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 returns as Police Superintendent Budd in Britten's Albert Herring – a role he has previously performed with the prestigious Britten-Pears Festival in Aldeburgh. Giles will also perform the Sweepmaster in The Little Sweep in POV's Britten Festival collaboration with the Belfry Theatre.
Giles is in demand as one of Canada's leading young singers, widely recognized for his vocal virtuosity and lyricism in an impressive range of repertoire. His performances in the United Kingdom include King Arthur (Purcell) at the Aldeburgh Festival, Colline in a touring production of La Bohème with Scottish Opera, 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 (Scottish Opera) directed by Sir Thomas Allen, as well as Superintendent Budd in Albert Herring at the Aldeburgh Festival. In Canada, Giles starred as Pedro in James Rolfe's new opera Ines with Queen of Puddings Music Theatre.
Giles spent the summer of 2012 at the Glyndebourne Festival, performing in the chorus of Le nozze di Figaro, La Bohème, and L'Enfant et les sortilèges. He played the Sergeant of Police in Vancouver Opera's December 2012 production of The Pirates of Penzance.
Giles began his busy 2010/11 season at the Cervantino Festival in Mexico, in a Soundstreams Canada concert with renowned Mexican percussion ensemble Tambuco, followed by Messiah with the Elmer Iseler Singers and Hamilton's Bach Elgar Choir. Mr. Tomkins also sang the role of Dr. Grenvil in Vancouver Opera's production of La traviata (Jonathan Miller, director) and debuted with the Vancouver Bach Choir in Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust.
Engagements in 2011/12 included a debut with Opera Hamilton as Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville, the title role in Verdi's Oberto with Opera in Concert, the Dublin Messiah with Symphony Nova Scotia, Bach's Christmas Oratorio with Windsor Symphony, Aldeburgh Connection's 25th Anniversary Concert and Colline in concert with the Kingston Symphony Orchestra.
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, 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.