One of the most exciting tenors Britain has to offer today, David Butt Philip is quickly becoming a firm favorite on the major international stages. An alumnus of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme, his recent debuts in roles such as title role Der Zwerg at Deutsche Oper Berlin, Florestan Fidelio at Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Bacchus Ariadne auf Naxos at the Edinburgh International Festival, have earned him major critical and public acclaim. This season Butt Philip makes a series of highly anticipated company debuts: at the Metropolitan Opera with a double appearance: as Grigory Boris Godunuv and in the American premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet as Laertes; at Washington National Opera with a series of celebratory concerts conducted by Evan Rogister, which mark the re-opening of the Kennedy Center; and finally an eagerly awaited debut with the Salzburg Festival. Butt Philip also makes a double appearance at the Deutsche Oper Berlin: in the title role of the production which launched his international career, Der Zwerg and with a much anticipated role debut as Lohengrin. On the concert platform, Butt Philip joins for Noord Nederlands Orkest for Mahler Das Lied von der Erde; Orchestre de l’Opéra de Rouen Normandie for Beethoven Missa Solemnis; and an appearance with The Hallé and Sir Mark Elder.
Last season, Butt Philip was seen as the Prince at Teatro Real in Christof Loy’s new production of Rusalka; Rodolfo at the English National Opera in their Drive & Live production of La bohème; Boris in a new production of Katja Kabanova at Glyndebourne; and Laca in a concert version of Janáček’s Jenůfa with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Karina Canellakis at the Concergebouw in Amsterdam. Butt Philip also joined the Edinburgh International Festival as Bacchus Ariadne auf Naxos; and returned to the Royal Opera House for their Christmas Concert conducted by Mark Wigglesworth. Further highlights include Florestan Fidelio, a role he recently debuted at the National Theatre in Prague and subsequently performed at the Royal Opera House in Tobias Kratzer’s coveted production, replacing an ailing Jonas Kaufmann. The performance starring Butt Philip and Lise Davidsen was subsequently aired on BBC4 and was met with great acclaim.
Recent engagements include the title role in Brett Dean’s Hamlet, this time in a new production by Matthew Jocelyn in Cologne; his widely acclaimed role debut in the title role of Der Zwerg in a new production by Tobias Kratzer at Deutsche Oper Berlin; Froh Das Rheingold and Essex in Sir David McVicar’s new production of Gloriana, both at Teatro Real and Erik Der fliegende Holländer at Opéra de Lille. British audiences saw him at the Royal Opera House as Grigoriy Boris Godunov and Narraboth Salome; at English National Opera in Daniel Kramer’s new production of Britten’s War Requiem for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award, Don Jose Carmen, Pinkerton and Rodolfo; at Opera Holland Park Count Vaudemont in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Folco in Mascagni’s Isabeau; at Opera North as Laca Jenufa and Luigi Il Tabarro; and in Glyndebourne as Laertes in the premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet at the Glyndebourne Festival and then the title role with them on tour.
On the concert platform, Butt Philip has performed Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with the Hallé Orchestra and the Tonnkünstler Orchestra at Musikverein Vienna; Verdi’s Requiem with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra; Britten’s War Requiem with Opera Orchestra National Montpellier and Orquestra Sinfonica Portuguesa; Brett Dean’s From Melodius Lay with Vladimir Jurowski and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin; Prokofiev’s Seven, they are seven with the Philharmonia under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy and at the BBC Proms; Faust La damnation de Faust in a concert performance with the Orchestra of Opera North and with the Hallé Orchestra; Froh Das Rheingold with the Hallé Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood Festival; Beethoven Symphony No.9 with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin and the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall; Beethoven Missa Solemnis with Rundfunkchor Berlin and Kammerakademie Potsdam; A Child of our Time in Lisbon; Handel’s Messiah with the Mozart Festival Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall; Mahler Das Klagende Lied with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra; Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle at the Barbican; and Haydn Nelson Mass with the Hallé under Sir Mark Elder.
Born and brought up in Wells in Somerset, Butt Philip was a chorister at Peterborough Cathedral. He is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, the National Opera Studio and is also a Samling Artist, an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and winner of the prestigious John Christie Award in 2011.
Title role Der Zwerg
Deutsche Oper Berlin
English National Opera
Grigory Otrepiev Boris Godunov
Royal Opera House
Froh Das Rheingold
Count Vaudemont Iolanta
Opera Holland Park
The Dream of Gerontius
Das klagende Lied
Petite messe solenelle
Don Jose Carmen
Male Chorus The Rape of Lucretia
Boris Káťa Kabanová*
Title role Werther
Tamino Die Zauberflöte
Grigoriy Boris Godunov
Pinkerton Madama Butterfly
Luigi Il tabarro
Rodolfo La bohème
Dick Johnson La fanciulla del West *
Bachus Ariadne auf Naxos*
Gabriele Adorno Simon Boccanegra*
Froh Das Rheingold
Erik Der fliegende Holländer
Walther von Stolzing Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
* in preparation
Guardian, October 2017
He sings with uncompromising conviction and blazing intensity. He’s a superb actor, too...It’s an exceptional, career-making achievement
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.