Willard White
Bass baritone

© DR

Sir Willard White was born in Jamaica, where he commenced his musical training at the Jamaican School of Music and then went on to the Juilliard School in New York. Since his operatic debut with the New York City Opera in 1974, he has sung regularly at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera (New York), San Francisco Opera, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Geneva, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris, and at the Glyndebourne, Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg festivals. In 1989, White performed the role of Othello in Trevor Nunn’s production for the Royal Shakespeare Company, alongside Sir Ian McKellen as Iago and Imogen Stubbs as Desdemona.
Highlights this season include Schigolch in William Kentridge’s new production of Lulu at English National Opera and for Rome Opera, Doktor in Wozzeck for Dutch National Opera, Shaman (The Indian Queen) on a European tour with Teodor Currentzis, Creon, Tiresias and Messenger Oedipus Rex with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, and a return to the Salzburg Festival in summer 2017. In future seasons White will return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Paris Opera and to La Monnaie.
On the concert platform, White sings regularly with the world’s major conductors and orchestras, including the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, The Hallé, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, La Scala, Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland orchestras, and Berliner Philharmoniker, and he has appeared as soloist many times at the BBC Proms. He has most recently performed Méphistophélès La Damnation de Faust with the Cleveland Orchestra and at the Verbier Festival with Charles Dutoit; Golaud (Pélleas et Mélisande) with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Bluebeard’s Castle with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Marke (Tristan and Isolde) under Gergiev; a concert performance of Pélleas et Mélisande and Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle; and Bluebeard’s Castle with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
Sir Willard White was White was honored as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1995 and was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2004. He is currently President of the Royal Northern College of Music, having succeeded the Duchess of Kent in this role.

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