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Sir Willard White


  • One of the best-loved and most versatile opera stars of the last 40 years, Sir Willard White's illustrious career has taken him to the most prestigious opera houses and concert halls throughout the world, collaborating with conductors, directors and orchestras of the highest calibre.

    Highlights of the 2023/24 season include Bartolo in Mozart Le nozze di Figaro in a new production for the Bayerische Staatsoper and creating the role of Priest in the world premiere of Hèctor Parra Justice for the Grand Théâtre de Genève, alongside il Re in Verdi Aida for the Royal Danish Opera. On the concert platform, White will perform Méphistophélès in Berlioz La Damnation de Faust with the RTVE Symphony Orchestra.

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  • Recent highlights include il Re in Aida for the Royal Danish Opera, Dikoj in Janáček Kát'a Kabanová for Opéra National de Lyon, A Blind Ballad Singer and Recorder of Norwich in Britten Gloriana for English National Opera, Monterone in Verdi Rigoletto for Opera North, Porgy in Gershwin Porgy and Bess and the title role in Bartók Bluebeard’s Castle for Hungarian State Opera, Seneca in Monteverdi L'incoronazione di Poppea for the Wiener Staatsoper, Jupiter in Offenbach Orpheus in the Underworld for the English National Opera, Luther and Crespel in Offenbach Les contes d'Hoffmann at La Monnaie, Trinity Moses in Weill Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, Gorjantchikov in Janáček From the House of the Dead at the Opéra national de Paris, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, La Monnaie and Opéra National de Lyon, Thibaut d'Arc in Tchaikovsky The Maid of Orleans at Theater an der Wien, Créon in Cherubini Médée at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Publio in Mozart La clemenza di Tito for Dutch National Opera, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and at the Salzburg Festival, Cadmus in Henze The Bassarids at the Salzburg Festival, Commendatore in Mozart Don Giovanni at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Parson / Badger in Janáček The Cunning Little Vixen with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle, Schigolch in Berg Lulu for the English National Opera and Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Doktor in Berg Wozzeck for Dutch National Opera and Arkel in Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Metropolitan Opera.

    Sir Willard White was born in Jamaica, where he commenced his musical training at the Jamaican School of Music and then went on to the Juilliard School in New York. Since his operatic debut with the New York City Opera in 1974, he has sung regularly at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, New York, English National Opera, San Francisco Opera, the opera houses of Munich, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Geneva, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris, and at the Glyndebourne, Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg festivals. In 1989, White performed the role of Othello in Trevor Nunn’s production for the Royal Shakespeare Company, alongside Sir Ian McKellen as Iago and Imogen Stubbs as Desdemona.

    On the concert platform, White sings regularly with the world’s major conductors and orchestras, including the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, the Hallé, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, La Scala, Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Cleveland orchestras and the Berliner Philharmoniker, and he has appeared as soloist many times at the BBC Proms, including the First and Last Night of the Proms and at the Proms in the Park. Highlights include Walton Belshazzar’s Feast at the Philharmonie de Paris, Tiresias and Messenger in Stravinsky Oedipus Rex with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Méphistophélès in La Damnation de Faust with the Cleveland Orchestra and at the Verbier Festival with Charles Dutoit, Golaud in Pélleas et Mélisande with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the title role in Bluebeard’s Castle with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen, Marke in Wagner Tristan und Isolde Act II under Gergiev, and a concert performance of Pélleas et Mélisande (Arkel) and Porgy and Bess (Porgy) in concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle.

    Sir Willard White was awarded the CBE in 1995 and was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2004. 

    2023/24 season / 700 words. Not to be altered without permission.


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Concert repertoire


Symphony No.9

American Salute (When Johnny comes marching home)

The Creation


Opera repertoire

Joseph El Niño

Bluebeard Bluebeard’s Castle

Don Fernando/Rocco Fidelio

Giorgio I Puritani
Oroveso Norma

Pope Clement VII Benvenuto Cellini
Méphistophélès La Damnation de Faust
Herod L’Enfance du Christ

Workman 1 On the Town

Bottom A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Creon Medea

Arkel Pelleas et Mélisande

Homeless Person Death of a Princess

Bluebeard Ariane et Barbe-Bleue

Wassermann (Vodnik) Rusalka

Porgy Porgy and Bess

Hercules Alceste

Mephistopheles Faust

Polyphemus Acis and Galatea
Somnus Semele

Title role El Cimarroni

Forester Cunning Little Vixen
Gorianchikov From the House of the Dead
Prus The Makropoulos Case

Ned Treemonisha

Porter Das Wunder der Heliane

Nekrotzar Le Grand Macabre

Fotis The Greek Passion

St. Francis Saint Françoise d’Assise

Seneca l’Incoronazione di Poppea

Osmin Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Speaker/Sarastro Die Zauberflöte
Commendatore Don Giovanni
Bartolo Le nozze di Figaro

Boris/Pimen Boris Godunov
Khovansky Kovanshchina

4 Villains Les Contes d‘Hoffmann

Title role Ivan the Terrible
Tchélio The Love for Three Oranges
Kutuzow War and Peace

Timur Turandot

Title role Ivan the Terrible

Alidoro La Cenerentola
Mustapha L’Italiana in Algeri
Selim Turco in Italia

Moses Moses und Aron

Boris Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

Jokanaan Salome

Nick Shadow The Rake’s Progress
Tiresias / Creon Oedipus Rex

Gremin Eugene Onegin
Ibn-Hakia Iolanta

King/Ramfis Aida
Philip Don Carlos
Falstaff Falstaff
Ferrando Il Trovatore
Maximilian I Masnadieri
Banquo Macbeth
Zaccaria Nabucco
Sparafucile Rigoletto

Wotan/Alberich Das Rheingold
Dutchman / Daland Der Fliegende Holländer
Wotan /Hunding Die Walküre
Klingsor Parsifal
Landgraf Tannhäuser
King Marke Tristan und Isolde
Hagen Götterdämmerung

Trinity Moses The Rise & Fall of the City of Mahagonny

Priesterkönig/Tod Babylon

Simon Eine Florestinische Tragödie

We are pleased to find in this rarely performed work Sir Willard White as narrator, with a powerful bass baritone voice whose diction, authority, charisma, magnificent projection and depth of timbre, unaltered by the years, we savor.

News.dayFR, June 2023

…the superlative Willard White still gives a lesson in vocal class…, May 2023

Sir Willard has such presence, he dominates the scene

The Opera Critic, January 2022


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Intermusica represents Sir Willard White worldwide

Julia Maynard
Deputy Chief Executive / Head of Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9902

Zara Fyfe-Williams (on maternity leave)
Artist Manager, Vocal & Opera

Natasha Worsley
Senior Artist Manager, Vocal & Opera
+44 (0) 7870 979 794

Billie Allin
Assistant Artist Manager, Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9903

All artists


HK Gruber


Tim Mead


Richard Egarr

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles


Jess Gillam


Avery Amereau