Intermusica Artists' Management



Intermusica represents Jacques Imbrailo worldwide

Simon Goldstone

Associate Manager, Vocal & Opera:
Olivia Marshall

Jacques Imbrailo


Hailed in a recent interview with the Times as “the hottest young baritone on the block”, South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo “shows a knack for shape-shifting into characters… and like the best baritones, he can effortlessly steal the limelight from a starry tenor”. He studied at the Royal College of Music under Ryland Davies and on the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, winning the Audience Prize at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition in 2007.

Recent operatic engagements include Pelléas Pelléas et Mélisande (Essen Opera); Valentin in Gounod’s Faust (Baden-Baden); the title role of Don Giovanni (Scottish Opera); Tarquinius The Rape of Lucretia (Florence/Houston); Count Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro (Royal Opera House/Welsh National Opera/Opéra de Lille); and Aeneas Dido & Aeneas (Opera di Roma). Imbrailo’s 2010 Glyndebourne Festival debut – the title role of Billy Budd in Michael Grandage’s acclaimed new production conducted by Sir Mark Elder – won rave reviews, with Andrew Clark of the Financial Times pronouncing him “the finest Billy I have heard – lusty, virile, sensitive and moving”.

Other roles include Figaro The Barber of Seville (Welsh National Opera); the leading baritone role in Judith Weir’s new commission for the Royal Opera House, Miss Fortune (which premièred at the Bregenz Festspiele); Malatesta Don Pasquale (Royal Opera House); Guglielmo Cosi fan Tutte (Opera Colorado/Glyndebourne Touring Opera/Opera North); Schaunard La bohème (Royal Opera House); and a reprise of Billy Budd (Brooklyn Academy of Music/de Nederlandse Opera). Roles on the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme included the title role of Owen Wingrave, Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Morales Carmen, Marullo Rigoletto, Scythian Iphigénie en Tauride, Flemish Deputy Don Carlos and Wigmaker Ariadne auf Naxos.

Concert performances include Christ The Apostles with the Hallé and Sir Mark Elder at the BBC Proms and Carmina Burana with the New York Philharmonic under Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, as well as Bach St John Passion, Handel Messiah, Brahms Requiem, Fauré Requiem and Duruflé Requiem. Imbrailo has given solo lieder recitals at the Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square and the Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, and performed in concert at the Verbier Festival, Royal Albert Hall and Southbank Centre.

Highlights this season include Guglielmo Cosi fan Tutte (Houston Grand Opera); Beethoven Symphony No.9 at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona; Britten’s War Requiem at the Teatro Real, Madrid; and Papageno Die Zauberflöte and Pelléas Pelléas et Mélisande (both Welsh National Opera).

Jacques Imbrailo is represented by Intermusica. 
September 2014 / 401 words. Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.

“Jacques Imbrailo is the finest Billy I have heard – lusty, virile, sensitive and moving.”
Andrew Clark, Financial Times

“[Imbrailo] pulls off the feat of personifying goodness while maintaining a vivid, three-dimensional reality… almost unbearably moving.”
Guardian, five stars

“Jacques Imbrailo’s Jesus was so gloriously sung that at his moments in the spotlight - but only his - I almost turned into a believer.”
Michael Church, Independent

Papageno The Magic Flute / Welsh National Opera
Cond. Lothar Koenigs / dir. Caroline Chaney

“Jacques Imbrailo’s Papageno lightened the earnestness … his light baritone, beautiful phrasing and seductive warmth proved winning: this Papageno truly had a ‘noble heart’ … his misery at a lack of a nest-partner was so touching that I half-expected someone in the audience to respond to his pitiable plea for a Papagena!”
Claire Seymour, Opera Today, March 2015

“Papageno, brilliantly sung and spoken here by Jacques Imbrailo whose appealing air of innocence reminded me of his superb Billy Budd at Glyndebourne in 2013...”
Mark Ronan,, February 2015

“Papageno always steals the stage, but with Jacques Imbrailo making him into a curiously-feathered Afrikaaner, with accent to match, he was irresistible. “The fithered strengler stroiks agine” is the closest I can get to his pronunciation of one line of dialogue, but the rest was to match, and very funny.”
Simon Rees, Bachtrack, February 2015

Valentin Faust / Festspielhaus Baden-Baden
Cond. Thomas Hengelbrock / dir. Bartlett Sher

"En Valentin, Jacques Imbrailo fait valoir une belle longueur de souffle et un legato de qualité pour un «Avant de quitter ces lieux» de superbe facture."

