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Neil Balfour

Voice Type:

Bass-Baritone

Nationality:

British

Country:

United Kingdom

Languages (fluent):

English, Italian, French, Spanish

Agent:

Steven Swales
Send email
Call 01753 882 378

Opera

Prince Yamadori
Madame Butterfly (Puccini)
Welsh National Opera
2021
Soloist
18th Century Ballad Opera (Various)
Leeds Opera Festival
2020
Guglielmo
Cosi fan Tutte (Mozart)
Mananan Opera, Isle of Man
2020
Black Max
Dark Cabaret (Various)
Glastonbury Music Festival
2020
Mercurio
La Calisto (Cavalli)
Longborugh Festival Opera
2019
Colline
La Boheme (Puccini)
Mananan Opera, Isle of Man
2019
Claggart
Billy Budd (Britten)
The Royal Opera House, Learning & Development
2019
Dottore Grenvil
La Traviata (Verdi)
Devon Opera
2018
Betto di Signa
Gianni Schicchi (Puccini)
Macready Theatre, Rugby
2018
Don Pasquale
Don Pasquale (Donizetti)
Mananan Opera, Isle of Man
2018
Colline
La Boheme (Puccini)
OFMAN Opera Studio, Spain
2018
Don Alfonso
Cosi fan Tutte (Mozart)
Opera Holland Park
2018
Mustafa
L'italiana in Algeri (Rossini)
Mananan Opera
2017
Colline
La Boheme (Puccini)
Outreach Opera
2017
Ben
The Telephone (Menotti)
Independent
2017
Erster Priest
Die Zauberflöte (Mozart)
Royal Northern College of Music
2017
Barone di Kelbar
Un Giorno di Regno (Verdi)
Royal Northern College of Music
2017
Lt. Ratcliffe (shadow role)
Billy Budd (Britten)
Opera North
2016
Figaro
Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart)
Longborough Festival Opera
2016
Don Alfonso
Così fan tutte (Mozart)
Royal Northern College of Music
2016
Colline
La Bohème (Puccini)
Opera on Location
2016
Arkel
Pelléas et Mélisande (Debussy)
Royal Northern College of Music
2016
Quince
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Britten)
Royal Northern College of Music
2015
Notary
Don Pasquale (Donizetti)
Royal Northern College of Music
2015
Figaro
Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart)
Royal Northern College of Music
2015
Stanley
A Streetcar Named Desire (Previn)
Royal Northern College of Music
2015
Antonio
The Marriage of Figaro (in English) (Mozart)
Young Opera Venture
2014

Operetta/G&S

Lord Ellington
La Vie Parisienne (in English) (Offenbach)
Royal Northern College of Music
2016
Baculus
Der Wildschütz (Lortzing)
Royal Northern College of Music
2016
Paris
Ten Belles Without A Ring (Franz von Suppe)
Leeds College of Music
2010

Contemporary Opera

Punch
Crocodile (Lente Verelst)
Hull Urban Opera
2021
Jean Arp
Sophie (Helen Caddick)
Tête à Tête Opera Festival
2021
Texy
Back into the World (Alex Groves)
English Touring Opera
2021
Ibn Al-Hatham
Ibn-Al Haytham's Light (Iain Farrington)
English Touring Opera
2020
Dad / La-La
A Shoe Full of Stars (Omar Sharyar)
Gestalt Arts / The Opera Awards
2018
Soloist
What Cannot Be Turned Aside (Maeve Rendle)
OneTouch Gallery
2018
Nikolaus' father
Mysterious 44 (Kevin Malone)
Feelgood Theatre Productions
2016

Art Song

Soloist
Sondheim Recital (Sondheim)
Oxford Lieder Festival
2021
Soloist
Song Recording (Finzi & RVW)
Britten Pears Arts, Snape Maltings
2021
Soloist
Early Stroll (Richard Barnard)
Lockdown recording for YouTube & Twitter
2020
Soloist
Leeds Lieder for Little'Un's (Various)
Leeds Lieder
2019
Soloist
Leeds Lieder for Littl'Un's (Various)
Leeds Lieder
2018
Soloist
An afternoon of Balfour and Bolcom (William Bolcom)
Royal Northern College of Music
2017
Soloist
Hungarian Songs (Franz Liszt)
RNCM Chamber Music Festival
2017
Soloist
Songs before Sleep (Richard Rodney Bennett)
Royal Northern College of Music
2015
Soloist
Old American Songs (Aaron Copland)
Royal Northern College of Music
2015

