Brian Bannatyne-Scott

Brian Bannatyne-Scott, Bass

Pacific Opera Victoria
Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream

April, 2016

Brian Bannatyne-Scott made his Pacific Opera Victoria debut in 2010 as the Theatre Director La Roche in POV's Canadian stage première of Richard Strauss's Capriccio. Mr. Bannatyne-Scott returned in 2013 for the title role of Verdi's Falstaff – a role he had previously performed with Theater Bielefeld in Germany. In 2016 he takes on the role of Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

After his triumph in POV's Falstaff, Brian was invited back to the Metropolitan Opera in New York to understudy the huge role of Baron Ochs in Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier. In 2014, he sang the role of Hubbard in the French première of John Adams' Dr Atomic at L'Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg,and also in Mulhouse. Recent highlights have been Britten's War Requiem in Chester Cathedral, Beethoven's 9th Symphony in St David's Hall, Cardiff and a World War One recital at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. In 2015 he appeared as Tio Sarvaor in de Falla's Vida Breve and as Simone in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi with Opera North in Leeds, Newcastle, Salford and Nottingham; sang Mozart's Requiem in Hereford Cathedral and St John's, Smith Square, London with the English Symphony Orchestra; and performed the role of Snug in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the 2015 Aix-en-Provence Festival.

In 2016, Brian appeared as Simone in Gianni Schicchi at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Future appearances include Snug with the Aix-en-Provence production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Beijing and Bahrain, Arkel in Pelléas et Mélisande at the 2017 Garsington Festival, and Swallow in Britten's Peter Grimes at the Opera de Monte Carlo.

Since making his debuts at Teatro la Fenice, Venice and the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma in 1981 in Castiglioni's Oberon, Brian Bannatyne-Scott has appeared at many of the major Opera Houses of the world. He has sung at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, under the baton of Sir Colin Davis, at both the Opéras de Paris, at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, the Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam, the Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires, with Trevor Pinnock, the Bunkamura Theatre, Tokyo, with Marc Minkowski, the Opéra de Lyon, with René Jacobs, the opera of Sao Paolo, Brazil, and numerous other theatres around Europe.

In Britain, he has worked with Scottish Opera (Colline in La Bohème, La Roche in Capriccio, Don Fernando in Fidelio, Der Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte); Opera North (Snug in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Varlaam in Boris Godunov); English National Opera (Monterone in Rigoletto, the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Banquo in Macbeth, Pogner in Die Meistersinger von Nurenberg, the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlos; and made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2004 as Luther in Les Contes d'Hoffmann.

Roles include Wotan (Longborough Festival Opera) Pogner (ENO), Arkel in Pelléas et Mélisande (Opéra du Rhin, Strasbourg, Opera Holland Park), Banquo (ENO), Geronte di Ravoir in Manon Lescaut (Grand Théâtre de Genève, Opéra de Nancy, Opera North), Le Spectre d'Hector in Les Troyens (Teatro alla Scala, Milan and Barbican Hall, London), Fafner in The Ring (City of Birmingham Touring Opera, and the Limerick Ring Cycle), Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte (Opéra de Nantes), Swallow in Peter Grimes (Opéra de Nantes, Opera North), Parson in The Cunning Little Vixen (Bregenz Festival), Priam in Les Troyens (Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam), Peachum in The Beggar's Opera (Opéras de Caen and Rouen), Silvano in La Calisto (Opéras de Lyon and Montpellier), Araspe in Handel's Tolomeo (Opernhaus Halle and Opernhaus Dessau), Pistola in Falstaff (Opéras de Nancy, Caen and Lausanne), Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier (Theater Bielefeld); Der Tod in Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, theatres in Liege, Antwerp, Sarajevo and Lisbon, and Mecklenburg Opera), Die Mutter in Die Sieben Todsünden (Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, Oslo and the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam), El Tio Salvaor in La Vida Breve (Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels), Crespel in Les contes d'Hoffmann and Talpa in Il Tabarro (Opera de Lyon); and Mozart's Bartolo (Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Bermuda Festival and Tokyo).

Recent appearances include Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier in Bielefeld; Swallow in Opera North's award-winning Peter Grimes; Hobson in Peter Grimes (Brussels, Valencia and Bilbao); Geronte in Manon Lescaut at Opera North; le Poete in Philip Glass's Orphée (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden); multiple roles in Shostakovich's The Nose (Opera de Nantes/Angers); Trulove in The Rake's Progress (Nantes, Angers, and Rennes); Il Talpa in Il Tabarro at the Opera de Lyon; La Roche in Capriccio in Bielefeld; Peachum in The Threepenny Opera at the West Green House Opera in Hampshire with the London Philharmonic Orchestra; Reinmar von Zweter in Tannhäuser at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, London; Hubbard in John Adam's Doctor Atomic with the Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg; and engagements at the Metropolitan Opera.

