Biography

Hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “one of the best of our younger baritones”, William Berger is distinguished by his rich vocal timbre and charismatic stage presence. A compelling interpreter of song, Berger is equally at home on the operatic stage and has performed at renowned festivals, opera houses and concert halls including the English National Opera, Liceu Barcelona, Opera Vlaanderen, Opéra de Toulon, and the Lucerne, Aix-en-Provence and Edinburgh International Festivals.

Engagements in the 2015/16 season include Berger’s return to Opera Vlaanderen both as Marcello in Puccini’s La Boheme, and Bill in Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.  He will perform as Oreste in Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride with Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon and the title role in Handel’s Imeneo at Gottingen International Handel Festival. In concert Berger will perform at the FestspielOrchester Gottingen’s tenth anniversary Gala Concert.

In Spring 2016 Berger will release his third album: Duet with soprano Lucy Crowe. The disc features works by Mendelssohn, Schumann and Cornelius and showcases the richness and spirit of the duet genre, which reached its zenith in the Victorian age but has since become increasingly overlooked in the concert hall.

Berger’s skill as a musical interpreter and his imaginative approach to programming has led to critical acclaim for both his previous solo albums. Insomnia: A Nocturnal Voyage In Song, released on Delphian Records in 2012, describes in a sequence of seventeen songs the restless night experienced by a man as he reflects on the absence of his unnamed love. It was included in The Guardian’s Top Ten Classical CDs of the Year and was described as “pure gold” by The Arts Desk and “magnetic” by The Scotsman. This was followed by the release of Hommage à Trois on Linn Records in November 2013, which features arias and duets by three of the finest composers of the 18th century: Mozart, Haydn and Cimarosa. The disc, recorded with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and conductor Nicolas McGegan, was awarded five stars by Opera Now, and described as “one of the most delightful recital discs of the past year” by International Record Review.

In addition to his two solo releases, Berger’s discography includes Handel’s Alexander’s Feast and The Triumph of Time and Truth with Ludus Baroque for Delphian, Samson and Dettingen Te Deum for Carus, Poulenc’s Carmelites for Chandos and on DVD, Admeto for C Major and L’incoronazione de Poppea for Opus Arte.

Other recent engagements include a German recital tour with Julius Drake in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Bonn, Duruflé’s Requiem with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in California, Finzi’s Requiem de Camera with the London Mozart Players, Don Alfonso in Cosí fan Tutte at the Liceu in Barcelona, Escamillo in the Luzerner Theater’s production of Carmen, Papageno for Opéra de Toulon, Messiah with the Ulster Orchestra, Mozart Requiem with the Philharmonie Zuidnederland and Carpentier’s La descente d’Orphée aux Enfers with conductor Christian Curnyn and the Classical Opera Company at the Wigmore Hall.

William Berger has collected a multitude of prizes and awards, including the 2010 Ernst Haefliger Competition in Switzerland, the Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary for Young Singers, the Countess of Munster Trust Scholarship, the Musicians Benevolent Fund Grant and the Ernest Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Award. William is a graduate and Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and a former member of the Young Singers Programme at English National Opera.