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Iestyn Davies


Thomas Dunford


Sunday, Mar 30, 2014 | 3:00 pm
Vancouver Playhouse
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Iestyn Davies’ unique sound and refined artistry have made him the countertenor of choice for everyone from Baroque specialists to Thomas Adès. This young artist has been described by The New York Times as having “one of the most glorious countertenor voices in the world today.”

Twenty-five-year-old Thomas Dunford discovered the lute at the age of 9. He is a graduate of Conservatoire Supérior de Paris (with honours and the First Prize), and has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at many prestigious festivals across Europe and Asia.

“Nothing could match the pure, unaffected simplicity of countertenor Iestyn Davies. [He is] as good as you are likely to hear, ever.” – The Observer


Flow My Tears – Songs for Lute and Voice

Robert Johnson (c.1582?-1633)
Have you seen the bright lily grow?
Care-Charming Sleep
From the Famous Peak of Derby

John Danyel (1565-c.1625)     
Grief Keep Within – (Mrs M.E. her Funerall teares for the death of her husband)
Why Canst Thou Not?
Can Doelful Notes?

Thomas Campion (c.1567-1620)
Never Weather Beaten Sail

Nico Muhly
Old Bones (new commission)

John Dowland (1563-1626)
Come Again
In Darkness Let Me Dwell
Can She Excuse My Wrongs
Flow My Tears
Frog Galliard (Instrumental)
Now, O Now My Needs Must Part


Learn more about Iestyn Davies.


After graduating in Archaeology and Anthropology from St John’s College, Cambridge Iestyn Davies studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

His operatic engagements have included Ottone (L’incoronazione di Poppea/Monteverdi) for Zürich Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Arsace (Partenope/Handel) for New York City Opera; Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream/Britten) for Houston Grand Opera and English National Opera; Apollo (Death in Venice/Britten) for English National Opera and in his house debut at La Scala, Milan; Hamor (Jephtha/Handel) for Welsh National Opera and Opera National de Bordeaux, Steffani’s Niobe at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; his debut at The Metropolitan Opera, New York Unulfo (Rodelinda/Handel) where he has also appeared as Trinculo The Tempest and the Lyric Opera of Chicago (Rinaldo/Handel).

His concert engagements have included performances at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan with Dudamel, the Concertgebouw and Tonhalle with Koopman and at the Barbican, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Lincoln Centre and at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall with orchestras that include the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Britten Sinfonia, Concerto Köln, Concerto Copenhagen, Ensemble Matheus, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He recently made his debut, in recital, at Carnegie Hall, New York.

Future engagements include returns to The Metropolitan Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera and his debuts at the Munich and Vienna Festivals, as well as the Opéra Comique in Paris, for George Benjamin’s Written on Skin. He continues to enjoy a successful relationship with the Wigmore Hall, where, in the 2012/13 season, he curates his own Residency.

His recordings include two versions of Handel’s Messiah (New College Oxford, AAM/Naxos) and (Polyphony, Britten Sinfonia/Hyperion), Handel’s Chandos Anthems on Hyperion, Handel’s Flavio for Chandos with The Early Opera Company and Christian Curnyn, Bach’s Easter Oratorio with Retrospect Ensemble, his debut solo recording Live at the Wigmore Hall with his own Ensemble Guadagni and a disc of Porpora Cantatas with Jonathan Cohen and Arcangelo for Hyperion. His most recent recording is a CD of arias written for Guadagni, also for Hyperion. DVD recordings include Ottone (L’incoronazione di Poppea) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera under Emmanuelle Haïm on DECCA, the Spirit in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas for the Royal Opera House with Hogwood on Opus Arte and Unulfo (Rodelinda) for the Metropolitan Opera under Harry Bicket on DECCA.

He is the recipient of the 2010 Royal Philharmonic Young Artist of the Year Award and the 2012 Gramophone Recital Award.