Counter-tenor Tim Mead is praised for his “alluring” and “consistently excellent” interpretations (New York Times). With his “rich, mellifluous sound” (Guardian), he is recognised as one of the finest across the generations of counter-tenors.
Highlights of the 2018/19 season include Endimione in Cavalli La Calisto for Teatro Real Madrid, Bertarido in Handel Rodelinda for Opera de Lille, Oberon in Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Opera of Philadelphia, and a major European recital tour with Emmanuelle Haim and Le Concert d’Astree. Mead will also travel to China for two performances of Written on Skin, perform a staged version of Messiah with Robin Ticciati and the Deutsches Symfonie-orchester Berlin, and sing Bach St John Passion with Jonathan Cohen and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Recent operatic highlights include a hugely successful debut at the Opéra National de Paris as Hamor in Handel Jephtha, Oberon in Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Bergen National Opera, the title role in Philip Glass’s Akhnaten and Ottone in Handel Agrippina at Opera Vlaanderen, a reprisal of the role of Boy/Angel in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin at the Bolshoi; a return to English National Opera as Bertarido in Handel Rodelinda, and to the Bayerische Staatsoper as Endimione in Cavalli La Calisto; the leading role in Theater Basel’s ‘Melancholia’ both in Basel and at the Holland Festival, and the title role Riccardo Primo at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Arsamene in Cavalli Xerse with Le Concert d’Astrée at Opéra de Lille, Theater an der Wien, and Theatre de Caen. Previous highlights include Goffredo and Eustazio Rinaldo at Glyndebourne, Endimione La Calisto at Bayerische Staatsoper, Voice of Apollo in Deborah Warner’s production of Death in Venice at English National Opera and De Nederlandse Opera, Angel/Boy in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin at Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse, Gulbenkian, on tour with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and in the U.S. premiere at Lincoln Center, and Tolomeo Julius Caesar at English National Opera and Deutsche Oper am Rhein. Other operatic highlights include Ottone L’incoronazione di Poppea at ENO, Opéra de Lyon, Opéra de Lille; title role Giulio Cesare at Glyndebourne, title role Orlando at Scottish Opera and Chicago Opera Theater, Clearte Niobe and the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur for the Royal Opera House, title role Admeto at International Händel Festspiele Göttingen and the Edinburgh International Festival, Ottone Agrippina in Lille and Dijon, and in concert the title role in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with the Akademie für Alte Musik.
On the concert platform Mead recently appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall, sang Bach St John Passion at the BBC Proms, headlined a tour of Asia with Harry Bicket and The English Concert as part of the Shakespeare 400 celebrations. Last season he appeared at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees singing Monteverdi and Pergolesi for Les Grandes Voix, and gave solo recitals at Wigmore Hall accompanied by James Baillieu, and at La Sainte Chapelle with Les Accents and Thibault Noally. Mead has sung Athamas in Handel Semele with the CBSO and the Handel and Haydn Society, Didymus in Handel Theodora with the Akademie fur Alte Musik, the world premiere of Theo Loevendie’s Spinoza at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam; Messiah with the New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Gabrieli Consort, Handel & Haydn Society, Academy of Ancient Music, Le Concert d’Astree; Bach B Minor Mass with The English Concert and with Les Arts Florissants and William Christie in France, Spain, and at the BBC Proms; Bach Magnificat with Le Concert d’Astree, Bach St Matthew Passion with London Handel Festival and De Nederlandse Bachvereniging, Handel Theodora with the English Concert, Handel Solomon with Akademie für Alte Musik, Handel Judas Maccabaeus with the OAE, Handel Joseph and his Brethren at the International Händel Festspiele Göttingen.
Mead’s substantial discography includes Bach St Matthew Passion and B Minor Mass, the Handel oratorios Messiah, Saul, Solomon, Israel in Egypt, and The Triumph of Time and Truth, the Handel operas Admeto, Flavio, Riccardo Primo and Rinaldo, and Monteverdi L’incoronazione di Poppea. His 2017 recording of Pergolesi Stabat Mater and Bach Cantatas with La Nuova Musica has garnered critical acclaim, and this year he will release a solo disc of works by Vivaldi for Alpha.
Mead read Music as a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, before winning a number of scholarships to continue his vocal studies at the Royal College of Music.
Mass in B minor
St. John Passion
St. Matthew Passion
Israel in Egypt
Joseph and his Brethren
Angel 1/The Boy Written on Skin
Innocent 5 The Minotaur
Oberon A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Voice of Apollo Death in Venice
Endimione La Calisto
Paggio & Ombra di Bussiride Ercole Amante
Title role Akhnaten
Orfeo Orfeo ed Euridice
Title role Admeto
Title role Ezio
Title role Flavio
Cesare & Tolomeo Giulio Cesare
Title role Orlando
Title role Riccardo Primo
Title role Rinaldo
Title role Siroe
Ottone L’incoronazion di Poppea
Jalal Varjak Paw
Mead brought a virile stage presence along with powerful yet supple vocalism that made him sound like the heir apparent to star countertenor David Daniels.
St Louis Post-Dispatch
The cast is headed by the extraordinary British countertenor Tim Mead. Tall and handsome, Mead has an amazing technique, and an unusually full sound, with a real core to it. His coloratura was spectacular, his acting convincing, and he brought down the house on Sunday night.
Seen and Heard International
Here was the sort of counter-tenor one only dreams about: laser-like pitching and tone, yet not uncomfortably acid sounding and capable of huge emotion... Mead rose magnificently to the challenge, with the aria, 'Sweet rose and lilly' perhaps demonstrating his art at its height.