Henry Waddington



Helen Hogh
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Fiona Wells
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Groves Artists represents Henry Waddington worldwide


Born in Kent, Henry Waddington studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Barbara Robotham, and he made his operatic debut there as Bottom in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a role he reprised for Opera North in the 2013/14 season.

He joined Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 1992, singing the role of The Madhouse Keeper in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, a role he repeated with Glyndebourne Festival in 1994.  Other roles for Glyndebourne have included Stage Hand/ The Makropoulos Case, Antonio/The Marriage of Figaro, Graf Lamoral /Arabella, Major Domo and La Roche (cover)/Capriccio, Quince /A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Valens/Theodora, Don Fernando/Fidelio, Christus / Bach St Matthew Passion and the title role in Saul/Handel. For Glyndebourne on Tour he has sung Colline/La Bohème, Publio/La Clemenza di Tito, Valens, Don Magnifico/Cenerentola and Don Alfonso/Così fan tutte.   He works regularly with all of the UK opera companies including Fiorello/Il barbiere di Siviglia, Sacristan/Tosca, Zuniga/Carmen and Spinellocchio /Gianni Schicci for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Colline, Sacristan, Police Commissar/Der Rosenkavalier, First Workman/ Wozzeck, Geronimo/The Secret Marriage, Cyrus/Croesus (by Keiser),  Bartolo / Le nozze di Figaro and Frère Laurent/Roméo et Juliette for Opera North, Count Horn/Un ballo in maschera, Don Basilio/Il Barbiere di Siviglia and First Nazarene/Salome for Welsh National Opera and  Man at window, Old man, Youth, Beggar all in Martinu’s Julietta, Jupiter/Castor and Pollux, Sacristan / Tosca and Lt. Ratcliffe/Billy Budd for  English National Opera.  For Grange Park Opera he has sung Leporello/Don Giovanni and for Garsington Opera Buralicchio in L’equivoco stravagante by Rossini and Don Magnifico.   Other roles include Banquo/Macbeth, Tutor/Le Comte Ory, Kichiga/Tchaikovsky’s The Enchantress, Farlaf/Glinka’s Russlan and Ludmilla, and  Haly/L’Italiana in Algeri.  He made his debut at La Monnaie in Brussels singing Soligni/Three Sisters (by Peter Eotvos) and has returned to sing Plutone/Orfeo, Brander/La damnation de Faust, Dieu infernale and Oracle in Alceste, and Quince.   He has also sung Quince for the Liceu in Barcelona and the Teatro Real in Madrid.  For Netherlands Opera he has sung Lt. Ratcliffe.

Recent and future operatic engagements include Sacristan / Tosca for Covent Garden,  Zuniga /Carmen and Bartolo for Welsh National Opera, Stárek, / Jenufa for Netherlands Opera, Pallante for the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, Pastor Oberlin/Jakob Lenz for Staatstheater Stuttgart, La Monnaie and for the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Kothner / Die Meistersinger and Quince for Glyndebourne, title role in Falstaff, Publio/La clemenza di Tito, Lodovico/Otello,  Bottom,  Don Magnifico, Priest / Cunning Little Vixen and Baron Ochs / Der Rosenkavalier  for Opera North, Swallow/Peter Grimes for Aldeburgh Festival,  Falstaff (title role), Don Alfonso and Barone di Kelibar / Un Giorgno di Regno for Garsington Opera, Gobrias / Belshazzar for The Grange Festival,  Baron Ochs for the Norwegian National Opera and the Staatstheater Nürnberg,  Bartolo for Glyndebourne on Tour, Quince for  the Aix en Provence Festival.

Henry’s concert performances of operas have included Vaughan Williams’ Sir John in Love with British Youth Opera, Keeper of the Madhouse/The Rake’s Progress with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Davis at the Royal Festival Hall, Callestene/Poliuto and Oroe/Semiramide for the Chelsea Opera Group in London as well as Wozzeck with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa Pekka Salonen in Europe and the US.

Concert performances include the Mozart Mass in C for the Salzburg Festival and Ivor Bolton, Brander/La damnation de Faust for the Philharmonia under Charles Dutoit,  Puccini Messe di Gloria and Berlioz L’Enfance du Christ with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, a tour of Handel’s Solomon with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under René Jacobs including concerts in London, Paris and New York, and Handel Israel in Egypt with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Emmanuelle Haïm at the 2008 Edinburgh International Festival.  He has performed Kurt Weill’s The Firebrand of Florence with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis, as well as a concert and recording of Getty’s Plump Jack at St John’s Smith Square.  He has sung Handel Messiah with the Philharmonia, the English Concert under Harry Bicket and the Huddersfield Choral Society, Haydn’s Seven Last Words for the Edinburgh Festival and Haydn Arias at the Wigmore Hall with the Classical Opera Company.

