Originally from Northumberland, British tenor Alex Banfield has performed with the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Liverpool Sinfonia and the Orchestra of Opera North. For Opera North, Alex made his role debut in 2017 as Hrazda in Janacek’s Osud and has since sung Raoul de St Brioche in their acclaimed revival of The Merry Widow and Jonathan Dale in the UK premiere of Silent Night, a Pulitzer Prize-winning opera by American composer Kevin Puts. More recently he performed the principal role of Sam Kaplan in their 2020 production of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. Alex is currently a young artist at Theater Basel’s OperAvenir 20/21, where he will sing Tamino/Armed Man Die Zauberflöte, Eumete Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria and Rinuccio Gianni Schicchi.
Alex’s other operatic roles include Le théière & La rainette L’enfant et les sortilèges and the title role in Albert Herring for Samling Academy, Lysander A Midsummer Night’s Dream for RNCM and Peter Quint The Turn of the Screw with Manchester Opera Ensemble. As a soloist with the Orchestra of Opera North, Alex has performed Act 2 of La bohème and The Prince of Persia Turandot in their critically acclaimed concert performance series. As part of Opera North’s Whistle Stop Opera tour he has also performed Nemorino The Elixir of Love.
Alex’s oratorio highlights include the Requiem in C Major in Bilbao, Spain, Fantasia in C Minor for the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, Messiah for the Royal Northern Sinfonia at the Sage Gateshead, Coronation Mass at Snape Maltings, Israel in Egypt at Chester Cathedral with The Liverpool Sinfonia, and Crucifixion for Newcastle Cathedral. Alex’s extensive oratorio repertoire also includes Ham in Noye’s Fludde (Britten), L’enfance du Christ (Berlioz), Dixit Dominus (Handel), Creation & Nelson Mass (Haydn), Hymn of Praise (Mendelssohn), Requiem, Great Mass in C Minor & Missa Brevis (Mozart), Mass in G (Schubert), and Belshazzar’s Feast (Walton).
As a sought-after Bach performer, Alex performs regularly with the Liverpool Bach Collective as a specialist in the Cantata repertoire. He has also sung Bach’s Mass in B Minor and St. Matthew Passion for Durham Cathedral, St. John Passion for Manchester Cathedral, and Cantata 131 ‘Aus Der Tiefen’ for Newcastle Cathedral. During the Royal Northern College of Music Bach Festival, Alex was soloist in G. C. Bach’s Siehe, wie fein und lieblich ist, and has also sung Magnificat for the Kidderminster Choral Society, and Christmas Oratorio for Northumberland Choral Society.
In concert, on BBC Radio 4, Alex performed for a live broadcast of Bob Chilcott’s Jazz Mass at St Martin-in-the-Fields, as well as performing as a soloist in Serenade to Music with Malcolm Martineau. He has also sung Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the Amaretti Consort. He has performed as a recitalist in Cathedrals across the UK such as Durham, Manchester and Newcastle and last year performed for the Friends of Opera North with celebrated Irish tenor, Gavan Ring. This summer he performed in recital with Irish-Canadian mezzo soprano Wallis Giunta, raising close to £1000 for the charity Henry Dancer Days in the North East of England.
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YouTube playlist includes:
- Lonely House, Street Scene, Weill (recorded 2020)
- Prologue, The Turn of the Screw, Britten (recorded 2019)
“There’s not a weak link anywhere…Alex Banfield…sings Lonely House with wonderful depth of feeling”The Guardian
“Alex Banfield’s trim, focused tenor is perfect both for the teenage melancholy of the nebbish Sam Kaplan, and his flare-ups of romantic idealism.”The Spectator
“Standouts among the almost entirely male cast include Alex Banfield as embittered Scottish soldier Jonathan Dale, determined to have revenge on the Germans for the death of his gung-ho brother.”Financial Times
“I found the drama fresh and engaging, the characters drawn with psychological acuteness… facilitating a clutch of excellent performances. Newcomer Alex Banfield is a Scots soldier driven mad with grief by the death of his brother.”The Telegraph