Julian Ovenden

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Julian Ovenden
Julian Mark Ovenden

29 November 1975 (1975-11-29) (age 44)
Sheffield, England
EducationEton College
Alma materNew College, Oxford
Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art
OccupationActor, singer
Kate Royal (m. 2010)

Julian Mark Ovenden (born 29 November 1975) is an English actor and singer. He has starred on Broadway and West End stages, in television series in both the UK and US, in films, and performed internationally as a concert and recording artist.

Early life and education[edit]

Ovenden was born on 29 November 1975 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.[1][2] He is one of three children[2] of the Reverend Canon John Ovenden, a former chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II.[3] He sang in the St Paul's Cathedral Choir, London as a child. He later won a music scholarship to Eton College.[3] He subsequently read music at New College, Oxford on a choral scholarship.

Whilst he has received training as an opera singer,[4] he has professionally used his music training in musical theatre. He continued academic studies in drama at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.[2]


His theatre work includes the multi award-winning Merrily We Roll Along (Franklin) (2000)[5] and Grand Hotel (The Baron) (2004)[6] for Michael Grandage at the Donmar Warehouse; Annie Get Your Gun (Butler) (2009) for Richard Jones at The Young Vic;[7] Michael Legrand's Marguerite (Armand) (2008) at the Haymarket for Jonathan Kent;[8] King Lear (Herald) (1999) for Yukio Ninagawa at the RSC;[9] Butley (play) (Joseph Keyston) (2006) at the Booth Theatre on Broadway opposite Nathan Lane;[10] Death Takes a Holiday (Death) (2011) for The Roundabout Theatre Company in New York;[11] A Woman of No Importance (Gerald) (2003) for Adrian Noble at the Haymarket;[12] Finding Neverland (J. M. Barrie) (2011) for The Weinstein Company;[13] the Parisian premiere of Sunday in the Park with George (Seurat) (2013);[14] Show Boat (Gaylord) (2015) at the Lincoln Centre in New York[15] and most recently My Night with Reg (John) (2014).[16]

Ovenden has also sung musical theatre songs in several concerts at the Proms, in particular concerts of Stephen Sondheim[17] and of Rodgers and Hammerstein.[18] In 2015 he played Captain Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music Live, ITV's live adaptation of the musical The Sound of Music.[19]

Ovenden first appeared on British TV in a recurring role over 5 seasons of Foyle's War (Andrew Foyle) opposite Michael Kitchen. He also starred in two seasons of worldwide show, Downton Abbey (Series 4 and 5) (Charles Blake). Other British TV work includes The Forsyte Saga (Val Dartie), Any Human Heart (William Boyd), The Royal (Dr David Cheriton). On US TV, Ovenden has been in Person of Interest (Season 3,4 and 5, CBS) (Jeremy Lambert) over the last three years. He has also appeared in seasons of Cashmere Mafia (Eric Burden), Related (Jason Greenstein) and SMASH (John F. Kennedy). Recently he has portrayed Robert F. Kennedy in The Crown and is starring as William de Nogaret in Knightfall.

Ovenden's recent film work includes Colonia (Roman) opposite Emma Watson and Daniel Bruhl, The Confessions (Matthew Price) with Daniel Auteuil, Toni Servillo and Connie Nielsen and British indie war film, Allies (Captain Gabriel Jackson).

As a solo singer Ovenden has appeared with many of the world's leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic,[20] the New York Pops,[21] The Northern Sinfonia,[22] the Liverpool Philharmonic,[23] the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,[24] the London Philharmonic Orchestra,[25] the John Wilson Orchestra,[26] the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra[27] and the BBC Concert Orchestra.[28] He has also appeared at The Proms at London's Royal Albert Hall, where he is a regular performer.[29] Ovenden made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2014[30] and followed it up with another headlining concert in 2015.[31]

Ovenden recorded a debut album for Decca Records in 2013 titled If You Stay[32] and has since made a Rodgers and Hammerstein record with John Wilson for Warner Classics[33] and a Downton Abbey Christmas record for Warner Music that went double platinum.[34] In late 2015, he signed a multiple record deal with East West Records and his new album was released in February 2016.[35]

Personal life[edit]

Ovenden lives with his wife, opera singer Kate Royal, and their son and daughter.


