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Artist Hyperion Records
Purves, Christopher (baritone)
© Clive Barda

Christopher Purves (baritone)

Born in Cambridge, Christopher Purves was a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, where he studied English. On leaving university he joined the highly innovative rock and roll group Harvey and the Wallbangers, before he was offered the opportunity to sing Don Pasquale with Opera 80. He subsequently appeared in Mozart’s C minor Mass in Aix-en-Provence with Harry Christophers and The Sixteen, followed by his debut at English National Opera as Masetto in Don Giovanni.

In a close collaboration with the director Richard Jones, Christopher has enjoyed much critical acclaim for his interpretations of Wozzeck at Welsh National Opera, Tonio (Pagliacci) for English National Opera and more recently the title role in Falstaff at the Glyndebourne Festival and Beckmesser in Die Meistersinger for Welsh National Opera. Further operatic appearances include Marco (Gianni Schicchi) at Covent Garden, Lescaut (Manon Lescaut) and Balstrode (Peter Grimes) for Opera North, the title role in Don Giovanni and The General in James MacMillan’s The Sacrifice for Welsh National Opera, Melisso (Alcina) at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, and Sharpless in Anthony Minghella’s production of Madama Butterfly for English National Opera. Christopher made his Salzburg debut in Katie Mitchell’s production of Luigi Nono’s Al gran sole carico d’amore, a production revived at the Staatsoper in Berlin. Christopher has appeared as Balstrode in Peter Grimes at Houston Grand Opera and at La Scala, Milan. He made his debut at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in George Benjamin’s critically acclaimed Written on Skin, and at Opéra de Lille as Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress. In London he sang Mephistopheles in Terry Gilliam’s production of The Damnation of Faust for ENO, which won the Southbank Sky Arts 2012 opera award.

On the concert platform Christopher has appeared in performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and the Copenhagen Philharmonic, Haydn’s The Creation with Le Concert d’Astrée, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at the Aldeburgh Festival and Aci, Galatea e Polifemo and Acis and Galatea with the Gabrieli Consort at Wigmore Hall. His extensive discography includes recordings for Chandos, Opera Rara, Opus Arte and Harmonia Mundi.


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