Meet 2019 Bach Baritone, Les Flanagan
Australian baritone Leslie John Flanagan has performed leading roles throughout Australia, Europe and the USA, including performances at the Sydney Opera House, in London at English National Opera’s Coliseum, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Janacek Theatre in Brno and at the Edinburgh Festival. Recent operatic performances include Mitrovsky in the première of Twice Upon a Birthday for The Metropolitan Opera Guild, and Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte) with Southern Plains Opera. Dr. Flanagan earned the bachelor’s degree in music from the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane, Australia, and the master’s degree in opera performance from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Music) in Glasgow, Scotland. Upon completion of his master’s studies, he became an inaugural member of English National Opera’s prestigious Jerwood Young Singer’s Programme in London.
Roles with English National Opera, included Rossini’s Figaro, Guglielmo Cosi fan tutte, Schaunard La Boheme, Morales Carmen, Barney in the world première of Mark Anthony Turnage’s The Silver Tassie alongside Gerald Finley, Donner Das Rheingold, and Ned Keene Peter Grimes. Other credits included Guglielmo in Paris, Escamillo Carmen for the Longbourough Festival Opera, Silvio Pagliacci for Haddo House Opera, the title role in Don Giovanni (Edinburgh Festival), Smirnov The Bear, and Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Papageno The Magic Flute in Australia and Carmen and Dead Man Walking with the Fort Worth Opera. Dr. Flanagan is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Australian Singing Competition’s RSAMD Award, the Sir Alexander Gibson Memorial Scholarship, the Texaco International Opera Prize, the Shreveport Singer of the Year Competition Delbert Chumley Award, and the Benton-Schmidt Competition; he was a Semi-Finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Awards, Quarter-Finalist in the Montreal International Singing Competition and the audience prizewinner and first runner-up in the Birmingham Opera Competition.
Concert engagements include Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at the International Messiah Festival, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Canterbury Choral Society and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Carmina Burana with Sir David Willcocks at the Royal Albert Hall, London, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten’s War Requiem at the Bratislava and Brno International Music Festivals, a concert performance of Prokofiev’s War and Peace at the BBC Proms, and a recital of German Lieder with pianist Wolfram Rieger at London’s Wigmore Hall. He has worked with many of opera’s and classical music’s leading conductors, accompanists and directors, including Sir Charles Mackerras, Edward Gardner, Paul Daniel OBE, David Parry OBE, Graham Johnson, Sir Jonathan Miller, Keith Warner, Deborah Warner, David Freeman and Spanish director Calixto Bieto.
Dr. Flanagan’s professional recording credits include the First Apprentice on Chandos’ recording of Wozzeck, Barney in ENO’S live world premier recording of The Silver Tassie, also available on DVD from the BBC, Bach’s St. John Passion with the BBC, and on Roger Webster’s Travels with my Trumpet with English soprano Janis Kelly.