"In Valentin, Jacques Imbrailo exercises good breath control and a legato of fine quality to show off superb craftsmanship in « Avant de quitter ces lieux»."
Michel Thomé, Res Musica, June 2014

“Margaretes Bruder Valentin mit dem sehr ansprechenden Bariton Jacques Imbrailo”

“Margaret's brother Valentin is played by the very appealing baritone Jacques Imbrailo”
Lotte Thaler, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, June 2014

Christopher Rouse Requiem / New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Cond. Alan Gilbert

“The few interludes came with the splendid South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo, who started the Requiem without accompaniment at all…The lines were lean, heavy, with a few measures in unearthly high notes.”
Harry Rolnick, Concerto Net, May 2014

“At the concert the soloist was South African Jacques Imbrailo. With his pure voice and choirboy appearance, it’s understandable that he is a highly praised Billy Budd. His enunciation was clear and his singing emotionally powerful and able to be heard above the orchestra.”
Barry Bassis, The Epoch Times, May 2014

Jesus The Apostles / Barbican
Cond. Andrew Davis

“Jacques Imbrailo has become almost an incarnation of the figure of Jesus in this work: his supple baritone sings with an inner serenity that embodies faith.”
Hilary Finch, Times, April 2014

“Jacques Imbrailo’s Jesus was both composed and commanding. Like the still small voice of calm, who quelled the tempest on the Sea of Galilee, Imbrailo did not need to raise his voice in order to sustain nobility of tone.”
Curtis Rogers, Classical Source, April 2014

“Jacques Imbrailo [is] a suave-toned Jesus.”
Andrew Clements, Guardian, April 2014

“Jacques Imbrailo’s Jesus effected a simply directness, deliberately eschewing superfluous colourations to keep the words and their conviction absolutely clear.”
Edward Seckerson, The Arts Desk, April 2014

Title role Billy Budd / Glyndebourne in New York
Cond. Sir Mark Elder / Dir. Michael Grandage

Imbrailo’s sweet baritone…came across perfectly as he sung about his delight on being aboard the Indomitable and his quiet joy when joining the crew in a sea shanty.”
Judd Hollander, Epoch Times, February 2014

“In the title role, South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo, conveys the necessary strength of character and purity of spirit. [He has] the voice of a seraphim. His execution of the third act aria "Look through the port comes the moonshine astray" as Billy awaits his execution is hauntingly heartbreaking.”
Bobby McGuire, Edge Providence, February 2014

“Playing an unadulterated innocent could be a challenge, but Imbrailo achieves it…His mood and demeanor shift when he understands what's suddenly in store. It's at that point with the spotlight relentlessly on him that his characterization deepens immeasurably. When in his agitated state he blesses Vere, he's enormously touching.”
David Finkle, Huffington Post, February 2014

Title role Don Giovanni / Scottish Opera
Cond. Speranza Scappucci / Dir. Sir Thomas Allen

“Jacques Imbrailo was an authoritative Giovanni, tall, aquiline and with a lightness of voice that was full of charm, little hinting of the danger that lurked below.”
Neil Jones, Opera Now, December 2013

Recital / Vaughan Williams, Hough, Liszt, Butterworth / Wigmore Hall
Acc. Alisdair Hogarth

“Imbrailo’s is a lyric baritone of considerable elegance… [His] musicianship strongly supported his interpretation of these challenging [Stephen Hough] settings.”
Richard Nicholson, Classical Source, September 2013

Pelléas Pelléas et Mélisande / DVD / Arthaus Musik
Cond. Stefan Soltesz / Dir. Nikolaus Lehnhoff
“Baritone Jacques Imbrailo’s Pelléas is a virile, romantic heartthrob, with fine voice to match.”
Christopher Dingle, BBC Music Magazine, January 2014

“Flawlessly sung, with the required smoothness of tone and persuasiveness in textual delivery…There’s an unforced sweetness of demeanour and…Imbrailo’s face registers every shade of emotion.”
Roger Pines, International Record Review, December 2013

“There's a palpable erotic charge between Jacques Imbrailo's handsome Pelléas and Michaela Selinger's full-on Mélisand.”
Tim Ashley, Guardian, November 2013

Billy Budd Billy Budd / Glyndebourne
Dir. Michael Grandage

“The cast, particularly Jacques Imbrailo’s beaming Billy, is ideal.”
Sarah Noble, Limelight, January 2014

“The casting is inspired, the singing flawless from principals and chorus alike. Among those returning from the production’s first incarnation… are Jeremy White’s sea-salt Dansker, Colin Judson’s snivelling Squeak and, most happily, Jacques Imbrailo’s charismatic and starry-eyed Billy. In Imbrailo’s loose-limbed performance Britten’s doomed hero is a force of nature: an impulsive, straightforward young man who sees the good in everyone and is therefore ill-equipped to handle disillusion.”
Mark Valencia, Classical Source, August 2013

“Jacques Imbrailo is excellent in the title role as the young and trusting sailor press-ganged into service but eager to do his best…”
The Express, five stars, August 2013

