Welsh tenor William Searle is at the beginning of an exciting opera and oratorio career, having recently completed an Alvarez Young Artistship at Garsington Opera, alongside appearing in oratorios from the Royal Albert Hall to Carnegie Hall in New York. He graduated with the highest distinction from the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where his studies with Scott Johnson were supported by a Help Musicians Sybil Tutton Award.
Previous opera roles include Ufficiale in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Ringmaster [OperaFirst performance] in The Bartered Bride at Garsington Opera, Lensky [cover] in Eugene Onegin, Souffleur in Viva la Diva and Bertram in La donna del lago at Buxton International Festival, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with Aberdeen University, Albazar in Il turco in Italia at Longhope Summer Opera and Don Eusebio in L'occasione fa il ladro with British Youth Opera. While at Opera School, he played Le Roi Ouf in L'étoile, Oliver Sacks in The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat and Young Man in A Feast In Time Of Plague, to widespread critical approval. He also finished as the runner-up in both the Ye Cronies Opera Award and the Norma Greig French Song Prize.
He is in increasing demand as an oratorio soloist both in the UK and internationally, singing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Cadogan Hall, the Really Big Chorus at the Royal Albert Hall, and the English Cornett and Sackbutt Ensemble, as well as performing for The Center for Music and Liturgy at Carnegie Hall in New York, Mogens Dahl Kammerkor in Copenhagen and the Orquestra do Algarve in Faro.
He is also a keen performer of song, appearing with Graham Johnson at the Wigmore Hall, as part of the LSO Discovery series at LSO St Luke's, and live on Classic FM for a Westminster Christmas from St John's, Smith Square. Additionally, while a student, he collaborated with Sebastian Wybrew, Marc Verter and Harriet Burns to record a disc of Robert Franz's settings of Osterwald for the MPR label.
Prior to Opera School, he graduated with first-class honours from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he studied with Robert Dean and Adrian Thompson.
William is an accomplished stage performer having spent his formative years training with National Youth Theatre, and additional roles have included Anatol in Samuel Barber’s Vanessa (Brickhouse Theatre), the title role in Idomeneo and Tony in West Side Story (both Piggott's), as well as Opera Scenes as Gonzalve in L'heure espagnole, Ramiro in La Cenerentola, Jupiter in Semele, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, George in Sunday In the Park With George and Jaquino in Fidelio (all RCS), Faust in Gounod's Faust, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Vašek in The Bartered Bride, Lyonel in Martha, Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro (all GSMD).
As a former Making Music UK artist, William is a committed advocate for the oratorio tradition, appearing in Handel's Messiah (Royal Albert Hall, Chapel Royal Tower of London), Britten's St Nicolas (The Facade Ensemble), J.S. Bach’s Magnificat (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), St John Passion (Queen's Park Singers, Phoenix Singers), St Matthew Passion (Battle Festival) and Christmas Oratorio (Beccles Choral Society), Haydn's The Creation (Helensburgh Oratorio Choir, Brecon Cathedral), The Seasons (Bath Abbey), Nelson Mass (Orquestra do Algarve) and Paukenmesse (Aberdeen Bach Choir), Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Cambridge University Symphony Orchestra), Monteverdi’s Vespri della Beata Vergine (English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble), Smyth's Mass in D (Stowmarket Chorale), Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle (Southend Festival), Mozart’s Requiem (Croydon Minster), Schnittke's Requiem (Mogens Dahl Kammerkor - live on Danish radio), Stainer’s The Crucifixion (Chapel Royal Tower of London), Pärt’s Passio and Stabat Mater, Stockhausen’s Stimmung (all The Facade Ensemble) and Maxwell-Davies’s Solstice of Light (Cantate).
Having trained as a chorister from the age of eight, moving from Llandaff Cathedral Choir to Gloucester Cathedral Choir, to the Choir of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, then to the Genesis Sixteen and finally into the National Youth Choir of Great Britain Fellowship, William enjoys an occasional choral appearance with groups such as The Sixteen, Polyphony, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Dunedin Consort, the Britten Sinfonia, Arcangelo and the Chapel Royal at the Tower of London.
He was previously taught by Veronica Veysey-Campbell, Ryland Davies and Dr Ron Morris, while coachings and masterclasses have come from renowned figures such as Sir John Tomlinson, Carlo Rizzi, Graham Johnson, Marcus Farnsworth, Nicky Spence, Kitty Whateley, Dame Emma Kirkby, Dame Ann Murray, Roland Wood, Edith Wiens, Kim Begley and Tom Guthrie.
Before singing professionally, William enjoyed arts administration, working with artists including Stephen Fry, Sebastian Faulks, Judith Weir, Toby Spence and the King’s Singers, chorusmastering, working on productions including Eugene Onegin and Sweeney Todd, and teaching classroom music at Whitgift School. He continues to teach the tenors of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain Training Choir and he is available for private lessons in singing and academic music.
In 2018, he founded, sang and cycled with a consort named The Song Cyclists to fourteen consecutive concerts over 1000 miles between John O'Groats and Land's End, raising £20,000 for the mental health charity Mind.
His studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama were kindly sponsored by the Gillian and Freddie Martin Award and The Margery and Stephen Wright Eisinger Award and then by a Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Trust scholarship at RCS.
Upcoming commitments include a trio of St John Passions in France, a return to the role of Tamino with The Merry Opera Company and the role of Soldato Morocchino in La Ciociara with Wexford Festival Opera.