On 23 April Sam Furness made his Royal Opera House debut as the Novice in Deborah Warner's production of Billy Budd, a role he has previously sung at the Teatro Real in Madrid and the Teatro Municipal de Santiago. His performance has earned him excellent reviews:
Among a strong supporting cast, Sam Furness stands out as the groveling hapless Novice
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph ★★★★★
Britten’s all-male opera demands character singing of the highest quality, and this production highlights British male talent spanning three decades... the wide-eyed Novice of Sam Furness, everyone makes their mark in this motley crew.
Amanda Holloway, The Stage ★★★★★
Among the minor characters... Sam Furness’s Novice – broken by a flogging, then turning into Billy’s betraying Judas – are vividly portrayed.
Michael Church, The Independent ★★★★
There is a notable debut from Sam Furness as the tortured Novice, bullied by Claggart into betraying Billy
Hugh Canning, The Times
In his ROH debut, Sam Furness shone as the bullied Novice
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer ★★★★
There is a host of stand-out performances in the smaller roles... Sam Furness goes from strength to strength in his intensely sung Novice
Peter Reed, Classical Source ★★★
Sam returns to the Royal Opera House later this season for his role debut as the Simpleton Boris Godunov, before making his house and role debut as Albert Gregor The Makropulos Case at Opernhaus Zürich in September 2019.
The sold-out run of Billy Budd continues until 10 May 2019, with a limited number of tickets available each week as part of the Friday Rush scheme. More information is available on the Royal Opera House website.