Opera Scotland

William Shimell Suggest updates

Born Brentwood, Essex, 23 September 1952.

English baritone and actor.

William Shimell trained in London at the Guildhall and National Opera Studio.  He had an important international career, and once this was established he didn't sing often in the UK.

In 1978 he joined Kent Opera, initially in the chorus.  First solo role in 1979 was Douphol La traviata, which opened at the Edinburgh Festival.   Then 1980 Usher Rigoletto (both productions directed by Jonathan Miller).

Sadler's Wells 1981 Young Scrooge A Christmas Carol (Thea Musgrave).   He worked with ENO from 1980 (Masetto, Gregory Romeo and Juliet, Herald Otello) and sang title role in Don Giovanni in new production by Jonathan Miller.  WNO also Don Giovanni.   Glyndebourne 1984 (Count Almaviva).

Scottish Opera debut 1984 (Ipparco L'Egisto).   Royal Opera Covent Garden from 1985 (Schaunard); then 1986 Guglielmo; 1987 Albert Werther; 1991 Olivier Capriccio; 1996 Marcello; 2010 Nick Shadow, De Bretigny Manon.

He also worked in many of the world's greatest opera houses. These include, outside Europe - San Francisco from 1990 (Count Capriccio, Marcello, Nick Shadow);  New York Met from 1996 (Marcello, Don Alfonso, Sharpless, De Bretigny; Thoas Iphigénie en Tauride);  Chicago (Almaviva);  Cincinnati (Don Giovanni);  Santiago (Don Giovanni);  Hong Kong (Don Giovanni);  Tokyo (Guglielmo);  Moscow Bolshoi (Guglielmo, on tour with La Scala);  Tel Aviv (Almaviva).

La Scala, Milan (Count Almaviva, Guglielmo, Dourlinski in Cherubini's Lodoiska);  Florence (Sharpless);  Rome (Guglielmo);  Vienna Staatsoper (Almaviva, Marcello, Don Giovanni, Count Capriccio);  Paris Bastille (Almaviva, Guglielmo, Escamillo); Munich (Almaviva, Don Giovanni, Marcello);  Zurich (Almaviva, Don Giovanni, Guglielmo);  Geneva (Almaviva, Guglielmo, Sharpless);  Madrid (Almaviva, Don Giovanni).

He has appeared frequently on the concert platform, and his subtlety as an actor has also led to work on several cinema films.

His recordings include the title role in Don Giovanni with Riccardo Muti; Stravinsky's Pulcinella with Riccardo Chailly and Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony.

Roles in Scotland

Baron Douphol Violetta's protector, a rival of Alfredo
Traviata 1979
Ipparco Climene's brother, ruler of Zacynthos
Egisto 1984
Belshazzar's Feast 1998

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