Robert Hayward studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he sang several roles including Figaro/The Marriage of Figaro and the title role in Verdi’s Falstaff. Following a year at the National Opera Studio, he joined Glyndebourne Touring Opera and made his professional opera debut singing the title role of Don Giovanni in 1986.
Since then his roles have included Figaro and Count/Le Nozze di Figaro, the title roles in Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin, Marcello/La Bohème, Mandryka/Arabella, Theseus/A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Haushofmeister/Capriccio, Tomsky/The Queen of Spades, Escamillo/Carmen, Sharpless/Butterfly, Robert Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, Golaud/Pelleas et Melisande, Jokanaan/Salome, Germont/Traviata, High Priest/Samson and Delila, Nick Shadow/The Rake’s Progress, Ford/Falstaff, Pizarro/Beethoven’s Leonore and Fidelio, Khovansky/Khovanshchina,, Shishkov/From the House of the Dead, Scarpia/Tosca, Iago/Otello, Baron Prus/Makropolous Case, Dr Schön/Lulu, Simone in Zemlinsky’s Florentine Tragedy, Amfortas/Parsifal, Telramund/Lohengrin, Kurwenal/Tristan, Wotan/The Ring, the title roles in Dallapiccola Il prigioniero, Bluebeard’s Castle, Saul, Falstaff, Macbeth, The Flying Dutchman and Mazeppa.
He has appeared at all the major UK opera houses. His portrayal of Wotan/Wanderer in ENO’s RING production was described by the Guardian as “overwhelming in his lyricism” (The Guardian). His interpretation of Dr Schön in ENO’s Lulu has been recorded and released on Chandos Records.
In 1988 he made his American debut singing Figaro/Le Nozze di Figaro for Houston Grand Opera, and has subsequently sung with the Minnesota, Cincinnati, San Diego and Dallas Operas. He has sung with the Bayerische Staatsoper, Stuttgart Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Opéra de Nantes, New Israeli Opera and at the Edinburgh International Festival.
He has appeared with many of this country’s leading orchestras and concert engagements have included Belshazzar’s Feast with the Bournemouth Symphony, Messiah with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Hallé and London Philharmonic Orchestras, Tippett The Mask of Time, Mendelssohn Elijah and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Haydn Creation with the Hallé, the role of the Peasant in Gurrelieder, Mahler Das Klagende Lied and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the English Northern Philharmonia, Haydn Creation in Lisbon and with the Philharmonia under Claus Peter Flor, The Dream of Gerontius with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, and in Copenhagen, the Mozart Requiem with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Georg Solti, and Das Klagende Lied with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the Bath Festival and in a recording for Chandos Records.
Recent and forthcoming operatic engagements include Moses / Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron and Debussy’s La chute de la maison Usher, Ivan Khovansky and Commandant / From the House of the Dead for Welsh National Opera, Prus, Jack Rance / Fanciulla del West , Balstrode / Peter Grimes, Carlo Gerard / Andrea Chénier, Jokannen / Salome, Frank Maurrant / Street Scene, Pizarro / Fidelio, Scarpia and Amfortas for Opera North, Prus for Opera de Nantes, Jokannen with Opéra de Montréal, the title roles in Il Prigioniero, Bluebeard’s Castle and Telramund/ Lohengrin all for Frankfurt Opera, Boris Ismailov / Lady Macbeth of Mstensk, Commissioner of Police / Jack the Ripper, Jupiter / Orpheus in the Underworld and The Caller / The Mask of Orpheus for English National Opera, the title role in Falstaff for The Grange Festival, Damnation of Faust for Staatstheater Stuttgart, the title roles in Mazeppa and Moses und Aron for the Komische Oper Berlin, Tonio / I Pagliacci for Scottish Opera, Bluebeard’s Castle for Los Angeles Opera and Scottish Opera as well as in concert with the National Youth Orchestra under Sir Mark Elder, a concert performance of Siegfried with Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine and Paul Daniel and Alberich in concert performances of the Ring Cycle with the London Philharmonic Orchestra / Jurowski. During 2020/21 he has been involved in socially distanced performances of Pagliacci with Opera Ensemble appearing at the Grange Festival, Longborough Opera and Iford Arts. Recent concert appearances include engagements with Berlin Philharmonic, Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Orquesta de Castilla y Leon.