In the 2019/20 season, Peter Brathwaite makes his Royal Opera House, Covent Garden debut in the world premiere of Jules Maxwell’s The Lost Thing, a co-production with Candoco Dance Company; he creates various roles in the world premiere of Song of the Child, a new opera produced by Operaen i Midten Denmark and Riotous Company (performances in Struer, Holstebro, and Kulturmødet Mors), and reprises the title role in Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis, directed by Polly Graham, with Timothy Burke conducting the CHROMA Ensemble. Brathwaite also takes up the position of Artist-in-Residence of Manchester Jewish Museum, where he’ll co-curate and perform a new song cycle based on migrant experiences. Further ahead he makes debuts at Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels and Opera Philadelphia.
In the 2018/19 season, Peter Brathwaite covered and sang Papageno in The Magic Flute for Opera North. He sang the title role in Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis with Loud Crowd/CHROMA Ensemble at Bold Tendencies and created the role of Doctor in the European Premiere of Philip Hagemann’s The Music Cure. His concert work included Copland’s Old American Songs with Chineke! Orchestra at the Bath, Bury St Edmunds and Brighton festivals, conducted by Wayne Marshall, and the world premiere of Robert Hugill’s The Gardeners at London’s Conway Hall.
Highlights of the 2017-18 season included creating the role of Feldspar in Sam Glazer's Fogonogo, touring to the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Danish National Opera's GrowOp! Festival and the Spitalfields Festival in London. He made his English National Opera debut in Effigies of Wickedness: Songs banned by the Nazis, a new co-production with the Gate Theatre (originated by Peter Brathwaite and directed by Ellen McDougall), sang Papageno The Magic Flute at London's Soho Theatre/UK Tour, appeared as Warder in the UK Premiere of Philip Hagemann's The Dark Lady of the Sonnets for Pegasus Opera, and sang Cacambo Candide for West Green House Opera.
His roles for English Touring Opera include Elviro Xerxes, Silvano La Calisto, Kaidama Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo, L’incognito L’assedio di Calais, Schaunard La boheme and Christus in a semi staged St John Passion. Other roles include L’incognito L’assedio di Calais for Armel Opera Festival, Budapest, Yamadori Madama Butterfly and Marcello La boheme for the Nederlandse Reisopera, Sid La Fanciulla del West for Opera Holland Park and Nelson Porgy & Bess for Opera de Lyon. His world premieres include Billy Bone in Lynne Plowman's Captain Blood’s Revenge for Glyndebourne on Tour, Luis in Randal Corsen’s Katibu di Shon under Ed Spanjaard with the Nederlandse Reisopera at the Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam, Mimoun in Emily Howard's Zatopek! for Second Movement at Queen Elizabeth Hall with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and recorded on the NMC label) and Mr Lancashire in David Stoll's The Drummer Boy of Waterloo for Jubilee Opera at Jubilee Hall Aldeburgh. He has appeared at Shakespeare's Globe as a principal vocalist in Mark Rylance's What You Will and Sonnet Walks; and returned to premiere music by Orlando Gough in Othello at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Other performances in contemporary repertory include Langley in the world premiere of Palace of Junk for Mahogany Opera Group's Various Stages at the ICA London and Jean in Philippe Boesmans' Julie at Operastudio Vlaanderen, Ghent.
In concert, he has performed Mozart arias in televised concerts with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Tonu Kaljuste, and appeared as a soloist with the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and BBC Concert, in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Barbican, Birmingham Symphony Hall and deSingel, Antwerp. Festival appearances include , Aldeburgh, Edinburgh International, Brighton, London Handel and Britten100 at BAM, New York. He has performed in recital at London Song Festival, Bridgewater Hall, the Elgar Room (Royal Albert Hall) and the Opera Vlaanderen with pianists including Nigel Foster, Graham Johnson and Alisdair Hogarth.
In an effort to bring attention to lesser-known works of composers silenced by the Nazi regime, Peter Brathwaite created the multimedia recital Degenerate Music: Music Banned by the Nazis (London Song Festival/Studio Niculescu Berlin/JW3/Manchester Jewish Museum/Schubert Society of Great Britain/BBC Radio 3).
Peter Brathwaite was born in Manchester and graduated with a First Class degree in Philosophy & Fine Art from Newcastle University. He holds a Master’s with distinction from the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Russell Smythe as a Scholar at the Royal College of Music International Opera School. His roles at the Royal College of Music International Opera School included Nardo La finta giardiniera, Papageno Die Zauberfloete and Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He continued his training at the Operastudio Vlaanderen, Ghent.
His prizes include a Peter Moores Foundation Major Award, an Independent Opera at Sadler's Wells Fellowship, The Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Award, and First Prize in the RCM Lieder Competition. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an alumnus of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme. He was presented with the Winston Churchill Fellowship Medallion by the Queen at an investiture held at Buckingham Palace. Peter Brathwaite is the recipient of a 2016/17 International Opera Awards Foundation Bursary and the English Touring Opera Christopher Ball Bursary.
He has written for The Guardian and The Independent, and is a BBC Radio 3 Next Generation Voice. Documentary work includes BBC Radio 4’s Black Music in Europe 2, presented by Clarke Peters . He currently writes and presents features for BBC Radio 3’s Essential Classics. Peter Brathwaite is a Trustee of the Gate Theatre, London.
Updated October 2019.