Giles Tomkins

Giles Tomkins, Bass Baritone

Pacific Opera Victoria
Dr. Grenvil in La traviata
February 2019


Canadian-British bass baritone Giles Tomkins made his Pacific Opera Victoria mainstage debut in October 2009 as Dr. Grenvil in La traviata. An alumnus of Pacific Opera's Resident Artist Program, Giles returned in 2011 as Colline in Puccini's La bohème. In 2013 he performed the roles of Police Superintendent Budd in Britten's Albert Herring, as well as the Sweepmaster in The Little Sweep as part of Pacific Opera's Britten Festival. Subsequent appearances with Pacific Opera included Raimondo in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor; Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville; and Snug in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. In 2018/19 he is Dr. Grenvil for both Edmonton Opera and Pacific Opera's stagings of a five-company Canadian co-production of Verdi's La traviata

Upcoming engagements include Don Basilio with Manitoba Opera and Beethoven's Mass in C with the Bach Elgar Choir.

Recent engagements include Dvorák's Stabat Mater with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Handelís Dettingen Te Deum with the Karen Schuessler Singers in London Ontario, Bachís Peasant Cantata with Toronto Masque Theatre, and Messiah with London Symphonia. In 2018 Giles joined the cast of The Overcoat for the world première of James Rolfeís new opera, co-produced by Tapestry Opera, Canadian Stage Company and Vancouver Opera, directed by Morris Panych.

On the contemporary music scene, Giles joined the cast of The Bells of Baddeck, Dean Burry's music drama based on the life of Alexander Graham Bell, in Cape Breton.

Giles is recognized as one of Canadaís most promising young singers, widely praised for his vocal virtuosity and lyricism in an impressive range of repertoire. His performances in the United Kingdom have included King Arthur (Purcell) at the Aldeburgh Festival and the European première of Queen of Puddings Music Theatre's production of The Midnight Court at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Other recent operatic roles include Angelotti in Tosca with Opera Lyra Ottawa; Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte at Tanglewood (conducted by James Levine); Leporello and the Commendatore in Don Giovanni with Vancouver Opera. In 2015 Giles debuted the role of Konchak in Borodinís rarely-performed Prince Igor with Torontoís Voicebox:Opera in Concert.

Giles has performed with such leading arts organizations in Toronto as the Canadian Opera Company, the Aldeburgh Connection, Opera In Concert, and Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Company. He has also performed alongside such leading chamber music groups as the St. Lawrence String Quartet and the world-renowned Canadian Brass.

He has appeared on seven Naxos recordings with the Aradia Ensemble, including Rameau's Castor et Pollux, Handel's Rinaldo, and Vivaldi's Griselda, has recorded with the Canadian Brass and The Elmer Iseler Singers, is featured on a Centrediscs release of Baby Kintyre: An Opera by Dean Burry, and has released a solo CD And So It Goes. He has also frequently been featured on CBC Radio, Classical 96 FM, Bravo! Television, and BBC Radio 3 in the UK.


 

Giles Tomkins handles his role as Sergeant of Police with glorious goofiness, combining with members of the Vancouver Opera Chorus with that ludicrously charming character song A Policemanís Lot Is Not a Happy One.
John Jane, Review Vancouver, 2012

Giles Tomkins' opportunistic Don Basilio (his account of "La Calunnia" was first rate)... rounded out the accomplished cast very well.
Wayne Gooding, Opera Canada, 2012

Don Basilio in the able hands of Giles Tomkins is also a creation of new and surprising qualities, at least a far as Iíve experienced. Here is a man with constantly startled eyeballs who lays on his innuendo like sticky jam, which is doubly funny in a beautifully sung bass-baritone. He glides as he walks and is hilarious as an understated presence.
James Strecker, jamesstrecker.com, 2011


 

January 2019