In 2009, Brian had a huge success with further performances of Capriccio in Bielefeld, and spent the summer working on the role of Hagen in Götterdämmerung with Seattle Opera. He opened the 2009/2010 Season at Theater Bielefeld, singing the title role in Verdi's Falstaff to great critical and public acclaim and returned for the first time in many years to Glasgow to sing the title role in Handel's Saul with the Dunedin Consort and the University of Glasgow.

Brian took part in a very exciting world première in July 2011 at the prestigious Festivale d' Aix-en-Provence. He sang the role of the Father in Oscar Bianchi's Thanks to my Eyes, conducted by Franck Ollu, and directed by Joel Pommerat. This was followed by an extensive tour throughout Europe in 2012 to Paris, Brussels, Lisbon and Mulhouse, playing to packed houses. In November 2012, he sang the role of the Old Hebrew in a stunning production of Saint-Saëns' Samson et Dalila at the Grand Theatre de Genève, partnering the wonderful young tenor Alexanders Antonenko and the sensual Malgorzata Walewska in a fabulous trio.

Mr. Bannatyne-Scott's concert career has taken him throughout Europe, and to Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Israel, Singapore, the Philippines and Japan. He has performed regularly with Trevor Pinnock and The English Concert including his debut at the Salzburg Festival as Polyphemus in Acis and Galatea, Aeolus and Cold Genius in King Arthur in Berlin, Halle, Opéra Garnier Paris, the Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires and in the London Proms, Bach's B Minor Mass in Turin and Cremona and the St Matthew Passion at the National Arts Center, Ottawa. With Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre, he has performed Messiah in Grenoble and Paris, and with The King's Consort and the Salzburger Bachchor, he has sung Bach's Christmas Oratorio.

Brian has sung the role of Christus in Arvo Pärt's Passio throughout Europe and in Japan with the Hilliard Ensemble, most recently in King's College Chapel, Cambridge. He has also sung Stravinsky's Les Noces with the London Sinfonietta and Sir Simon Rattle at the Festival Hall, London. Also with Sir Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, he has sung Schönberg's Gurrelieder in Birmingham.

With Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra, he has sung in Berlioz's The Trojans and in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Barbican Hall, where he has also appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra and Mikhail Pletnev in Mozart's C Minor Mass. With the Philharmonia Orchestra, he has sung Leonard Bernstein's Songfest conducted by Leonard Slatkin in the Festival Hall.

He has sung in most of the British Cathedrals in a repertoire ranging from J.S. Bach and Georg Frideric Handel through Verdi and Elgar to Benjamin Britten and Maxwell Davies and has appeared in major festivals throughout Britain and Europe including Edinburgh, Salzburg, Holland, Bath, Flanders, Beaune and Aix-en-Provence, and he has sung frequently at the BBC Proms.

Brian's extensive discography includes Purcell's King Arthur and Handel's Messiah on DG Archiv, Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream on Philips, Handel's Tolomeo on Mondo Musica and L'Incoronazione di Poppea on EMI. Recently he took part in the recording of the St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with the Dunedin Consort directed by John Butt on Linn Records.

Brian Bannatyne-Scott was born and educated in Edinburgh and studied French and Mediaeval History at St Andrews University before attending the Guildhall School of Music in London. In 1981, he won the Decca Kathleen Ferrier Prize. He has studied with Laura Sarti, Sir Peter Pears, Galina Vishnevskaya, Hans Hotter and Norman Bailey, and now works with Anthony Roden.


Scottish bass Brian Bannatyne-Scott owned the title role in Pacific Opera Victoria's rock-solid, season-opening production of Verdi's Falstaff. From the moment he appeared scrubbing his own back in a large bathtub ... he made it clear that he had the vocal heft and the sad-clown vulnerability to bring the boasting old fool to glorious, even sympathetic, life.
Robin J. Miller, Opera Canada, review of Pacific Opera Victoria's Falstaff, 2013

Coming into the cast at short notice, Brian Bannatyne-Scott offered a consummate and witty portrait of the materialistic yet dedicated theater director La Roche.
Bernard Jacobson, Musicweb International, Pacific Opera Victoria's Capriccio (2010).

Hero's laurels go to the bass, Brian Bannatyne-Scott, who was flown in from his native Edinburgh, a week into rehearsals, to play the stage director La Roche after the singer originally engaged fell ill. Vocally and physically, he gives an exuberant account of this larger-than-life "field marshal of the stage," combining Wellesian bluster with goofy charm. His long solo near the end is a tour de force.
Kevin Bazzana, Times Colonist, Pacific Opera Victoria's Capriccio (2010).

Below: Brian Bannatyne-Scott sings Ibert's Chanson de la Mort de Don Quichotte in a recital in the Reid Hall, Edinburgh on 29th January 2013 with Jan Waterfield (Piano).


March, 2016