"Not only is he blessed with a strong, expressive voice, he was also able to switch from delightful comedy to deadly gravity in an instant. It was an enticing character study"
– Das Rheingold/Loge, Opera National de Paris - Opera Magazine
At the outset of his career, British tenor Kim Begley joined the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as a principal tenor and in six seasons sang over thirty roles. Returning there regularly as a guest, recent productions have included Wozzeck (Drum Major) conducted by Music Director Antonio Pappano, Die Walküre (Siegmund) with Bernard Haitink and Billy Budd (Captain Vere) with the late Sir Richard Hickox.
Begley has been a frequent guest at both the Glyndebourne Festival and English National Opera. Major roles in Janáček's operas, which have featured heavily in Kim’s career, were debuted at Glyndebourne, which was also the stage for his first Florestan (Fidelio), conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. For English National Opera Begley has performed principal roles by Britten, Janáček and Mussorgsky as well as his first portrayal of Wagner’s Parsifal, which saw him nominated for an Olivier Award. 2011/12 featured a highly-acclaimed return to English National Opera, firstly as Walter in David Pountney’s production ofMieczyslaw Weinberg’s The Passenger, followed by Captain Vere in David Alden’s new production of Billy Budd under Music Director, Edward Gardner.
Throughout a career which has spanned more than three decades, Kim Begley has remained in demand for operatic engagements across Europe and North America, having performed leading roles at the opera houses in Frankfurt, Barcelona, Brussels, Dresden, as well as in Amsterdam, at both the Opera national and Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, at La Scala Milan, Berlin’s Staatsoper, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and in the Grand Théâtre de Genève. His American operatic debut was at Lyric Opera of Chicago, followed by debuts at San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera and Los Angeles Opera. Following his first appearance in 2003 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera (Jenůfa), conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, Kim has returned frequently to the house, creating the role of Samuel Griffith in Tobias Picker’s world premiere An American Tragedy, for his debut as Pierre (War and Peace) with Valery Gergiev as well as Herod (Salome) with Patrick Summers and Loge (Das Rheingold) with James Levine. It was as Loge, a role which has featured prominently in his career, that Kim Begley made his Bayreuth Festival debut in a new production of Das Rheingold created by Jürgen Flimm and conducted by the late Giuseppe Sinopoli.
Also a versatile concert artist, Kim Begley’s core repertoire includes Britten’s War Requiem, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Liszt's Faust Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Missa Solemnis, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and Symphony No. 8.
Boasting a varied discography, Begley's work on disc includes Falstaff conducted by Solti, Salomé and Das Rheingold with von Dohnànyi forDecca; Florestan (Leonore) with Gardiner (for DG Archiv) and the Grammy award-winning Dr Faustus by Busoni, conducted by Nagano (Erato). Begley also features as Herod on two DVD recordings of Salome, in productions from both The Metropolitan Opera and Festspielhaus Baden-Baden.
Recent seasons have included two role debuts: in Paris as Selim (The Rake’s Progress) and in Montpellier as Aegist (Elektra). Last season’s return to Opéra national de Paris marked a great personal success as Loge (Das Rheingold), conducted by Philippe Jordan.
This season Begley returns again to Paris under Music Director Philippe Jordan as Aegist in Robert Carsen’s new production of Elektra – a role he also sings with the Sydney Symphony under David Robertson. In concert Kim sings Britten’s War Requiem at the George Enescu Festival under James Judd and joins the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra for Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast by Coleridge-Taylor.