"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"
"Towers is clearly one of the most promising singers in his field at the moment"
Hugh Canning, Opera Magazine
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’s Belshazzar with Nicholas McGegan in San Francisco, Handel’s Messiah in Dresden with the MDR and with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Laurence Cummings, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Lars Vogt, Bach’s St John Passion with the BBCNOW and John Butt, and the premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s Angel Fighter in the Leipzig Bach Festival.
Recent and forthcoming highlights include Death in Venice for Staatstheater Stuttgart, the title role in Radamisto for English Touring Opera, Bach’s Mass in B minor with Jonathan Cohen, the Britten Canticles at Fundación Juan March, Madrid with Roger Vignoles, and Bach’s Easter Oratorio with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.
Radamisto (Title Role)
English Touring Opera
The star of the evening is William Towers, the counter-tenor in the title role: tall, commanding, and physically expressive, he sings with a refined musicality, and a delicacy of sound which for most of the time conceals the power held in reserve
Michael Church, The Independent
William Towers heads the cast as a countertenor Radamisto with a soft-edged, warmly expressive voice
Richard Fairman, Financial Times
Countertenor William Towers a handsome, melancholy titular hero, singing the opera's most celebrated aria 'Ombra cara' with feeling
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph
William Towers supplies lucid tone and dramatic stature
George Hall, Opera Now
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
The four soloists were wonderful, most especially countertenor William Towers, a last minute replacement. His voice enchanting
Andy Martin, Bournemouth Echo
Cambridge Handel Opera Company
The musical highlight of my entire week, however, was the messa di voce with which Towers, as Bertarido, began his first aria, “Dov’è sei” (“Oh, where are you”). Beginning pianissimo, Towers made a slow crescendo, never losing the purity of the note, and then, miraculously, an equally long decrescendo back to the original volume, and still without a break, continued the full phrase to the end. I was not expecting this, and time seemed to stand still
Ellen T Harris, American Handel Society
The voice is utterly beautiful, and Towers' command of it superb (this was evident from almost his first sound, a fermata note held almost - but not quite - too long to bear, leading into his first aria)
Adrian Horsewood, Classical Music Magazine
St Matthew Passion
York Early Music Festival
Among the solo numbers, Erbarme Dich was sublime and poignant, William Towers’ ravishing alto warm and beautifully sustained.
Robert Gammon, The York Press
BBC Symphony Orchestra
…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
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 ****
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
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
The Gospel According to the Other Mary (Countertenor III)
The Tempest (Stephano)
La Giuditta (Ozia)
Gawain (Bishop Baldwyn)
Minotaur (5th Innocent)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Oberon)
Death in Venice (Voice of Apollo)
La Callisto (Endimione)
Flight (The Refugee)
Orfeo ed Euridice (Orfeo)
Giulio Cesare (Cesare / Tolomeo)
Orlando (Orlando / Medoro)
Rinaldo (Eustazio / Cristiano Mago)
L'incoronazione di Poppea (Ottone)
Mitridate Re di Ponto (Farnace)
Ascanio in Alba (Ascanio)
Dido & Aeneas (Sorceress / Spirit)
Fairy Queen (Countertenor parts)
La Giuditta (Ozia)
Orlando Furioso (Ruggiero)
Night at the Chinese Opera (The Military Governor)
William Towers Concert Repertoire
The Last Supper (Little James)
Ode on the Death of Mr H.Purcell
Ode for the Peace of Utrecht
The Rio Grande
Come, ye Sons of Art
David Pugna et Victoria (Saul)