Chorus

Chorus
La Traviata (Verdi)
Opera Holland Park
2018
Chorus
Cosi Fan Tutte (Mozart)
Opera Holland Park
2018
Chorus
Macbeth (Verdi)
Buxton Festival Opera
2017
Chorus
The Tsar has his Photograph Taken (Kurt Weill)
Leeds College of Music
2010

Oratorio/Concerts

Soloist
Porgy & Bess (Gershwin)
Leeds Philharmonic Orchestra
2020
Singer
Grenfell Tower Memorial Concert (Various)
Opera Holland Park
2018
Soloist
St. Matthew Passion (Bach)
The Guards Chapel, London
2018
Soloist
Mass in Time of War (Haydn)
Ilkley Choral Society
2018
Soloist
Opera Gala at Hoghton Tower (Various)
Hoghton Tower, Bolton
2018
Soloist
Classical & Musical theatre Selections (Various)
Moira Male Voice Choir
2016
Soloist
Operetta Concert (Offenbach & Gilbert & Sullivan)
Manchester G&S Society
2016
Wenceslas
Wenceslas (Bob Chilcott)
SingforPleasure
2015
Soloist
Requiem (Mozart)
SingforPleasure
2015

Theatre

Cast
Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare)
Royal Shakespeare Company
2020

Various/Mixed

Creator
Koko Koncerts (Classical stars in a coffee shop) (Various)
Art Song Story
2020

Covered Covered & Performed Scenes Premiere of New Work Concert COVID-cancelled

A Shoe Full of Stars - International Opera Awards 2016

Arkel - Pelleas et Melisande - Debussy - 2016

Don Alfonso - Cosi Fan Tutte 2016

Don Pasquale - Mananan Opera 2018

Don Pasquale- Mananan Opera 2018

Headshot - Neil Balfour - Colour

Headshot Front

La Traviata - Devon Opera 2019

Lord Ellington - La Vie Parisienne - Offenbach - 2016

Mustafa - Italian Girl in Algiers

Mustafa - Italian Girl in Algiers (Papataci Trio)

Neil Balfour

Neil Balfour

Neil Balfour - Artsong

Neil Balfour - contemporary

Publicity Headshot - Neil Balfour - B&W

Quince - A Midsummer Night's Dream - 2015

Concordia Artist - Concordia Foundation (2019)

Opera North Mentor Scheme - Opera North & RNCM (2016)

Scholarship for Masters Study - Jane Anthony Memorial Award (2016)

Scholarship for Masters Study - South Square Trust Scholar (2016)

Full RNCM Scholarship - Royal Northern College of Music (2015)

One Year Scholarship - SingforPleasure (2013)

Competitions

Lesley Garrett Opera Class Winner - David Clover Festival of Singing (2017)

1st place French Song & Lied Class - David Clover Festival of Singing (2016)

Frederic Cox Singing Competition - Finalist (2015)

1st place British Composer & Vocal Duet - The Warde-Aldam Cup - Pontefract Singing Festival (2010)

"A principal with authority, command and style. Generous, empathetic artist with an exceptional stage personality . Evident attention to textual detail , musical nuance and interpretive expression . Elegant leading man. Characterisation of depth and insight, displaying a broad span of dramatic Interpretation . An energised visceral performer that provokes excitement." - Stefan Janski, Director of Mananan Opera (2018)

"Neil Balfour possesses an exceptionally beautiful baritone voice … an outstanding soloist. He directly contributed to the production's winning of the YAMAward for Best Opera for Young People 2018. Neil is an entrepreneur, an artist, a leader, an educator and an open heart with whom I hope everyone has the privilege of working with repeatedly." - Omar Sharyar, Artistic Director - Opera Schmopera (2018)

"Neil is without a doubt one of the top singers I've ever worked with. In fact he is a director's dream -- always completely prepared for a role but very flexible and inventive in the rehearsal room, and completely physically and emotionally engaged with both voice and body." - Ruth Mariner, Director - Gestalt Arts (2018)

“His voice was brilliant for the role, with very good clarity and purity as well as very careful projection and diction. At stage level, he was unbeatable, granting realism and quality to the character.” - Francisco Antonia Moya, Musical Director - OFMAN Opera, Madrid (2018)

"Charismatic stage artist , you cannot take your eyes off him. Strong sense of dramatic timing . Evident physical co-ordination . Expressive face and body A creative artist and musician , an exceptional ensemble player . A mime artist in the style of Marcel Marceau with a flair for comedy . His improvisation skills in the context of live theatre keep you on the edge of your seat." - Stefan Janski, Director of Mananan Opera (2017)

"The Bey himself, Mustafa (a devilishly handsome Neil Balfour), flirted insanely with the audience and his compatriots on stage with a mischievous zeal. We should hate this man for his misogeny but love him for his ridiculousness." - Fiona Helleur, Reviewer for the IOM Today (2017)

