Brian Smith Walters
Described by Pierre Boulez as ‘un musicien formidable’ and ‘unflaggingly robust’ by Opera Magazine, British-American tenor Brian Smith Walters began his musical career as a French horn player before turning to singing. In his career, Brian has performed over 75 roles, including Tristan TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, the title role SIEGFRIED, the title role PARSIFAL, Siegmund DIE WALKÜRE, Paul DIE TOTE STADT, Samson SAMSON ET DALILA, Captain Vere BILLY BUDD and the title role PETER GRIMES. He has worked with conductors Valery Gergiev, Sir Mark Elder, and Christoph Eschenbach in festivals such as Lucerne, Schleswig-Holstein, Longborough, Buxton, Grange Park, and Aldeburgh with additional work at the Barbican and Royal Opera, Covent Garden.
Recent career highlights have included performing the role of Mark in Ethel Smyth THE WRECKERS as part of the centenary of women’s suffrage, participating in the finals of the prestigious Lauritz Melchior International Singing Competition, and making his New York debut, singing Siegmund DIE WALKÜRE at Carnegie Hall for Manhattan Opera.
Other recent engagements include Menalas DIE ÄGYPTISCHE HELENA with Regent’s Opera and Andrei in the English premiere of Tchaikovsky THE OPRICHNIK with Chelsea Opera Group. In contemporary music, he has premiered various works by Nicola LeFanu, Michael Torke, Domenic Muldowney, and Ailis Ni Riain and has also collaborated with Harrison Birtwistle, Oliver Knussen, and Pierre Boulez on performances of their works. As a student, Brian was the UK’s sole representative to the first Lucerne Festival academy for contemporary music.
Brian has performed on BBC Radios 3 and 4; SWR Radio (Switzerland); NDR Radio and Television (Germany); and African Television. The Financial Times called Brian ‘full-blooded’; The Times acclaimed his ‘bravura’ Menalas; Seen and Heard International described him as ‘Every inch a Heldentenor’; and Harmony Magazine said, ‘In short, he knocked it so far out of the park that the search the ball had to be called off.’ Brian’s debut solo album, A Phoenix Rising is due for upcoming release on Parma Recording’s Navona label in September 2023, with worldwide distribution through Naxos International.