Simon Bailey

Simon Bailey


Representation: General Management

Photo: Angelika Tippmann


Having sung for several seasons in the solo ensemble for Oper Frankfurt, Simon is now gaining an increasing number of guest appearances at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Theater Basel, Staatstheater Stuttgart, De Vlaamse Opera and at the Glyndebourne and Gstaad Festivals. Excelling as a singer/actor Simon has great success in a variety of roles ranging from buffo through to the more dramatic bass-baritone repertoire such as Jochanaan and Klingsor. Simon also sings regularly on the concert platform throughout Germany, where he is based, and has also guested with Nagoya Philharmonic (Japan) and with BBC Symphony Orchestra.


Full Biography

Simon Bailey has received much praise for his interpretations of a diverse and eclectic range of over 100 principal roles and repertoire. A choral scholarship at Clare College, Cambridge preceded postgraduate study at the RNCM Manchester as a Peter Moores Foundation scholar, and at the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala in Milan.

In 2002 Simon was invited by incoming Intendant, Bernd Loebe, to join the company of the Oper Frankfurt where he remained until 2015. Simon has since developed a highly successful career on both the operatic and concert stages, in demand with leading opera houses and orchestras throughout Europe.

Recent engagements include Nicanor/Satan in David Felicien’s Herculanum for Wexford Festival Opera, Bach Weihnachtsoratorium in Gießen, Wetzlar and Frankfurt, The Kingdom in Bad Homburg, Köln and Bonn, his role debut as Jochanaan Salome for Staatsoper Stuttgart and Adam Ochsenschwanz in Krenek’s Schwergewicht for Oper Frankfurt.  Plans for 2017/2018 include Shaklovity Khovanshchina and Shishkov From the House of the Dead for Welsh National Opera, Peter Hänsel und Gretel in Stuttgart, the Italian première of Alisdair Nicolson’s I, Pilgrim in Rome, Alfonso Cosi fan tutte for Oper Frankfurt, Mizoguchi in Mayazumi’s Kinkakuji for Opéra National du Rhin, Strasbourg, Ferrando Il Trovatore and Redburn Billy Budd in Frankfurt and further performances of Der Freischütz in Stuggart.

Highlights in 2015/16 included role debuts as Kaspar Der Freischütz for Oper Stuttgart, Gunther Götterdämmerung in the Oper Frankfurt Ring cycle; a return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Sirocco in Chabrier´s L´étoile; reprising the roles of Figaro Le nozze di Figaro and Achilla Giulio Cesare in Frankfurt. Simon also appeared as Kaspar Der Freischütz with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at the Royal Festival Hall, and as a last-minute replacement for Oper Frankfurt as Fernando Villabella in La gazza ladra, learning the role overnight, and in Stuttgart as four villains Les contes d´Hoffmann.

Highlights in 2014/15 included his debut as the four villains Les contes d´Hoffmann with Oper Basel; Peter Hänsel und Gretel in the new Keith Warner production at Oper Frankfurt; reprising the role of Leporello Don Giovanni for his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and with Oper Frankfurt; Gelone L´orontea with Ivor Bolton in Frankfurt; Klingsor Parsifal and Don Magnifico Cenerentola in Frankfurt. Bailey ended the season as Leporello once more, for the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, Switzerland alongside Erwin Schrott and Veronique Gens.

Further operatic appearances include the title role in Mozart´s Le nozze di Figaro at Teatro alla Scala; Méphistophélès in Terry Gilliam’s production of Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust in Antwerp; Achilla in Giulio Cesare in Frankfurt and Lille; Don Bartolo Il barbiere di Siviglia and Procolo Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali at Teatro alla Scala; Redburn Billy Budd at Oper Frankfurt; Don Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia in Beijing; Truffaldino Ariadne auf Naxos at the Theater an der Wien; Zuniga Carmen for the Glyndebourne Festival.

Previous and future appearances on the concert platform include Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Tampere Filharmonia in Finland; Handel’s Messiah with the Royal Society at the Royal Albert Hall; Mendelssohn Paulus and Handel Jephtha in Maulbronn; Handel Saul at the Kölner Philharmonie; Haydn Die Schöpfung in Dublin; Gurnemanz Parsifal in Bad Homburg and Wiesbaden; Sulpice La fille du Regiment and David L´amico Fritz in Moscow; Mendelssohn Elias in Giessen and Wetzlar. A keen recitalist, Bailey has performed Schubert´s Schwanengesang in Mainz, Cambridge and Monmouth.

Simon Bailey won first prize in the Internazionale Concorso `Musica Sacra` 2005 in Rome.

Artist Website:

Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to make sure you receive the most up to date version.  Email: Elin Jones



Wales Theatre Awards 2018

January 22nd, 2018

Hazard Chase artists double success in Wales Theatre Awards 2018

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WNO: Khovanshchina BBC Radio 3

November 3rd, 2017

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

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A Russian Revolution

September 19th, 2017

Khovanshchina, From the House of the Dead and Eugene Onegin dominate the autumn season at Welsh National Opera

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World Première: I, Pilgrim

June 15th, 2017

Simon Bailey sings the world première of Alasdair Nicolson’s dramatic oratorio at the St Magnus International Festival

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Heads will roll…

March 23rd, 2017

Simon Bailey makes his role debut as Jochanaan in SALOME at Staatstheater Stuggart

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Mussorgsky – KHOVANSHCHINA, Welsh National Opera

“In a company debut, Simon Bailey as Shaklovity was both stylishly and authoritatively drawn and his reflection on the fate of the Russian nation was sung with much feeling”
Opera Magazine, Rian Evans (Dec’17)

