Praised by The Guardian for his “appealing baritone,” and awarded an Audition Oracle Singers’ Preparation Scholarship, Felix Kemp makes his debut with the Royal Opera, London, this season as a Flemish Deputy Don Carlo.
At the Royal Opera House, he will also give a Crush Room Recital, and highlights of his current season further include Don Fernando Fidelio for Lyric Opera, Dublin, J. S. Bach Lutheran Mass and Mozart Requiem on tour with the Israel Camerata, The Creation with the New London Orchestra, Elijah in Arundel Cathedral, Birmingham Bach Choir’s Centenary Concert in Lichfield Cathedral, The Outsiders Fight Back for the opening concert of the 2019 London Song Festival and two recitals of Songs by Brahms, Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky with Sholto Kynoch for Oxford Lieder.
In opera, Felix Kemp has sung Giove La Calisto for Longborough Festival Opera,Felix in Tom Coult’s Devil in The Belfry with the Britten Sinfonia as part of Jerwood Opera at Snape Maltings, Le Brigadier in Hérold’s Le Pré aux Clercs at the Wexford Festival, Noah / George Putnam in Russell Hepplewhite’s Silver Electra and Gaoler Tosca for English Touring Opera, The Chief in Odaline de la Martinez’s Imoinda with Lontano, Masetto Don Giovanni for British Youth Opera, The Herald The Travelling Companion for New Sussex Opera, the title role in Eugene Onegin for Opera UpClose, Marchese d’Obigny La traviata as an Opera Holland Park Young Artist and Melot Tristan und Isolde for Grange Park Opera.
His concert engagements have included J. S. Bach B Minor Mass and St John Passion in Coventry Cathedral, the St John Passion in St Albans Abbey, the St Matthew Passion with the New London Orchestra in Southwark Cathedral, Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Orion Orchestra at Cadogan Hall, London, Howard Goodall Eternal Light: A Requiem with the Southern Sinfonia, Elijah in Lincoln Cathedral,John Rutter The Reluctant Dragon for a John Lewis Partnership Concert at London’s Royal Festival Hall and Vaughan Williams Dona nobis pacem in Truro Cathedral.
On the recital platform, as a Britten-Pears Young Artist Felix Kemp has performed Wolf Lieder at Snape Maltings, has explored opera arias in masterclasses with Sir Antonio Pappano as part of the Aldeburgh Festival and appeared in A Bernstein Celebrationfor the London Song Festival.
International engagements have included J. S. Bach Pilate St John Passion with Musikk i Sandefjord, Oslo, Brahms German Requiem in Paris with Ensemble Zene and Handel Judas Maccabaeus with Ensemble Sagittarius in Bordeaux.
Following private studies in London, Felix Kemp continued his postgraduate studies at Trinity Laban, generously supported by the Kathleen Roberts Vocal Scholarship. His awards include First Prize at the Elisabeth Schumann Lieder Competition, Second Prize at the London Song Festival’s British Art Song Competition and the Audience Prize at the John Kerr Award for English Song.
Felix Kemp’s recordings include Pierrot in Ethel Smyth’s Fête Galant for Retrospect Opera (selected as a Favourite CD of 2019 by Manchester Classical Music) and The Herald in Stanford’s The Travelling Companion for SOMM Recordings. His broadcasts include In Tune for BBC Radio 3.
Please note that this biography is not to be used for programmes. Current information is available on request.
The Outsiders Fight Bank / London Song Festival 2019
“Felix Kemp was superbly moving in lyrical ballads.”
Giove: La Calisto / Longborough Festival Opera
“The cast was a knockout too…strutting, swaggering and seducing their way across the stage in spangly suits – every smirk oozing slick, amoral entitlement – Felix Kemp as Giove, and Neil Balfour as his beatboxing (and how!) wingman Mercurio, just kept boogying away with the whole show. Boy, it looked fun to be them. No pat morality here: just human nature stripped bare – titillating, shocking and appallingly enjoyable.”
“…an appealing timbre, well produced and assured. He’s clearly a find.”
Classical Music Daily
“The singers are musically glamorous, capturing an impressive range of character and drama. Felix Kemp offers a certain lurid charm.”
“Felix Kemp reveals an excellent baritone as Giove.”
“…there are spirited performances from (i.a.) Felix Kemp as the preening Giove.”
Haydn: Nelson Mass / Birmingham Bach Choir
“Anita Watson and Felix Kemp soared through their virtuoso solos…”
Midlands Music Reviews
Masetto: Don Giovanni / British Youth Opera
“Felix Kemp was a strong and characterful Masetto…”
“Felix Kemp, Masetto…stood out.”
“Felix Kemp, an unusually classy Masetto, phrased with elegance.”
Pierrot: Fête Galante / Retrospect Opera CD
“…the shining vocal performances are by Felix Kemp as Pierrot, Carolyn Dobbin as The Queen and Mark Milhofer as The Lover.”
British Music Society
“Felix Kemp’s plangent, doomed Pierrot makes a particular impression…”
“Of the soloists, I was most taken with the baritone Felix Kemp, whose Pierrot is as precisely enunciated as it is warmly sung: his sardonic little songs are spellbinding.”
“Felix Kemp shows his Bel Canto credentials as Pierrot.”
“The shadows truly fall when baritone Felix Kemp sings Pierrot’s central aria, an abstract meditation on life…Kemp pays careful attention to both the text and the vocal phrasing.”
“Felix Kemp makes a very appealing and affecting Pierrot…”
The Herald: The Travelling Companion / New Sussex Opera
“Felix Kemp as The Herald exhibited a youthfully flexible baritone.”
“Felix Kemp brings a ceremonial authority to the role of the Herald.”
“Felix Kemp’s lyric baritone made an excellent impression in the Herald’s smiling, bureaucratic urbanities.”
“Felix Kemp was appropriately stentorian and clear as the Herald.”
“Felix Kemp made a noble Herald.”
Eugene Onegin / OperaUpClose
“Onegin is well sung by Felix Kemp…Kemp’s appealing baritone.”
“Felix Kemp’s Onegin was suitably self-controlled, so that his later disintegration came as a shock. His cynical arousal of Tatyana was elegantly sung…”
“Surrounded by a cast of superb, rich vocalists (Felix Kemp as Onegin and Anthony Flaum as Lensky create a fantastic duo, playing off each other physically as well as with completely complementary vocals) the story of Tanya growing to independence is well rendered.”
The Reviews Hub
“Felix Kemp, a pleasing young baritone…”
“There’s no faulting the intensity of the performances, particularly from Felix Kemp as a suave Onegin.”
“Felix Kemp’s light baritone allowed him the freedom to express floods of natural emotion during Onegin’s descent from disdain to desperation.”
Marchese d’Obigny: La traviata / Opera Holland Park Young Artists
“There were clearly-defined, strongly-voiced cameos from (ia) Felix Kemp (d’Obigny)…”
Melot: Tristan und Isolde / Grange Park Opera
“Felix Kemp did as much as he could with what Wagner gives him as Melot.”
Seen and Heard International
Smyth Fête Galant (role of Pierrot)
Charmian Bedford, Carolyn Dobbin, Alessandro Fisher, Mark Milhofer, Simon Wallfisch
Lontano Ensemble / Odaline de la Martinez
Retrospect Opera CD RO 007
Stanford The Travelling Companion (role of The Herald)
Kate Valentine, David Horton, Julien Van Mellaerts
New Sussex Opera Orchestra and Chorus / Toby Purser
SOMM Recordings SOMMCD 274-2