“The cast were exceptional throughout, both vocally and dramatically, and they gave absolutely riveting performances… Jacques Imbrailo, reprising the role of Billy from the 2010 production, is a terrific actor and commands attention whenever he is on stage. He conveyed the innocence and boyish enthusiasm of Billy particularly in the ‘Billy Budd, King of the Birds’ scene. He has a rich, highly coloured baritone voice and he used it so wonderful effect in Billy’s aria in the Darbies: he conveyed the warmth of the character and breadth of humanity ably assisted by the LPO’s principal flautist.”
Seen and Heard International, August 2013

“Jacques Imbrailo’s Billy is – again – heart-stoppingly gorgeous…”
The Argus, August 2013

“Michael Grandage’s claustrophobic and homoerotically charged production from 2010 has lost none of its power and you still want to weep for Jacques Imbrailo’s Budd.”
Gramophone, August 2013

“Jacques Imbrailo's Billy, conversely, pulls off the feat of personifying goodness while maintaining a vivid, three-dimensional reality: the scene where Budd comes to Vere's cabin believing he is to be promoted, only to discover the heinous accusation made against him, is almost unbearably moving.”
Guardian, five stars, August 2013

“The original Billy…returns, his gleeful energy radiating out among the dull greys and browns of the sailors, and bringing a vocal sophistication to match his dramatic innocence…”
The Arts Desk, August 2103

“All three main roles were sung with excellence… As Billy, Jacques Imbrailo contributed well to the early ensemble work, and came to the fore in his Act II meditation “Through the port comes the moon-shine astray,” which he sang with the grace and sensitivity of a lieder singer, making it a jewel of rare beauty.”
Bach Track, August 2013

Aeneas Dido and Aeneas / Teatro dell’Opera Roma
Dir. Chiara Muti

“The top performance among the singers was from the young South African baritone, Jacques Imbrailo, in the role of Aeneas. Offering a pretty manly timbre, but soothing at the same time, he created a very tight criteria for the role, not least because of his considerable physical prowess and a mastery of the stage…”
GBOper, June 2013

Mahler Wunderhorn / Bridgewater Hall
cond. Sir Mark Elder

“… Jacques Imbrailo succeeded in bringing out the characters of the songs.”

“Imbrailo… was very strong in the more martial songs, although his soft tone at the end of number five was quite moving in describing his solitude.”

“In the final song, Imbrailo sang with despair and bitterness of his impending execution, while Elder’s slow tempo brought ample sorrow to the horns and solo oboe to make for a sombre close.”
Rohan Shotton, Bach Track, April 2013

Recording: Elgar The Apostles / The Hallé
cond. Sir Mark Elder

“… on Elder’s recording of The Apostles it is the young South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo, in the role of Christ, who has won the most praise. Elder believes that, quite apart from his glorious singing, Imbrailo drew strength from his own deep Christian faith.”
Richard Morrison, BBC Music Magazine, April 2013

Title Role in Britten Billy Budd / Glyndebourne Festival Opera from 2011 (CD)
cond. Sir Mark Elder / dir. Michael Grandage

“Jacques Imbrailo’s warm baritone and easy diction convey Billy’s enthusiastic good nature without exaggerated heartiness…”
Michael Scott Rohan, BBC Music Magazine, March 2013

“Jacques Imbrailo makes a marvellously youthful innocent sounding Billy Budd and his lyrical singing of Billy’s solo scene before his execution is heart-rending.”
Richard Fairman, Gramophone, March 2013

“Jacques Imbrailo is a winning Billy”.
Financial Times, January 2013

Handel Messiah / Wigmore Hall, London
“There are few to touch the young South African for expressive power… his trumpet sounded with hair-raising strength.”
Mark Valencia, Classical Source, December 2012

Recital: Strauss, Vaughan-Williams, Butterworth, Liszt Songs & Lieder / Durban Jewish Centre
acc. Bonita Ziegelmeier

“[Jacques Imbrailo] is a baritone singer of the top rank... his sheer artistry carried a large audience with him all the way. [...] He has a relaxed, unaffected stage presence and a really big voice, powerful, accurate, resonant. He has the professional polish acquired with careful training: well-judged phrasing, a calm demeanour and controlled dynamics, the strong tone sometimes dropping to a lovely pianissimo. [He] delivered [Vaughan-Williams’ nine Songs of Travel] with authority and affection [and] sang three songs by Richard Strauss with emotion and style”.
Latoya Newman, IOL – Independent Online, December 2012

Ramiro in Ravel L’heure espagnole / Barbican Hall
BBC Symphony Orchestra / dir. Kenneth Richardson / cond. Josep Pons

“Jacques Imbrailo's baritone was put to good service in the role of Ramiro the muleteer who impresses with his strength”.
Evan Dickerson, One Stop Arts, October 2012

I’d not seen or heard Jacques Imbrailo in a comic role before, but he handled the slowly-stirring alpha-maleness of the not very bright but very strong Ramiro with an easy, self-deprecating humour, and his gradual awareness that Concepción might be a femme charmante would have struck a chord with all shy types.
Peter Reed, Classical Source, October 2012

Pelléas in Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande / Aalto-Musiktheater Essen
dir. Nikolaus Lehnhoff / cond. Stefan Soltesz

“Jacques Imbrailo [made for an] athletic, handsome-voiced Pelléas”.
Hugh Canning, Sunday Times, November 2012

“With his attractively light baritone and secure high notes, the young South African Jacques Imbrailo is a youthful and enraptured Pelléas”.

