After studying at King’s College Cambridge as a choral scholar, Christopher Purves became a member of the experimental rock group Harvey and the Wallbangers before embarking upon an operatic career.
He has interpreted the title role in Falstaff at the Glyndebourne Festival, Alberich (Das Rheingold) at Houston Opera, Sharpless (Madame Butterfly) in Chicago, Marco (Gianni Schicchi) at Covent Garden in London, Balstrode (Peter Grimes) at la Scala Milan, in Houston and at Opera North, the title role in Wozzeck and Beckmesser (Die Meistersinger) at Welsh National Opera, Sam (A Quiet Place by Bernstein) at the Konzerthaus in Berlin, Al gran sole carico d’amore by Nono at the Salzburg Festival and at the Berlin Staatsoper, Melisso (Alcina) at the Munich Bayerische Staatsoper, Lescaut (Manon Lescaut) at Opera North, Redburn (Billy Budd) in Amsterdam, Sharpless and Tonio (I Pagliacci) and Méphistopheles in The Damnation of Faust in a production directed by Terry Gilliam, (Southbank Sky Award 2012) at English National Opera. Strongly committed to the contemporary repertoire, he has taken part in the premiers of numerous new operas including The Perfect American by Philip Glass in which he played the role of Walt Disney at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Written on Skin by George Benjamin (Protector) at the Aix-en-Provence Festival 2012 and The Sacrifice, Ines de Castro and Parthenogenesis by the composer James Macmillan. Last season, he sang the title role in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with Opera North, performed as a soloist in The Messiah in Australia and with the Washington Symphony Orchestra, The Saint John Passion with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, The Saint Matthew Passion with the Academy of Ancient Music and sang Golaud in Pelleas and Melisande with Welsh National Opera and the title role in Handel’s Saul at the Glyndebourne Festival.
Projects: Alberich in Götterdämmerung at the Bayerishe Staatsoper and in Siegfried with the Canadian Opera Company of Toronto and at Huston Opera and the Forester in Cunning Little Vixen at the Glyndebourne Festival.
This is his Paris Opera debut.
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