Alexander Robin Baker
Winner of Second Prize at the 2008 Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Competition, Alexander Robin Baker graduated from the National Opera Studio in Summer 2012. Born in Epsom, Surrey, he was a Music Scholar at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, graduated in July 2007 B.Mus. with first-class honours from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating from the Post Graduate Vocal Studies Course under the tuition of David Pollard. During his time at the Guildhall he took part in many Concerts and Masterclasses, most notably with Sir John Tomlinson, Graham Johnson and Sarah Walker, and sang Edoardo L’Assedio di Calais, The Philosopher Chérubin and Norton La cambiale di matrimonio.
Alexander Robin Baker has been kindly supported by the Maidment Scholarship and the Boise Scholarship, the former giving him the opportunity to take part in Masterclasses with Dame Ann Murray. He also acknowledges the kind support of the Countess of Munster Trust and the Laurin and the Arthur Glaze Trust.
He sang Smirnov The Bear with the Nationale Reisopera RAP at the Grachtenfestival, Amsterdam, and during 2010 / 2011, made debuts with Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Novice’s Friend Billy Budd and with Glyndebourne On Tour as Mercurio L’Incoronazione di Poppea. He won the 2010 Glyndebourne On Tour Donald A. Anderson Award and was a Jerwood Young Artist at the 2011 Glyndebourne Festival singing The Huntsman Rusalka. His performance as Novice’s Friend Billy Budd is now available on Opus Ray Blu Ray / DVD. He returned to Glyndebourne to create Neto in Julian Phillips’ The Yellow Sofa both at the Festival and on the Tour.
Concert engagements have included J. S. Bach Cantata No. 11 and Easter Oratorio with the Israel Camerata, Messiah with Collegium Musicum, Bergen C. P. E. Bach Magnificat with the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra, the B Minor Mass with the Royal Northern Sinfonia, The Dream of Gerontius with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Fauré Requiem with the City of London Sinfonia and the Philharmonia Orchestra, Messiah with the Royal Choral Society and Lund University Chamber Choir, Sweden, Edward Harper’s Second Symphony with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, The Forester The Cunning Little Vixen Suite with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, David Mathews’ Marina in the Composers’ Portrait series, broadcast live on Radio 3, Chichibio The Goose of Cairo with the London Mozart Players, Carmina Burana with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Phil Venables’ The Revenge of Miguel Cotto with the London Sinfonietta and the première of Kernal Yusuf’s Cain with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival.
He has appeared at the Aldeburgh, Chipping Campden and Ponte de Lima, Portugal, Festivals, and has worked with the Brandenburg Sinfonia, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Ten Tors Orchestra. Conductors with whom he has worked include Keri-Lynn Wilson, Avner Biron, Martyn Brabbins, Richard Cooke, Sir Andrew Davies, Edward Gardner, Simon Ible, Stephen Layton, Paul McCreesh, Frank Ollu, Simon Over, David Parry, Yutaka Sado, Ivor Setterfield and Jeremy Silver. For Rambert Dance Company, he was baritone soloist in Eternal Light: A Requiem.
He made his debut with English National Opera as Fiorello The Barber of Seville and has returned as Gizmo The Way Back Home, Yamadori Madam Butterfly, Happy The Girl of the Golden West and Samuel The Pirates of Penzance. He has also sung Lorenzo I Capuleti e i Montecchi and Starveling A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Bergen National Opera, Starveling at the Hyogo Performing Center, Japan, Anfinomo The Return of Ulysses for Iford Arts, Papageno The Magic Flute and Schaunard La bohème for Nevill Holt Opera and Figaro Il barbiere di Siviglia for Rossini 2016.
He sang The Vicar Albert Herring for The Grange Festival, and his current engagements include Junkman / King Hermann Augustus Candide for Bergen National Opera, London, Schaunard La bohème for Stone Brewing Meets Opera, Berlin, Father / Other Father Coraline for the Royal Opera, London, Messiah with the Nederlandse Reisopera, Ligeti’s Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures with Pasappha, Carmina Burana with the Leith Hill Musical Festival and Big Sing with Opera North. His recordings include Francesco in Edward Loder’s Raymond and Agnes with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia conducted by Richard Bonynge for Retrospect Opera.
Please note that this biography is not to be used for programmes. Current information is available on request.
Mr Gedge: Albert Herring / The Grange Festival
“Britten's parodies are always done with love and respect, so that they can end up being surprisingly moving - in the first place, the Reverend Gedge's homily on virtue, radiantly sung by Alexander Robin Baker.“
The Arts Desk
“Alexander Robin-Baker's vicar, clearly besotted with Anna Gillingham's schoolteacher, displayed a ringing voice…”
“Fully formed characterisations also come from (ia) Alexander Robin-Baker whose melting baritone in praise of virtue suggested Mr Gedge’s essential goodness.”
