GILES TOMKINS

Bass-Baritone

BIOGRAPHY

Canadian/British bass-baritone Giles Tomkins is widely praised for his vocal virtuosity and lyricism in an impressive range of repertoire. His rich, resonant voice brings “authority and power” to the concert and operatic stage.

 

Upcoming concert engagements in 2017/18 include Handel’s Dettingem Te Deum with Karen Schuessler Singers in London Ontario, Bach’s Peasant Cantata with Toronto Masque Theatre and Messiah with London Symphonia. Giles joins the cast of The Overcoat, a 2018 world premiere of James Rolfe’s new opera, co-produced by Tapestry Opera, Canadian Stage Company and Vancouver Opera, directed by Morris Panych.

 

Mr. Tomkins’ operatic roles include Don Basilio (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Pistola (Falstaff), Superintendent Budd (Albert Herring), Leporello/Commendatore (Don Giovanni), and Sergeant of Police (Pirates of Penzance). He has been engaged by Vancouver Opera, Toronto Operetta Theatre, Pacific Opera Victoria and Edmonton Opera.

 

Noted for his convincing portrayal of the philosopher Colline in La Bohème, Giles has performed the role with Scottish Opera, as well as with Saskatoon Opera, Manitoba Opera and Pacific Opera Victoria.

 

Of his role debut in Turandot with Edmonton Opera, Bill Rankin/Opera Canada wrote - "Giles Tomkins sang the role of Liu's master, the aged Timur, and he made the most of the small part with a lustrous tone and appropriately decrepit demeanour”. In 2017, Giles made his Canadian Opera Company debut as Sciarrone in Tosca.

 

Recent oratorio performances include Elijah with Vancouver Bach Choir, Messiah with Elmer Iseler Singers, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Symphony New Brunswick, Dvorak’s Requiem with Chorus Niagara, St. John Passion with Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Symphony Nova Scotia, as well as Messiah with Regina Symphony and Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra.

 

On the contemporary music scene, Mr. Tomkins starred as Gandalf in Dean Burry’s The Hobbit with Canadian Childrens Opera Company and joined the cast of The Bells of Baddeck, Lorna MacDonald and Dean Burry’s music drama based on the life of Alexander Graham Bell.

As Timur in Turandot with Edmonton Opera –

"Giles Tomkins sang the role of Liu's master, the aged Timur, and he made the most of the small part with a lustrous tone and an appropriately decrepit demeanour."

Bill Rankin, Opera Canada

 

In Dublin Messiah with Symphony Nova Scotia –

"The authority and power he brought to the stunning piece ‘The Trumpet Shall Sound’ was staggering."

Stephen Pedersen, Halfax Herald

 

SELECTED ROLES

Raimondo | Lucia di Lammermoor

Don Basilio | Barber of Seville

Leporello | Don Giovanni

SELECTED REPERTOIRE

Mendelssohn | Elijah

Handel | Messiah

Bach | St. John Passion

Giles Tomkins, Bass-Baritone

RESUME

Opera

2017

Sciarrone (Tosca)

O’Donaghue/Osler† (Louis Riel)

2016

Gandalf (The Hobbit)

Timur (Turandot)

Don Basilio (Il Barbiere di Siviglia)

Hubbard/Curtiss (The Bells of Baddeck)

2015

Konchak (Prince Igor)

Don Basilio (Il Barbiere di Siviglia)

Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor)

Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor)

2014

Angelotti (Tosca)

Leporello/Commendatore (Don Giovanni)

Colline (La Boheme)

2013

Superintendent Budd (Albert Herring)

 

2012

Colline (La Boheme)

Oberto (Oberto)

Sergeant of Police (Pirates of Penzance)

2011

Colline (La Boheme)

Dr. Grenvil ( La Traviata)

Marbuel (The Devil and Kate)

2010

Achilla ( Guilio Cesare)

Colline (La Boheme)

2009

A Mummer's Masque

Pedro (Iñes)

Colline (La Bohème)

Dr. Grenvil (La Traviata)

Cold Genius (King Arthur)

2008

Figaro (Le Nozze di Fiagaro)

Pistola (Falstaff)

2007

Don Basilio (Il Barbière di Siviglia)

Don Alfonso (Così Fan Tutte)

Father/Don Paulo (The Shadow)*

2006

Big Billy Brett (Elijah’s Kite)

Usher (The Midnight Court)

Colline (La Bohème)

 

 

Puccini

Somers

 

