Paul Agnew was born in Glasgow and read music as a Choral Scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford. He works regularly with the world’s leading early music groups and conductors including William Christie, Marc Minkowski, Ton Koopman, John Eliot Gardiner and Philippe Herreweghe.
Regarded as the leading interpreter of the French Baroque haute-contre roles, Paul made his Paris opera debut singing the title role in Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie at the Palais Garnier with Les Arts Florissants. He has returned to Opéra National de Paris to give performances of Rameau’s Platée, Les Boréades and Les Indes galantes. He has also appeared for Opéra de Lyon and Zurich Opera.
Paul was Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music Artist in Residence in 2004 and performs regularly at the Edinburgh Festival. Other concert appearances have included Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ with the orchestra of Komische Oper Berlin, Mozart’s Davidde penitente at Konzerthaus Vienna, Alceste at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Handel’s La resurrezione with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Emmanuelle Haïm.
Paul Agnew’s discography includes Beethoven Lieder, L’Enfance du Christ with La Chapelle Royale under Herreweghe, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Bach cantatas with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra under Koopman, Monteverdi’s Vespers, Charpentier’s La Descente d’Orphée aux enfers and Rameau’s Grands Motets with Les Arts Florissants under Christie, and Sally Beamish’s In Dreaming with Fretwork. His performances as Abaris (Les Boréades), Valère (Les Indes galantes)and Platée are available on DVD.
Highlights in the 2005/06 season include Davidde penitente with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Il re pastore and a program of Mozart arias, both with Les Folies Françoises, Haydn’s L’anima filosofo with the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra and Platée at the Palais Garnier.
Paul sang the title role in Dardanus (2005) for Pinchgut.
This bio taken from the last program in which Paul appeared.
Photo by Bridget Elliot
Pinchgut Opera acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the first story-tellers and singers of songs. We pay our respects to elders past, present, and emerging.