William Towers

Countertenor

"In the title role, the counter-tenor William Towers sang superbly, with power, dramatic confidence, ardour and sensitivity"

Stephen Pettitt, Opera Magazine

"William Towers as a thrillingly resonant Voice of Apollo"

Daily Telegraph

"Towers is clearly one of the most promising singers in his field at the moment"

Hugh Canning, Opera Magazine

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William Towers read English at Cambridge University and was a postgraduate scholar at the Royal Academy of Music. He appeared extensively as a soloist in Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach Cantata Pilgrimage and his performances in the complete Bach series have been issued on CD.

His opera engagements have included Medoro (Handel Orlando) and Farnace (Mozart Mitridate Re di Ponto) for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Oberon (Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream) for Teatro La Fenice Venice, Teatro Petruzzelli Bari, Teatro Municipale Valli Reggio Emilia,  Staatsoper Hanover, for the Royal Opera at the Linbury, and for the Aldeburgh Festival, Apollo (Britten Death in Venice) for La Monnaie Brussels, Luxembourg Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Prague State Opera, Aldeburgh Festival, Oper Frankfurt and the Bregenz Festival,  Ottone (Monteverdi L’incoronazione di Poppea) for the Teatro Real Madrid and Frankfurt, Orlando (Handel Orlando) at the Goettingen Festival, at the Drottningholm Theatre and with the Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco, Poro (Handel Poro) at the Goettingen Festival, Giulio Cesare (Handel Giulio Cesare) for Gothenburg Opera,  Unulfo (Handel Rodelinda) for the Bolshoi Moscow, Ottone (Handel Agrippina), Ruggiero (Vivaldi Orlando Furioso) and Egeo (Handel Teseo) for Frankfurt, Ottone (Handel Ottone) and Ozia (La Guiditta) at the Casa da Musica Porto, Orfeo (Gluck Orfeo) in Monte-Carlo, Cristiano Mago (Handel Rinaldo) for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Lotario (Handel Lotario) for the London Handel Festival and Eustazio (Handel Rinaldo) for Grange Park Opera. 

Equally at home in contemporary work William’s roles include 5th Innocent in Harrison Birtwistle’s Minotaur for the Royal Opera Covent Garden, John Adams's The Gospel According to the Other Mary for Theater Bonn, The Guest in the UK premiere of Salvatore Sciarrino’s Luci mie traditrici, Bishop Baldwyn in Birtwistle’s Gawain, Der Leiermann in Benedict Mason’s Playing Away, Lance in the world premiere of Paul Frehner’s Sirius on Earth and Little James in Birtwistle’s The Last Supper.

His oratorio and recital schedule has featured appearances in many major venues and festivals in the UK and abroad, including the Wigmore Hall, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Barbican Hall, Royal Albert Hall, the Grosses Festspielhaus Salzburg, Konzerthaus Vienna, National Auditorium Madrid, Three Choirs Festival, Ravenna Festival, Flanders Early Music Festival, the Festivale de Musique Ancienne de Lyon and La Chaise Dieu.  Recent concert performances include Handel’s Solomon in Estonia and Latvia, Handel Belshazzar with Nicholas McGegan in San Francisco, Handel Messiah in Dresden with the MDR and the premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s Angel Fighter in the Leipzig Bach Festival

Current and forthcoming engagements include Death in Venice for Staatstheater Stuttgart and J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Lars Vogt and in Riga, Latvia.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

St Matthew Passion

York Early Music Festival (July 2017)

Among the solo numbers, Erbarme Dich was sublime and poignant, William Towers’ ravishing alto warm and beautifully sustained.

Robert Gammon, The York Press

Gawain

BBC Symphony Orchestra (May 2014)

…all the singing was clear, steady and strong, but only Tomlinson and William Towers – a Bishop Baldwin with full, beautiful countertenor timbre and subtly shaped phrasing – did full justice to Birtwistle’s lyricism.

Andrew Porter, Opera Magazine

The Killing Flower

Music Theatre Wales (July 2013)

The two crucial encounters, with the duchess’s lover (the fine countertenor, William Towers) and with her accusing husband, are fine-tuned to a vast emotional range in a little space.

