Damian Thantrey - Baritone

Damian Thantrey read law at Cambridge University before training at the Royal College of Music.

Damian’s recent roles have included Count Ludovic Passion, Prince/Wolf Into the Woods, Lun Tha The King and I, Franz Sunday in the Park with George, Mr Lindquist A Little Night Music and Ralph Kiss Me Kate at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris (the last of these also at the Grand Theatre in Luxembourg), Deputy Mayor Anna Nicole at the Royal Opera House, Maffeo/Rustichello Marco Polo in Beijing and Guangzhou, The English Clerk Death in Venice for Opera North, at the Aldeburgh and Bregenz Festivals and at the Opéra de Lyon, the premiere of Michael Ellison’s Deniz Kustu at the Süreyya Opera House, Kadiköy in Istanbul and a reprise of his critically-acclaimed performance in Thomas Hyde’s one-man opera, That Man Stephen Ward.  He has also sung Apollo in Monteverdi’s Orfeo at Opéra National de Lorraine and at the Cité de la Musique in Paris, Ralph Kiss Me Kate in Luxembourg, Chau Lin A Night at the Chinese Opera, Eisenstein Die Fledermaus and Seven Deadly Sins for Scottish Opera, Pastore Orfeo for Opera North, Faiz Babur in London with The Opera Group, Ferdinand The Duenna for English Touring Opera, the title role in Eugene Onegin at the Blackheath Concert Halls, Blazes in Maxwell Davies The Lighthouse for Psappha at the Orkney and Buxton Festivals, The Duke of Rothsay La Jolie Fille de Perth for Chelsea Opera Group and Guglielmo Cosi fan tutte at the Lichfield Festival.

He has also sung Marullo Rigoletto at the Royal Opera House, Flemish Deputy Don Carlos for Welsh National Opera, the Traveller Roles Death in Venice at the Théatre de Metz, Schaunard La Boheme for Scotttish Opera, and Sadik Der Stein der Weisen and Nardo La Finta Giardiniera for Garsington Opera, Gong Gong Confucius Says for the Hackney Music Development Trust, Guglielmo Cosi fan Tutte for Opera Project, Toby The Cumnor Affair for Tete-a-Tete, Maximillian Candide for Graham Vick’s City of Birmingham Opera, Baritone 1 The Martyrdom of St. Magnus and a concert performance of Dido & Aeneas at the Oslo Kammermusik Festival, Zurga Les Pecheurs des Perles for Chelsea Opera Group, The Messenger in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex for Opera North and Count Almaviva The Marriage of Figaro for Raymond Gubbay’s Savoy Opera.

Damian has premiered over forty new works, both operatic and in concert, including Anna Nicole for the ROH, SUM for ROH2 at the Linbury, Michael Ellison’s Deniz Kustu in Istanbul, roles in Tete-a-Tete’s Shorts and Blind Date, The Young Man Babette’s Feast Linbury Studio/ROH 2 and John in Almeida Opera’s production of Deidre Gribbin’s Hey Persephone! at the Aldeburgh Festival.  A regular at the Presteigne Festival, in 2016 he sang Adrian Williams’ cantata The Ways of Going for baritone, oboe and string quartet with the Carducci Quartet and Emily Pailthorpe, as well as a recital – accompanied by Huw Watkins – of works by Dutilleux, Duparc, Ravel, Robert Saxton’s Time and the Seasons and Huw’s own song cycle Look Down, Fair Moon.

Damian has a wide solo concert repertoire including Schönberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw & Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen, Belshazzar’s Feast at the Cadogan Hall and Mahler’s Ruckertlieder with the Salomon Orchestra. Other major performances have included Vaughan Williams’ Five Tudor Portraits the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (live broadcast on Radio 3), The Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall with Sir David Willcocks, Bach’s Weinachtsoratorium at King’s College, Cambridge and St. John Passion at St. John’s Smith Square.   Equally at home in lighter repertoire, he has toured in cabaret and recently made his debut on Radio 2’s Friday Night is Music Night.

