Neil Craighead made his Pacific Opera Victoria debut as Truffaldino in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos in 2014, returning in 2016 for the role of Pietro in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra. In 2018 he takes on the role of Don Fernando in Beethoven's Fidelio.
Neil's 2018/19 season includes the Speaker in Die Zauberflöte (Opéra de Québec), and Colline in La Bohème (Calgary Opera, Vancouver Opera, Canadian Opera Company). 2017/18 credits include his role debut as Scarpia in Tosca (Opera on the Avalon), Zuniga in Carmen (Opéra de Québec) and the Canadian Opera Company's Sesquicentennial production of Louis Riel. Further credits include Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte (Edmonton Opera) and Leporello in Against the Grain's #UncleJohn.
An alumnus of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, Mr Craighead has appeared for the COC in Tosca, Gianni Schicchi, Ariadne auf Naxos, Die Zauberflöte, Idomeneo, Salome, Dialogues des Carmélites, La clemenza di Tito and the Robert Lepage production of The Nightingale and other Fables.
Neil Craighead was born in Cape Town, South Africa and grew up in Calgary, where he was a member of the Calgary Boys Choir. In his youth he studied voice in the Academy program at Mount Royal College and later received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Opera from the University of British Columbia where he studied with Canadian baritone Peter Barcza. During his university years, he participated in tours and performances in Austria, the Czech Republic and China.
Craighead's singing with its caramelized undertones is intoxicating, his instrument lustrous as neon.
Ian Ritchie, Opera Going Toronto, review of Against the Grain Theatre's #UncleJohn