„Mit leicht ansprechendem, höhensicheren Bariton ist der junge Südafrikaner Jacques Imbrailo ein jugendlich schwärmerischer Pelléas“.
Stefan Schmöe, Aalto-Musiktheater Essen, October 2012

“Jacques Imbrailo delights the eye and ear as Pelléas, with the technique, youth and beauty of line to convey both innocence and impetuous passion”.
Shirley Apthrop, Financial Times, October 2012

Recording: Elgar The Apostles / Hallé CDHLD7534
Hallé Choir / Hallé Youth Choir / Hallé Orchestra / cond. Sir Mark Elder

“Jacques Imbrailo [is] a sweet toned Jesus”.
Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone, November 2012

“All six of the soloists – four men, two women – are outstanding: it is invidious to single out any in particular, but all the same Jacques Imbrailo delivers the ‘Beatitudes’, early on, with lustrous tone and notable simplicity”.
Piers Burton-Page, International Record Review, October 2012

“I like Jacques Imbrailo’s assumption of the role very much. Throughout the work his singing consistently falls pleasingly upon the ear... I referred earlier to Sheila Armstrong’s essential simplicity in her role and I’m inclined to think Imbrailo achieves something similar.”
John Quinn, Musicweb International, August 2012

Jesus in Elgar The Apostles
BBC Promenade Concerts / Hallé / cond. Sir Mark Elder
“Jacques Imbrailo’s Jesus was so gloriously sung that at his moments in the spotlight - but only his - I almost turned into a believer.”
Michael Church, Independent, August 2012

"Perhaps surprisingly, since this was also his Proms debut, the South African baritone, Jacques Imbrailo was the star of this performance. This singer, who won the Audience Prize in the 2007 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and whom I saw earlier this year in the Royal Opera House’s Miss Fortune, was captivating as Jesus with long, smooth phrases, superb diction and a beautiful, burnished baritone voice. He was the only member of the cast who appeared to have learned his role by heart, as of course he would have done if it had been an opera production, and it showed. We have lost some beautiful voices in the last couple of years, most notably Philip Langridge and Anthony Rolfe Johnson, whose mellifluous tones are sorely missed. Mr Imbrailo too has the sort of voice you can lose yourself in and escape from the dark Satanic mills. This was a very auspicious debut indeed; I hope Roger Wright will invite him back to the BBC Proms very soon."
Miranda Jackson, Opera Britannia, August 2012

“The soloists were excellent... Jacques Imbrailo's Jesus was as subtly textured as one would expect, with good vocal chemistry between him and Alice Coote...”
Guy Dammann, Guardian, August 2012

"Jacques Imbrailo gave a wonderful Proms debut as Jesus, not only displaying a lovely, rich, clear voice but also evoking just the right combination of gentleness and authority that the role demanded."
Katherine Dixson, Bach Track, August 2012

“Jacques Imbrailo similarly brought back memories [of the golden age of oratorio] as he poured out beautiful tone with immaculate enunciation. [He] commanded the broad phrasing that is a sine qua non in Elgar.”
Tully Potter, Classical Source, August 2012

“Jacques Imbrailo stood out for his performance as Jesus, with a warmly pliant baritone and way of caressing each phrase that lent his music rare spiritual aura”.
John Allison, Daily Telegraph, May 2012

“Jacques Imbrailo's wonderfully composed, quietly eloquent Jesus stood out ... If the recording comes close to capturing the sumptuous certainty of the live event, we'll be very lucky indeed.”
Andrew Clements, Guardian, May 2012

Il Barone di Trombonok in Rossini Il viaggio a Reims
Royal Opera House / cond. Daniele Rustioni

“Baron Trombonok, magnificently sung by the South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo...”
Peter Reed, Classical Source, July 2012

Songs by Stephen Hough
Prince Consort / Cheltenham Festival

“Jacques Imbrailo's creamy baritone seized Hough's innate gift for a sinuous vocal line..”
Stephen Prichard, Observer, July 2012

Carmina Burana / New York Philharmonic
cond. Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos

“Jacques Imbrailo, a baritone, had a lesser role there but a demanding, shifting one in “Carmina,” which he handled deftly and with strong tone and colorful characterization.”
James R Oestreich, New York Times, June 2012