“There is characterful support from Adrian Thompson as Mr Upfold and Alexander Robin Baker as the vicar.”
The Financial Times
”...the vignettes of Loxford’s great and good are about as good as it gets. Anna Gillingham’s twittery schoolteacher, Alexander Robin Baker’s conventionally judgemental vicar, Adrian Thompson’s self-satisfied mayor and Andri Björn Róbersson’s decent but dim village bobby are all a joy...“
“Alexander Robin-Baker was an exceptionally noble Mr Gedge, singing his paean of praise to Virtue with gloriously full, rounded tone…"
“The ensemble is uniformly strong, but some rising singers really grab their chances: Alexander Robin-Baker, sounding radiant, but leching unctuously as Mr Gedge the vicar…”
Edoardo 111: L’Assiedo di Calais / GSMD
“…majestically sung by Baker…”
“…Alexander Robin Baker revealed a warm, nutty baritone as the strutting English king: certainly plenty of bel canto promise there.”
Messiah / Bath Choral Society
“…Alexander Robin Baker gave us a supple, unforced The trumpet shall sound…”
Harper: Symphony No. 2 / Scottish Chamber Orchestra
“From its aching Mahlerian introduction through to its close, the symphony is an emotional journey, with a beating heart of profound compassion and conciliation, sung by the SCO and the magnificent baritone Alexander Robin Baker, a late replacement soloist who penetrated the soul of the music. I don’t know what little time he had to learn it, but he did it well”.
“At its heart is Them! Not Us!, set to a powerful poem by Ron Butlin which explores the tragic deaths of children, particularly those caught up in war. The honeyed tones of baritone Alexander Robin Baker, stepping in for an indisposed Leigh Melrose, made the words all the more chilling.”
“The rich-toned baritone Alexander Robin Baker…”
Chichibio: The Goose of Cairo / London Mozart Players
“Special accolades, however, should go to Quirijn de Lang who provided a perfectly pitched portrayal of the mysterious Don Pippo, Robert Murray who tackled his vocal lines with verve as Biondello, and Alexander Robin Baker who was a class act as Chichibio.”
“…the combined vocal energy and charisma of Ellie Laugharne (Auretta) and Alexander Robin Baker (Chichibio) conspired to eclipse the lovers…”
Papageno: The Magic Flute / Nevill Holt Opera
“The production was fortunate in fielding a strongly played, funny Papageno in Alexander Robin Baker, whose attractive voice and natural comic timing had the audience eating out of his hand and his robust way of charming the birds out of the trees.”
“Alexander Robin Baker proved a garrulous Papageno with a nice nutty baritone for his Volks-liked like numbers.”
Schaunard: La bohème / Nevill Holt Opera
“(Nicholas Chalmer’s) an astute voice-spotter, too: Alexander Robin Baker (Schaunard), Ross McInroy (Colline) and Martin Lamb (Benoît and Alcindoro) offered sterling support…
The Sunday Times
“With Alexander Robin Baker and Ross McInroy offering strong characterisations of Schaunard and Colline, this Bohème does the business.”
Norton: La cambiale di matrimonio / GSMD
“The servants Norton and Clarina were strongly drawn by Alexander Robin Baker and Raquel Luis.”
Father – Other Father: Coraline / Royal Opera, London
“Alexander Robin Baker is a warm generous stage presence as the Father and Other Father…”
“Alexander Robin Baker is wonderfully warm and eccentric with great comic timing as Coraline’s real father and the sinister Other Father to come.”
“Alexander Robin Baker makes a perfect, and at times touchingly sympathetic foil as the two fathers…”
“Alexander Robin Baker displays a superb baritone as the Father and Other Father.”
“Alexander Robin Baker is amiable as Coraline’s inventor father…”
“Alexander Robin Baker was excellent value as the fathers…”
Kathleen Ferrier Competition 2008
“Second prize went to baritone Alexander Robin Baker who perhaps came closest to producing the “wow” factor that spellbinds an audience.”
“His was by far the most sensitive and musically intelligent singing of the evening…”
Britten Billy Budd (role of Novice’s Friend)
John Mark Ainsley, Jacques Imbrailo, Philip Ens, Iain Paterson, Matthew Rose, Alasdair Elliott, John Moore, Jeremy White, Ben Johnson, Colin Judson
The Glyndebourne Chorus
London Philharmonic Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder
Opus Arte Blu Ray OA BD7086 D
Loder Raymond and Agnes (role of Francesco)
Majella Cullagh, Carolyn Dobbin, Mark Milhofer, Alexander Robin Baker, Andrew Greenan, Retrospect Opera Chorus
Royal Ballet Sinfonia / Richard Bonynge
Retrospect Opera CD RO 005