One time zoologist and National Otter Surveyor of England, Philip Smith hung up his waders to study singing, first at the Birmingham Conservatoire and then with Barbara Robotham at the Royal Northern College of Music, graduating with distinction in 2008. He is a Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme alumnus, Samling Artist and Crear Scholar. He continues to study with Robert Dean.
Recent highlights include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at the Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari; Gratiano in The Merchant of Venice (André Tchaikowsky) for the Polish National Opera; Carmina Burana at the Sage Gateshead and a concert of Schumann songs with the Prince Consort at Wigmore Hall, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
His operatic roles include Junius The Rape of Lucretia (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Reggio Emilia and Ravenna); Sid Albert Herring (Royal Danish Opera directed by Keith Warner) and Harlekin Ariadne auf Naxos (Montepulciano Festival). Other roles include Don Giovanni, Forester Cunning Little Vixen, Eugene Onegin, Leone Tamerlano, Figaro Le nozze di Figaro, Escamillo and Moralès Carmen, Ramiro L’heure espagnole and Macheath The Threepenny Opera. Roles covered include Figaro Il barbiere di Siviglia (Scottish Opera); Valentin Faust (Opera North); Arthur Jones Billy Budd & Herman Ortel Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Glyndebourne Festival Opera) and Le Dancaïre Carmen (Glyndebourne on Tour).
In concert Philip has performed with orchestras including the Hallé, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic’s Ensemble 10/10, Manchester Camerata and the Northern Sinfonia with conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Clark Rundell, David Hill and Nicholas Kraemer. Recent performances include Rossini Petite messe solennelle, Haydn The Creation, Fauré Requiem, Bach B Minor Mass, Walton Belshazzar’s Feast, Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs and Tippett A Child of Our Time.
Philip appears regularly in recital with pianists including Roger Vignoles, Malcolm Martineau and Joseph Middleton. He has performed in Santiago de Compostela, Dubai and he is a regular guest at the Uzerche International Festival (France). He has appeared at a number of the major festivals in the UK including the Aldeburgh Festival, The Kings Place Festival, Leeds Lieder Festival, Oxford Lieder Festival, the Cheltenham Festival and Wigmore Hall in a series of highly successful concerts, devised and presented by the pianist and animateur Dominic Harlan.
Broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 include Aeneas Dido & Aeneas, a song recital from the Aldeburgh Festival with Malcolm Martineau and a live broadcast on In Tune. He has recorded Tit for Tat (Britten) as well some lesser known Britten songs with Malcolm Martineau available on Onyx Classics.
Philip regularly takes part in education and community projects, he has worked with the education departments at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opera North, Leeds Lieder + Festival, Wigmore Hall, La Folia and with Theatre Royal Norwich on their Norfolk schools projects.
Engagements in the current season include his debut for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Endimion/Charon Orpheus by Luigi Rossi at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and a performance of Schubert Die schöne Müllerin at the Birmingham Conservatoire with pianist Jan Loeffler.