“On a stage packed with riveting characterisations and eye-catching cameos, Robert Hayward’s ruthless Khovansky is immense, Mark Le Brocq is excellent as the weaselly Golitsyn, and Simon Bailey musters huge emotions in Shaklovity’s anguished lament for Russia’s woes.”
The Times. Richard Morrison (26 Sept’17)

“Robert Hayward’s Ivan is the big vocal presence, but it is the dignified authority of Miklós  Sebestyén’s performance as the believers’ leader, Dosifei, that helps carry the evening, and Simon Bailey is similarly imposing as Shaklovity”
The Guardian, Rian Evans (Oct’17)

Janacek – FROM THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD, Welsh National Opera

“Simon Bailey’s Shishkov effortlessly held the attention”
Opera Magazine, Rian Evans (Dec’17)

“But every singer here pushes themselves to the utmost in portrayals of great force, notably Alan Oke’s Skuratov, Mark Le Brocq’s Luka Kuzmich and Simon Bailey’s Shishkov”
The Guardian, Rian Evans (9 Oct ’17)

“…as the murderers Skuratov and Shishkov Alan Oke and Simon Bailey both give gripping accounts of their lengthy narrations”
The Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen (Oct’17)

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David – HERCULANUM, Wexford Festival Opera

“Simon Bailey did a fine job, firstly as the villainous proconsul, Nicanor, and then as Satan, particularly in Act IV as he frees the slaves from their fetters singing the technically fiendish chromatic scales to great effect.”
Bachtrack, Andrew Larkin (27 Oct’16)

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Mendelssohn – ELIJAH, Stadttheater Giessen

“Particularly noteworthy is the internationally sought after bass-baritone Simon Bailey, who has appeared in the opera houses of Frankfurt, Vienna and Glyndebourne, and at La Scala, Milan, who shone in the role of the jealous Prophet Elijah with a sovereign, gripping interpretation….. As the protagonist Elijah, Simon Bailey fulfilled this task with vocal brilliance and agility. He clearly, concisely and powerfully let the angry prophet rage in ´Is not his word like a fire´, before portraying the prophet´s pain and resignation in the aria “It is enough!” with infinite tenderness.”
Gießener Anzeiger (June 2016)

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Weber – DER FREISCHÜTZ, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Royal Festival Hall)

“The remainder of the cast was never less than serviceable, and with a few real standout performances. The best of these was Simon Bailey as Kaspar. The dark tone of his voice is ideal for the part, and although he has a tendency to ham up the menacing stage presence, especially the evil laugh, it all served to inject sorely needed drama to the proceedings. The Wolf’s Glen scene was the highlight of the performance, partly because Pountney finally found a way to make his Minimalist conception deliver, but also because it was dominated by Bailey’s Kaspar and Tomlinson’s Samiel”
The Arts Desk, Gavin Dixon (8 June 2016)

“The outstanding male singing and characterisation came from Simon Bailey in the role of Kaspar. This had a lived-in quality to it from a singer who was completely comfortable with all its demands. The black quality to his voice, Iago-like in its insinuation, was always at the service of the music, and in his key Act I aria the absolute steadiness in his deepest register when he reached “Nichts kann dich retten vom tiefen Fall” was most impressive.”
Bachtrack, Alexander Hall (8 June 2016)

“I should imagine they could hear Simon Bailey’s quite superb Kaspar on the other side of the river. I’d never heard him before last year, when he sang a gloriously full-bodied and secure Leporello at Covent Garden … He seems to have made his career primarily in Frankfurt thus far; but it’s high time he – like Ventris – came home (ever assuming he wants to, of course) not least because he has the dramatic chops to be as frightening in this as he was funny in the Mozart, and can sing properly too. More, please.”
Opera Britannia, Stephen Jay-Taylor

“Simon Bailey was his [Max’s] nemesis Kaspar and with an OTT demonic laugh he would have chewed the scenery had there been any scenery to chew. In the devilish goings-on of the Wolf’s Glen he was at his best and brought a much needed dramatic frisson to the proceedings.”
Seen and Heard International, Jim Pritchard

“Simon Bailey stood out as an intense and imposing Kaspar, every consonant and sibilant telling – his voice has a striking sinewy quality allowing him to present a more complex and chilling character than the usual inky-black bass-baritones, and he carried ‘Wolf’s Glen’ from a dramatic perspective and with intensity.
Classical Source, Alexander Campbell (June 2016)

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Gstaad Festival – Don Giovanni

“Simon Bailey (Leporello) [is a] wonderful actor, the bass-baritone has a phenomenally clear vocal emission and perfect diction. At ease on stage, he relishes cultivating humorous situations. Pushing the limits of his character to caricature, Simon Bailey´s portrayal of the servant is hysterically funny… And, although his “Catalogue aria” remains a moment of vocal and theatrical joy, the scene where he assumes the role of Don Giovanni to seduce Donna Elvira is a small masterpiece of buffoonery . His theatricality is so overwhelming that we almost forget what an admirable singer he is.”, Jacques Schmitt (3 Sept 2015)

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Discography & Repertoire



Live recording from Oper Frankfurt with Eva-Maria Westbroek (Minnie), Carlo Ventre (Dick), Ashley Holland (Rance) and Simon Bailey (Sonora).  Conducted by Sebastian Weigle

OEHMS (2014)

Artist Manager

John McHugh (Cambridge)
01223 706024

Assistant Artist Manager

Elin Jones (Cambridge)
01223 706026