaufmann and Written on Skin win Gramophone Awards 2014

27 August 2014
Jonas Kaufmann and Written on Skin win Gramophone Awards 2014

Other winners include Iestyn Davies and Glyndebourne's Ravel double bill.

Recommended Recordings: April 2014

16 April 2014
Recommended Recordings: April 2014

This month the focus falls on counter-tenors as well as a brilliant Krassimira Stoyanova album.



Photos

Production photo of Agrippina, The Royal Opera

Lucy Crowe as Poppea and Iestyn Davies as Ottone in Agrippina, The Royal Opera

Production photo of Agrippina, The Royal Opera

Iestyn Davies

Iestyn Davies and Barbara Hannigan in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Sally Matthews and Iestyn Davies in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Lucy Crowe as Poppea and Iestyn Davies as Ottone in Agrippina, The Royal Opera

Iestyn Davies as Ottone in Agrippina, The Royal Opera

Production photo of Agrippina, The Royal Opera

Iestyn Davies as Ottone in Agrippina, The Royal Opera

Iestyn Davies and Sally Matthews in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Iestyn Davies and Sally Matthews in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Iestyn Davies as the Boy and Barbara Hannigan as Agnès in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Production photo of Agrippina, The Royal Opera

Production photo of Agrippina, The Royal Opera

Iestyn Davies as Ottone in Agrippina, The Royal Opera

Iestyn Davies as Ottone, Gianluca Buratto as Claudio, Lucy Crowe as Poppea and Franco Fagioli as Nerone in Agrippina, The Royal Opera

Lucy Crowe as Poppea and Iestyn Davies as Ottone in Agrippina, The Royal Opera

Iestyn Davies as Ottone in Agrippina, The Royal Opera

Iestyn Davies as Creonte in Niobe, regina di Tebe, The Royal Opera

Production photo of Agrippina, The Royal Opera

Iestyn Davies, Frederic Antoun and Sally Matthews in The Exterminating Angel (C) ROH 2017. Photograph by Clive Barda

Iestyn Davies and Barbara Hannigan in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Iestyn Davies in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera

Iestyn Davies in Written on Skin, The Royal Opera