Noted as having “a rich voice that appears to come from the center of the earth,” as well as simply “a voice to die for,” British Bass Julian Close has appeared at several esteemed opera houses throughout his career including The Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North UK, Scottish Opera and the Wexford, Buxton, Longborough, and English Bach Festivals in a wide range of roles. He has performed at Lincoln Center New York, The Royal Albert Hall, Barbican Centre, The Bridgewater Hall, and he has made numerous television and radio broadcasts for the BBC.
This season, Mr. Close will perform the roles of Hunding in Die Walküre, which he previously had sung in concert, and Hagen in Gotterdammerung with Saffron Opera Group (U.K.). He reprises the role of Fafner in Das Rheingold with Minnesota Opera, and will make a return to the Metropolitan Opera for its productions of Rigoletto and Der Rosenkavalier. He will also return to Welsh National Opera in 2017 to sing in Der Rosenkavalier and From the House of the Dead.
A Wagner specialist, recent engagements include his debut with Washington National Opera as Fasolt in Francesca Zambello’s ground-breaking production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, as well as a return to the Metropolitan Opera as the Theater Manager/Banker in Lulu. In 2011, he first joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for its production of Prince Igor, and has returned subsequently every season. Additional recent engagements include Hunding in a concert performance of Die Walküre with the Chandos Orchestra; Manager/Banker in Lulu with Dutch National Opera; Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Longborough Festival; Verdi’s Requiem with the Eaton Christchurch Choir in Norwich; and a return to Welsh National Opera for Moses und Aron and Nabucco. He also returned to Opera Project for Madama Butterfly and joined Opera Rara for Donizetti’s Les Martyrs at Royal Festival Hall.
Prior engagements include Angelotti in Tosca, Truffaldino in Ariadne auf Naxos, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Athlete in Lulu, and Bonze in Madama Butterfly all with Welsh National Opera; Lodovico in Otello for the BBC Philharmonic; Bonze in Madama Butterfly and Commendatore in Don Giovanni with Opera Project UK; King Marke in Tristan und Isolde and Landgraf in Tannhaüser with the Northern Wagner Orchestra; Fafner in both Das Rheingold and Siegfried with the Longborough Wagner Festival, a role he also covered with the Metropolitan Opera. He also covered Lord Fortune in Miss Fortune for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.
Favorite engagements from past seasons include: Wotan in Das Rheingold, Hagen in Götterdämmerung, Pogner in Die Meistersinger, Titurel in Parsifal, Steffano Colonna in Rienzi, der Letzte der Tribunen, Dosifey in Mussorgsky’s Khovanschina, Vodník in Rusalka, Il Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlo, Penios in Daphne, Pistola in Falstaff, Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Zuniga in Carmen, Mayor in Jenůfa, Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia, Timur in Turandot, Colline in La bohème, Prince Gremin in Eugene Onegin, Luther and Crespel in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Ramfis in Aïda, Loredano in I due Foscari, Nourabad in Les pêcheurs de perles, and Black Bob and Tom in Let’s Make an Opera.
Also a successful concert artist, Mr Close’s orchestral repertoire includes Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion, Magnificat, and Lutheran Mass; Beethoven’s Mass in C; Dyson’s Canterbury Pilgrims; Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius and Caractacus; Judas in The Apostles; Fauré’s Requiem; Haydn’s Creation; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8; Mozart’s Requiem, C Minor Mass, and Vesperae Solennes; Puccini’s Messa di Gloria; Rossini’s Stabat Mater; Verdi’s Requiem; as well as Weber’s Second Mass in G Minor and Stravinsky’s Les Noces with the Michael Clarke Dance Company (Barbican Centre & The Lincoln Center, New York ).