The international baritone who composes for choirs

January 2, 2018 by norman lebrecht


The Telegraph has a good interview with Roderick Williams, a former schoolteacher who has become one of the most popular opera baritones on the professional circuit. He is half-Jamaican. ‘Our obsession with diversity maybe means that my skin colour works in my favour,’ he says. ‘But I’d rather be judged on my singing.’

He’s about to sing Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses at the Royal Opera House. People often ask me why I always seem so cheerful. And I just say to them, why shouldn’t I be? I’m singing wonderful music, and I even get paid for it, too.’

What modest Rod fails to mention is that he has a debut disc out this month – as a composer. He writes really good choral music in the English tradition.

Comments (4)

  1. Nik says:

    Ulysses is at the Roundhouse (though produced by the ROH).

  2. Suzanne says:

    He will be appearing at the Beethoven Haus in Bonn on January 26 in a lied recital with Roger Vignoles – and the program there includes one of his compositions. Highly recommend!

  3. ChiLynne says:

    Thanks to Music of the Baroque in Chicago, we’ve had the great pleasure of hearing Mr. Williams several times (never enough, though) – what a wonderful singer and delightful person! Hadn’t realized that he’s a composer as well.

    1. The View from America says:


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