“The performance really took off with Imbrailo’s solo, ‘Omnia sol temperat’, and he was equally impressive in the tavern scene, forcefully portraying the Abbot’s drunkenness and slumping into his seat as the tuba signaled the chorus’s final laughing outburst. Then, in ‘Dies, nox et omnia’, he showed off a sweetness of upper-register tone and rock-solid low notes, and his sustained notes in ‘Circa mea pectora’ were unwavering in intensity. Imbrailo’s performance ranks with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s on Eugen Jochum’s recording... In the end, however, what one most took away from this exciting performance was the extraordinary singing of the three solo vocalists.”
David M. Rice, Classical Source, June 2012

Simon in Judith Weir Miss Fortune / Royal Opera House
“…the clarity of his lyrical baritone and his suave stage presence enabled him to make his mark”
Miranda Jackson, Opera Britannia, March 2012

“Imbrailo's singing was by far the finest singing of all, exquisitely shaped and warmed with sincerity.”
Doundou Tchil, Classical Iconoclast, March 2012

Tarquinius in Britten The Rape of Lucretia / Houston Grand Opera
cond. Patrick Summers

“The second act of The Rape of Lucretia does have its thrilling moments… perhaps due to South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo who is a heroic, insistent singer”
Theodore Bale, Culture Map Houston, February 2012

“Jacques Imbrailo brings a commanding sound and presence to Tarquinius, cynical and power-mad, yet vulnerable to Lucretia's beauty and innocence.”
Everett Evans,, February 2012

Figaro in Rossini The Barber of Seville / Millennium Centre Cardiff
cond. Alexander Polianichko / dir. Giles Havergal

"Jacques Imbrailo's Figaro was lithe and engaging.”
Rian Evans, Guardian, October 2011

Simon in Judith Weir Miss Fortune (Achterbahn) / Bregenz Festival
'The baritone Jacques Imbrailo made a suave Simon…'
George Loomis, New York Times, July 2011

Title Role in Britten Billy Budd / Glyndebourne Festival Opera (DVD)
cond. Sir Mark Elder / dir. Michael Grandage

“In the title-role, Jacques Imbrailo fields just the right youthful lyric baritone and sings Billy's solo below decks beautifully.”
Richard Fairman, Gramophone, September 2011

“Glyndebourne’s standout is Jacques Imbrailo... He acts Billy with unfailing naturalness, he’s physically lithe and he produces his lovely lyric sound with admirable ease. The initial exuberance is unexaggerated, and later Imbrailo powerfully communicated Billy’s anguish in the trail scene. Close-ups emphasize one of this young singer’s great assets – his expressive eyes, wide-eyed with apprehension in the monologue before the calm of ‘That’s all… and that’s enough’.”
Roger Pines, International Record Review, July/August 2011

“…the sweet-toned Jacques Imbrailo is an impossibly good, plausibly attractive Billy, and he inherits a role that should serve him well for a few years yet as it did Peter Glossop, Thomas Allen and Simon Keenlyside.”
Mark Valencia, Classical Source, July 2011

Puccini Manon Lescaut / Chelsea Opera Group / Queen Elizabeth Hall
cond. Gianluca Marcianò

“Jacques Imbrailo is a fine singer with… immaculate vocalism and clarity of enunciation.”
Richard Nicholson, Classical Source, June 2011

Recital: The Prince Consort at Holywell Music Room, Oxford
“Jacques Imbrailo’s performance was outstanding: this baritone’s recent successes in opera have perhaps blinded both audiences and entrepreneurs to his potential for being not only a good, but a great lieder singer too.”
Hilary Finch, Times, October 2010

Dr Malatesta in Donizetti Don Pasquale / Royal Opera House
“The best cast member is Jacques Imbrailo, precisely detailed in gesture and voice as Doctor Malatesta, wily in every muscle. Imbrailo’s effortless domination of the stage is just what we miss in Paolo.”
Geoff Brown, Times, September 2010

“Imbrailo was a confident, wry Malatesta – a Dulcimara with style. Among the two-dimensional stereotypes, he conveyed a naturalism and credibility, sang with clear diction and balanced lyricism with dramatic singing. A recent graduate of the Jette Parker Young Artist scheme, he’s the one to watch.”
Claire Seymour, Opera Today, September 2010

“[Paolo Gavinelli’s] physical presence is so commanding that it makes no difference what floor he is on; and, though he’s much slimmer, the same is true of the other baritone role, Doctor Malatesta, sung warmly and acted hilariously by rising South African star Jacques Imbrailo.”
Paul Levy, Wall Street Journal, September 2010

“Jacques Imbrailo brings vocal authority to the scheming Doctor Malatesta”
Edward Bhesania, The Stage, September 2010

“Jacques Imbrailo’s suave and lyrically sung Doctor Malatesta.”
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, September 2010

“Jacques Imbrailo the cunningly charming Doctor Malatesta.”
Fiona Maddox, Observer, September 2010

