Christopher Purves started his musical life as a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, and went on to become a member of experimental rock group Harvey and the Wallbangers.
Highlights of his 2022–23 season include Balstrode in Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes for the Bavarian State Opera, Father-in-Law in Kaija Saariaho’s Innocence for the Royal Opera House, Alberich in Richard Wagner’s Siegfried for Zurich Opera House, and Joseph Haydn’s The Creation with the Rotterdam Philharmonic. He has also sung at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; La Scala; Opera North; Dutch National Opera; Lyric Opera of Chicago; Houston Grand Opera; Festival d’Aix-en-Provence; Glyndebourne Festival Opera; and Salzburg Festival. In concert, he has performed with the New York Philharmonic, London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, and Handel and Haydn Society, among others. He makes his San Francisco Symphony debut with these performances.
Mr. Purves has created roles in a number of notable premieres, most recently singing Walt Disney in the world premiere of Phillip Glass’s The Perfect American at Teatro Real Madrid and English National Opera. He also premiered George Benjamin’s Written on Skin to widespread acclaim. His extensive discography includes the title role in Le nozze di Figaro for Chandos, Messiah with The Sixteen, Written on Skin with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and Mozart’s Requiem with the Choir of King’s College. His second volume of Handel’s Finest Arias was released on Hyperion with Arcangelo, following the success of his debut solo recording in 2012.