Graham Clark (1941-2023)



Jonathan Groves
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Helen Hogh
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Groves Artists represents Graham Clark (1941-2023) worldwide


Born in Littleborough in Lancashire, Graham Clark studied with Bruce Boyce and began his operatic career with Scottish Opera in 1975. He was a Company Principal at ENO (1978-85).

He performed with all of the leading UK opera houses and his extensive international career included performances in Aix-en-Provence, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin (Deutsche Oper, Deutsche Staatsoper), Bilbao, Biwako, Bonn, Brussels, Catania, Chicago, Dallas, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hamamatsu, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, Madrid (Teatro Real, Teatro de la Zarzuela), Matsumoto (Saito Kinen), Milan (La Scala), Munich, Nagoya, Nice, Paris (Opéra Bastille, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Théâtre du Châtelet, Palais Garnier), Rome, Salzburg, San Francisco, Stockholm, Tokyo, Toronto, Toulouse, Turin, Vancouver, Vienna (Staatsoper), Yokohama, Zurich and in particular at the Bayreuth Festival, where he performed over a hundred and twenty times, and at The Metropolitan Opera, where he performed 82 times.

Graham Clark was especially associated with the works of Wagner and performed Loge and Mime / Der Ring des Nibelungen over 275 times. His extensive repertoire included Mephistopheles / Busoni’s Doktor Faust, for which he won an Olivier Award, Bégearss in the world premiere of The Ghosts of Versailles; Captain Vere / Billy Budd, Steva / Jenufa, Herodes / Salome, Hauptmann / Wozzeck, Gregor / The Makropulos Case, Prinz, Kammerdiener and Marquis / Lulu and Tanzmeister / Ariadne auf Naxos. He made his acting début as Socrates in The Trial of Socrates, Plato’s Apology at the Grand Théâtre, Luxembourg in 2011.

In concert, Graham Clark performed at venues and festivals all over the globe including in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Bamberg, Berlin, Brussels, Canaries, Chicago, Cologne, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, London (Proms), Lucerne, Milan, Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv and Washington.

He recorded extensively with the BBC, BMG, Challenge Classics, Chandos, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Erato, Etcetera, EuroArts, Oehms Classics, Opera Rara, Opus Arte, Philips, Profil, Sony, Teldec, The Met New York, United Artists, Warner Classics and WizArt.  DVDs include Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Der fliegende Holländer, Der Ring des Nibelungen (Bayreuther Festspiele); The Ghosts of Versailles, Wozzeck (The Metropolitan Opera, New York); Der Ring des Nibelungen, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Khovanshchina (Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona); Der Ring des Nibelungen (De Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam); The Makropulos Case (Canadian Opera, Toronto); Wozzeck (Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin); The Rake’s Progress (Glyndebourne Festival Opera) and The Trial of Socrates (Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg).

His operatic engagements included Wozzeck, Metanoia, Lulu and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for Berlin Staatsoper, Reimann’s Lear, Capriccio and Makropoulos Case for Oper Frankfurt, Schreker’s Der Schatzgräber/De Nederlandse Opera, Der Traum ein Leben/Theater Bonn, Capriccio/Falstaff/From the House of the Dead for Paris Opera, Hänsel und Gretel/Northern Ireland Opera, Falstaff /Glyndebourne, La Fanciulla del West/ English National Opera, a new commission by Iain Bell In parenthesis for WNO, Capriccio and Tristan und Isolde for Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and From the House of the Dead for the ROH, Brussels and Lyon, and the world premiere of Dusapin’s Macbeth Underworld for La Monnaie. Concert engagements included a concert performance of Tristan und Isolde with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in Seville, Falstaff with the CBSO, Der Rosenkavalier with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Oedipe with the LPO in London and Bucharest.

Graham Clark received three nominations, including an EMMY, for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Opera.  He was awarded the Sir Laurence Olivier Award for his performance of Mephistopheles at English National Opera in 1986, the Sir Reginald Goodall Memorial Award by the Wagner Society, London in 2001 and the Sherwin Award by The Wagner Society of Southern California in 2009.

This biography is for website use only. For a full and updated biography, please email [email protected]


  • Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder

    And we had Graham Clark as Klaus the Fool, bringing all the experience of his innumerable performances of Wagner’s Loge and Mime to bear.

    David Fanning The Sunday Telegraph
  • Ring in the changes

    Graham Clark triumphed as Mime, his performance as intense and fresh as if he’d never sung the role before.

    Anthony Peattie The Independent


  • Graham Clark 1941–2023

    Graham Clark 1941–2023

  • Graham Clark in Berg Double with Barenboim in Berlin

    Graham Clark in Berg Double with Barenboim in Berlin

  • Sir Mark Elder and Graham Clark in opening weekend of Glyndebourne 2013

    Sir Mark Elder and Graham Clark in opening weekend of Glyndebourne 2013