Burry

Puccini

Rossini

MacDonald/Burry

 

Borodin

Rossini

Donizetti

Donizetti

 

Puccini

Mozart

Puccini

 

Britten

 

 

Puccini

Verdi

Gilbert & Sullivan

 

Puccini

Verdi

Dvorak

 

Handel

Puccini

 

Dean Burry

Rolfe

Puccini

Verdi

Purcell

 

Mozart

Verdi

 

Rossini

Mozart

Daniel

 

Rolfe

Sokolovic

Puccini

 

 

Canadian Opera Company

Canadian Opera Company

 

Canadian Childrens Opera Company

Edmonton Opera

Pacific Opera Victoria

Baddeck, Nova Scotia

 

Voicebox:Opera in Concert

Opera Lyra Ottawa

Pacific Opera Victoria

Edmonton Opera

 

Opera Lyra Ottawa

Vancouver Opera

Manitoba Opera

 

Pacific Opera Victoria

Vancouver Opera

 

Kingston Symphony Orchestra*

Opera in Concert, Toronto

Vancouver Opera

 

Pacific Opera Victoria

Vancouver Opera

Opera in Concert, Toronto

 

COSI, Sulmona, Italy

Highlands Opera Studio, Haliburton

 

Toronto Masque Theatre

Queen of Puddings Music Theatre

Saskatoon Opera

Pacific Opera Victoria

Toronto Masque Theatre

 

Opera Lyra Ottawa

Scottish Opera, Glasgow

 

Scottish Opera

Tanglewood Music Festival

Tapestry New Opera

 

Tapestry New Opera

Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre

Scottish Opera

* In Concert

† Cover

PRESS KIT

HEADSHOTS

DOCUMENTS

Updated Sep 2017

 

 

AUDIO

Bach

Betrachte, meine Seel

St. John Passion

 

Handel

Why Do The Nations

Messiah

 

Mendelssohn

Lord God Of Abraham

Elijah

 

Handel

Sorge Infausta

Orlando

 

Mozart

Aprite Un Po' Quegl' Occhi

Le Nozze Di Figaro

 

Bellini

Vi Ravviso

La Sonnambula

 

Puccini

Vecchia Zimarra

La bohème

 

Wagner

O Du Mein Holder Abendstern

Tannhäuser

ARTIST CONNECTIONS

www.gilestomkins.com

@tomkinsgiles

VIDEO

Puccini

Vecchia zimarra

La Bohème

Floyd

Hear me, O Lord

Susannah

Bellini

Vi ravviso

La Sonnambula

 

Handel

Handel

 

Rossini

Mendelssohn

 

J.S. Bach

Beethoven

Beethoven

Dvorak

 

Various

 

Handel/Barber

Berlioz

Handel

 

Bach

 

Mozart

 

Rossini

Handel

 

Alvarez, Sokolovic

 

 

David Mott

 

Handel

Mott

Bach

Various

Handel

Various

Handel

Beethoven

Mendelssohn

Various

 

Ibert

Bach

Beethoven

 

Handel

Handel

Purcell

Oratorio

2016

Messiah

Messiah

2015

Petite Messe Solennelle

Elijah

2014

St. John Passion

Ninth Symphony

Ninth Symphony

Requiem

2012

"30th Anniversary Gala Concert"

2011

"Solace"/Dover Beach

Damnation of Faust

Messiah

 

Christmas Oratorio

2010

Mass in C Minor

 

Petite Messe Solennelle

Messiah

 

Soundstreams with Tambuco Percussion

 

2009

Jazz Creation

2008

Messiah

A Jazz Creation

St. John Passion

"Blessed Cecilia"

Messiah

"Parnassus on Elm Street"

Judas Maccabaeus

Mass in C

Elijah

"Parnassus of Elm Street"

2007

Quartre Chansons de Don Quichotte

St. John Passion

An Die Ferne Geliebte

2006

Messiah

Messiah

King Arthur

 

Regina Symphony Orchestra

Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra

 

Bach Elgar Choir, Hamilton

Vancouver Bach Choir

 

Thirteen Strings, Ottawa

Peterborough Symphony

Symphony New Brunswick

Chorus Niagara/Orpheus Choir

 

Aldeburgh Connection

 

Thirteen Strings, Ottawa

Vancouver Bach Choir

Symphony Nova Scotia

Aradia Ensemble

Windsor Symphony Orchestra

 