Hilary Finch, The Times ****

Teseo

Oper Frankfurt (June 2013)

William Towers, as King Egeo, is one of the two luminous pure counter-tenors of this production.

Axel Zibulski, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Too Hot to Handel

Armonico Consort

Too Hot to Handel, the Armonico Consort's romcom pastiche, had Buxton's audience eating out of its hand from the first note of counter-tenor William Towers's first recitative. With a tiny on-stage band, and music drawn from the operas Xerxes, Orlando, Giulio Cesare, Poro and Agrippina, this breezy, demotic two-hander sees Towers and soprano Yvette Bonner meet, fall in love, move in together, split up acrimoniously, comfort eat and reunite, with a little help from a lost dog, a bunch of balloons and a flurry of snowflakes. Beautifully sung by both leads

Anna Picard, The Independent

Towers has devised a modern boy-meets-girl-in-a-bedsit libretto to accommodate some of Handel’s most glorious numbers – from Giulio Cesare, Poro, Orlando, even a chorus from Messiah – into a tale of poignancy and (equally important) laughter. He justifies the idea by pointing out that, in the fashion of the time, Handel was just as shameless in pirating his own scores, or those of others. At this performance, another justification was surely the calibre of the finished product. The production talked down to no one, but fizzed from one aria to another…The singing duo was a delight: Towers and Yvette Bonner…Towers’ ‘Under the branches’ (from Orlando) was magical; his ratty, obsessive ’I’ll keep quiet’ typified this giddy match of updated text to Baroque aria; and his coloratura while mixing vodka and aftershave was a joy.

Roderic Dunnett, Opera Magazine

William Towers Opera Repertoire

ADAMS

The Gospel According to the Other Mary (Countertenor III)

ADES

The Tempest (Stephano)
Almeida
La Giuditta (Ozia)

BRITTEN

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Oberon)
Death in Venice (Voice of Apollo)

CAVALLI

La Callisto (Endimione)

DOVE

Flight (The Refugee)

GLUCK

Orfeo ed Euridice (Orfeo)

HANDEL

Agrippina (Ottone)
Giulio Cesare (Cesare / Tolomeo)
Lotario (Lotario)
Orlanda (Orlando / Medoro)
Ottone (Ottone)
Poro (Poro)
Rinaldo (Eustazio / Mago Cristiano)
Rodelinda (Unulfo)
Semele (Athamas)
Xerxes/Serse (Arsamenes)

MONTEVERDI

Poppea (Ottone)

MOZART

Mitridate (Farnace)
Ascanio in Alba (Ascanio)

PORPORA

L'Agrippina (Giunio)

PURCELL

Dido & Aeneas (Sorceress / Spirit)
Fairy Queen (Countertenor parts)

VIVALDI

Orlando Furioso (Ruggiero)

WEIR

Night at the Chinese Opera (The Military Governor)

William Towers Concert Repertoire

BACH

Cantatas (Complete)
Christmas Oratorio
Easter Oratorio
Lutheran Mass in G
Magnificat
Mass in B minor
St John Passion
St Mark Passion
St Matthew Passion

BERNSTEIN

Chichester Psalms

BIRTWISTLE

Angel Fighter

The Last Supper (Little James)

BLOW

Ode on the Death of Mr H.Purcell

BRITTEN

Canticles

CROFT

Ode for the Peace of Utrecht

HANDEL

Belshazzar (Daniel)
Dixit Dominus
Foundling Hospital Anthem
Israel in Egypt
Joshua (Othniel)
Messiah
Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne
Samson (Micah)
Saul (David)
Semele (Athamas)
Theodora (Didymus)
Utrecht Te Deum & Jubilate

LAMBERT

The Rio Grande

MOZART

Coronation Mass

ORFF

Carmina Burana

PERGOLESI

Stabat Mater

PURCELL

Come, ye Sons of Art
Hail bright Cecilia
Indian Queen
Now does the glorious day appear

SCARLATTI

David Pugna et Victoria (Saul)
Salve Regina

VIVALDI

Gloria
Nisi Dominus
Stabat Mater

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