Bryn Terfel



Born: Nov 9, 1965; Wales  
The Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel rose with astonishing speed to the top ranks of international operatic stardom in the 1990s. He is known for a big, warm voice, intelligent and dramatically apt portrayals, a six-foot-three-inch frame and those intangibles that add up to star presence.

He was born Bryn Terfel Jones and was brought up in a small village near Snowdonia, speaking Welsh. Even as a small child he was busy singing; he went to Read more various eisteddfods (singing competitions) throughout Wales, his supportive mother, Nesta, chauffeuring him around. He used the money he won to buy soccer shoes. The eisteddfods taught him to face the stage calmly. "When I went to college I was streets ahead of others because I was used to facing the public," he says. He was awarded a scholarship when he applied to London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His teachers there were Arthur Reckless and Rudolf Piernay. Since there was already a professional singer named Bryn Jones, he adopted his middle name, for his stage billing.

He won two of the main prizes for Guildhall singers: the Kathleen Ferrier Scholarship in 1988 and the 1989 Gold Medal Award. Also in 1989, he won the Lieder Prize at the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and second prize all-around in that competition. This competition is broadcast Europe-wide, and he immediately began getting requests to sing from the leading conductors. Sir Georg Solti called him "one of the great talents of the last ten years."

Although he got offers for all sorts of repertory, he weighed them with care, with a view to preserving the voice through a long career. Although he was already being offered the role of Wotan in three of Wagner's Ring operas, he started singing such roles as Figaro, and Leporello (lighter and more lyrical roles) and Jokanaan in Strauss' Salome (a heavier, though still lyrical, one, but relatively short). He edged into Wagnerian territory in the lyrical part of Wolfram in Tannhäusser, a part known for the lovely "Song to the Evening Star." In 1992, he won the Gramophone Magazine "Young Singer of the Year" citation and the "Newcomer of the Year" award at the inaugural International Classical Music Awards in 1993.

He has added Dr. Miracle and Captain Balstrode (Britten's Peter Grimes) to his roles, moved over from Leporello to Don Giovanni, sung Nick Shadow in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, and has triumphed in Verdi's Falstaff, which he plays with notable humanity and restraint; his Falstaff is a braggart who overrates himself, but not the buffoon some other singers make him. He also sings the evil Scarpia in Tosca.

He is active on the recital and concert stage. Mendelssohn's Elijah is one of his mainstays. Songs of Handel, Vaughan Williams, Schubert, and Richard Rodgers figure in his recitals and recordings.

He remains a passionate fan of football (both soccer and rugby) and enjoys opening major international matches such as the Bledisloe Cup in Australia. When the Rugby World Cup was held in Cardiff, Wales, he opened it with a memorable duet with pop singing star Shirley Bassey of the Rugby theme song, "World In Union."

In 1999, the small Welsh island of Bardsey revived an ancient tradition (which died out in 1927) by inviting Terfel to become their honorary monarch. Even though he has conquered the world of opera -- even overcoming the dismal acoustics of the Sydney Opera House -- he remains centered on Wales, where, whenever he can, he still helps his father with the farming chores. Read less

