Having started as a chorister at Coventry Cathedral, Callum studied at the Royal Academy of Music. Callum has subsequently performed with Glyndebourne on Tour, Garsington Opera and Opera North. After a season on the Les Jardins de Voix programme (Les Arts Florissants) he has built on his European profile and performed at the Théâtre de Champs Elysees, La Monnaie and the Concertgebouw. Callum makes role debuts of Sarastro and Banquo for Theater Basel in the 15/16 season and will make his ROH main stage debut in 2018.
Callum began his musical training as a chorister at Coventry Cathedral before pursuing a scientific career, obtaining a PhD in Immunology from Imperial College London. Supported by both the Sir Thomas White Educational Foundation and the Josephine Baker Trust, he subsequently made a return to music and studied opera at the Royal Academy of Music with Mark Wildman. Graduating with a distinction in 2009, Callum was also awarded the Harry Fischer Memorial Prize, and in the same year received the Glyndebourne on Tour Donald A Anderson Award.
Notable operatic engagements include Masetto Don Giovanni for Glyndebourne on Tour, for Garsington Opera and at the Birgitta Festival in Estonia. In a flourishing collaboration with Les Arts Florissants, Callum has performed The Fairy Queen on tour in Paris, Caen and New York with William Christie, The Indian Queen with Paul Agnew, Phobétor Atys and a series of concerts in France, Spain and the US entitled Le Jardin de Monsieur Lully, Pluto in Charpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux Enfersand Adonis in Blow’s Venus & Adonis (Cohen). Callum has also participated in masterclasses with Jose Cura, Robert Tear and Dennis O’Neill. While at the Royal Academy roles included Giove La Calisto, Figaro (cover) Le Nozze di Figaro (with Sir Colin Davis), Mylkin Cheryomushki, Pinellino Gianni Schicchi and Father/Prince in the world première of John Barber’s Rapunzel. Further operatic engagements have included Arthur/Officer 3 in Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse (Dartington International Festival), Loudspeaker in Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis for English Touring Opera and Plutone L’Orfeo for Silent Opera, Hippolyte et Aricie for Glyndebourne Festival, Britten’s Noye’s Fludde at the Two Moors Festival, Billy Jackrabbit in the new production of La Fanciulla del West for Opera North, St Matthew Passion Philharmonie Zuidnederland (Paul Goodwin) and La Descente d’Orphée at the Wigmore Hall (Christian Curnyn). Recent engagements include Antinoo Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria at the Iford Festival, Jupiter Platée at St. John’s Smith Square (Early Opera Company), bass cover in the world premiere of Shell Shock (Nicholas Lens & Nick Cave) for La Monnaie, Brussels, Plutone L’Orfeo for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden at the Roundhouse and Gibarian in the world première performances of Fujikura’s Solaris (Paris, Lille & Lausanne).
On the concert platform Callum has sung much of the major oratorio repertoire and regularly performs both throughout the country and internationally; highlights include debuts at Tel Aviv Opera House, performing Handel Israel in Egypt with Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra under Laurence Cummings, Polyphemus Acis & Galatea at the Festival de Thiré (William Christie), Acis & Galatea (1732 version) for Basel Kammerorchester (Paul Goodwin) in Paris & Vienna and both Handel Esther and Acis & Galatea at the London Handel Festival. His concert repertoire further includes Messiah at Bath Abbey, St Matthew Passion at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, and Israel in Egypt at Salisbury Cathedral and performances of Bach St John Passion Verdi Requiem, Mozart Requiem and Haydn Creation and Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle. Recordings include Apollo in Handel’s Apollo e Dafne with Ensemble Marsyas, due for release in September 2016 (Linn).
Engagements in 2015/2016 include Valens in a fully staged production of Theodora at the Théâtre de Champs Elysées, Paris, concert performances of Theodora for Les Arts Florissants in New York and at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and role debuts as Sarastro Die Zauberflöte, Banquo Macbeth and Old Hebrew Samson et Dalila (concert perf.) for Theater Basel. Concert engagements include Mass in B Minor (Barbican Hall, London) and Handel La Resurrezione (Wigmore Hall). Subsequent engagements include Lieutenant Ratcliffe in the new production of Billy Budd for Opera North.
IL RITORNO D’ULISSE IN PATRIA – Iford Festival 2014
“Callum Thorpe displays one of the finest bass-baritone voices around at the moment, his tone full and even from the top to the bottom; but there are no weak links in this cast, and it’s a pleasure to see and hear them all” The Stage, George Hall (28 July 2014)
“Callum Thorpe’s gorgeous bass is perfect for the schemingly arrogant Antinous” GP-W, The Fine Times Recorder (27 July 2014)