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The British tenor Allan Clayton began singing as a chorister at Worcester Cathedral, going on to read Archaeology & Anthropology at St. John’s College Cambridge (where he held a choral scholarship and sang the title-role in Peter Grimes whilst still an undergraduate) followed by postgraduate study at the Royal Academy of Music. Shortly after graduation he became a BBC New Generation Artist, and an acclaimed debut as Britten’s Albert Herring at Glyndebourne soon followed; subsequent roles at the Festival have included Jonathan in Barrie Kosky’s staging of Handel’s Saul, Male Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia, and the title-role in the world premiere of Brett Dean’s 2017 opera Hamlet (which prompted The Times to declare ‘Forget even Gielgud. I haven’t seen a more physically vivid, emotionally affecting or psychologically astute portrayal of the Prince of Denmark’).
Roles elsewhere have included Castor in Rameau’s Castor et Pollux, David Die Meistersinger, Tamino Die Zauberflöte, Cassio Otello and Third Angel/John in the world premiere of George Benjamin’s hugely successful Written on Skin in 2012. Honours include a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, the Royal Philharmonic Society Singer Award (2018), Whatsonstage’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera (2018).
Further Reading: Allan Clayton
Following on from our interview with the composer earlier this week, Katherine talks to the English tenor about bringing this new incarnation of Shakespeare's 'sweet prince' to life.