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David Hamilton (Tenor)

Born: March 22, 1960 - Scotland, UK

The Scottish-born Australian tenor, David Mulvenna Hamilton , studied singing and flute at Napier College, Edinburgh, Scotland. (L.T.C.L.) and The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (D.R.S.A.M.). His teachers included Lillian Liddell, Grant Dickson and Robert Gard.

David Hamilton made his Glasgow debut singing the W.A. Mozart's Requiem with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. In 1979, he moved to Australia and is now based in Sydney. He was a member of The Song Company (Australia’s premier a cappella vocal ensemble) from 1986 to 1991 and a full-time member in 1996.

Concert performances included the tenor roles in oratorios with all the major orchestras in Australia and New Zealand; he has also performed in the UK. Germany, Japan and China. In 2007, Hamilton was in Europe, and returned to New Zealand later in that year and performed in L.v. Beethoven's Choral Symphony No. 9, Edward Elgar's Dream of Gerontius and George Frideric Handel's Samson. His repertoire encompasses a wide range … from G.F. Handel's Messiah, J.S. Bach's Passions, and Haydn's Creation to 20th century compositions such as Benjamin Britten's War Requiem and E. Elgar's Dream of Gerontius.

His operatic repertoire spans a large spectrum of tenor roles from baroque to modern day opera, including B. Britten's Albert Herring (Albert Herring), Turn of the Screw (Quint), and Rape of Lucretia (Male Chorus); W.A. Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (Tamino) and Wagner's Das Rheingold (Loge). Most recent, in 2006, was Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortilèges and singing the title role in W.A. Mozart's Idomeneo in Neu Munster, Germany. In 2008 Hamilton performed at The Saarbrücken Opera House, Germany where he played the leading role in Richard Wagner's Lohengrin.

David Hamilton has performed at many theatres and festivals, including: Saarbrücken Opera, Germany; Australian Opera, Sydney; West Australian Opera, Perth; New Zealand Opera, Auckland; Queensland Opera, Brisbane; Wellington Opera, Wellington, New Zealand; Scottish Opera, Glasgow; South Australian Opera, Adelaide; New Zealand Festival, New Zealand; Edinburgh Festival, Scotland; Handel-Festspiele, Halle (Saale); Adelaide Festival, South Australia; Brisbane Festival, Queensland; Sydney Festival, New South Wales.

His recent concert performances (as of 2002) have included J.S. Bach's St John Passion (BWV 245) and St Matthew Passion (BWV 244), Magnificat (BWV 243) and Mass in B Minor (BWV 232), G.F. Handel's Israel in Egypt, Dixit Dominus and Messiah, Belioz' Grand Messe des Morts, Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins, Daniel Palkowski's A Trinity By Moonlight, Haydn's Creation and The Seasons, Orff's Carmina Burana, Ralph Vaughan Williams' Hodie and W.A. Mozart's Requiem and have met with consistent critical acclaim.

His operatic work includes the title role in the Scottish Opera production of Albert Herring, Count Belfiore in W.A. Mozart's La Finta Giardiniera with the University of New South Wales, the Faerie Queen for the Song Company, Camille in The Merry Widow with the Wellington City Opera, and Ruggiero in the Sydney Conservatorium of Music's production of La Rondine. As a member of Opera Australia in 1994 and 1995, David Hamilton has understudied many roles. He appeared in the lead role in the final performance of the premier Australian production of The Eighth Wonder to great critical acclaim. In October 1996, he sang Dr Caius in Falstaff for Opera Australia and has recently repeated this role with Bryn Terfel at the Sydney Opera House.

Also during 1996, David Hamilton was soloist in G.F. Handel's Messiah in Wellington and, in 1997, he sang in performances of the W.A. Mozart's Requiem as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival at the Sydney Opera House and appeared in Opera Australia's Oz Opera touring production of The Magic Flute, singing the role of the First Armed Man. He sang the role of Belmonte in W.A. Mozart's Il Seraglio for the University of Newcastle, performances of which The Sun Herald said: "He is probably the best Mozart tenor in Australia", was soloist on the Queensland Symphony Orchestra's regional tour of Messiah, appeared as Ulysses in Gabriel Fauré's Ulysses and Penelope, and in Warlock's The Curlew, (both for the University of NSW ) and in Tippet's A Child of Our Time for Sydney University Musical Society. He was to appear as Pinkerton in Regal Opera's subsequent'y cancelled Madam Butterfly in Perth.