“Jacques Imbrailo’s Doctor Malatesta was also very well sung, in his sappy even baritone, and he interacted well.”
Alexander Campbell, What’s On Stage, September 2010

Title Role in Britten Billy Budd
Glyndebourne / cond. Sir Mark Elder / dir. Michael Grandage
“Jacques Imbrailo is the finest Billy I have heard – lusty, virile, sensitive and moving, above all in his contemplative death-song.”
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, May 2010

“Jacques Imbrailo’s Billy is a total joy – slight, lithe and wonderfully guileless, singing his farewell to life with immense dignity and pathos.”
Andrew Clements, Guardian, May 2010,

“Jacques Imbrailo’s Billy, his fateful stammer intensified to epileptic proportions, has exactly the right mixture of puppyish naivety and physical prowess (his right hook would not disgrace Lennox Lewis)”
Hilary Finch, Times, May 2010

“Jacques Imbrailo is a radiant Billy with a terrifyingly violent stammer.”
Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph, May 2010

“Imbrailo personified the lithe, athletic, open, fresh seaman that Billy Budd is supposed to be (‘one in a million’ as Claggart mutters malevolently). The voice has an open baritonal ring, with a nobility of tone, that informed Imbrailo’s whole performance….This was a gloriously and naturally sung Billy Budd that will remain in the mind.”
Mike Reynolds, Musical Criticism, June 2010

“Jacques Imbrailo was a very winning Billy, with lyrical, rugged looks as well as the required aura of innocence, what Forster called ‘the goodness of the glowing aggressive sort which cannot exist until it has evil to consume’. His voice has an engaging, melting quality; his ‘Billy in the Darbies’ scene was one of the most simply moving solo performances I’ve ever experienced on the operatic stage.”
Melanie Eskenazi, What’s On Stage, June 2010

“Jacques Imbrailo gives the performance of his life in the title role, an angelic outsider whose luminous honesty wrings the heart.”
Michael Church, The Scotsman, May 2010

Gugliemo in Mozart Cosi fan Tutte /Opera North
“And the robust and brightly variegated baritone of Jacques Imbrailo — an asset to any cast — reveals the confusion, ambivalence and rage of Guglielmo’s uneasy spirit.”
Hilary Finch, Times, February 2010

Schaunard in Puccini La Bohème / The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
“Best are the Bohemians themselves… Jacques Imbrailo as an endearingly characterised and beautifully sung Schaunard”
Hilary Finch, Times, December 2009

“Jacques Imbrailo’s intelligently understated Schaunard and Kostas Smorigninas’ carefully observed Colline [made] the deepest impressions.”
Andrew Clements, Guardian, January 2010

“Jacques Imbrailo was a lively Schaunard.”
Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph, December 2009

“Jacques Imbrailo was impressive as Schaunard.”
John E. De Wald, Opera Britannia, December 2009

“And, like all the best baritones, he can effortlessly steal the limelight from a starry tenor; his cameo as Schaunard in La boheme at the ROH proved that.”
Emma Pomfret, Times, April 2010

Gugliemo in Mozart Cosi fan Tutte / Glyndebourne Touring Opera
“The two big treats are the brightly articulated and beautifully phrased playing of the GOT Orchestra under the perceptive baton of Patrick Lange; and the outstanding Guglielmo of Jacques Imbrailo. The South African baritone has come on by leaps and bounds”
Hilary Finch, Times, October 2009

“Jacques Imbrailo and Lucia Crillio, however, are as fine and sexy as one could for as Gugielmo and Dorabella.”
Tim Ashley, Guardian, October 2009

Count in Mozart Le Nozze di Figaro / Welsh National Opera
“Jacques Imbrailo’s Count struts around, an idle Clark Gable matinee idol in a followspot. Just as you expect a crooning “I Can Give You The Starlight,” out comes his incensed, snarling “Hai gia vinta la causa”, as he realizes the domestic trap he has walked into, Imbrailo bristles with bottled-up menace. This South African baritone, who won the Audience Prize at the 2007 Cardiff Singer of the World, has the makings of an excellent Count, polished in tone, elegant in phrasing…”
Fiona Maddocks, Observer, February 2009

“As Figaro and Count Almaviva, David Soar and Jacques Imbrailo both sang thoughtfully and expressively.”
Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph, February 2009

Demetrius in Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream / Royal Opera House, Linbury Studio
“…New to the production is Jacques Imbrailo’s winsome Demetrius …”
Hilary Finch, Times, January 2008

“… Jacques Imbrailo, a Jette Parker Young Artist, again impressed: he was a good Owen Wingrave in April 2007 and definitely someone to watch …Overall this was a strong cast, each fully in character … Each of the workmen, for example, was well defined as a personality, entries were precise and the ensemble pieces flowed very well indeed…”
Anne Ozorio, Seen & Heard International, January 2008

