© Richard Hubert Smith

© Richard Hubert Smith

© Jane Hobson

© Alastair Muir

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Keel Watson

Bass Baritone

Keel Watson studied singing with Elizabeth Hawes and trombone with Roger Brenner at Trinity College of Music.

In the current season engagements include his return to English National Opera as Aye Akhnaten and Zuniga Carmen. He also performs his first Wotan in Das Rheingold and Die Walküre for Regents Opera.

Highlights in recent seasons include The Bonze Madam Butterfly and Don Basilio The Barber of Seville for Welsh National Opera; Commendatore Don Giovanni for Scottish Opera; Zuniga Carmen, The Bonze Madam Butterfly Doctor Bartolo The Marriage of Figaro and Aye Akhnaten for English National Opera; and King Sharyaati Sukanya for The Royal Opera and London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Operatic roles include Zuniga Carmen, Fasolt Das Rheingold and Creon Oedipus Rex (Teatro Nacional de São Carlos); The King Aida (Bregenz Festival); Reinmar Tannhäuser (Greek National Opera); Frazier Porgy and Bess (Opéra de Lyon); Fasolt Der Ring des Nibelungen (Teatro Massimo di Palermo); The Doctor Punch and Judy (Casa da Música, Porto); Elder Ott Susannah (Angers Nantes Opéra); Porgy Porgy and Bess (TCC Productions, Lisbon); Baldassare L’arlesiana, Tonio Pagliacci, Jorg Stiffelio and Bertrand Iolanta, Oroveso Norma, Nourabad Les pêcheurs de perles, and Il Re Aida (Opera Holland Park); Zuniga Carmen, Mandryka Arabella, and Speaker, Second Armed Man/Second Priest The Magic Flute (Opera North); Commendatore Don Giovanni (Mid Wales Opera); Bosun Billy Budd (The Royal Opera); Dosifey Khovanschina, Iago Otello, Don Pizarro Fidelio, First Apprentice Wozzeck, Abbot Curlew River, Pluto Il ballo delle ingrate, Neptune The Return of Ulysses, Commendatore Don Giovanni, and Voice of Neptune Idomeneo (Birmingham Opera Company); Don Pasquale, Fiesco Simon Boccanegra, Doctor Bartolo The Marriage of Figaro and Colline La bohème (English Touring Opera);and Hans Sachs Meistersinger and Holländer Der fliegende Holländer (Fulham Opera).

In contemporary opera he has performed The Caterpillar Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Opera Holland Park); King in Luke Bedford’s Seven Angels (The Opera Group); Asantehene/Second Messenger in Jonathan Dove’s The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi (Opera OT); The Elder The Country of the Blind by Mark-Anthony Turnage (Aldebugh Festival/ENO Contemporary Opera Studio); and Parlaine Palace in the Sky (ENO Baylis).

Appearances at the BBC Proms include Abbot Curlew River (Birmingham Opera Company) and Usher Trial by Jury (BBC Concert Orchestra). Other major concert engagements include Porgy and Bess (Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra); Carmina Burana (Royal Festival Hall); A Child of Our Time (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra); and Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin in Durham Cathedral.

Recording and film credits include Second Armed Man in Kenneth Brannagh’s film of The Magic Flute; Harašta an animated version of The Cunning Little Vixen; and King Sharyaati Sukanya (London Philharmonic Orchestra).

Steven Swales Artist Management represents Keel Watson worldwide


Commendatore / Don Giovanni / Scottish Opera / 2022
“…Keel Watson an imposing Commendatore.”
(Opera / Andrew Clark)

“…the excellent Keel Watson…”
(The Telegraph)

Bonze / Madam Butterfly / Welsh National Opera / 2021
“Keel Watson made him [the Bonze] a threatening presence.”

“…the formidable Bonze (the equally formidable Keel Watson)”
(Wales Arts Review)

Fasolt / RhineGold / Birmingham Opera Company / 2021
“Fasolt (the always impressive Keel Watson)”
(The Stage)

“Keel Watson gave Fasolt a sonorous dignity and presence…”
(The Spectator)


Cambridge Philharmonic

17 Dec 2022

Tippett: A Child of our Time
Conductor: Harry Sever

English National Opera

1, 4, 9, 11, 14, 17, 20, 22, 24 Feb 2023

Bizet: Carmen
Conductor: Kerem Hassan
Director: Calixto Bieito

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