FELIX KEMP – BIOGRAPHY
Felix Kemp’s singing has been described as “plangent” (Gramophone), “stentorian” (Opera Magazine) and “phrased with elegance” (The Stage). A Britten-Pears Young Artist and Momentum Emerging Artist, Felix was a finalist in the 2021 International Handel Singing Competition. This season Felix performs the role of Papageno Die Zauberflöte for both Dorset Opera and Oxford Opera, and he makes his Welsh National Opera debut creating the role of Adham in the world premiere of Will Todd’s Migrations. Felix will make his Royal Opera debut in the 2022/23 season as a Flemish Deputy in Don Carlo.
Highlights of the current season include a celebration of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme at the Aldeburgh Festival, Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs at both Snape Maltings and Butterworth Hall, Richard Blackford Pietà at both St Albans Cathedral and St George’s Bristol and Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony at Truro Cathedral. Song recitals include “Silent Noon” with Huw Watkins for the Presteigne Festival and “A Garland of English Song” with Simon Lepper at Pembridge. Next season, Felix will give the premiere performance of a new song cycle “Shades of Night” written for him by Joseph Phibbs.
In the previous season, Felix made his debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Schubert Lieder (orch. Brahms). He performed Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem at Saffron Hall, Verdi’s Requiem at Winchester Cathedral, Britten’s Canticles at the Presteigne and Cheltenham festivals and sang as part of a gala concert at Leeds Castle with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In recital, Felix sang for the Oxford Lieder Festival (Carnival of the Animals), the opening recital of the London Song Festival (“Baudelaire – An Obsession with Hedonism”), concerts alongside baritone Roderick Williams as part of the initiative Momentum: Our Future Now (“The Great Outdoors”) and a song recital for the Rye Arts Festival with pianist Simon Lepper (“Bright is the Ring of Words”).
In 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. 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.
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’s Lutheran Mass and Mozart’s Requiem on tour with The Israel Camerata Jerusalem; Haydn Nelson Mass at Lichfield Cathedral and Mendelssohn Elijah at Arundel and Lincoln cathedrals. Additional highlights include Bach St. John Passion (St Albans and Coventry cathedrals), St. Matthew Passion (Southwark Cathedral), Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (Cadogan Hall), Howard Goodall Eternal Light (Bath Abbey) and Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem at Truro Cathedral.
Felix’s recordings include the roles of Juan in Joseph Phibbs Juliana (Resonus), Pierrot in Ethel Smyth Fête Galante (Retrospect) and The Herald in Stanford The Travelling Companion (SOMM). Broadcasts include In Tune for BBC Radio 3.
Felix is especially grateful to Pamela Kuhn and to Nick Secker for their generous support.
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