Handel: Messiah / Hickox, Terfel, Langridge, Rodgers, Et Al
Release Date: 07/29/1992   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 522   Number of Discs: 2
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Delius: Sea Drift, Songs Of Sunset, Etc / Hickox, Terfel
Release Date: 03/15/1994   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9214   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 51-75 of 205 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Puccini: Tosca Highlights / Freni, Domingo, Ramey, Terfel, Sinopoli
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 437547 Release Date: 12/06/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Angelo Veccia,  Bryn Terfel,  Placido Domingo,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 52.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 951851 Release Date: 11/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  John Mark Ainsley,  Emma Kirkby,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Sara Macliver  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Paul McCreesh,  Christopher Hogwood,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
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  • 53.
    Label: Union Square   Catalog: 1206197 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robat Arwyn,  Franz Schubert,  Joseph Parry,  Meirion Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  Rhys Meirion,  Fflur Wyn
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  • 54.
    111 - The Collector's Edition 2 [56-CD Set - Limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4779142 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Stuart Harling,  Robert Lloyd,  Sherrill Milnes,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Nelson,  Leonard Bernstein,  Jerzy Semkow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  George Watson's College Boys' Chorus  ... 
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  • 55.
    Sospiri / Cecilia Bartoli
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001490802 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Geminiano Giacomelli,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Antonio Caldara  ... 
    Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli,  Bryn Terfel,  Juan Diego Flórez,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Giovanni Antonini,  Marc Minkowski,  Claudio Abbado,  Myung-Whun Chung  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Il Giardino Armonico,  Les Musiciens du Louvre,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 56.
    Bryn's Christmas / Bryn Terfel
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001491472 Release Date: 11/02/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  John Francis Wade,  Irving Berlin,  Traditional,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  Bing Crosby,  Rolando Villazón,  Catrin Finch  ... 
    Conductor:  Tecwyn Evans
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Welsh National Opera Orchestra,  Cordydd,  Nidus Children's Choir  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 57.
    Gala Concerts From Vienna, Berlin & Dresden
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2058218 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Johan Botha,  Deborah Polaski,  Falk Struckmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Zubin Mehta,  Christian Thielemann,  Franz Welser-Möst  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Prague Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    DVD: $78.99
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  • 58.
    Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann / Lopez-Cobos, Terfel, Swenson, Shicoff
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107027 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach
    Performer:  Désirée Rancatore,  Nora Gubisch,  Alain Vernhes,  Susanne Mentzer  ... 
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris National Opera Chorus,  Paris National Opera Orchestra
    DVD: $39.99
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  • 59.
    Live From The Royal Opera House - Gounod: Faust / Gheorghiu
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 31611 Release Date: 10/05/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Charles Gounod
    Performer:  Sophie Koch,  Angela Gheorghiu,  Bryn Terfel,  Roberto Alagna  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 60.
    Bizet: Carmen Arias & Duets / Bocelli, Chung, Terfel, Domashenko
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001459102 Release Date: 08/17/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli,  Marina Domashenko,  Bryn Terfel,  Eva Mei
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Meet Bryn Terfel
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 447578 Release Date: 06/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Gustav Mahler,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  Wolfram,  Alison [Soprano Vocals] Hagley
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Giuseppe Sinopoli
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  • 62.
    Mozart: Don Giovanni / Ostman, Auger, Hagegard
    Label: L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog: 425943 Release Date: 06/07/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Håkan Hagegård,  Bryn Terfel,  Barbara Bonney,  Arleen Augér  ... 
    Conductor:  Arnold Östman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Drottningholm Court Theatre Orchestra,  Drottningholm Court Theatre Chorus
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  • 63.
    Heroes & Villains - Opera's Leading Men
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001433902 Release Date: 06/01/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Carlo Bergonzi,  Rolando Villazón,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Daniele Callegari,  Robin Stapleton,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan,  National Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 64.
    Prokofiev: The Fiery Angel / Jarvi, Secunde, Lorenz, Terfel
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 431669 Release Date: 05/27/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Marie Fagerberg,  Märta Schéle,  Martin Andersson,  Esa Aapro  ... 
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Chorus,  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Schumann Gold
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001423002 Release Date: 05/25/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Radu Lupu,  Martha Argerich,  Mischa Maisky  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Rafael Kubelik,  André Previn,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $50.99
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  • 66.
    Bad Boys / Bryn Terfel
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4778091 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Gioachino Rossini,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Balcarras Crafoord
    Conductor:  Paul Daniel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Choir
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  • 67.
    Bizet: Carmen / Chung, Terfel, Bocelli, Domashenko
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001400202 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Marina Domashenko,  Andrea Bocelli,  Bryn Terfel,  Eva Mei
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $29.98
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  • 68.
    Complete Mozart Edition 12 - Arias, Vocal Ensembles, Etc
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000586002 Release Date: 12/16/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Thomas Moser,  Lucia Popp,  Edith Mathis,  Edita Gruberova  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Hager,  Jörg-Peter Weigle,  Sir Colin Davis,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Members of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (
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  • 69.
    State Of The Art - The Story Of Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001341102 Release Date: 12/15/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Gabriel Fauré,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Rafal Blechacz,  Kathleen Battle,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gabrieli Consort,  Andalucian Dogs
    CD: $107.49
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  • 70.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 1578880 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  William Steffe,  Giulio Caccini,  William Henry Monk  ... 
    Performer:  Frederica Von Stade,  David Hobson,  Teddy Tahu Rhodes,  Daniel Yeadon  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Silverstein,  Guy Noble,  Lyn Williams,  Brett Weymark  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cantillation,  Army Reserve Pipes & Drums,  Ensemble Cymru  ... 
    On sale! $53.99
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  • 71.
    Scarborough Fair - Songs From The British Isles / Bryn Terfel
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001264202 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  W. S. Gwynn Williams,  Sir Hamilton Harty,  Turlough O'Carolan,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  Kate Royal
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 72.
    Within A Dream - A Celebration Of The Artistry Of Richard Hickox
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10568 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  Benjamin Britten,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  James Gilchrist,  Pamela Helen Stephen,  Roderick Williams,  Bruce Martin  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales,  City of London Sinfonia,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $18.99
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  • 73.
    Ireland: Sea Fever, The Vagabond; Rubbra, Quilter / Terfel, Ferrier
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470195 Release Date: 10/23/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Roger Quilter,  Traditional,  Edmund Rubbra,  John Ireland
    Performer:  Ernest Lush,  Jennifer Vyvyan,  Kathleen Ferrier,  Phyllis Spurr  ... 
    Conductor:  Elgar Howarth,  David Hill
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grimethorpe Colliery Band,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
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  • 74.
    111 Years Of Deutsche Grammophon [55-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001341002 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Hubert Giesen,  Helmut Walcha  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Daniele Callegari,  Herbert von Karajan,  Karl Richter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan,  Verdi Chorus Milan  ... 
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  • 75.
    Mozart: Operas - Excerpts / John Eliot Gardiner
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 449938 Release Date: 10/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Stanford Olsen,  Cornelius Hauptmann,  Bryn Terfel,  Alison Hagley  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir
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