“Adrian Thompson and Madeleine Shaw made an exceptionally slimy pair of intriguers”
Representation: General Management
Photo: Grzegorz Monkiewicz
Adrian is one of Britain’s leading operatic character tenors, long established on the stages of Covent Garden, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival and Garsington Festival and has made guest appearances at La Scala, Milan, Geneva Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Nederlandse Reisopera, Aix en Provence Festival and has sung in concert with all the leading orchestras of the UK and abroad. Over his career Adrian has long established a specific relationship with the music of Britten and Elgar for which he is much in demand on both the concert platform and recording studio.
London-born Adrian Thompson is an artist of extraordinary versatility with a wide-ranging opera, concert and recital repertoire, he trained at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he is now a professor of vocal studies.
His opera appearances have included the title role of Peter Grimes, Skuratov The House Of The Dead for Oper Frankfurt; Snout A Midsummer Night’s Dream for La Scala, Milan; Mao Nixon in China and 1st Jew Salome for Canadian Opera Company; Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte, 1st Jew in Salome, Arv in Nielsen’s Maskarade and Valzacchi Der Rosenkavalier at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Scribe Khovanshchina and Lilaque Pere Boulevard Solitude and Witch Hänsel und Gretel for Welsh National Opera, Esslinger Die Meistersinger and School Teacher The Cunning Little Vixen at Glyndebourne, Michael Jarrell’s Galilée and Rev. Adams Peter Grimes (Runnicles) for Grand Théâtre de Genève; Mime Das Rheingold and Siegfried for Nederlandse Reisopera; the title role of Janacek’s The Diary of One who Disappeared both in Brussels and the Aix-en-Provence Festival; Vitek The Makropulos Case for Angers/Nantes Opera; Zivny in Janacek’s Osud and Midas in Die Liebe Der Danae for Garsington Opera, concert performances of Grigory Boris Godunov at The Brighton Festival and Big Prisoner From the House of the Dead for Opéra National du Rhin Strasbourg. He has also performed with English National Opera, Badisches Staatstheater, Karlsruhe, Oper der Stadt Köln, Staatstheater Stuttgart, at the Bregenz Festival, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, New Israeli Opera, and The Netherlands Opera. Further engagements include Albert Herring with BBC Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for Lichfield Festival, Noctambulist Louise for Buxton Festival, Shabby Peasant Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk for ENO and further performances as Eisslinger Die Meistersinger for Glyndebourne Festival.
Adrian Thompson has performed with all the major British orchestras and ensembles and his overseas engagements have taken him all over the world. During his career he has worked with many distinguished conductors: Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Trevor Pinnock, Harry Christophers, Sir Andrew Davis, Richard Hickox, Sir Colin Davis and Philippe Herreweghe. In the contemporary field he has performed Lutoslawski’s Paroles Tisées with Oliver Knussen and The London Sinfonietta, recorded Judith Weir’s A Night at the Chinese Opera and given many first performances of works by British and European composers. His recent concert highlights include Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass with the Hallé Orchestra/Mark Elder, Dream of Gerontius with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Christopher Seaman and at the Royal Festival Hall and War Requiem at the Barbican Centre, London. He is particularly associated with the works of Britten and Elgar and his repertoire also includes Beethoven 9th Symphony, Verdi Requiem and Mahler Das Lied von der Erde as well as the Evangelists of Bach’s St John and St Matthew Passions.
A very experienced recitalist, Adrian Thompson has made many appearances at the Wigmore Hall and at festivals in the UK and Europe with pianists Graham Johnson, Iain Burnside and Roger Vignoles and harpist Ossian Ellis, also appearing in recital recently with Roger Braun at the Concertgebouw. He has recorded discs of works by Vaughan Williams and Gurney, a volume in the acclaimed Complete Schubert Edition and Janácek’s The Eternal Gospel with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for Hyperion, Warlock’s The Curlew for Collins Classics and Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin for Pickwick. He appears on Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Virgin Classics, Vaughan Williams’ The Pilgrim’s Progress, Sir John in Love for Chandos and in Handel’s Rodelinda for Virgin Classics. His discography also includes Britten’s Serenade, Les Illuminations and Nocturne and Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang for Naxos.
Recent engagements include Shapkin From the House of the Dead at the Savonlinna Festival and Hermit in Hartmann’s Simplicius Simplicissimus for Independent Opera and Mr Upfold Albert Herring for The Grange Festival.
Engagements in 2017/2018 include Judith Weir’s In the Land of Uz at the BBC Proms, Scribe Khovanshchina and Shapkin From the House of the Dead for WNO, Mime Das Rheingold at the Royal Festival Hall (LPO/Jurowski), Don Basilio Le Nozze di Figaro with Irish National Opera and Monostatos Die Zauberflöte and Bardolfo Falstaff for Garsington Opera. Adrian will also return to Scottish Opera for the 2018/2019 season.
Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to ensure that you receive the most up to date version. Email: Elin Jones
The performance recorded on 7th October will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at 18.30 on Saturday 4th November, featuring Simon Bailey (Shaklovity), Mark Le Brocq (Vasily Golitsyn) and Adrian Thompson (Scribe) BBC Radio 3 Broadcast
“In the role of the hapless scribe – somehwat put upon by Mussorgsky as well as by his empolyers – the tenor Adrian Thompson was indefatigable” Opera Magazine, Rian Evans (Dec’17)
Wagner DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG, Glyndebourne Festival
“The Masters were cast from strength and lovingly characterized, with Colin Judson’s fussy Vogelgesang [and] Adrian Thompson’s delightfully dotty Eisslinger …outstanding – their singing was definitely master quality.” Melanie Ezkenazi, Music OMH (May 2016)
R. Strauss DER ROSENKAVALIER – English National Opera
“Adrian Thompson and Madeleine Shaw made an exceptionally slimy pair of intriguers” Russ McDonald, Opera Magazine (April 2012)
“Adrian Thompson (Valzacchi) and Madeleine Shaw (Annina) are superb, vocally and dramatically, individually as well as in their double act.” Musical Criticism, Agnes Kory (30 Jan 2012)
Tchaikovsky EUGENE ONEGIN – English National Opera
“There was also an exceptional Monsieur Triquet from Adrian Thompson. Often parodied in a camp cameo, the role of the Frenchman was presented with a dignity and a surpassingly beautiful mezza voce in the second verse of his couplets” Opera News, George Hall (Feb 2012)
Wagner DAS RHEINGOLD – Nederlandse Reisopera, Enschede
“Adrian Thompson’s first assumption of the role [Mime] – why so late, one has to ask? – is perhaps the production’s most compelling characterisation to date. It is a tragicomic masterpiece of malevolence, yet one that is strangely sympathetic thanks to his treatment by Mati Turi’s burly, bully-boy hero” Hugh Canning, Opera Magazine (March 2012)
The complete solo folksong arrangements with Adrian Thompson (tenor), Marcus Farnsworth (baritone) and John Talbot (piano).
BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY (2011)
Frank Martin – GOLGOTHA
Cast includes Adrian Thompson, Judith Gauthier, Marianne Beate Kielland with Cappella Amsterdam, the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Reuss
HARMONIA MUNDI (2010)
Kubik – SONGS OF ZHIVAGO
Solo song recital with Adrian Thompson and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Ronald Zollmann
Vaughan Williams – SIR JOHN IN LOVE
Cast includes Adrian Thompson, Stephan Loges, Roderick Williams, Sarah Connolly with Sinfonia Chorus and Northern Sinfonia conducted by Richard Hickox