"Neil's artistry was perfect for the principle baritone role in the premiere of the Mark twain opera Mysterious 44. Intelligent, passionate, flexible, golden-toned singing and impressive acting, and excellent integration with the rest of the cast. A gem of a musician to work with." - Kevin Malone, Opera Composer of Mysterious 44 (2016)

"A late but enforced cast change meant that Neil took on the role of Don Alfonso only three weeks before the first night. This was a very courageous and impressive decision in itself. More impressive still, he went about approaching what would be a hugely daunting - albeit exciting - task for anyone in such a sensible, open, organised way, that he didn’t appear to waver for a moment either in his assessment of the size of the task or his faith and determination and confidence that he would get there. Given that so many other people are involved in a process like this, that to me showed a crucial balance of sensitivity, care and self possession, and these qualities held him in good stead as he continued. Neil presents a unique, clear, entertaining and honest character, free in the moment but disciplined in the structure. I feel enormously appreciative and respectful of that." - Thomas Guthrie - Director, 2016

"Neil Balfour brought this part to riveting life ... Outstanding. The best Don Alfonso I have ever heard!" - Gwenda Meredith, www.list.co.uk

"Neil Balfour excelled as Lord Ellington, giving a convincing performance with considerable stage presence ... He used his attractive voice, smooth with a slight dark edge, to his best advantage." - Michael Cookson, SeenandHeard - International

"Neil took on the role at very short notice... His Alfonso was dramatically alive and compelling... he sang extremely well." - Roger Hamilton, Conductor

“Neil is an intelligent and sensitive performer with an innate ability to adapt to varied styles of repertoire... a natural comic actor - he is as comfortable singing Mozart as he is performing Sondheim." - Garth Bardsley Director of Opera

Emerging Artist
National Opera Studio
2020–2021
Young Artist
Britten-Pears Arts
2020–2021
PG Dip Advanced Studies
Royal Northern College of Music
2016–2017
MMus - Distinction
Royal Northern College of Music
2014–2016
Voice Training Still Level 1 & 2
Estill
2014
Voice, Piano & Guitar- Grade 8
ABRSM
2007–2014
BA (Hons.) Music
Leeds College of Music
2007–2010

Indian-Scottish Neil Balfour is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) and the National Opera Studio. A former Britten-Pears and Concordia artist, he is the first opera singer to be booked by the Glastonbury Festival and the first to beatbox in an opera at Longborough Festival Opera.

In the current season Neil performs Prince Yamadori Madama Butterfly for Welsh National Opera, premieres Jean Arp Sophie for the Tête à Tête Opera festival and a Sondheim recital for Oxford Lieder. He also looks forward to attending a Samling Artist Residency.

Operatic performances include Colline La bohème (Mananan Opera & OFMAN Madrid Opera Studio); Mercurio La Calisto (Longborough Festival Opera); Don Alfonso Così fan tutte, Quince A midsummer night’s dream and Lord Ellington La vie Parisienne (RNCM); Dottore La Traviata (Devon Opera); Cold Genius King Arthur (Glastonbury Festival); Mustafà L’Italiana in Algeri and Don Pasquale Don Pasquale (Mananan Opera); Claggart Billy Budd Re-imagined (The Royal Opera House L&P Department); being a Young Artist Macbeth (Buxton International Festival) and the nationwide tours of Aida and Fidelio (Chorus of Opera North). Roles understudied include Figaro Le nozze di Figaro (Longborough Festival Opera) and Lt. Ratcliffe Billy Budd (Opera North).

Contemporary opera roles created for Neil include Ibn Al-Haytham Al-Haytham’s light and Texy/Everywhere Back into the world (English Touring Opera); Father Mysterious 44 (the first electronic opera); Dad/La-La A shoe full of stars (YAM Awards Best Opera 2018) and Punch Crocodile (a dark-web animated opera).

Concert performances have included Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess (Leeds Philharmonic Orchestra), Haydn’s Mass in time of War, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion as well as an eclectic mix of song recitals for Leeds Lieder, &Piano, Britten-Pears Arts and the Leeds Opera Festival.

Neil is the first classical artist for sE Electronics and NORD (world-leading microphones & digital pianos), director of ArtSongStory (compelling videos of art-song) and founder of the Koko Koncerts (classical stars in a coffee shop). He is also in partnership with Penhaligon’s British perfume house, Kapow meggings and VivoBarefoot shoes. His work as a voiceover artist has had over 100 million plays.

Outside of opera, Neil is a keen barista, audiophile and yogi.

Contact Neil Balfour

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