Giles Davies. Bass - Baritone / Biography / 2021
Giles studied at the Purcell School of Music and on a scholarship with Norman Bailey at the RCM, where he was the winner of the Lieder Competition. As a young actor, he appeared at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Hans in Massenet's 'Werther' and as Puck in Britten's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', alongside the LWT TV drama series 'Drummonds'. He was a prizewinner in Royal Overseas League and Tillett Trust Competitions, and the AESS. Since then, his concert and opera engagements have taken him across the globe. He has recorded for the BBC, Capriol Films, Naxos, Chandos, Divine Art Records, Rai Radio (Italy) and on numerous film soundtracks. He has also collaborated on the albums 'Illumination', 'Temptation' and 'Prayers of the Rosary' with the Mediaeval Baebes. In 2000, he appeared for Cunard on the QE2 as part of a world cruise to Africa, Australia and the Far East. On stage in Opera, Operetta and Musical Theatre, his character roles are varied spannning the Baroque era to Contemporary.
Operatic roles have included Figaro in Rossini's Barber of Seville (Scottish Opera Tour / English Pocket Opera), Dr Kolenaty in Janacek's 'Makropoulos Case', Vicomte Cascada in the 'Merry Widow' and Lakai in 'Ariadne auf Naxos' (Scottish Opera), Schaunard in 'La Boheme', (Castleward/ Holland Park Opera/ Scottish Opera), Marcello in 'La Boheme' (ECHO) Masetto and Leporello in Mozart's 'Don Giovanni' (DGOS and ECHO in England and Ireland), Dandini in Rossini's 'La Cenerentola' (EPOC), Figaro in Mozart's 'Le Nozze di Figaro' (Holland Park Opera/LOP), Guglielmo in 'Cosi fan Tutte' (LOP/ECHO), Dr Malatesta in 'Don Pasquale' in the UK, Asia and the Emirates (ECHO) Papageno in 'The Magic Flute' (EPOC and Opera Brava), He in 'Love's Labyrinth' (Wigmore Hall) Besso in Cavalli's 'Giasone', (Megaron, Athens), Plutone/Shepherd in Monteverdi's 'L'Orfeo'and Ariodates in Handel's 'Xerxes' (both OTC), Polifemo in Handel's 'Aci, Galatea e Polifemo' (SVF) Chelsias and 2nd Elder in Handel's 'Susanna' (SVF) and Ferryman/ Ananias/ Father in the Church Parables of Britten, (Opera du Rhin, Strasbourg). With Carl Rosa Opera, he has toured the length and breadth of the UK and America as Pish-Tush in 'The Mikado', and also as Strephon in 'Iolanthe', Lieutenant Cholmondelay in 'The Yeomen of the Guard' and the Major in 'Patience'. He appeared as Sillimon in the Baker/Henty reconstruction of Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Thespis' at the Victorian Theatre at Normansfield, London. For Music Theatre Wales at the Linbury Theatre, Covent Garden, he created the title role of Edgar Drake in 'The Piano Tuner' by Nigel Osborne, for which he received critical acclaim. His 2007 song abum 'Gossiana', (Divine Art Records) was dubbed 'A Mighty Labour of Love' by International Record Review. This is available as a download through I-Tunes, and as a CD at Amazon and other Music Retailers. The album featured in the online Traditional I-Tunes Chart in 2009, and is a recommended recording at Arkiv Music. For New Chamber Opera, (New College, Oxford) he has appeared in Baroque Operas as Giacinto in Galuppi's 'II mondo nella roversa', Argippo in Cavalli's 'Erismena', Elviro in Handel's 'Xerxes', Leone in Handel's 'Tamerlano', and as the title role of 'Pimpinone' in Telemann's Opera Buffa at a Gala event at the British Embassy in Paris.
Other engagements have included Pish-Tush in 'The Mikado' for Raymond Gubbay at the Barbican, Royal Festival Hall, Symphony Hall and the Bridgewater Hall. Recent recordings include Gregorian Chants by Katharine Blake, Director of the Mediaeval Baebes. He has also completed an audiobook, 'Cockroaches and Diamonds', including rare archival sound recordings sourced from original 78 rpm records. His latest CD of French and German Songs, accompanies the book Viardot Garcia – 'The Years of Grace' (Volume 2) by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, for whom he has also contributed prefaces for both two volumes.
