Christopher Turner

Born in Birmingham, Christopher Turner read Music at the University of Hull, furthering his studies with Barbara Robotham at the Royal Northern College of Music and at the National Opera Studio, where he was sponsored by the Scottish Endowment Trust and The Friends of Covent Garden. He has received many prizes, including The Michael and Joyce Kennedy Prize for Singing Strauss, The Frederic Cox Prize, the Elizabeth Harwood Prize, and, most recently, a Countess of Munster ‘Young Star’ Award and the Sybil Tutton Award from the Musicians Benevolent Fund. He was also a major scholar of the Sir Peter Moores Foundation.

Christopher Turner made his professional début as Dr Blind Die Fledermaus for Scottish Opera On Tour before joining the Young Singers Programme at English National Opera where roles include Robert Wilson Doctor Atomic, First Armed Man/First Priest The Magic Flute, Beppe Pagliacci, Simpleton Boris Godunov, Spoletta Tosca, Pong Turandot and Messenger Aida. Since then he has sung Don Ottavio (Opera North/Diva Opera in France), Roderigo Otello (Opera North), Janek The Makropulos Case and Esquire Parsifal (English National Opera) Borsa Rigoletto and Pong Turandot (Scottish Opera), Dr Caius Falstaff (Opera Holland Park), Damon Acis and Galatea, Prunier La Rondine and Iro The Return of Ulisses (Iford Arts), title role Albert Herring (Mid Wales Opera), Tebaldo I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Chelsea Opera Group), Ecclitico Il Mondo della Luna (English Touring Opera) and Artemidoro in Salieri’s La grotta di Trofonio, Sempronio in Haydn’s The Apothecary, Jupiter in Gluck’s Philemon and Baucis and the title role in Arne’s The Judgement of Paris (Bampton Classical Opera). In summer 2015 he made his Italian debut singing Inquisitor/Sultan Achmet in Candide (Opera de Firenze).

Christopher Turner performs regularly in concert and his performances have taken him throughout the UK, and also to Europe and the Far East. Recent engagements include Beethoven Ninth Symphony with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall and with the Philharmonia at the Lichfield Festival, Mozart Requiem and Messiah with the Orchestra of St John’s Smith Square, and Messiah at Cadogan Hall with the London Chamber Orchestra. He has recorded Aubrey Maria di Rohan and Keeper of the Tower Pia dei Tolomei for Opera Rara.

Last season included Augusto in Leoncavallo’s Zazà with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican (also recorded by Opera Rara), Tibrino in Cesti’s Orontea with La Nuova Musica at the Wigmore Hall, Fabio in Handel’s Berenice with La Nuova Musica in Göttingen and Macduff Macbeth for Iford Arts.

Plans include a return to Florence to sing Giuliano in Handel’s Rodrigo with La Nuova Musica, Dormont La Scala di Seta, Rodolfo La Bohème and Gaston La Traviata (Scottish Opera).

MESSIAH/ORCHESTRA OF ST JOHN SMITH SQUARE

“Christopher Turner hit the ground running with his emphatic diction, grasp of the phrasing and big volume….He formed his recitative in part II, ‘Thy rebuke hath broken His heart’, into a statement bursting with drama.” Daily Info, December 2016

PHILEMON AND BAUCIS, THE JUDGEMENT OF PARIS/BAMPTON CLASSICAL OPERA

“The star of the show was Christopher Turner, as an alternately wrathful and beneficent Jupiter in Gluck, and as Paris in the Arne..” Evening Standard, September 2016

“Special accolades should go to … Christopher Turner who revealed a very strong tenor and excellent presence as Jupiter and Paris.”
www.musicomh.com, September 2016

“Turner displayed a firm, juicy, stylish tenor in Jupiter’s tantrums and later in Paris’s O Ravishing Delight.” The Times, September 2016

“Turner’s tenor is a versatile instrument and his diction was excellent.” Opera Today, September 2016

“…their unexcited guest (the very agreeable tenor Christopher Turner) whose shifting moods – benevolence fused with childish fury at not being, in various disguises, amenably treated – was a treat of a performance.” Opera Now, August 2016

