Biography

Biography

Originally from Northumberland, British tenor Alex Banfield is familiar with the opera, concert and oratorio platforms, having 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 in the 2018/19 season sang 'Raoul de St Brioche' in their acclaimed revival of The Merry Widow. In the Winter of 2018 he performed 'Jonathan Dale' for Opera North in their UK premiere of Silent Night, a Pulitzer Prize-winning opera by American composer Kevin Puts. In 2020 he performed the principle role of ‘Sam Kaplan’ in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene for Opera North, and was due to perform ‘Henrik’ in A Little Night Music, which was cancelled. He is currently a young artist at Theater Basel's OperAvenir 20/21. For them he will be singing ‘Tamino’/‘Armed Man’ in Die Zauberflöte, ‘Eumete' in Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria and ‘Rinuccio’ in Gianni Schicchi.

In opera Alex has sung Nemorino in Opera North’s innovative Whistle Stop Opera tour of The Elixir of Love (Donizetti) and has sung the Prince of Persia in the critically acclaimed concert performances of Turandot (Puccini), and the Young Lover in Il Tabarro (Puccini) on the main stage. He has also sung Le théière & La rainette in L’enfant et les sortilèges (Ravel) and the title role in Albert Herring (Britten) for the Samling Academy where "one could readily see a massive future for him in the opera world" (The Yorkshire Post). Alex's operatic credits include Raoul de St Brioche The Merry Widow and Lysander A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the RNCM and also Peter Quint The Turn of The Screw with the Manchester Opera Ensemble. As a guest soloist with the Orchestra of Opera North, Alex performed selections from La bohème (Puccini) in concert, singing the role of Rodolfo.

Alex’s recent oratorio highlights include the Requiem in C Major (Michael Haydn) in Bilbao, Spain, Fantasia in C Minor (Beethoven) for the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra, Messiah (Handel) for the Royal Northern Sinfonia at the Sage Gateshead, Coronation Mass (Mozart) at Snape Maltings, Israel in Egypt (Handel) at Chester Cathedral with The Liverpool Sinfonia, and Crucifixion (Stainer) 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 (RNCM) 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 the Serenade to Music (Vaughan Williams) with Malcolm Martineau, and the soloist in Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings (Britten) with the Amaretti Consort. He has performed as a recitalist in Cathedrals across the UK such as Durham, Manchester and Newcastle and last year Alex performed for the Friends of Opera North with the critically acclaimed Irish baritone, Gavan Ring. This summer he performed in recital with the Irish-Canadian mezzo soprano Wallis Giunta in the North East of England, raising close to £1000 for the charity Henry Dancer Days.

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