Giles Tomkins

Giles Tomkins, Bass Baritone

Pacific Opera Victoria
Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor
February, 2014


Canadian-British bass baritone Giles Tomkins made his Pacific Opera Victoria mainstage debut in October 2009 as Dr. Grenvil in La traviata. An alumnus of Pacific Opera Victoria's Fall 2009 Resident Artist Program, Giles returned in February 2011 as Colline in Puccini's La bohème – a role he has also performed with Scottish Opera, Saskatoon Opera, and Highlands Opera Studio. In February 2013 he returned as Police Superintendent Budd in Britten's Albert Herring – a role he has also performed with the prestigious Britten-Pears Festival in Aldeburgh and with Vancouver Opera in fall 2014. Giles also performed the Sweepmaster in The Little Sweep in POV's Britten Festival collaboration with the Belfry Theatre. In February, 2015, POV welcomes Giles as Raimondo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor – a role debut to be followed by a reprise for Edmonton Opera in April.

Other role debuts in 2014/15 include Angelotti in Tosca with Opera Lyra Ottawa and the title role in Elijah with the Vancouver Bach Choir.

Giles is recognized as one of Canada’s most promising young singers, widely praised for his vocal virtuosity and lyricism in an impressive range of repertoire. His performances in the United Kingdom have included King Arthur (Purcell) at the Aldeburgh Festival and the European première of Queen of Puddings Music Theatre's production of The Midnight Court at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Recent operatic roles include Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte at Tanglewood (conducted by James Levine), Don Basilio in Il barbiere de Siviglia with Scottish Opera, directed by Sir Thomas Allen.

In keeping with the lyrical law enforcement theme, Giles performed the Sergeant of Police in The Pirates of Penzance with Vancouver Opera, in addition to his appearances as Superintendent Budd in both Vancouver and Victoria.

Giles was an expressive Christus in Toronto Bach Consort’s performance of the St John Passion, conducted by Yannick Neézet-Séguin. Recent concert performances included Messiah with the Elmer Iseler Singers, Aradia Ensemble and Symphony Nova Scotia, as well as The Damnation of Faust (Berlioz) with the Vancouver Bach Choir.

Giles has become a familiar figure as Colline in La bohème, in recent years performing the role with Scottish Opera, as well as in Saskatoon, Kingston, and with Pacific Opera Victoria. He most recently bade farewell to his old coat in Manitoba Opera’s 2014 production of La bohème.

Giles returned to Vancouver Opera in 2013 to perform Leporello in Don Giovanni. Recent concert performances include the Beethoven Ninth Symphony with both Peterborough Symphony and Symphony New Brunswick, as well as the St John Passion with Thirteen Strings in Ottawa.

Giles has performed with such leading arts organizations in Toronto as the Canadian Opera Company, the Aldeburgh Connection, Opera In Concert, and Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Company. He has also performed alongside such leading chamber music groups as the St. Lawrence String Quartet and the world-renowned Canadian Brass.

He has appeared on six Naxos recordings with the Aradia Ensemble, including Rameau's Castor et Pollux, Handel's Rinaldo, and Vivaldi's Griselda, has recorded with the Canadian Brass and The Elmer Iseler Singers, is featured on a Centrediscs release of Baby Kintyre: An Opera by Dean Burry, and has released a solo CD And So It Goes. He has also frequently been featured on CBC Radio, Classical 96 FM, Bravo! Television, and BBC Radio 3 in the UK.


 

Giles Tomkins’s portrait of the Sergeant of Police was a comic triumph.
Bernard Jacobson, Musicweb International, 2012

Giles Tomkins handles his role as Sergeant of Police with glorious goofiness, combining with members of the Vancouver Opera Chorus with that ludicrously charming character song A Policeman’s Lot Is Not a Happy One.
John Jane, Review Vancouver, 2012

Bass Giles Tomkins has a strong, resonant voice… he sang brilliantly, fully in command of tone, phrasing and expression
The Halifax Herald, December 2011

Tomkins demonstrates an unfailing sensitivity to phrasing essential to the idiom ... he evinces a Fischer-Dieskau-like purity of tone ...
Robert Franner, Opus Magazine

...a first class recording of highly charged and melody-rich music played with great style and originality by Mallon's forces... Giles Tomkins's expressive bass seems ideally suited to this repertoire for the words are always clear and amply endowed with meaning..
Mark Sealey, Music Web International (www.musicweb-international.com)


 


Video of I Wonder from Giles Tomkins' CD And So It Goes. Music & lyrics by Trey Mills.

 

Listen to Giles Tomkins. Recordings include four selections recorded in Victoria in 2009 with Robert Holliston pianist, Producer: Karen Wilson, and Engineer: Kirk McNally.
 

December 2014