King Edward Choir, Barrie

London Fanshawe Chorus

Cellar Singers, Orillia

Elmer Iseler Singers

Bach Elgar Choir

Cervantino Festival, Mexico

Koerner Hall, Toronto

 

Mississauga Choral Society

 

Peterborough Singers

Mississauga Choral Society

Toronto Bach Consort

Aldeburgh Connection

Toronto Classical Consort

Aldeburgh Connection

Masterworks of Oakville

Guelph Chamber Choir

Georian Bay Concert Choir

Aldeburgh Connection

 

Off Centre Music Salon

Georgian Bay Concert Choir

Off Centre Music Salon

 

Chorus Niagara

International Symphony

Britten-Pears Baroque Orchestra

 

Dean Burry

 

Vivaldi

Beethoven

Various

 

Various

Handel

 

Vivaldi

Rameau

 

Charpentier

Recordings

2014

Uncle Wesley (Baby Kintyre)

2007

Gualtiero (La Griselda)

"Beethoven? Beethoven!"

An die Ferne Geliebte

2006

"And So It Goes:

Mago (Rinaldo)

2004

Dixit Dominus

Jupiter (Castor et Pollux)

2003

Messe de Minuit

 

Centrediscs

 

Naxos, Opera In Concert/Aradia Ensemble

DoReMi, Universal Music Canada

Boris Zarankin, piano

 

Opening Day

Naxos, Opera In Concert/Aradia Ensemble

 

Naxos, Aradia Ensemble

Naxos, Opera In Concert/Aradia Ensemble

 

Naxos, Aradia Ensemble

Accomplishments

EDUCATION

2003-05 | University of Toronto, Faculty of Music Graduate Opera Masters Degree, Richard Bradshaw Graduate Fellowship in Opera

2005 | Canadian Opera Volunteer’s Committee Distinguished Graduate Award

REVIEWS

As Timur in Turandot with Edmonton Opera –

"Giles Tomkins sang the role of Liu's master, the aged Timur, and he made the most of the small part with a lustrous tone and an appropriately decrepit demeanour."

Bill Rankin, Opera Canada

 

"Edmonton Opera’s Turandot is an exquisite tour de force that is a must see for opera lovers... a rich and absorbing portrayal of Timur by Giles Tomkins."

Kevin Solez, Vue Weekly

 

As Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor  with Edmonton Opera –

“Bass - baritone Giles Tomkins making his Edmonton Opera debut, deserved every bit of the especially loud reception from the audience for his Raimondo…”

Bill Rankin, Opera Canada

 

"Strong support came from bass-baritone Giles Tomkins as Raimondo..."

Mark Morris, Edmonton Journal

 

As Angelotti in Tosca

"Giles Tomkins played a number of roles and was most effective as the escaped prisoner Angelotti looking ragged and hungry as he scurried about the stage looking for places to hide."

Jim Murchison, The Charlebois Post

 

"Comprimari are solid in all acts. Giles Tomkins is a suitably tormented Angelotti."

Opera Going Toronto, www.operagoto.com

 

As Colline in La Bohème

"Bass-baritone Giles Tomkins crafted a convincing philosopher Colline, who particularly shone during his aria 'Vecchia zimarra'."

Holly Harris, Winnipeg Free Press

 

In Don Giovanni

"The arrival of the stone guest was as incisive as one could hope for… effective, otherworldly and chilling – and well sung by Giles Tomkins."

Harvey De Roo, www.vanclassicalmusic.com

 

As Superintendent Budd in Albert Herring

"There are also 13 solo vocalists, and the casting, both vocally and theatrically, was exemplary … bass-baritone Giles Tomkins was a sturdy and authoritative Superintendent Budd"

Robert Jordan, Opera Canada

 

As the Sergeant of Police in The Pirates of Penzance

"Giles Tomkins' portrait of the Sergeant of Police was a comic triumph...it was, altogether, an evening to make me regret all the years I have wasted not enjoying Gilbert and Sullivan."

Bernard Jacobson, Seen and Heard International

 

"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 Policeman's Lot Is Not a Happy One'"

John Jane, Review Vancouver

 

As Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia

"Giles Tomkins' opportunistic Don Basilio (his account of 'La Calunnia' was first rate)... rounded out the accomplished cast very well. A sparkling production."

 

Wayne Gooding, Opera Canada

 

In Dublin Messiah with Aradia Ensemble –

“Bass Baritone Giles Tomkins brought solemnity and reverence to his work on the 'The People That Walked in Darkness' and 'