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Bryn Terfel (b1965)


Born into a Welsh farming family, Terfel possessed an interest in music from an early age, singing in chapel and winning several competitions. He entered the Guildhall School of Music in London in 1984, studying with Arthur Reckless and Rudolf Piernay, won the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Award in 1988 and graduated with the Guildhall’s Gold Medal in 1989. In the same year, he won the Lieder Prize in the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, coming second in the main competition to Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Terfel made his operatic stage debut as Guglielmo / Così fan tutte with Welsh National Opera (WNO) in 1990, followed by Figaro / Le nozze di Figaro, which he went on to sing with the English National Opera in 1991.

In that year also his international career began: with the Speaker / Die Zauberflöte at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels and the Mozart Figaro with the Santa Fe Opera. He made his debut at the Royal Opera House, London as Masetto / Don Giovanni in 1992 and the same year sang the Spirit Messenger / Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Salzburg Easter Festival, followed by Jochanaan / Salome at the Salzburg Festival, Figaro at the Vienna State Opera and Ford / Falstaff with the WNO; in addition he signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon. He first appeared in Paris in 1993 at the Théâtre du Châtelet as Figaro, followed by debuts in the same role during 1994 at the Metropolitan Opera, New York and Teatro São Carlo, Lisbon.

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