“… the singing of the predominantly young cast (it reads like a roll call of Jette Parker Young Artist graduates) is uniformly excellent … Jacques Imbrailo and Ed Lyon sparkle as Demetrius and Lysander …”
Simon Thomas, Music OMH, January 2008

“.. the two central pairs of lovers are well cast, with Ed Lyon’s thrilling Lysander contrasting with Jacques Imbrailo’s slightly creamier Demetrius …”
Edward Bhesania, The Stage, February 2008

“…this good-looking, good-sounding cast … with smart-suited lovers (Van Kooten, Daniela Lehner, Ed Lyon, Jacques Imbrailo) … and rude mechanicals that would not look out of place at the Chelsea Arts Club bar ….the ensemble singing is faultless …”
Anna Picard, Independent on Sunday, February 2008

A Midsummer Night’s Dream has returned as a showcase for The Royal Opera’s rising stars there is uniformly assured singing from Katie Van Kooten, Daniela Lehner, Ed Lyon and Jacques Imbrailo as the lovers plus a bunch of rude mechanicals worthy of the RSC ”
Anthony Holden, Observer, February 2008

Scythian in Gluck Iphigénie en Tauride
Royal Opera House
“The only singer really to impinge on my consciousness was baritone Jacques Imbrailo, one of the Royal Opera’s Young Artists. Playing a Scythian, he excelled in his brief appearance thanks to strong projection and his perfect accent”
Musical Criticism, September 2007

Marullo in Verdi Rigoletto
Royal Opera House
“…Jacques Imbrailo was a perfectly characterised Marullo …”
David Paxton, Music OMH, September 2007

“… Young Artist Jacques Imbrailo was an excellent Marullo …”
Dominic McHugh, Musical Criticism, September 2007

“…strong performances from Darren Jeffery (Monterone) and Jacques Imbrailo (Marullo) lent weight to this solid revival …”
John Allison, Opera, September 2007

“…The Jette Parker Young Artists Programme was well represented by Jacques Imbrailo as Marullo and Nikola Matisic as Borsa, and Darren Jeffery, from the first intake, was a powerful Monterone …”
PrimiDivi, August 2007

Jette Parker Young Artists Programme - Summer Concert 2007
Royal Opera House
“The Jette Parker Young Artists Programme is one of the glories of the Royal Opera House … Jacques Imbrailo has the potential to be a world class artist … The highlight for me was the love duet from Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande from Jacques Imbrailo and Marina Poplavskaya … Imbrailo communicated Pelléas’ lines with ringing clarity and immense lyricism, while Poplavskaya conveyed much through her wandering eyes and expressive delivery. Though the two stood apart, their dialogue seemed both intimate and profoundly elusive, just like the opera itself. There was so much else to enjoy. … It provided an admirable evening’s entertainment and an irreplaceable opportunity to hear these fine artists in one concert …”
Dave Paxton, MusicOMH, July 2007

“… this lively concert of staged extracts was a celebration of how the Young Artists Programme brings together the cream of international talent … … Jacques Imbrailo was mesmerising in the title role [of Billy Budd], even better (if possible) than his spellbinding performance of Owen Wingrave in April. Like Gleadow (who played Claggart tonight), he is already a complete artist – vocally secure and a vivid actor … … The highlight of the night was the Act IV love duet from Pelléas et Melisande, featuring Poplavskaya and Imbrailo … This could have been a professional opera performance. Both singers showed the utmost sensitivity to the text, while allowing their voices to fully indulge in Debussy’s sensuous lines … Overall, this was a very impressive end to a year that has seen the Young Artists making more of an impact than ever on The Royal Opera’s productions. And without doubt, in Marina Poplavskaya, Robert Gleadow and Jacques Imbrailo, we were witnessing stars of the future …”
Dominic McHugh, Musical Criticism, July 2007

“…The excerpt from Britten’s Billy Budd pulled literally no punches. Jacques Imbrailo, who has already exhibited his forte in Britten in Owen Wingrave, was fine as Billy and brought the scene to a dramatic close … Pelléas et Mélisande [was] given a beautifully moving account by Poplavskaya and Imbrailo …”
Michael Darvel, Classical Source, July 2007

“…From the tantalizing glimpse we had of Jacques Imbrailo as Billy Budd, here was a baritone with the most open and innocent of faces and a voice that matched it with clarity and sincerity. As he stepped onto the stage to sing Pelléas, the auditorium almost tingled with excitement …”
Kirsty Young, Opera Talent, July 2007

“…expert direction was in evidence and some of the featured singers displayed gifts in assuming different characterisations …Jacques Imbrailo was a winning Pelléas and also a convincing Billy Budd … There were no serious caveats in the singing and we left feeling that all the participants deserved to progress to successful operatic careers …”
Peter Grahame Woolf, Musical Pointers July 2007

