"Resonant and powerful upper range and exquisite tone": William Towers in role debut as the Refugee in Flight for Pacific Opera

3 March 2020

William Towers has received fantastic reviews for his role debut as the Refugee in Jonathan Dove's Flight, for Pacific Opera in Victoria, Canada. This was also Towers's house debut for this Canadian company.

"As soon as he come on stage, from the opera’s very first notes, William Towers’ Refugee is marked as an outsider from his unearthly countertenor to his lack of shoes—but he is not downtrodden. He may beg for food, yes, but he has somehow not lost his sense of self. When he finally reveals the story behind his state-less limbo in Act III (he and his twin brother, who carried their papers, stowed away inside the wheel covers of a jet; only he survived), his resonant and powerful upper range and exquisite tone make the aria a jewel. We now yearn for him to succeed, to build a new life" - Robin J. Miller, OperaCanada

"In Flight, the refugee is played by countertenor William Towers. There is no overture; we meet this character immediately. Towers appears barefoot, unshaven and dishevelled, clutching a suitcase. The refugee is portrayed as a mystical loner cast into purgatory — a sense amplified by the uncanny tonal beauty of Towers’ upper-register singing." - Adrian Chamberlain, Times Colonist

"The opera begins with The Refugee, barefoot and disheveled, looking for someone to help him. English countertenor William Towers captures the innocence and anguish of the character with the ethereal clarity of singing in the head voice, above the range of a typical male tenor and much stronger than a falsetto." - Check the Program

William has also received high praise from the director of the production, Morris Panych, in an interview for OperaCanada.

“Will is a great actor,” said Panych. “He’s bringing a lot of empathy to the character, without [even] trying and we’ve worked together on trying to make him empathetic without being sad. We’re trying to keep the character positive."...Towers is no stranger to countertenor roles in contemporary opera, having originated roles in world premieres like Harrison Birtwhistle’s Minotaur and Paul Frehner’s Sirius on Earth. Panych uses Towers’ strong and resonant upper range to further isolate the refugee from the rest of the people in the airport. - Mark McKelvie, OperaCanada

PHOTO CREDIT: David Cooper Photography

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