The English counter-tenor, Tim Mead, began singing as a treble in the choir of Chelmsford Cathedral under the direction of Dr. Graham Elliott, who later encouraged him to return to the choir as a counter-tenor. After leaving school he read Music at Cambridge University, where he was a choral scholar at King’s College under the direction of Stephen Cleobury. Whilst at university he began to study singing with counter-tenor Charles Brett. He went on to win a number of scholarships to the Royal College of Music in London where he studied with counter-tenor Robin Blaze.
Tim Mead is praised for the warmth of his voice and the virtuosity and stylistic elegance of his singing. In the final year of his studies, he made his professional opera debut singing the role of Ottone in L’incoronazione di Poppea at Opera de Lyon under William Christie, a role he has since performed at English National Opera and Den Norske Opera, Oslo. In 2006 he made an unscheduled debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera singing the title role in David McVicar’s celebrated production of Giulio Cesare under Emmanuelle Haïm, replacing an indisposed David Daniels. Amongst his roles are the title roles in George Frideric Handel’s Orlando, Admeto, Siroe, Ezio and Rinaldo and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. Other roles include Endimione in La Calisto, Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare, Trasimede in Admeto, Melo in Sosarme, Athamas in Semele, Oronte in Riccardo Primo, Idelberto in Lotario, Paggio in Ercole Amante and Farnace in Mitridate. He has performed at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, English National Opera, Opera North, Bayerische Staatsoper, De Nederlandse Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Deustche Oper am Rhein, Opernhaus Halle, Opera de Rennes and Angers-Nantes Opera and at the International Handel Festspiele Göttingen, the Handel-Festspiele Halle and the Edinburgh International Festival. In 2008 Tim Mead made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden singing the role of Innocent in the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur conducted by Antonio Pappano. Roles in other contemporary works include Ometh in John Casken’s Golem (Angers-Nantes Opera and Opera de Rennes)and the various counter-tenor roles in the world premiere of Julian Philips’ Varjak Paw.
On the concert platform, Tim Mead has appeared at the Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Théatre Champs-Elysées, Salle Pleyel, Concertgebouw and the concert halls of Berlin and Vienna. He made his debut at the BBC Proms in 2004 in Biber’s Missa Bruxellenis with the Academy of Ancient Music under Paul Goodwin. He has sung Messiah with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Accademia Bizantina and Concerto Köln, J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) with Les Arts Florissants, J.S. Bach Magnificat (BWV 243 with Le Concert d'Astrée, J.S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with London Handel Festival and De Nederlandse Bachvereniging, G.F. Handel’s Solomon with Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, G.F. Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, G.F. Handel’s J Saul with the Dresdner Barockorchester, G.F. Handel’s Joseph and his Brethren at the International Händel Festspiele Göttingen, G.F. Handel’s Susanna with the Early Opera Company, G.F. Handel’s Esther with the Dunedin Consort and Dusapin’s La Melancholia with the SWR Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart. He has worked with such leading conductors as Ivor Bolton, William Christie, Laurence Cummings, Christian Curnyn, Alan Curtis, Ottavio Dantone, Paul Goodwin, Emmanuelle Haïm, Vladimir Jurowski, Alessandro de Marchi, Nicholas McGegan, Marc Minkowski and Masaaki Suzuki (Bach Collegium Japan).
Recent engagements include Ottone in Il Coronazione di Poppea for Den Norske Opera Oslo; Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare for the Deutsche Oper am Rhein; title role Rinaldo with Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan; title role in Admeto at Händel-Festspiele Göttingen and the Edinburgh Festival; title role Endimione in La Calisto for the Bayerische Staatsoper; Paggio and Ombra di Bussiride in Ercole amante for De Nederlandse Opera conducted by Ivor Bolton; Ottone in Il Coronazione di Poppea for English National Opera conducted by Laurence Cummings; the première of The Minotaur (by Sir Harrison Birtwistle) at the Royal Opera House; title role in Orlando for Chicago Opera Theatre conducted by Raymond Leppard; Giulio Cesare for Glyndebourne Festival Opera; title role Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice conducted by Marcus Creed with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin in Hamburg; title role Siroe for Oper der Zeit conducted by Andreas Spering in Austria; David in Saul for Opera North in concert conducted by Christian Curnyn; Ometh in Golem for the Angers-Nantes Opéra; J.S. Bach Magnificat (BWV 243) and Dixit Dominus with Emmanuelle Haïm and Le Concert d'Astrée; Johannes Gebel's Johannes Passion for the NPS Zatertagmatinee; Das Weihnachtsoratorium with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants; Oronte in Riccardo Primo for the Kammerorchester Basel conducted by Paul Goodwin; Israel in Egypt conducted by Anthony Bramell in Karlsruhe; Orfeo for the English National Opera and for the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston conducted by Laurence Cummings; Ottone in Il Coronazione di Poppea for the Opéra de Lyon conducted by William Christie; Solomon for the Lufthansa Baroque Festival conducted by Ivor Bolton; Trasimede in Admeto for Opernhaus Halle conducted by Howard Arman; Athamas in Semele for BritYouth Opera conducted by Christian Curnyn; Biber’s Missa Bruxellensis in the Proms with the Academy of Ancient Music conducted by Paul Goodwin; Messiah with the Manchester Camerata conducted by Nicholas Kraemer; Melo in Sosarme, re di Media and title role Ezio at London Handel Festival conducted by Laurence Cummings; concert performances of Idelberto in Lotario conducted by Paul Goodwin with the Kammerorchester Basel; Farnace in Mitridate with the Classical Opera Company at St. John’s Smith Square; J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion (BWV 245) with The Hanover Band; St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with the Britten Sinfonia, and Occasional Oratorio with The King’s Consort at QEH; Georg Philipp Telemann's Brockes Passion, TWV 5:1 with the Nederlandse Bachvereniging for the NPS Zatertagmatinee; Messiah conducted by Alan Curtis in Madrid.
