Colin Ainsworth made his Pacific Opera Victoria debut as Tamino in the 2009 production of The Magic Flute, followed later that year by his role debut as Tom Rakewell in The Rake's Progress. He returned in 2013 to perform Nannetta's lover Fenton in Verdi's Falstaff, and in 2019 he makes his role debut as Alfredo in Verdi's La traviata.
Colin has distinguished himself with his exceptional singing, remarkable diction, and diverse repertoire stretching from the Baroque to modern music.
He is Artist-in-Residence with Opera Atelier for the 2018/19 season, where he performs the title roles Mozart's Idomeneo and in a double bill of Charpentier’s Actéon and Rameau’s Pygmalion which toured to the Royal Opera House in Versailles and the Harris Theater, Chicago.
Acclaimed for his interpretations of the major Classical and Baroque operas, his many roles have also included the title roles in Orphée et Euridice, Castor et Pollux, Roberto Devereux and Albert Herring; Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Tonio in La fille du régiment, Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles, Pylades in Iphigénie en Tauride, Renaud in Lully’s Armide, and Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Also an avid supporter of new works, he has appeared in the world premieres of John Estacio’s Lillian Alling at Vancouver Opera, Stuart MacRae's The Assassin Tree at the Edinburgh International Festival, Victor Davies’ The Transit of Venus with Manitoba Opera, and Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna at Sadler’s Wells in London and at the Luminato Festival. Other past opera engagements have included appearances at the Royal Opera House, Chicago Opera Theatre, Glimmerglass Opera, L’Opéra Français de New York, Opera Atelier, Pacific Opera Victoria, Calgary Opera, and the Greek National Opera.
A prolific concert singer, Mr. Ainsworth has appeared with the Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Calgary Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra of San Francisco, Music of the Baroque in Chicago, Mercury Baroque in Houston, Les Violons du Roy in Montreal, the Nash Ensemble, and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. He has also appeared at the Lanaudière, Montreal Baroque, Elora, and the Aldeburgh Connection festivals. His vast concert and recital repertoire includes Bach’s Mass in B Minor, St. Matthew Passion, and St. John’s Passion, Handel’s Messiah, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mozart’s Requiem, Schubert’s Dichterliebe and Die Schöne Müllerin and Janàcek’s Diary of One Who Vanished. Mr. Ainsworth frequently is in recital singing the music of Schubert, Schumann, Duparc, Fauré and has premiered many new works, especially those of Canadian composer, Derek Holman.
Mr. Ainsworth’s growing discography includes Vivaldi’s La Griselda (Naxos), Castor et Pollux (Naxos), Schubert Among Friends (Marquis Classics), Gloria in Excelsis Deo with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (CBC Records), the collected masses of Vanhal, Haydn, and Cherubini with Nicholas McGegan (Naxos), and the premiere recording of Derek Holman’s The Heart Mislaid which was included on the Aldeburgh Connection’s Our Songs (Marquis Classics). He also appears in a live DVD recording of Lully’s Persée with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Euroarts).
The clear, articulate voice and boy-next-door quality that made the tenor Colin Ainsworth so appealing as Tamino in The Magic Flute last season are also well suited to the role of Tom Rakewell, and as an actor Ainsworth is convincing and affecting at every stage of the duped, doomed hero’s 'progress'.
Kevin Bazzana, Times Colonist, Pacific Opera Victoria's The Rake's Progress, 2009
Colin Ainsworth establishes once again, from his very first notes, that vocal purity is the best attribute a tenor can possess. Add perfect leading man looks and a wonderful sense of bewildered charm and you have the quintessential Tamino.
Richard Ouzounian, The Toronto Star, Opera Atelier's The Magic Flute, 2013