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David Butt Philip


  • British tenor David Butt Philip is an alumnus of the Jette Parker Young Artists Program, Royal Opera House. In 2014, shortly after leaving the program he made a hugely acclaimed English National Opera debut as Rodolfo La Bohème: “It’s an impressively complete performance: his Rodolfo is likable and unassuming on stage, but when he sings he unleashes a warm, easy-sounding tenor voice with plenty of heft and ping at the top. His first aria hymns Mimi’s little frozen hands in impeccable Italianate style.”(The Guardian)

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  • In the 2016/17 season, Butt Philip makes his debut at Opéra de Lille as Erik Der fliegende Holländer. He will also return to Opera North to sing the role of Luigi Il Tabarro, and Glyndebourne Festival Opera to sing Laertes in a new commission of Shakespeare’s Hamlet by composer Brett Dean. Future concert engagements include Froh Das Rheingold with the Hallé Orchestra, which will be recorded, Beethoven 9 with both the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo and with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius Southwell Music Festival and Handel’s Messiah with the Mozart Festival Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall. Further ahead he makes his debut with Teatro Real and returns to Royal Opera House.

    Butt Philip was born and brought up in Wells in Somerset and was a chorister at Peterborough Cathedral. He is a graduate of Royal Northern College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, and the National Opera Studio and also a Samling Artist, an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and winner of the prestigious John Christie Award in 2011.

    Last season Butt Philip made his role debuts as Grigory in a new production of Boris Godunov at Royal Opera House, which he subsequently reprised at the BBC Proms. He also debuted the roles of Pinkerton in Anthony Minghella’s acclaimed Madama Butterfly production as English National Opera and as Laca Jenufa at Opera North and sang the role of Mitrane Semiramide with Opera Rara and Sir Mark Elder. His concert performances included Verdi Requiem and Haydn’s Creation at the Royal Festival Hall.

    Further recent roles include Rodolfo with Glyndebourne on Tour and English Touring Opera and Don José Carmen at Nevill Holt Opera. Whilst a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House he was heard in productions of Nabucco, Die Zauberflöte, Gloriana, Turandot, Parsifal, La Traviata, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Dialogues des Carmélites and Ariadne auf Naxos.

    His concert performances include Mahler Das Klagende Lied with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Rossini Petite Messe Solenelle at the Barbican, Haydn Nelson Mass with the Hallé under Sir Mark Elder, Britten Folk Songs with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and recitals at the Wigmore Hall with Simon Lane and the Solstice Quartet.

    2016/17 season / 447 words. Not to be altered without permission.


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Season Highlights

Luigi Il Tabarro
Opera North

Laertes Hamlet
Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Erik Der fliegende Holländer
Opéra de Lille

Beethoven 9
Tour with Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra

Concert repertoire

Symphony No.9

War Requiem
Folk Songs

Nelson Mass

The Dream of Gerontius

Das klagende Lied

Petite messe solenelle


Opera repertoire

Florestan Fidelio*

Don Jose Carmen

Essex Gloriana
Male Chorus The Rape of Lucretia

Prince Rusalka

Laca Jenufa
Boris Káťa Kabanová*

Title role Werther

Tamino Die Zauberflöte

Grigoriy Boris Godunov

Pinkerton Madama Butterfly
Luigi Il tabarro
Rodolfo La bohème
Cavardosssi Tosca
Dick Johnson La fanciulla del West *

R. Strauss
Bachus Ariadne auf Naxos*
Narraboth Salome

Macduff Macbeth
Gabriele Adorno Simon Boccanegra*

Froh Das Rheingold

* in preparation

David Butt Philip, a former Royal Opera Young Artist making his debut at ENO – a company whose English-language policy is crying out for singers like him to vindicate it. It’s an impressively complete performance: his Rodolfo is likable and unassuming on stage, but when he sings he unleashes a warm, easy-sounding tenor voice with plenty of heft and ping at the top. His first aria hymns Mimi’s little frozen hands in impeccable Italianate style.


…a cast dominated by David Butt Philip’s sensationally well sung Don José… the scale of his singing, his subtlety – a wonderful messa di voce on the climactic note of the Flower Song – and his transition from the diffident, even shy brigadier of Act 1 to homicidal psychopath in Act 4 suggested a great future in the role… There’s a goldmine of promise here.

Opera Magazine

David Butt Philip, making his company debut, was something of a revelation as Laca, managing the transition from oafish lout to loyal lover with help from a tenor resonance that promises much

Opera Magazine

Intermusica represents David Butt Philip worldwide

Maria Mot
Associate Director, Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9904

Lottie Gulliver
Assistant to Associate Director, Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9937

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Roger Vignoles