“Tenor Christopher Turner was new to the company last year and has proved a valuable asset with his exceptionally fine singing, articulate phrasing and natural feel for comedy. His performances as Jupiter in Philemon and Baucis and the eponymous shepherd in The Judgement of Paris were arguably the most outstanding of the evening.” Oxford Times, August 2016

MACBETH/IFORD ARTS

“The tenor Christopher Turner, his voice grown noticeably in power, maximised the opportunity Macduff’s big aria afforded him.” Opera Magazine, August 2016

“Meanwhile, an impassioned Macduff from Christopher Turner sees his heartrending aria on the death of his family become a standout highlight of the evening, encouraging warm applause from a delighted audience.” Bachtrack, June 2016

“Both Christopher Turner and Oliver Brignall sang radiantly as Macduff and Malcolm respectively…” Seen and Heard International, June 2016

LA NUOVA MUSICA/LONDON HANDEL FESTIVAL

“The real high points, though, came from Christopher Turner’s Fabio, wonderfully cynical in his observations on the vagaries of desire……” Guardian, March 2016

“Some of best singing of the evening came from Christopher Turner, as Fabio, the Roman messenger; the tenor demonstrated great range too. There was both humour — the buzzing bees were embodied by the violins’ deliciously delicate triplets — and gentleness, in the relaxed, curving phrases of ‘Vedi l’ape che ingegnosa’, whose beauty ironically undercuts the courtier’s advice that Berenice should love for gain and not for pleasure. And the tenor injected some ardency in the B section of this aria, foreshadowing the impressive vigour of ‘Guerra e pace, Egizia terra’ in Act 2, in which Fabio sets out his country’s ultimatum: peace or war.” Opera Today, March 2016

ORONTEA/LA NUOVA MUSICA/WIGMORE HALL

“Christopher Turner gave one of the strongest dramatic performances of the evening as the soldier Tibrino, his tenor always generous with warm energy and his Italian beautifully crisp, especially in Tibrino’s scathing set piece aria which bewails women’s use of makeup.” backtrack, December 2015

“Bevan’s and Czerniawski’s ecstatic duets stood out, as did Edward Grint and Christopher Turner as a pair of unsavoury choric commentators, whose remarks punctuate the drama with delicious shafts of irony.” Guardian, December 2015

“… Christopher Turner did a nice turn as a comic pageboy.” Telegraph, December 2015

ZAZA/OPERA RARA/BBC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

“Christopher Turner as the waiter Augusto impressed in the way he took the small role and made it memorable without pulling focus from the principals.” planethugill.com, November 2015

APOTHECARY/BAMPTON CLASSICAL OPERA

“The individual vocal performances, too, were of a high standard, with Christopher Turner offering a richly lyrical, comic account of the gullible Sempronio.” Opera Magazine, November 2015

LA GROTTA DI TROFONIO/BAMPTON CLASSICAL OPERA

“Artemidoro, Plistene’s chum, was appealing sung by young tenor Christopher Turner. This was undoubtedly one of the tightest and overall the most polished of Bampton’s casts that I’ve witnessed, with a hoot of a production to match.” Opera Now, September 2015

“Christopher Turner had no difficulty with the challenges of Artemidoro’s tenor arias: the evenness of tone and colour was impressive in his early philosophical reflections and even when he was transformed by bandanna and beads his vocal line remained seamless.” Opera Magazine, August 2015

“Christopher Turner makes an adorable Artemidoro, giving “These shady woods” wonderful ornamentation as he conveys the intense, innocent joy of a philosopher in nature.” bachtrack, July 2015

“Tenor Christopher Turner does double duty as earnest romantic lead and outlandish comedy turn..” Spectator, July 2015

“Among one of Bampton’s strongest-ever casts, I particularly liked the gloriously rich tenor voice of Christopher Turner (Artemidoro).” Oxford Times, July 2015

IL MONDO DELLA LUNA/ENGLISH TOURING OPERA

“The charlatan astrophysicist, Ecclitico, was played with a sure dramatic sense by tenor Christopher Turner, who demonstrated considerable range as both an actor and singer, and displayed some pleasing resonance and lyricism in the higher lying passages.” Seen and Heard International, November 2014