Future and recent concert engagements include Berlioz L’Enfance du Christ with BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Bach St Matthew Passion with Aberdeen Bach Choir, St Alban’s Bach Choir and Birmingham Bach Choir, Tippett’s A Child of Our Time with Cambridge University Music Society and the Orchestre National Pays de Loire, Rossini Petite Messe Solonelle with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra,  Handel’s Messiah with the Hallé, Huddersfield Choral Society,  Royal Northern Sinfonia, Ulster Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Orquesta da Euskadi, The Sixteen, the King’s Consort, Orquesta Sinfonica Castilla y Leon, Handel and Haydn Society and the Cleveland Orchestra, The Creation with the Huddersfield Choral Society, Der Kaiser von Atlantis with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Judas Maccabaeus with the Rias Kammerchor at the Berlin Philharmonie and Fauré Requiem at Wells Cathedral.

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


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  • Falstaff, Opera North

    [Waddington] sings the part with a wonderfully rich, sustained timbre. It reminds you that Falstaff has nobility as well as venality.

    Richard Morrison The Times, 2023
  • Kaiser von Atlantis at the Barbican

    Most potent of all, however, was Henry Waddington’s Death, who makes it quite clear that the job of deciding when people die belongs to him and not to the Emperor. Waddington was hugely impressive at the low end of his range (the role goes very low indeed) and his apology aria, explaining his nature and why it is necessary that he exists, was one of the most compelling pieces of opera I’ve seen in a long time. He provided penetrating comedy also, complaining that war isn’t what it used to be in the days when he would rock up to battlefields filled with brightly coloured uniforms and gaily caparisoned horses.

    David Karlin Bachtrack / 24 January 2022
  • Falstaff at Garsington Opera

    Any Falstaff rises and falls by its eponymous hero, and Henry Waddington’s Sir John is a rather subtler characterisation than we might expect. Beginning from a surprisingly muted start, Waddington steadily excavates his character with forensic skill. With his unending self-delusions, and his secret fears about growing old, death is never far from Falstaff, and Waddington never lets us forget that, even as he girds his loins (literally) for his ill-fated romantic expeditions in kilt and sporran. Falstaff’s castigation of honour, and his first “Va, vecchio John” invite us inside the character, but it is when he emerges, filthy, from the Thames to sing “Mondo ladro. Mondo rubaldo…” that the devastating inner sadness hits us, and Falstaff’s connection to Rigoletto, another Verdi tortured clown, feels unmistakeable.

    Charlotte Valori Bachtrack
  • La Cenerentola at Opera North

    … their father the Don who’s a party piece for Italian speed-singers and, in Collins’s production, a show-stealing opportunity that Waddington grabs with both hands. The burly bass-baritone is a comic scream as proprietor, tutor and fleecer of proud parents at ‘Don Magnifico’s Scuola di danza’. Always game for a self-deprecating sight gag, this formidable artist also sings dazzlingly and natters Rossini’s patter to the manner born.

    Mark Valencia What's On Stage
  • Belshazzar at The Grange Festival

    Henry Waddington is always a sympathetic presence, and his Gobrias was genuinely moving in his desire to destroy Belshazzar in revenge for the murder of his beloved son.

    Melanie Eskenazi Music OMH
  • Falstaff, Opera North

    Henry Waddington breathes life into Falstaff, embracing the character’s virtue with a twinkle in his eye and an unfailing sense of humour.

    Thom Bamford I Heart Manchester, November 2023


  • Henry Waddington to sing his first Baron Ochs at Opera North in 2016/17

    Henry Waddington to sing his first Baron Ochs at Opera North in 2016/17

  • Roderick Williams wins the singer category in 2016 RPS Awards

    Roderick Williams wins the singer category in 2016 RPS Awards

  • Ingpen artists to feature in Glyndebourne Festival 2017

    Ingpen artists to feature in Glyndebourne Festival 2017

  • Ingpen artists star in Opera North’s 16/17 season

    Ingpen artists star in Opera North’s 16/17 season

  • Ingpen & Williams Artists feature widely in the RPS Awards shortlist

    Ingpen & Williams Artists feature widely in the RPS Awards shortlist

  • Ingpen & Williams artists feature in Opera Awards shortlist

    Ingpen & Williams artists feature in Opera Awards shortlist