English baritone Roderick Williams made his Royal Opera debut in 1997 as Obstinate/Watchful/First Shepherd (The Pilgrim’s Progress) and has since sung Schaunard (La bohème) and Ned Keene (Peter Grimes). In the 2017/18 Season he sings Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) and Ulysses (The Return of Ulysses).
Williams was a choral scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, and worked as a music teacher before training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He performs internationally in a wide repertory, his roles including Oronte (Charpentier’s Médée), Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Eugene Onegin, Billy Budd, Mr Gedge (Albert Herring) and Christus (Peter Sellars’s staging of the St John Passion). He is closely associated with contemporary opera, collaborating with composers including Michel van der Aa, Sally Beamish, David Sawer and Robert Saxton. Williams has performed in concert with ensembles including all the BBC orchestras, New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Britten Sinfonia, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Russian National Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Bach Collegium Japan and Le Concert Spirituel. His many festival appearances include the BBC Proms, Edinburgh, Cheltenham, Aldeburgh and Melbourne.
Williams’s recordings include several discs of English song with Iain Burnside (Naxos). His awards include Singer of the Year at the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards. He is active as a composer and his compositions have been performed at venues including Wigmore Hall and the Barbican. In 2016 he was Artistic Director of Leeds Lieder.