“Christopher Turner’s Ecclitico oozed confidence and swagger until we saw him alone, singing passionately of his love for Buonofede’s daughter Clarice. His big love aria was smooth and agile, with nice phrasing and accompanied by a wonderful bassoon obbligato that reminded us of the contrast between this love-struck man and his coolly cynical public persona.” Music in Durham, October 2014

“…what remains is exceptionally well acted and sung: Christopher Turner’s Ecclitico and Jane Harrington’s Clarice display formidable coloratura prowess.” Guardian, October 2014

“Costumes, conductor and star tenor keep this mundane Haydn opera afloat…the most stylish of the bunch is Christopher Turner as Ecclitico, whose lyric-tenor phrasing gives his first big aria more grace than its typically generic material really deserves. He’s part of a triumvirate which really saves the evening.” The Arts Desk, October 2014

“Christopher Turner as the astronomer Ecclitico is delightful, with a voice…warm and rich at the top.” The Younger Theatre, October 2014

“Christopher Turner put his handsome tenor to elegant use as Eclittico, and sent up his G&S-inflected acting very knowingly.” Classical Source, October 2014

“Christopher Turner provided vocal elegance as fraudster Ecclitico, with clean ornamentation.” BackTrack, October 2014

I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI/CHELSEA OPERA GROUP

“Carby paried more successfully with Christopher Turner’s assertive Tebaldo, most particularly in a thrilling confrontation in Act 2 in which their angry exchange transmuted into shared remorse.” Opera Magazine, May 2014

“As Tebaldo, Christopher Turner revealed a powerful yet supple tenor voice and demonstrated excellent phrasing.” MusicOMH, March 2014

“The casting was exemplary. As Tebaldo, Christopher Turner’s…..aggressive style worked superbly in the context of Newton’s interpretation.” Guardian, March 2014

“Lyric tenor Christopher Turner brought a slightly spinto-ish heft to the role of Tebaldo which with the flexibility in Turner’s voice made for quite a thrilling combination in his opening aria where he vows to kill Romeo.” Planet Hughill, March 2014

TURANDOT/SCOTTISH OPERA

“From conductor to soloists to orchestra to chorus, there were no weak links. At times it felt more like a staged production than a concert performance, so strong was the characterisation. Ping, Pang and Pong (Nicholas Lester, Andrew Kennedy and Christopher Turner respectively) in particular delivered their lines with such animation, the lack of supertitles was an irrelevance.” Scotsman April 2014

ALBERT HERRING/MID WALES OPERA

“..in Christopher Turner there was an Albert who had the courage to be himself vocally also displaying with verve the liberating effect that Dutch courage has on him. Turner’s lyrical tenor blossomed, as it should, in the final act.” Opera Magazine, November 2013

“Christopher Turner’s powerful performance almost puts one more in mind of traumatised Peter Grimes, only this time with a happy ending. A mute observer at first, and with more of an eye for lusty Sid than any village girl, Turner brings a fierce introspection to the part that ultimately blossoms into righteous indignation after his night of illicit debauchery.” Times, October 2013

“…Christopher Turner’s fine performance…” Telegraph, September 2013

DON GIOVANNI/OPERA NORTH

“…..Dalla sua pace” is retained. Turner’s elegant style and honeyed tone in this aria is perfectly complemented by swooning phrases from the strings and winds of the Orchestra of Opera North.” Opera Britannia, September 2012

THE MAKROPULOS CASE/ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA

“…the line-up of creepy, half-wit suitors, led by Andrew Shore, Christopher Turner and Ryland Davies, completed a mesmerising night.” The Guardian, September 2010

“His son, the weak, timid Janek is brought to life by Christopher Turner as an
almost catatonically nervous man-child, often facing the far wall like a dunce
in a classroom.” Music OMH, September 2010

“…the whole crop of excellent tenors (including Hoare, Alasdair Elliott as Vitek
and Christopher Turner as a painfully buttoned-up Janek)…” Opera Britannia, September 2010

I PAGLIACCI/ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA

“Christopher Turner, an ENO Young Singer, made a noticeable debut as
Beppe…” Opera Magazine, November 2008