Critically-acclaimed recordings include Thomas Hyde’s That Man Stephen Ward (Resonus) – “a powerhouse performance” Gramophone – and a live recording of Erik Chisholm’s Simoon with Jane Irwin and Music Co-OPERAtive Scotland, released by Delphian in 2016His translation of Handel’s Riccardo Primo – written with director, Lee Blakeley – was premiered at the Opera Theatre of St Louis in 2015.

Increasingly involved in production and programming, Damian is the Artistic Director for the 2018 and co-Director for the 2019 Lichfield Festival, as well as being the founder and co-Artistic Director of the Hargrave Music Festival.  He has produced The Magic Flute for both Lichfield and St Andrew’s Voices, Cosi fan tutte for Lichfield and, most recently, in a co-production for Cheltenham and Lichfield Festivals, a celebration of the music of Richard Rodgers, which he also co-wrote with director Lee Blakeley.



Stephen Ward That Man Stephen Ward – Cheltenham Festival

“…the superb Damian Thantrey…evokes the Profumo affair in all its seedy sensationalism…he brilliantly captures Ward’s mixture of faux-poshness, camp bonhomie, oily obsequiousness and deep insecurity.  He speaks and sings over a score that deftly conjures up the songs and dances of the era  but which also has an apt, brittle edge…”

The Times, Richard Morrison

“By the final desperate moments, the audience was made to care about the fate of this well-heeled, sybaritic character. This sleight of hand was achieved by the production’s predominantly tongue-in-cheek flavour, with dashes of cabaret, bedroom farce and burlesque, and chiefly by Thantrey’s brilliant and courageous portrayal of an unsettling but ultimately pitiable personality, laying bare his every tic and twinge.”

Opera magazine, Paul Conway

“The opera takes the form of a soliloquy – speech, recitatives, arias and cabaret songs all enacted by Damian Thantrey as Ward…magnificent [and] eminently believable in the role of Ward and in all the other parts as well…[his] performance is electrifying; if I see acting of such depth and power again this year. I shall be both surprised and delighted.”

MusicWeb: seenandheard-international.com Roger Jones

Guimard Simoon – Cottier Chamber/McOpera

“The cast delivered the hi-concentrate libretto with dark and devilish potency…Damian Thantrey portraying Guimard’s diminishing will with horrifying vocal conviction”

The Scotsman, Ken Walton

“…Damian Thantrey a credibly lusty, damaged Guimard”

The Guardian, Kate Molleson

Lun Tha The King and I – Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris

“…‘I Have Dreamed’ and ‘We Kiss In A Shadow’ (sublime, with baritone Damian Thantrey as [Tuptim’s] illicit lover Lun Tha) rightly received some of the loudest applause of the evening.”

Musical Theatre Review, Jeremy Chapman

“The feather-light soprano of Je Ni Kim and the appealing matinée-idol baritone of Damian Thantrey lent charisma to the young lovers Tuptim and Lun Tha, whose romance ends tragically.”

Opera News, Stephen J. Mudge

“Et l’inévitable couple d’amoureux malheureux, Damian Thantrey (Lun Tha) et Je Ni Kim (Tuptim), est charmant”

Diapason, Michel Parouty

Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince Into the Woods – Théâtre du Châtelet

“On retiendra en particulier l’énergie de Francesca Jackson en Chaperon rouge [et] l’élégance vocale et dramatique de Damian Thantrey (le Prince et le Loup)”

concertclassic.com, Jean-Guillaume Lebrun

“…le baryton…Damian Thantrey [est] irréprochable”

Le Figaro, Christian Merlin

“…excellently judged performances from the entire cast…the pompous striding of Damian Thantrey as Cinderella’s aristocratic prince, and Francesca Jackson’s flouncy, naughty Little Red Riding Hood all joined in this company triumph.”

