FELIX KEMP – BIOGRAPHY
“Felix Kemp’s plangent, doomed Pierrot makes a particular impression”
Gramophone, January 2020
Praised by The Guardian for his “appealing baritone,” Felix Kemp’s recent engagements have included songs by Schubert (orch. Brahms) with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the role of Juan in a recording of Joseph Phibbs’ Juliana for Resonus Classics. Forthcoming engagements include an opera gala at Leeds Castle with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, two song recitals alongside Roderick Williams as part of “Momentum: Our Future Now”, and Awakening Shadow by Luke Styles with Britten’s Canticles at the Cheltenham and Presteigne Festivals.
Prior to the pandemic, engagements included a Crush Room recital at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Don Fernando Fidelio for Lyric Opera, Dublin, Bach Lutheran Mass and Mozart Requiem on tour with The Israel Camerata Jerusalem, Mendelssohn Elijah at Arundel and Lincoln cathedrals, Haydn Nelson Mass at Lichfield Cathedral, the opening concert of the 2019 London Song Festival and two recitals of songs by Brahms, Wolf, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky with Sholto Kynoch for Oxford Lieder.
Felix had been due to make his Royal Opera House Covent Garden debut in the 2019/20 season as A Flemish Deputy in Verdi Don Carlo but this was lost to the pandemic. In opera, roles covered include Novice’s Friend Billy Budd for Royal Opera, Malatesta Don Pasquale for Welsh National Opera and Dancaïro Carmen for English National Opera. Felix has performed the roles of Giove La Calisto for Longborough Festival Opera, Masetto Don Giovanni for British Youth Opera, Eugene Onegin (title role) for OperaUpClose, Marchese d’Obigny La Traviata (Young Artist) for Opera Holland Park, Gaoler Tosca for English Touring Opera, Melot Tristan und Isolde for Grange Park Opera and Le Brigadier Le pré aux clercs for Wexford Festival Opera.
On the concert platform, recent highlights include Bach St. John Passion (St Albans and Coventry cathedrals), Bach St. Matthew Passion (Southwark Cathedral), Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (Cadogan Hall), Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem (Wiltshire Music Centre), Howard Goodall Eternal Light (Bath Abbey) and Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem at Truro Cathedral. Amongst performances lost to the pandemic were Richard Blackford’s Pietà at St Albans Cathedral, Messiah with Charivari Agréable at DeMontford Hall, Leicester and Telemann’s Der Tod Jesu with Ensemble Diderot at the Gustav Mahler Hall, Toblach and at the Kölner Philharmonie.
On the recital platform, as a Britten-Pears Young Artist, Felix has performed Wolf Lieder at Snape Maltings and appeared in masterclasses with Sir Antonio Pappano as part of the Aldeburgh Festival / European Network of Opera Academies. Felix performed the role of Felix in scenes from Tom Coult’s opera Violet with the Britten Sinfonia for Jerwood Opera at Snape Maltings. Recordings include the roles of Pierrot in Ethel Smyth’s Fête Galante (Retrospect) and The Herald in Stanford’s The Travelling Companion (SOMM). Broadcasts include In Tune for BBC Radio 3.
Having graduated in music at the University of Manchester and following private studies in London, Felix continued his postgraduate studies at Trinity Laban, generously supported by the Kathleen Roberts Vocal Scholarship. His awards include First Prize at the Elisabeth Schumann Lieder Competition, Second Prize at the London Song Festival’s British Art Song Competition (awarded by Sir Thomas Allen) and the Audience Prize at the John Kerr Award for English Song. Felix is very grateful to Sue and Mike Stone, Christopher Ball, Jeffrey Benton and The Mario Lanza Educational Foundation for their generous support.
* Please do not reproduce this biography which is for information only. Please contact directly for the most up to date version.