British tenor Barry Banks has garnered acclaim for his appearences in operas by Bellini, Rossini, and Donizetti, and has sung in major productions for the Metropolitan Opera and English National Opera. In concert, Banks has appeared under conductors such as Sir Colin Davis, Xian Zhang, and Jan Latham-Koenig. This year he performed Benjamin Britten's iconic War Requiem with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. In the spirit of the worldwide celebrations of Britten's centennial, Banks performs an all-Britten program of vocal music, works at the heart of this great composer's output. He is joined by the American pianist Jonathan Ware.
Benjamin Britten (1913–1976)
My Beloved is Mine, Op. 40
Winter Words, Op. 52
At day close in November
Midnight at the Great Western
Wagtail and Baby
The little old table
The choirmaster’s burial
At the railway station, Upway
Before life and after
Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo, Op. 22
Music for a while
Early One Morning
Sally in our Alley
“He ranks in the top class of Italian-style lyric tenors, every phrase beautifully projected, clarion-toned and technically secure.”
—The Daily Telegraph, February 2010
Barry Banks’ outstanding facility in roles by Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti has brought him to the attention of the world’s leading opera houses.With The Metropolitan Opera he has partnered Renée Fleming in Rossini’s Armida, Natalie Dessay in La fille du régiment and La sonnambula, Olga Borodina in L’italiana in Algeri and Anna Netrebko in Don Pasquale and L’elisir d’amore.
Current season highlights include the Duke of Mantua in English National Opera’s production of Rigoletto; Iago in Otello at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and again at the Salzburg Festival; and a performance as Flute in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Metropolitan Opera. Concert highlights include performances with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.
Other notable roles have included the title role (Mitridate) and Don Narciso (Il turco in Italia) at the Bayerische Staatsoper; Ernesto (Don Pasquale) at the Royal Opera House; Count Almaviva at The Metropolitan Opera; Idreno (Semiramide) at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples and in his debut at Royal Danish Opera; Don Ramiro (La Cenerentola) for his debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu; Oreste (Ermione) for his debut at the Santa Fe Festival; Belfiore & Libenskof (Il viaggio a Reims) for his debut at Teatro Communale di Bologna and L’Astrologue (Le coq d’or) for his debut at Théâtre du Châtelet.
In concert Banks has performed Berlioz’ Grand Messe des Morts under Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra; Britten’s War Requiem at the Teatro alla Scala under Xian Zhang and with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg under Jan Latham-Koenig; The Dream of Gerontius with the Münchner Philharmoniker under Sir Andrew Davis and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Daniele Gatti. Other highlights have included Ermione in concert at Carnegie Hall; concert versions of I puritani and Linda di Chamonix at Caramoor Festival; Armida at the Edinburgh International Festival under Carlo Rizzi and Elvino (La sonnambula) under Kent Nagano at the Knowlton Festival.