He grew up in St Albans, near London, where he was a Cathedral chorister and lay clerk, and then won a scholarship to St John’s College, Cambridge, where he sang in the Chapel Choir and read English. He studied singing privately in London and Italy, where he worked with the distinguished Italian baritone Tito Gobbi and made his professional solo debut as Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with the Glyndebourne Tour. He sang the same role with English National Opera at the London Coliseum, as well as the title role in Don Giovanni, while at Sadlers Wells he sang the title role in the British premier of Szymanowski’s King Roger, under Charles Mackerras .
He appeared for a number of seasons with Kent Opera singing the title roles in Monteverdi’s Orfeo (filmed by BBC Television), Eugene Onegin and Don Giovanni, as well as Germont in La Traviata and Pizarro in Fidelio. Success in international competitions led to further roles abroad including Nabucco, Di Luna in Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, Ford in Falstaff, Marcello in La Bohème and Sharpless in Madame Butterfly. In Italy he sang Orfeo again in the Maggio Musicale, Florence, and in Venice sang in the Britten Church Operas and Handel’s Agrippina.
Back in the UK he sang Wolfram in Keith Warner’s production of Tanhäuser and created the role of Maxim in Joseph’s opera Rebecca for Opera North. As a concert singer he has appeared with many leading orchestras and conductors, including the Berlin Philharmonic, and made an extended tour Australia for the ABC. As a recitalist he has given numerous broadcasts of German, French and English song on BBC Radio 3.
Always dedicated to training new generations of performers, he was Director of Opera at the Royal Academy of Music and set up British Youth Opera. He then created his own company, Travelling Opera, which presented medium scale productions of opera and musical theatre throughout the UK, giving London seasons at Sadlers Wells and the South Bank and Barbican Concert Halls. This involved his translating and creating new performing versions of the repertoire, which he directed and conducted.
He has taught at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance for over 20 years, and also worked at The Drama Centre at Central St Martin’s and at Cambridge, City and Sussex Universities. As a trained yoga teacher he successfully incorporates its principles into his teaching.