After studying at the Royal Academy of Music, Ventris joined Glyndebourne Festival Opera winning the GTO Singers and John Christie awards. He went on to sing with other British companies, including Opera North and English National Opera. He sang the part of Robert Lonle in the first performance of Robert Saxton's Caritas and the combined role of Walter, Hugo and the old woman in the first performance of Judith Weir's opera Blond Eckbert. He was the 2007 recipient of the Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year Award, presented annually by Dallas Opera to the singer who makes the biggest impact on voting patrons in his or her company debut.
Ventris' engagements include productions at the Vienna State Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Royal Opera, London, the Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, La Fenice, Venice, La Scala, Milan, the Glyndebourne Festival, the Grand Théâtre de Genève in Geneva and the Bavarian State Opera.
Ventris's roles include:
- The title roles in Parsifal, Lohengrin, Tannhäuser and Peter Grimes
- Siegmund in Die Walküre
- Erik in Der fliegende Holländer
- Max in Der Freischütz
- Sergej in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
- Laca in Jenůfa
- Florestan in Fidelio
- Manolios in The Greek Passion
- Lensky in Eugene Onegin
- Grigoriy (the False Dmitriy) in Boris Godunov
- Jenik in The Bartered Bride
- Prince in The Love of Three Oranges
- Jack in The Midsummer Marriage
- Paris in King Priam
- Clemente in Hans Werner Henze's Venus und Adonis
- Officer in Cardillac
- Basilio in the modern premiere of Mendelssohn's Die Hochzeit des Camacho (1987)
- Wagner: Parsifal (Christopher Ventris, Thomas Hampson, Waltraud Meier, Matti Salminen; Berlin Opera Orchestra and Chorus, conductor: Kent Nagano. (DVD - 2005) Label: BBC / Opus Arte'
- Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Christopher Ventris, Eva-Maria Westbroek, Vladimir Vaneev, Carole Wilson, Ludovit Ludha; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, conductor: Mariss Jansons (DVD 2006) Label: BBC / Opus Arte.
- Britten: Peter Grimes (Christopher Ventris, Emily Magee, Liliana Nikiteanu, Alfred Muff; Zurich Opera Orchestra and Chorus, conductor: Franz Welser-Möst (DVD 2007) Label: EMI.
- Matthew Westphal, Tenor Christopher Ventris Wins 2007 Maria Callas Award from Dallas Opera, Playbill Arts, 25 May 2007
- Schedule on Artist Management Zurich
- Joshua Kosman, Reimagining `Parsifal', San Francisco Chronicle, June 20, 2000
- Cheryl North Interviews Christopher Ventris, ANG Newspapers, June 30, 2000
- Artist biographies in programme to 1994 ENO production of Blond Eckbert