A 2014 winner of the International Opera Awards bursary & the 2016 Pavarotti Prize, Alex read Economics at The University of Manchester and went on to complete his masters and opera school at the Royal Academy of Music. Since then Alex has made his international debuts at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw singing Curio (Giulio Cesare) with Lawrence Zazzo in the title role, and at the National Concert Hall, Dublin singing Schaunard (La bohème) with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and Lyric Opera. Other debuts included the title roles of Don Giovanni in London and Yevgeniy Onegin for Dartington International Festival under Russian specialist Sian Edwards. Last summer Alex sang Malatesta (Don Pasquale) with Opera Holloway touring through south England, and made his debut with the Chamber Orchestra of Geneva in Victoria Hall singing arias by Mozart.
This August sees Alex perform Eddy in a new production of Turnage’s Greek with Scottish Opera, opening the Edinburgh International Festival. From September he becomes an Emerging Artist at Scottish Opera for the 17/18 season, performing Eddy (Greek), Marquese (La traviata) and Harlequin (Ariadne auf Naxos) which will tour to Opera Holland Park July ’18. Future highlights will include Fauré Requiem with the Saffron-Walden Choral Society and roles with The Grange Festival. Previous credits include work with Grange Park Opera, Opera Ireland, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and lecture recitals with Opera Prelude at the Cadogan Hall, London.
Q & A with Alex Otterburn
Operatic Debut? First singing experience?
I sang as a treble in my primary school choir from 10-13 years old and for a short while after my voice had broken. However, I was playing so much rugby I had stop at 15 - turning up to a lesson hoarse from screaming on the pitch wasn't the most productive use of time! It was finally my mum who put me back onto singing at 20 years old.
Since then I've sung in some great operas in some wonderful venues. My international debut was in April, singing Curio Giulio Cesare at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw - definitely my most memorable performance to date.
Has anything ever made you want to give up?
Rarely a week goes by that you don't have a moment of doubt! Whether it be the unsociable working hours, thinking that you can't sing or worry about where the next job will come from. It always comes back to a love of the music though, a love of performing and immense job satisfaction!
Dream role? Favourite composer/opera?
Rigoletto. Without a doubt. The music, the tragedy, the character - it's all there.
My favourite opera changes month to month, generally whatever I'm working on at the time! Although I happen to be working on it at the moment, Eugene Onegin has always been high up the list for me.