Barry Banks
Tenor

"Barry Banks is rock-steady in his high-altitude tenor solo – a moment of shimmering radiance in a dark masterwork." (Malcolm Hayes, Sinfini Music, March 2013)

Contacts

Ian Stones +44 (0)20 3725 9104
Catherine Znak +44 (0)20 3725 9105

Biography

Barry Banks’ outstanding facility in roles by Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti regularly takes him to the world’s leading opera houses.

Current season highlights include his debut as Arnold (Guillaume Tell) at Welsh National Opera under Carlo Rizzi and a return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden to sing Don Narciso (Il turco in Italia) under Evelino Pidò. 

Other notable opera performances have included the title role in Mitridate and Don Narciso at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Ernesto (Don Pasquale) at the Royal Opera House, Count Almaviva at Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Idreno (Semiramide) at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples and in his debut at Royal Danish Opera. 

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Barry Banks’ outstanding facility in roles by Bellini, Rossini and Donizetti regularly takes him to the world’s leading opera houses.

Current season highlights include his debut as Arnold (Guillaume Tell) at Welsh National Opera under Carlo Rizzi and a return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden to sing Don Narciso (Il turco in Italia) under Evelino Pidò. 

Other notable opera performances have included the title role in Mitridate and Don Narciso at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Ernesto (Don Pasquale) at the Royal Opera House, Count Almaviva at Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Idreno (Semiramide) at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples and in his debut at Royal Danish Opera.  The role of Don Ramiro (La cenerentola) saw his debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu.

Last season he sang Iago in Rossini’s Otello at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and at the Salzburg Festival.  With English National Opera he has appeared as Edgardo (in David Alden’s acclaimed production of Lucia di Lammermoor), Hoffmann (The Tales of Hoffmann) and, most recently, the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto.

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Contacts

Ian Stones +44 (0)20 3725 9104
Catherine Znak +44 (0)20 3725 9105

Reviews

“For Barry Banks’s Arnold no praise could be too high. It’s a stinker of a role, but he approached it with calm confidence and all the notes. Fears that he might tire towards the end were unfounded; after a most sensitively sung ‘Asile héréditaire’ he flung out a series of full-voiced top Cs in the martial number with chorus. An outstanding artist” (Opera Magazine, October 2014)

"Barry Banks…is an exciting Arnold, his tone glossy, his fioritura impeccably phrased, his Asiles héréditaires a proper show-stopper.” (The Times, September 2014)

"[Here,] …WNO played its ace in Barry Banks, who has never sounded better, hitting top Cs with tremendous panache,

...

“For Barry Banks’s Arnold no praise could be too high. It’s a stinker of a role, but he approached it with calm confidence and all the notes. Fears that he might tire towards the end were unfounded; after a most sensitively sung ‘Asile héréditaire’ he flung out a series of full-voiced top Cs in the martial number with chorus. An outstanding artist” (Opera Magazine, October 2014)

"Barry Banks…is an exciting Arnold, his tone glossy, his fioritura impeccably phrased, his Asiles héréditaires a proper show-stopper.” (The Times, September 2014)

"[Here,] …WNO played its ace in Barry Banks, who has never sounded better, hitting top Cs with tremendous panache, bringing the French text vividly to life and radiating revolutionary zeal.” (Financial Times, September 2014)

“There are plenty of top Cs and Barry Banks took them like so many hurdles at a point-to-point, sailing over them with grace and style…a fine performance which made Arnold the worthy co-hero he should be.” (Bachtrack.com, September 2014)

“Barry Banks dispatched Arnold’s pyrotechnics with insouciant ease and projected throughout with firm phrasing and clarity of tone.” (The Telegraph, September 2014)

“As Arnold, Barry Banks gives one of the finest performances I’ve seen from him.” (The Guardian, September 2014)

“Here it [aria ‘Je suis joyeux comme un pinson’] is sung by Barry Banks…whose malleable voice has no difficulty in throwing the aria off with a lively air in accordance with Pepe’s joy at the prospect of his becoming a bachelor again.” (International Record Review, August 2014)

"Barry Banks’s tenor never loses this fire from start to finish. His is a ringing, resilient, indefatigable Hoffmann, whether in the bravado of Kleinzack’s song or in amorous rapture." (Tales of Hoffmann - ENO: The Times, February 2012)

"Hoffmann is less the fallen romantic hero than a feckless drunk and pothead, impersonated and sung with tremendous verve and focused tone by Barry Banks." (Tales of Hoffmann - ENO: The Daily Telegraph, February 2012)

"It sounds wonderful, too. Barry Banks's Hoffmann is all ringing top notes and ecstatic self-delusion." (Tales of Hoffmann - ENO: The Guardian, February 2012)

“Barry Banks displayed both clarion top notes and gravelly low ones for the title role's impossibly wide tessitura.” (Mitridate - Bayerische Staatsoper - Opera Magazine - October 2011)

“Equally powerful is Barry Banks's hot and red-blooded Edgardo, not the conventional operatic hero but a wild Border laird in plaid, who reminds us in the final act that this is really an opera with a tenor as well as a soprano mad scene. On this showing, Banks ranks in the top class of Italian-style lyric tenors – every phrase beautifully projected, clarion-toned and technically secure.”  (The Daily Telegraph, February 2010)

“Barry Banks’ splendid Almaviva. Fearless top notes and agility join with real humor and a comfortable physical presence.”  (Classics Today, November 2009)

“Barry Banks, that most elegant of top-altitude tenors, demonstrated virtuosic refinement as her lover, Carlo.”  (Financial Times, July 2007)

“If the performance had a hero, it was Barry Banks. As Uberto, he sailed the tenor stratosphere with nonchalant elegance, articulated the fiorature with communicative grace and acted with dignified urgency.”  (Financial Times, March 2007)