Peter Coleman-Wright

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Peter Coleman-Wright, 2016

Peter Coleman-Wright AO (born 13 October 1958)[1] is an Australian baritone from Geelong.[2] He began his career at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, where he sang Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, winning the Touring Prize. Subsequently, he sang Sid in Albert Herring and Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Pizzaro in Fidelio.

He performed many roles for English National Opera (ENO) including Don Giovanni, Figaro, Billy Budd, Onegin, Scarpia, Michele in Il tabarro, Toreador, The Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen, Traveller in Death in Venice, Henze's Prince von Homburg, and The Prisoner by Dallapiccola. He made his Royal Opera Covent Garden debut as Dandini in La Cenerentola and has sung many roles for the company for 20 years. Roles include Billy Budd, Papageno, Don Alvaro in Il viaggio a Reims, The Narrator in Paul Bunyan, Marcello, Ping, Donner, Gunther and Beckmesser.

A champion of new works, he has premiered several roles for ENO, namely The Plumber's Gift by David Blake and Inquest of Love by Jonathan Harvey and Caligula by Detlev Glanert.

He made his European debut as the Soldier in Busoni's Doktor Faust for Netherlands Opera and subsequently worked for Bordeaux, Geneva, Bastille Paris, La Fenice Venice, Munich, Vienna, Brussels, Bregenz and Aix-en-Provence Festivals, La Scala Milan singing many roles including Don Giovanni, the Count in The Marriage of Figaro, Marcello, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, The Traveller in Death in Venice and The Forester.

He made his American debut as Don Giovanni at New York City Opera and his Metropolitan Opera debut as Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus returning for Marcello, Fieramosca (Benvenuto Cellini) and Belcore in L'elisir d'amore. He sang Sharpless for the opening of the new theatre at Santa Fe and Rodrigo in Don Carlos and Sharpless for Houston Grand Opera. He also created the role of Henry Miles in Jake Heggie's The End of the Affair.

He has sung many roles for Opera Australia, including Golaud (Pelléas et Mélisande), Billy Budd, Scarpia, Don Giovanni, Mandryka, Macbeth, Sweeney Todd, The Traveller for which he won Helpmann Award in 2006 for best supporting male. He created the role of Harry Joy in Brett Dean's 2010 opera Bliss (Brett Dean wrote the role especially for Coleman-Wright) which he also performed at the Edinburgh International Festival. He was the soloist in the performance of Dean's The Last Days of Socrates which won the 2014 APRA Award for Performance of the Year.[3]

He has been a very active concert singer working with many conductors and in most of the great concert halls, including Royal Albert Hall, London South Bank, Barbican, Wigmore Hall, Théâtre du Châtelet, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, St Cecilia Rome, Luxembourg, Aldeburgh Festival, and Avery Fisher Hall New York.

At the 2002 Helpmann Awards, he won the Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Musical for his role in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.[4]

He is married to operatic soprano Cheryl Barker and they have a son, Gabriel.[5] Along with his wife, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Melbourne in 2009. The couple performed together in Tosca (2002, ENO and 2005, Opera Australia),[6][7][8] the world premiere of Jake Heggie's The End of the Affair (2004, Houston Grand Opera),[9] Arabella (2008, Opera Australia, Sydney Opera House and State Theatre (Melbourne)).[10][11] They gave several concert recitals together, (2008 in Sydney with Piers Lane,[12] 2012 in Melbourne with Ensemble Liaison[13]) and the semi-staged performance of Kiss Me, Kate in 2016 at QPAC in Brisbane.[14]



  1. ^ Peter Coleman-Wright, Opera Scotland
  2. ^ Staff (13 June 2010). "From Geelong to the World: Peter Coleman-Wright in Conversation". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Performance of the Year", APRA Music Awards of 2014
  4. ^ Verghis, Sharon (7 May 2002). "Creations great and small triumph in the arts". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  5. ^ "20 questions: Cheryl Barker" by Gerry Maddox, The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 July 2011
  6. ^ "The two of us: Australia's star opera duo" by Rebecca Baillie, The 7.30 Report, 7 May 2008
  7. ^ Tosca revives English National Opera" by Adam Flinter, BBC News, 22 November 2002
  8. ^ "Review: Tosca" by Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 January 2005
  9. ^ The End of the Affair, details at
  10. ^ "Review: Arabella" by Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 March 2008
  11. ^ "Why finding Mr Right took 75 years" by Michael Shmith, The Age, 26 April 2008
  12. ^ "A musical reunion" by Sarah Noble,, 2 June 2008
  13. ^ "An Evening of American Song with Cheryl Barker and Peter Coleman-Wright 2012 @ Melbourne Recital Centre", performance details
  14. ^ "Australia's star opera couple in OperaQ's Kiss Me, Kate!", Opera Queensland, 4 November 2016
  15. ^ "Delius: RequiemA Mass of Life". ASIN B000000B0M.
  16. ^ "The Pilgrim's Progress [Box Set]". ASIN B000005Z6Z.
  17. ^ "Delius – Fennimore and Gerda". ASIN B000000B21.
  18. ^ "Britten: Paul Bunyan". ASIN B000038I6U.
  19. ^ "Mendelssohn – Paulus". ASIN B000059LX4.
  20. ^ "Strauss – Die Liebe der Danae". ASIN B00005AQ34.
  21. ^ Persuasion & Seduction, National Library of Australia
  22. ^ "Opera: The Greatest Moments Ever". ASIN B000HT36N2.
  23. ^ "Berlioz: Benvenuto Cellini". ASIN B00166GM3G.
  24. ^ "Igor Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex; The Firebird". ASIN B0013LGF18.
  25. ^ "Britten: Owen Wingrave". ASIN B0018OKGZG.
  26. ^ "Edward Collins: Daughter of the South". ASIN B003TLRLKO.
  27. ^ "Walton: Belshazzar's Feast, Symphony No.1". ASIN B004JP8OJ6.
  28. ^ "The Marriage of Figaro". ASIN B004T6B9PQ.
  29. ^ "Benjamin Britten – The Rape of Lucretia (conductor: Oliver Knussen; Aldeburgh Festival Ensemble) – Review" by Graham Rogers, BBC, 2013
  30. ^ Review: Ballads of the Pleasant Life. Kurt Weill, Weimar and Exile by Inge Southcott, Music Trust e-zine, 3 July 2017
  31. ^ Ballads of the Pleasant Life: Kurt Weill, Weimar and Exile at AllMusic

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