John Savournin - Bass-Baritone

Sheffield-born bass-baritone John Savournin is already a singer of considerable stage artistry and versatility.  He studied with a scholarship at Trinity College of Music, where he was awarded the Founder’s Prize for Excellence and the Paul Simms Opera Prize.

His most recent projects have included Armchair/Tree L’enfant et les Sortileges, Alidoro La Cenerentola, Second Gunman Kiss Me, Kate (a role he has sung for Welsh National Opera), Peter Quince A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Schaunard La Boheme for Opera North, Leporello Don Giovanni, Colline La Boheme for Opera Holland Park,  his debut with Scottish Opera as Alidoro La Cenerentola, his debut with Opera Holland Park as The Immigration Officer Flight, The King Eight Songs for a Mad King for the Lands End Ensemble of Calgary and the Ossian Ensemble, The Pirate King The Pirates of Penzance and Pish-Tush The Mikado for the National G&S Opera Company, Dulcamara L’Elisir d’Amore for British Youth Opera, and his second song recital at the Wigmore Hall as a Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians/Concordia Foundation prize winner – including the world premiere of a song cycle written for him Edwin Roxburgh.

In concert, John made his Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room debuts as a Park Lane Young Artist in 2011 and 2012 with pianist James Young. Other concert and oratorio highlights have included Messiah at the Bridgewater Hall, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and performances from memory with Bristol Choral Society, In Terra Pax and Fantasia on Christmas Carols for the Bath Philharmonic and The Magic of G&S at The National Concert Hall, Dublin.

A lover of contemporary music, John has performed the male role in The Boy who Lived Down the Lane by Diana Soh and Stephen Oliver’s A Man of Feeling at the Performer’s Voice Symposium in Singapore, and Finzi’s By Footpath and Style and Kagel’s …den 24.XII.1931 with The Warehouse Ensemble.  John has worked regularly with Counterpoise, a contemporary chamber ensemble dedicated to performing melodramas, reciting  John Casken’s Deadly Pleasures (Brighton Festival), Walton’s Façade and David Matthew’s Acteon.  He performed the UK premiere of Wynton Marsalis’ A Fiddler’s Tale at The Forge in Camden.

Future projects include Leporello Don Giovanni, Count Horn Un Ballo in Maschera and reprising his role in Kiss Me, Kate, all with Opera North.


For Leporello/Don Giovanni/Opera North 2018

“Savournin is a perfect foil, with not a smidgeon of nastiness about him. He creates Leporello almost completely as a comic turn. I was particularly impressed with his precise and unflagging delivery of the Catalogue Aria, illustrated by a series of dummy heads with rapidly changing headgear in a frame, and with his sharp interactions with Dazeley, as in the recitativo “Orsù, spicciati presto”, all in tones which convey a kind of warm geniality.”  Bachtrack

“…excellent Leporello, John Savournin…”  The Times

“John Savournin is a fabulous Leporello, his comic timing was spot on and he totally owned the stage.”  Yorkshire Times

“One of the highlights must be the portrayal of Leprello sung by John Savournin.  His portrayal is outstanding and his interacting asides confide with the audience that he has had enough of Giovanni’s exploits but at the same time, due to fear and intimidation,  pretends to be loyal”  The Reviews Hub

For Leporello/Don Giovanni/Opera Holland Park 2017

“…with his strong comic timing, John Savournin makes an excellent Leporello.” Financial Times

“John Savournin displays a warm voice and terrific comedic stage skills as his sidekick Leporello.”  Metro

“Savournin made Leporello more sympathetic than is sometimes the case, revealing the natural comic timing which was in evidence when I saw him perform in WNO’s Kiss Me, Kate in November last year.”  Opera Today

“His comic timing was impeccable throughout and he displayed an ability to think on his feet as he moved from one crisis to another.  The catalogue aria was exceptionally fine….”  Seen And Heard International

For Alidoro/La Cenerentola/ Opera North 2017

“John Savournin twinkles as the manipulative Alidoro” The Times

“With the stature and occasional silliness of a barely restrained John Cleese, Alidoro was an omnipresent, almost mystical matchmaker. Given gravitas by his fine bass-baritone voice, John Savournin was clearly a shoe-in for this part.” The Yorkshire Times

For Colline/La boheme/Opera Holland Park 2016

“John Savournin invests his mock-serious farewell to his coat (it’s off to the pawnshop) with immense dignity”  Evening Standard

“John Savournin as the philosophical (but ultimately practical) Colline has a voice you only want to hear more of.” Culture Whisper

“John Savournin was first rate in the role of Colline and he gave a dark sonorous rendition of Vecchia zimarra in Act 4″  Seen and Heard International

For 2nd Gunman/Kiss me, Kate/Opera North 2016

“The showstopper was ‘Brush up your Shakespeare’, with Joseph Shovelton and John Savournin as morose, moustached Mafiosi.”  Opera

“Brush Up Your Shakespeare, expertly performed by Joseph Shovelton and John Savournin with just the right knowingness.” The Stage

“Joseph Shovelton and John Savournin’s pair of hapless hoodlums are a joy.” The Guardian

“As always, the show is stolen by the two gangsters, delightful comic turns from Joseph Shovelton and John Savournin.” The Mail on Sunday

For Immigration Officer/Flight/Opera Holland Park 2015

“John Savournin offered a wonderful warm bass in transition from a jobsworth into a decent human being.”  Opera Brittania

“John Savournin was a sturdy but sympathetic Immigration Officer.” Bachtrack