Meet The Performers

Visiting Artist

William Shimell

William Shimell is one of Britain's most accomplished operatic baritones. Since beginning his career in the United Kingdom, he has earned himself an international reputation in the world's leading opera houses.

As Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, William Shimell has appeared at La Scala, Milan under Riccardo Muti; at the Vienna Staatsoper and Paris Bastille; and in Geneva, Zurich, Munich, Chicago, Madrid and Glyndebourne. He has sung Guglielmo in Così fan tutte at Covent Garden, Paris Bastille, Rome, MET New York, Ravinia, Geneva, Zurich, Tokyo and, on tour with La Scala, at the Bolshoi in Moscow.

William Shimell is well known for his interpretations of Don Giovanni, which he first sang in Britain for Welsh National Opera and ENO, and has since sung in opera houses throughout the world, including Amsterdam and Zurich (with Nikolaus Harnoncourt), Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt, Madrid, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Santiago, Lyon and the Aix Festival. He has recorded the role for EMI with Riccardo Muti.

His reputation has been further enhanced by his performances of Marcello in La Bohème at Covent Garden, the Vienna Staatsoper, The Met and San Francisco. Remarkable were his performances as Nick Shadow in The Rake's Progress in Lyon and San Francisco; as Sharpless in Madame Butterfly in Florence; as Escamillo in Carmen at Paris Bastille; and as Dourlinski in Cherubini's Lodoïska at La Scala (recorded live for Sony).

In recent seasons William Shimell has performed Don Giovanni and Strauss’ Capriccio in Vienna; Cosí fan tutte at The Met and in Israel; Le Nozze di Figaro in Paris, Berlin and Israel; La Bohème in Munich; and Madam Butterfly at the MET.

He is also much in demand on the concert platform, with Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at Orange Festival; Bach's B Minor Mass (recorded with Sir Georg Solti); Pergolesi's La Serva padrona and Stravinsky's Pulcinella (recorded with Riccardo Chailly); and Diepenbrock's Im grossen Schweigen, which he performed with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Chailly. In the 2008/09 season he appeared as Don Alfonso in concert performances of Cosí fan tutte under Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra in Budapest, and in Britten's War Requiem with the Gulbenkian Orchestra and Choir under Simone Young.

More recent opera engagements have included Cosí fan tutte in Japan, Cincinatti, Hamburg and Aix-en-Provence; Don Giovanni at Opera Pacific, in Pittsburgh, Munich and Hamburg; Madam Butterfly, Manon Lescaut and Iphigenie at the MET; The Rake’s Progress in Munich, Dresden, La Monnaie, Lyon and at the MET; the title role in Handel’s Hercules in a Luc Bondy production for Aix-en-Provence, Paris, Vienna, New York and London. Forthcoming plans include The Rake's Progress at La Scala and Brussels' La Monnaie and a return to Covent Garden for Cosí fan tutte and Manon.

Please note: Biographies on the CSO website are based on the information that was most recently provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on the artists' own websites or those of their representatives.