Alex has been an avid fan of Opera since the age of twelve. After completing both Undergraduate and Masters degrees, he worked with ENO on their Opera works course and started working as a Tenor in 2012. Alex currently sings with the Philharmonia chorus on their professionals scheme, is a regular singer at St. Paul’s cathedral, is involved with the Barbershopogram quartet and also one fifth of the acapella quintet Apollo5.
Created by the charity that founded VOCES8, Apollo5 has a full time schedule ranging from touring to education work, and Alex has enjoyed going as far as New York to perform and also as close as Henley on Thames delivering master classes and vocal sessions as a workshop leader. As a Soloist, Alex has performed at the Royal Albert hall for the proms (2011), Royal Festival Hall as a soloist with Blossom Street Singers (2010), performed scenes from Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflote and Idomeneo (2011-12), worked with British Youth Opera as chorus (2011) and worked with Grange Park Opera for two seasons, 2012-13 as chorus for Fortunio and 2013-14 as chorus in Traviata and playing the part of Bandit in Don Quichotte.
You will also have seen him on TV commercials as part of the Quidco Quartet (2013), a member of Sky’s Christmas Singers (2011) and a channel 5 Eddie Stobart commercial. He is delighted to be working with Opera Prelude for the very first time in 2015. Other hobbies include Scuba Diving, Golf, wine tasting and looking after his small ginger cockapoo companion Barney.
Q&A with Alex Haigh
Operatic Debut? First singing experience?
I debuted as chorus with Grange Park Opera in 2012, but my solo debut was at the Royal Albert Hall in 2010 where I was part of prom 52, 9 soloists backed by the BBC symphony chorus
Abroad or in the UK – where do you prefer to sing?
It’s hard to pick, because the UK is my home and obviously I enjoy singing to family and friends but european audiences are incredibly appreciative and dramatic with their praises and applause. Italy, I think for me, has been where I’ve had the warmest reception.
Has anything ever made you want to give up?
This profession is constantly daring you to hang it up and try something more stable. Every rejection you have that thought, and every success makes you wonder why you ever would give it up. But given the option between peaks and troughs or middle of the road all the time, I’d go for the drama!
How do you handle nerves before a performance?
I enjoy nerves! I’m the one rushing around backstage and being over-excited!
Dream role? Favourite composer/opera?
Cavaradossi in Tosca, and it’s my favourite opera too! Composer though I’d have to say Ralph Vaughan Williams, English song is just fabulous.
Which aria makes you the happiest to sing?
Even though I’ve never sung this in public, ‘la fleur que tu m'avais jetée’ Sung by Don José in Carmen. It’s a beautiful aria, and something I cannot wait to sing on stage.
Strangest costume you've had to wear on stage?
TOTALLY covered in green makeup, playing the part of Toad in a ‘grown up’ version of wind in the willows. Quite an experience!
Strangest thing you've had to do on stage? Unexpected/funniest/challenging moments on stage?
I’ve had to be a waiter on stage, bring champagne flutes to my customers. At least one drink was spilt each night.
Has anything ever gone especially wrong during dress rehearsals?
A piano caught fire on stage once…
Which opera hero do you identify with most?
Simon Keenlyside is a personal favourite of mine, He came to Opera later than most and his beliefs are about the art form are very similar to my own. I also identify with Joseph Calleja, great tenor and wonderful man.