Maxwell, Donald

Scottish baritone Donald Maxwell made his Royal Opera debut in 1987 as English Archer (The King Goes Forth to France) and has returned regularly to The Royal Opera, his many roles including Herald (Lohengrin), Gunther (Götterdämmerung), Faninal (Der Rosenkavalier), Krušina (The Bartered Bride), Fritz Kothner (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Lockit (The Beggar’s Opera), Alcindoro (La bohème), Hortensius (La Fille du régiment) and Second Priest (Die Zauberflöte).

Maxwell was born in Perth and studied geography at Edinburgh University and singing with Joseph Hislop. He is a former member of Scottish Opera and Welsh National Opera, and has sung leading roles with all the major British opera companies and with international companies including the Metropolitan Opera, New York, La Scala, Milan, Vienna State Opera and Paris Opéra. His repertory has included many key baritone and bass-baritone roles, including Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), the title role in Rigoletto, Iago (Otello), the title role in Falstaff, the Dutchman (Der fliegende Holländer), Marcello (La bohème), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Golaud (Pelléas et Mélisande), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Athlete (Lulu) and the title role inWozzeck. His many character roles include Fra Melitone (La forza del destino), Somarone (Béatrice et Bénédict), Pooh-Bah (The Mikado) and Doolittle (My Fair Lady).

Maxwell was Artistic Director of Buxton Festival (1999) and has been Director of the National Opera Studio (2001–8) and Head of Opera Studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (2004–9).

In 2017 Donald Maxwell was awarded prestigious Worshipful Company of Musicians Santley Award, recognizing his extensive career as an opera and concert singer, and his immense contribution in mentoring and encouraging the next generation of singers.