© Marek Olbrzymek
© Marek Olbrzymek
Philip Sheffield’s career has taken him all over the world from Buenos Aires to New York to Tokyo. He studied at Cambridge University and the Royal College of Music and made his opera debut under Roger Norrington in Monteverdi’s Orfeo. He was then invited to La Monnaie for L’incoronazione di Poppea which led to many engagements in Belgium, France and Germany. He is now mainly singing character/lyric roles which play to his acting ability and dramatic flair.
Highlights in recent seasons include Živný Osud at the Janáček Festival Brno; Rev. Horace Adams Peter Grimes for the Oper Köln, Opéra de Monte-Carlo and Ópera de Oviedo; Edward IV Richard III at the Teatro la Fenice; Snout A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hyogo Performing Arts Center, Japan; Harry La fanciulla del West for English National Opera; Čerevin From the House of the Dead for Opéra national du Rhin; and Jacob Schmidt Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny for Fura dels Baus in Athens.
In his current repertoire notable appearances include Tichon Káťa Kabanová (Teatro Colón); Robin in Michael Berkeley’s For You (Teatro Olimpico, Rome); Dr Caius Falstaff and Rev. Horace Adams Peter Grimes (Opera Vlaanderen); Valzacchi Der Rosenkavalier (Opera North); Don Basilio Le nozze di Figaro (Glyndebourne); various roles in Robert Carsen’s production of Candide (English National Opera, Théâtre du Châtelet, Teatro alla Scala and in Tokyo and Osaka); and Van Dunen Kwasi and Kwame (Opera OT, Rotterdam). World premiere performances include The Tell-Tale Heart for the Royal Opera House; Claude for the Opéra de Lyon; and Der Turm for Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg.
In this early career roles included Ferrando, Tamino, Belmonte, Lensky, Tom Rakewell and Pelléas, the latter performed at the Opéra Comique under Georges Prêtre. He quickly gained a reputation as a specialist in contemporary music and has performed leading roles in many world premieres for Opera North, The Royal Opera House, Théâtre du Châtelet, Opera Vlaanderen, Opera di Roma, München Biennale, the London Sinfonietta and notably Alonso The Tempest (Thomas Adès) for the Opéra national du Rhin.
Philip has been privileged to work with many internationally renowned directors and conductors including Olivier Pi, David Alden, Robert Carsen, David Pountney, Waut Koeken, Kazushi Ono, Mark Elder, Marcus Stenz, Paul Daniel, David Parry, Enrique Mazzola, Marko Letonja and Stuart Stratford.
On the concert platform he has performed at The Barbican, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Berliner Philharmonie. His repertoire includes Britten War Requiem and St. Nicholas, Bach St. John Passion, Elgar The Dream of Gerontius, Mahler Symphony No. 8, Rossini Stabat Mater and Verdi Requiem.
Živný / Osud / Janáček Brno Festival / 2021
“Philip Sheffield as the old Janáček shows in the short vocal interludes what a grandiose character singer he is, and above all what an actor-singer. As if lit by an inner fire, his eyes shine…”
“Here the production is well served by Casari and Sheffield, who are similar enough vocally to make us believe that they are the same character… both handle the high-lying role with elan.”
Edward IV / Richard III / Teatro La Fenice / 2018
“Philip Sheffield is a valiant Edward IV…”
Snout / A midsummer Night’s Dream / Hyogo Performing Arts Center / 2016
“Maestro Sado conducted a fine musical conversation with such talented artists as Andrew Dickinson and Philip Sheffield in the play within a play”.
(Yomiuri Shimbun Newspaper)