  1. ^ "England & Wales, Birth Index, 1916–2005". Ancestry.com.
  2. ^ a b c Liz Hoggard (20 May 2008). "Marguerite's man". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  3. ^ a b Chrissy Iley (15 April 2012). "Julian Ovenden: the sweet-singing son of a Queen's chaplain". The Telegraph.
  4. ^ Dalya Alberge (30 October 2010). "Opera: it sounds like being the next big thing in movies". The Observer. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  5. ^ Michael Billington (13 December 2000). "The heart-piercing, time-travelling Sondheim: Merrily We Roll Along (Donmar Warehouse, London)". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  6. ^ Michael Billington (30 October 2010). "Grand Hotel (Donmar Warehouse, London)". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  7. ^ Michael Billington (18 October 2009). "Annie Get Your Gun (Young Vic, London)". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  8. ^ Michael Billington (21 May 2008). "Marguerite (Haymarket, London)". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  9. ^ "King Lear, Ninagawa/Horio, Royal Shakespeare Company, October 1999". ahds.rhul.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  10. ^ Ben Brantley (30 October 2010). "Zingers Shoot Forth From Inside a Toxic Fog". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 October 2006.
  11. ^ Set Aside That Scythe, and Let’s Put on a Show, Charles Isherwood, New York Times, 21 July 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  12. ^ "A Woman of No Importance, Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London". The Independent. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  13. ^ Healy, Patrick. "Weinstein Company Moving Ahead With 'Finding Neverland' Musical, Its First". ArtsBeat. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  14. ^ Benzel, Jan (18 April 2013). "Supersizing a 'Sunday in the Park'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  15. ^ ][1]. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  16. ^ My Night With Reg review – fine revival for caustic study of gay manners, Michael Billington, The Guardian, 6 August 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  17. ^ Andrew Clements (1 August 2010). "Prom 19: Sondheim at 80 (Royal Albert Hall, London)". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  18. ^ Andrew Clements (23 August 2010). "A Celebration of Rodgers & Hammerstein (Royal Albert Hall, London)". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
  19. ^ "How will The Sound of Music Live work?". Radio Times. 12 December 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  20. ^ "Vanessa Williams, Julian Ovenden and Lauren Worsham Will Star in New York Philharmonic Show Boat". Playbill. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  21. ^ "Sierra Boggess and Julian Ovenden Kick Off New York Pops Season at Carnegie Hall Tonight". Playbill. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  22. ^ Ltd, Made Media. "John Wilson & The John Wilson Orchestra". Sage Gateshead. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  23. ^ Jones, Catherine. "Julian Ovenden on Peter Pan and singing with the John Wilson Orchestra". liverpoolecho. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  24. ^ "Tim Rice: A Life in Song | Southbank Centre". www.southbankcentre.co.uk. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  25. ^ "A Conversation With Julian Ovenden". Edward Seckerson. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  26. ^ "BBC – Proms – Julian Ovenden". BBC Music Events. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  27. ^ RTÉ. "RTÉ Orchestras: RTÉ Concert Orchestra New Year's Eve Gala with Julian Ovenden". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. Archived from the original on 18 December 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  28. ^ "Prom 19 – Prom 19". BBC Music Events. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  29. ^ "BBC Proms". BBC Music Events. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  30. ^ "Michael Feinstein". carnegiehall.org. Archived from the original on 1 February 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  31. ^ "Downton Abbey's Julian Ovenden Will Replace Steven Pasquale Opposite Sierra Boggess at Carnegie Hall". Broadway.com. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  32. ^ "Julian Ovenden: the sweet-singing son of a Queen's chaplain". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  33. ^ "'Rodgers and Hammerstein at the Movies' CD to Feature Sierra Boggess, Julian Ovenden and More". Playbill. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  34. ^ "Downton Abbey now has a Christmas album". The Independent. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  35. ^ "Julian Ovenden signs record deal with East West Records - Entertainment Focus". www.entertainment-focus.com. Retrieved 5 December 2017.

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