Other live performances have included Faure's Requiem and Dvorak's 'Te Deum' (Roman River Festival and Aberystwyth, Wales), and Handel's 'Apollo and Dafne' in Hampstead, London. In June 2014 he appeared at the King's Head Theatre, London, as Colonel Calverley in a new production of Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Patience' (CCO), which was also staged at the Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Harrogate. Concert performances have also included Bach's 'Coffee Cantata' and 'B Minor Mass', Purcell's 'Let the Dreadful Engines' with music by Lampe and Boyce at the Georgian Assembly Rooms, Dedham, and the original 1742 Dublin version of Handel's 'Messiah' at the Suffolk Villages Festival. In October 2014, he delivered a lecture on historic pre-electric Gramophones and the great singers of the British Inter-War era at the British Library at St Pancras, London. He also appeared at the Tabard Theatre, London as Cecil Graham in Oscar Wilde's 'Lady Windermere's Fan', with onstage Cabaret as singer, actor and pianist.
2015 engagements included the role of Saul in Marc Antoine Charpentier's Baroque masterpiece 'David et Jonathas' at the Suffolk Villages Baroque Festival. He also appeared at the SVF Summer Festival in Purcell's 'King Arthur' and as Markar in the London premiere in English of Tchoukhajian's 1875 Opera Buffa 'Garine' at the Arcola Theatre. Engagements in 2016 included Handel's 'Acis and Galatea' and Monteverdi's Opera 'L'incoronazione di Poppea' in the role of Seneca at Suffolk Villages Festival. Engagements in 2017 have included Vaughan Williams 'Fantasia on Christmas Carols' (St Albans), Italian Vespers with music by Monteverdi (Cambridge), and at Suffolk Villages Festival in J.S.Bach's Mass in A, Easter Oratorio and Cantata 34. For the Franz Schubert Society, he also performed a Lieder Recital of songs by Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann (Liederkreis Op 24) accompanied by Nigel Foster, Director of the London Song Festival, which can be viewed in full on You Tube.
2018 appearances have included Maximillian and other character roles in Leonard Bernstein's 'Candide' with Surrey Opera. (Minack Theatre, Cornwall). Other roles have included Don Bartolo and Antonio in Mozart's 'Le Nozze di Figaro' at New Theatre Royal Portsmouth. (Beechwood Opera). He also returned to Surrey Opera as the Judge in Gilbert and Sullivan's 'Trial by Jury'.
In 2019 he has performed at the Guard's Chapel, London, in songs by Peter Warlock accompanied by the Countess of Wessex's Orchestra. Other roles have included Don Bartolo, in Rossini's 'Il Barbiere di Siviglia' with the Scherzo Ensemble. He has also appeared as Dr Spinelloccio and Amantio di Nicolao the Notary in Puccini's once act comedic farce 'Gianni Schicchi', with Lunchbreak Opera in the City of London, including performances at the Bridewell Theatre and King's Head Theatre.
In Autumn 2021 he will appear in the new 3 Act Opera 'Madeleine' (Hackbridge Johnson/ Butcher), based on the 1950 Film by David Lean with Surrey Opera. He will also appear as Sparandrap (Dr Elastoplast) in Tony Baker's new production of Offenbach's comedy 'The Princess of Trebizonde', which can be seen at Sevenoaks, Hove, Eastbourne and at the Britten Theatre, London in December.
Giles features on the new album by Katharine Blake (Mediaeval Baebes), 'Prayers of the Rosary'. (2020), which has featured on BBC Radio 6. He also joined the Mediaeval Baebes at the Actors Church, St Paul's, Covent Garden, with live performances post Covid restrictions, to celebrate 25 years of the band. His satirical songs on the subjects of Covid 19 and Brexit, written and recorded in 'Lockdown', 2020, can be heard on Soundcloud. In 2022 he returns to Surrey Opera as Leporello in Mozart's 'Don Giovanni', with performances in London and Cornwall.
Recording on location in Norfolk for Capriol Films, 2005
Publicity Photo by Foto Garzynska Studio, Krakow, November 2014
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