Alan Opie

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Alan Opie OBE (born 22 March 1945 in Redruth, Cornwall) is an English baritone, primarily known as an opera singer.[1]


He attended Truro School and went to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University as a choral student in 1963. He also studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the London Opera Centre before joining the Sadler's Wells Opera (now the English National Opera, ENO). He became a Principal Baritone there while still a student.[2]

Opera career[edit]

Opie has also sung with the other major UK opera companies Scottish Opera, Opera North, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Internationally, he has performed in the opera houses of Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Brussels, Berlin, Chicago and Santa Fe and regularly appears at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. He has also sung at the Bayreuth Festival. In 1996, Opie switched his status at the ENO from company member to regular guest, enabling him to make his début at La Scala, Milan. There he created the role of Outis in the opera of the same name by Luciano Berio.[citation needed]

In March 2017, he performed the role of Arbace in Mozart's Idomeneo at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

He has recorded for CBS, EMI, Hyperion, Chandos and Decca, winning Grammy Awards in 1996 and 1998 for his involvement in, respectively, recordings of Britten's Peter Grimes and Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.


In 1997, his performance in the title role of Verdi's Falstaff earned Opie a nomination for the 1998 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to music.[3][4]

Personal life[edit]

Opie and his wife Kathleen (married since 1970) have a son and a daughter.[citation needed]

Operatic roles[edit]

Performed and/or recorded, listed alphabetically:

Role Opera Composer
Aristæus I The Mask of Orpheus Birtwistle
various Death in Venice Britten
Balstrode Peter Grimes Britten
Beckmesser Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg    Wagner
Chairman Mao Madame Mao Bright Sheng
Don Alfonso Così fan tutte Mozart
Don Carlo Ernani Verdi
Diomede Troilus and Cressida Walton
Eisenstein, Falke Die Fledermaus Johann Strauss II   
Enrico Lucia di Lammermoor Donizetti
Falstaff, Ford Falstaff Verdi
Faninal Der Rosenkavalier Richard Strauss
Faraone Mosè in Egitto Rossini
Faust Doktor Faust Busoni
Fieramosca Benvenuto Cellini Berlioz
Figaro Il Barbiere di Siviglia Rossini
Forester The Cunning Little Vixen Janáček
Germont La Traviata Verdi
Malatesta Don Pasquale Donizetti
Marcello La Bohème Puccini
Marquis de la Force    Dialogues of the Carmelites Poulenc
Melitone La Forza del Destino Verdi
Miller Luisa Miller Verdi
Montano Otello Verdi
Nabucco Nabucco Verdi
Outis Outis Berio
Papageno Die Zauberflöte Mozart
Paolo Simon Boccanegra Verdi
Rigoletto Rigoletto Verdi
Sancho Panza Don Quichotte Massenet
Sharpless Madam Butterfly Puccini
Sid Albert Herring Britten
Smirnov The Bear Walton
Der Spielmann Königskinder Humperdinck
Stiva Anna Karenina Hamilton
Taddeo L'Italiana in Algeri Rossini
Tonio Pagliacci Leoncavallo
Ulisse Ulisse Dallapiccola
Valentin Faust Gounod

Selected concert works[edit]

(performed and/or recorded, listed alphabetically)

Work Composer
Ein Deutsches Requiem    Brahms
Das Klagende Lied Mahler
Elijah Mendelssohn
Ezio Handel
Hugh the Drover Vaughan Williams   
Oedipus Rex Stravinsky
Requiem Fauré
The Dream of Gerontius Elgar
Ultima Rerum Gerard Victory

Selected discography[edit]

Grammy Award-winning recordings in bold.

Year Work/s Composer/s Artists Label
1991 Otello Verdi Chicago Symphony Orchestra et al.
cond. Sir Georg Solti
1993 Bethlehem Boughton City of London Sinfonia et al.
cond. Alan Melville
1994 Hugh the Drover Vaughan Williams   Corydon Orchestra and Singers et al.
cond. Matthew Best
1996 Peter Grimes Britten City of London Sinfonia et al.
cond. Richard Hickox
1997   Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg   Wagner Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus  
cond. Sir Georg Solti
1998 Pagliacci Leoncavallo London Philharmonic Orchestra et al.
cond. David Parry
2000 The Barber of Seville Rossini ENO Orchestra and Chorus
cond. Gabriele Bellini
(recorded 1994)
Rigoletto Verdi ENO Orchestra and Chorus
cond. Mark Elder
2002 Death in Venice Britten London Sinfonietta
cond. Graeme Jenkins
Kultur DVD
2003 Peter Grimes Britten ENO Orchestra and Chorus
cond. David Atherton
Kultur DVD
Classical Brubeck Dave Brubeck Dave Brubeck Quartet et al. Telarc
2004 Alan Opie sings Bel Canto Arias various Chandos


  1. ^ Adam, Nicky (ed) (1993). Who's Who in British Opera. Aldershot: Scolar Press. p. 212. ISBN 0-85967-894-6.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Notice of OBE award to Alan Opie,; accessed 15 March 2014.
  4. ^ "No. 60534". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 2013. p. 12.


External links[edit]