During 1998, David Hamilton appeared as the tenor soloist in the Hanns Eislerr/Brecht oratorio Die Massnahme at the Adelaide Festival, in G.F. Handel's Allegro, Il Penseroso ed Il Moderato with the Mark Morris Dance Group at the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, and was soloist in Messiah for the Auckland Choral Society, in J.S. Bach's B Minor Mass (BWV 232) for the Melbourne Symphony and sang The Evangelist in St John Passion (BWV 245) for both the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra in Wellington and the Christchurch City Choir in Christchurch. 1999 saw performances of Messiah with the Queensland, Adelaide and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, W.A. Mozart's Mass in C and Haydn's Nelson Mass with Sydney Philharmonia and Zoltán Kodály's Psalmus Hungaricus with Willoughby Symphony Orchestra. In 2000, he appeared in New Zealand in J.S. Bach's St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) and Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, in Haydn's Creation for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, in the St. John Passion (BWV 245) and Messiah for Sydney Philharmonia, in G.F. Handel's Ode to St. Cecilia and Elijah for Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, in Haydn's Harmoniemesse, L.v. Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Phillip Glass' Symphony No. 5 for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra and The Perth Festival, in Kurt Weill's Der Lindberghflug for the Adelaide Festival, in B. Britten's War Requiem for Independent Classics in Melbourne, in J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) for the University of NSW and once again covered the Architect in The Eighth Wonder for Opera Australia. 2001 engagements included W.A. Mozart's Requiem for the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, W.A. Mozart's Mass in C and G.F. Handel's Messiah for the MSO, B. Britten's St. Nicholas' Mass and Les Illuminations for Christchurch City Choir, E. Elgar's Dream of Gerontius for the Auckland Choral Society, the St John Passion (BWV 245) for The Orpheus Choir of Wellington, and the roles of Don Basilio and Don Curzio in West Australian Opera's production of The Marriage of Figaro. In 2002, he sang Haydn's Creation with the Orpheus Choir, Wellington, J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with Sydney Philharmonia, Orff's Carmina Burana with WASO, G.F. Handel's Messiah with MSO, E. Elgar's Dream of Gerontius with Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248)with Bach Musica NZ. Hamilton also appeared in a B. Britten recital with the NZ Festival of the Arts and continued his association with the vocal trio Mènage é Trois. He was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal in 2001.

In 2007, David Hamilton moved to Germany and, during his time there, he sang the title roles in W.A. Mozart's Idomeneo in Neu Munster and Wagner’s Lohengrin for Saarbrucken Opera House. In the latter role, he understudied the great German tenor Peter Seiffert in Luxemburg. Whilst based in Europe, he also sang various choral and lieder concerts including songs by Schubert, Haydn and L.v. Beethoven. He recorded L.v. Beethoven’s Scottish Lieder for Brilliant Classics in 2008. 2011 appearances have included L.v. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in Panama City and for the Edinburgh Festival, Schubert’s masterpiece Die Winterreise, the tenor role in Ricci’s Le Prigione di Edimburgo, Dvorak’s Die Geisterbraut and G. Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with Berliner Cappella Choir in Berlin and Lübeck. In 2012, Hamilton returned to Sydney where he accepted a contract as a principal artist with Opera Australia; he also appeared in concert in New Zealand and give lieder recitals in Auckland and Wellington.

... "Has there ever been an Evangelist to equal that of David Hamilton? (he) brought the subtlety and intensity of a fine lieder singer to the part. Blessed with a lovely high tenor voice and a consummate technique." - The Dominion in New Zealand
"Most remarkable of the soloists was David Hamilton. His words tumbled out as if he was dramatizing a remarkable event of last week with a voice of wide range and power and a particularly arresting top." - Wellington Evening Post

Source: Wikipedia Website (January 2015); Overs Piano Website (May 16, 2002); Opera Australia Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2015)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Terence Maskell


Video: BWV 249

Links to other Sites

David Hamilton - Tenor (Wikipedia)
David Hamilton (Overs Piano)
David Hamilton (Diva Management)

David Hamilton (Opera Australia)
Auckland Choral Society - Soloists: David Hamilton

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
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