Opera News, Stephen J. Mudge

Christine Buffle…is a terrific Baker’s Wife, thoroughly relishing being ravished by Cinderella’s Prince, a hilarious Damian Thantrey…”

Musical Theatre Review, Jeremy Chapman

English Clerk Death in Venice – Opera North

“As the English Clerk, Damian Thantrey’s confirmed that the cholera outbreak had taken hold with indisputable, clarion-like authority.”

Opera Today, Claire Seymour

“…and there are standout performances from countertenor Christopher Ainslie, as the Voice of Apollo…and Damian Thantrey as the English Clerk, and, of course, a superb chorus.

The Arts Shelf

Mr Lindquist A Little Night Music – Théâtre du Châtelet“On relève aussi les très belles interprétations …ainsi que des cinq chanteurs du quintette — en réservant une ovation particulière au magnifique baryton de Damian Thantrey”

The Soldier Les Amoureux – Company Chordelia
“The Soldier himself brings a superb additional dimension to the piece. Sung beautifully by the excellent baritone Damian Thantrey, his appearance as the innocent conscript, pushing his bicycle tentatively into the vampire’s lair, reminds us how rarely we hear truly accomplished song in Scottish theatre.”

Sunday Herald, Mark Brown

Blazes, The Lighthouse – Psappha/Orkney Festival

This latest production, mounted by the Manchester-based Psappha ensemble at Lancaster University…stands out among the many I’ve seen… here are three fine singers, each doubling as one of the support-ship officers who discovered the still unexplained disappearance of the keepers of the Flannan Isle light in the Outer Hebrides in 1900. The tenor James Oxley as Sandy, the keeper with the murky sexual past, the baritone Damian Thantrey as Blazes, with his violent past, and the bass-baritone Jonathan Best as the Bible-bashing Arthur are splendidly at home in their roles…”

The Sunday Times, Paul Driver

Chao Lin, A Night at the Chinese Opera – Scottish Opera

“the likeable ensemble, headed by Damian Thantrey’s handsome Chao-Lin, does the composer proud”

The Sunday Times, Hugh Canning

“Cast adrift from familiar musical languages of mood and of character, Damian Thantrey does brilliantly to flesh out the character of Chao Lin…Weir’s beautifully taught passages of music and a tension between vocalist and orchestra in which subtle changes in instrumentation or vocal styles precipitate thrilling swings of mood or emotion. The director helps here, having cast a very striking looking actor in Thantrey, whose strong facial features flicker between the imperious road-builder and the vulnerable orphan.”

The Journal, Evan Beswick

Damian Thantrey is compelling as Chao Lin.”

The Times, Hilary Finch

The Traveller, Death in Venice –  Opéra de Metz

La jeunesse et la beauté du baryton basse Damian Thantrey permettent d’illustrer avec justesse les multiples visages tentateurs. Fascinante cette façon de pousser Aschenbach à sonder son moi intime! Voix souple et généreuse capable de mille couleurs de la plus cauteleuse à la plus ironique. “

concertclassic.com, Bernard Niedda

“On remarquera surtout les multiples incarnations – le vieux beau, le directeur de l’hôtel, le gondolier, le barbier, etc. – du baryton britannique Damian Thantrey, par ailleurs excellent comédien, lui aussi fort aguerri à Britten. ”

anaclase.com, Bertrand Bolognesi

Nardo, La Finta Giardiniera – Garsington Opera

My laurels went to…Damian Thantrey, a vocally flexible young baritone who moves more intelligently than the rest and has vestiges of a fledgling Thomas Hampson.”

The Independent, Roderic Dunnett

“…and servant Nardo (Damian Thantrey – a beautifully sung performance, this is a name to watch)”

Oxford Times, Giles Woodford

“the imposing Damian Thantrey as Nardo is excellent, with Thantrey wittily exploiting his act-two aria contrasting French and English manners.”

The Guardian, Edward Greenfield

Kindertotenlieder – Rambert Dance Company“The dancers are outshone only by the wonderful voice of baritone Damian Thantrey who is present on stage singing out the tragic story throughout their dancing…The high point of the evening for me though was the beautiful resonance in baritone Damian Thantrey’s voice”

BBC, Theresa Roche