Most recently Tim Mead earned critical acclaim as the Voice of Apollo in Deborah Warner’s production of Death in Venice at English National Opera and De Nederlandse Opera, Angel 1/Boy in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin at Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse, Tolomeo Julius Caesar at English National Opera and Eustazio in Rinaldo at Glyndebourne Festival Opera/Ottavio Dantone. Other most recent operatic highlights include: Clearte in Steffani’s Niobe (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and at the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg/Thomas Hengelbrock), title role in Orlando (Scottish Opera/Paul Goodwin), Ottone in Agrippina (Opera de Lille and Opera de Dijon/Emmanuelle Haïm), Ottone in Il Coronazione di Poppea (in Dijon and at Opera de Lille/Emmanuelle Haïm, directed by Jean-Francois Sivadier), Edimione in La Calisto (Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich//Moulds) and a return to English National Opera as Tolomeo in Julius Caesar. Concert performances include Messiah with the RIAS-Kammerchor under Ottavio Dantone and with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Laurence Cummings and a recital of G.F. Handel and Mozart arias in Bad Lauchstädt. In in concert Andronico Tamerlano with Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble, and Bertarido Rodelinda with Mercury Baroque.
Tim Mead has recorded for a variety of labels, including EMI Classics, Virgin Classics, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Chandos, Carus, Channel Classics, Linn, Opus Arte and Arthaus Musik amongst others. His already substantial discography includes: J.S. Bach’s Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) with Nederlandse Bachvereniging/Jos van Veldhoven (Channel Classics); David in G.F. Handel’s Saul (Dresdner Barockorchester/Hans-Christoph Rademann (Carus); title role in G.F. Handel’s Solomon with FestspielOrchester Gottingen/Nicholas McGegan (Carus); G.F. Handel’s Israel in Egypt (alto solos) with Orchester der Deutschen, Handel-Solisten/Anthony Brammal (Brilliant Classics); Oronte in G.F. Handel’s Riccardo Primo with Kammerorchester Basel/Paul Goodwin (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi); title role in G.F. Handel’s Flavio with Early Opera Company/Christian Curnyn (Chandos); Purcell’s Ode's (alto solos) with King's College Choir Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury (EMI); Domenico Scarlatti’s Laetatus Sum & other choral works (alto solos) with King's College Choir Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury (EMI); and Adam J C Smith’s Paradise Lost with La Banda/Wolfgang Riedelbauch (Lieco). Appearances on DVD include Trasimede in G.F. Handel’s Admeto with Handel-Festspiele Halle/Howard Arman, directed by Axel Köhler (Arthaus Musik) and Innocent in The Minotaur with the Royal Opera Chorus & Orchestra/Antonio Pappano, directed by Stephen Langridge (recorded live in 2008, Opus Arte), Eustazio in G.F. Handel’s Rinaldo with Glyndebourne Festival Opera/Ottavio Dantone (Opus Arte, 2012), Othon in Monteverdi L’incoronazione di Poppea with Le Concert d'Astrée, Emmanuelle Haïm (Virgin Classics, 2013).
Engagements in 2013-2014 season include Endimione in La Calisto at Bayerische Staatsoper, Goffredo in Rinaldo at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Written on Skin at the Gulbenkian Lisbon and a recording with Les Arts Florissants. In concert he performs J.S. Bach’s B minor Mass (Les Arts Florissants) and Monteverdi madrigals with Arcangelo, Theodora with The English Concert, St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with De Nederlandse Bachvereniging, Messiah with Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Le Concert d'Astrée, a solo recital with La Nuova Musica at the London Handel Festival, and Benjamin Britten’s Canticles at the Wigmore Hall. In future seasons he will also sing Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a world premiere at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, debut at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and a solo recital in Rome.
Tim Mead is represented worldwide by Intermusica.