“…the Royal Opera House put on this most enjoyable Summer Concert to showcase the singers who are currently part of the Jette Parker Young Artists programme … Another particular highlight began the second half … Jacques Imbrailo impressed as the innocent Budd and really showed the character’s loyalty to Vere … Poplavskaya and Imbrailo sang Act IV/scene 4 of Pelléas et Mélisande with ardour … this was singing that conveyed real emotions … A very fine evening, then, one promising much for the future …”
Colin Anderson, The Opera Critic, July 2007

“…a very enjoyable concert… As you haven’t had the whole opera to get to know Billy, it probably would be really easy to make him look nasty as he doesn’t really do anything much apart from punching Claggart, but you were still with Jacques Imbrailo every step of the way … In Pelléas et Mélisande, Marina Poplavskaya and Jacques Imbrailo both sounded great …”
PrimiDivi, September 2007

“…Jacques Imbrailo was a promising Pelléas [and] already well into the skin of Billy Budd … In his clearly articulated singing, Imbrailo conveyed Billy’s trusting eagerness …”
Margaret Davies, Opera, October 2007

“…An impeccably professional evening from Jacques Imbrailo [who] has a promising baryton martin – not heavy or overly light … his Pelléas will be one to watch …”
Rosie Johnston, Opera Now, November/December 2007

Owen Wingrave in Britten Owen Wingrave / Royal Opera House, Linbury Studio
"Jacques Imbrailo’s Owen is the soul of integrity in voice and manner"
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, April 2007

"He is gently sympathetic as the pacifist Owen, displaying a warm smooth baritone that should stand his career in good stead."
Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph, April 2007

“The young South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo brings vocal and physical intensity to the title role.”
Richard Morrison, Times, April 2007

“In the title role there is an astonishingly accomplished performance from Jacques Imbrailo, his lithe and vibrant baritone at the service of an intense conviction.”
Edward Seckerson, Independent, April 2007

“South African Jacques Imbrailo, one of the Jette Parker Young Artists, in his first leading role at Covent Garden, gives a neurotically intense performance as Owen and his rich baritone promises much for the future.”
Clare Colvin, Sunday Express, April 2007

“Jacques Imbrailo has an alluring baritone and is dramatically powerful as the tortured Owen. His acting is focused, and his rich full sound is a joy.”
Warwick Thompson, Bloomberg, April 2007

“Jacques Imbrailo in the title role was exceptional…..”
Robert Matthew-Walker, Musical Opinion, July/August 2007

Imperial Commissioner in Puccini Madama Butterfly
Royal Opera House

“…Jette Parker Young Artist Jacques Imbrailo is very promising as the Imperial Commissioner …”
PrimiDivi, February 2007

“… Jacques Imbrailo, one of the Young Artists, was the Imperial Commissioner (and) I thought the whole scene he was in was the best part of the opera, very dramatic …”
PrimiDivi, March 2007

“…Both of the Jette Parker Young Artists, Liora Grodnikaite and Jacques Imbrailo, taking the smaller roles of Kate Pinekrton and the Imperial Commissioner, continue to impress …”
Judith Mon, Musical Opinion, May-June 2007

Moralès in Bizet Carmen
Royal Opera House

“… This was a triumph for the company. The Royal Opera’s excellent Young Artists Programme contributed three of the most satisfying performances … Most especially, Jacques Imbrailo got the opera off to a confident start with his dominating portrayal of Moralès. Here is surely a star in the making; take note that he’s playing the title role in Britten’s Owen Wingrave in the Linbury Studio in April and book now …”
MusicOMH, January 2007

“…A Young Artist newcomer, Jacques Imbrailo, was notable as Morales: the more time goes on, the more the fruits of the Young Artists Programme become apparent …”
Dominic McHugh, MusicOMH, December 2006

“…The attendant gypsies, smugglers and officers were all excellent, with the young South African baritone Jacques Imbrailo making a particularly strong mark as Morales …”
Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph, December 2006

“…Jacques Imbrailo’s easy Morales is a rare treat among the wooden soldiers …”
Anna Picard, Independent on Sunday, December 2006

“…Jacques Imbrailo as Morales and Matthew Rose as Zuniga made the most of their roles …”
Clare Colvin, Sunday Express, December 2006

“…South African Jacques Imbrailo, one of the ROH’s new Young Artists, makes an impressive debut in the tiny part of Morales …”
Hugh Canning, Sunday Times, December 2006


Jacques Imbraillo press quotes Download
Jacques Imbrailo biography Download
Jacques Imbrailo biography (short) Download


Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Download
Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Download
Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Download
Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Download
Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Download
Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Download
Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Download
Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Download
Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Jacques Imbrailo (credit: Sim Canetty-Clarke) Download
Artist News

More Jacques Imbrailo news

  • Watch an extract of Jacques Imbrailo singing Pelléas in Pelleas et Mélisande at the Aalto Musiktheater in Essen: