One of the most exciting tenors Britain has to offer today, tenor David Butt Philip has attracted major acclaim with recent debuts such as title role Der Zwerg at Deutsche Oper Berlin, the title role of Brett Dean’s Hamlet at Glyndebourne, Essex Gloriana at Teatro Real, Erik Der fliegende Hollander at Opéra de Lille, Laca Jenufa at Opera North and Grigoriy Boris Godunov at Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the BBC Proms. An alumnus of the Jette Parker Young Artists Program, Royal Opera House his current and future engagements include debuts with Wiener Staatsoper, Staatsoper Berlin, Opera Australia, and the Metropoilitan Opera, New York as well as returns to Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Glyndebourne and Deutsche Oper Berlin.
In the 2019/20 season, Butt Philip makes a series of exciting debuts including Florestan in a new Fidelio at Glyndebourne and in Prague; Prince Rusalka at ENO, where audiences can also see him as Don Jose Carmen; a major role and house debut as Lohengrin with Opera Australia; and a company debut at Oper Köln in the title role of Brett Dean’s Hamlet in a new production by Matthew Jocelyn. Highlights on the concert platform include Verdi Requiem with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and performances of Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin at New Year, and with the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder at Bridgewater Hall and the Barbican.
Last season, Butt Philip debuted the title role of Der Zwerg in a new production by Tobias Kratzer at Deutsche Oper Berlin which earned him huge international critical acclaim. He also returned to Madrid to sing Froh Das Rheingold in the new Ring Cycle production of Teatro Real. British audiences saw him at Royal Opera House as Grigoriy Boris Godunov; ENO in Daniel Kramer’s new production of Britten’s War Requiem for which he was nominated for an Olivier Award; and at Opera Holland Park in his debut as Count Vaudemont in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. His busy concert season included Beethoven Symphony No. 9 on New Years’ Eve with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin and Vladimir Jurowski, Dream of Gerontius at Gloucester Cathedral, Tippet’s A Child of our Time in Lisbon, Beethoven Missa Solemnis with Rundfunkchor Berlin and Kammerakademie Potsdam, Verdi Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall and Faust La damnation de Faust with the Hallé Orchestra.
Recent engagements include his company debut with Teatro Real as Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex in Sir David McVicar’s new production of Gloriana as well as taking on the title role of Brett Dean’s Hamlet with Glyndebourne on Tour. Other highlights include Erik Der fliegende Hollander at Opéra de Lille Folco in Mascagni’s Isabeau at Opera Holland Park, Laertes in the premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet at Glyndebourne, Narraboth Salome at Royal Opera House and Laca Jenufa with Opera North. On the concert platform, Butt Philip performed Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder, Verdi’s Requiem with the Royal Liverpool 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 and Prokofiev’s Seven, they are seven with the Philharmonia under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy. He also made his role debut as Faust La damnation de Faust in a concert performance with the Orchestra of Opera North.
On the concert platform he has performed Froh Das Rheingold with the Hallé Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood Festival, Beethoven 9 with both the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo and the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Tonnkünstler Orchestra at Musikverein Vienna, Handel’s Messiah with the Mozart Festival Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Prokofiev’s Seven, they are seven with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms, 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.
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.
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.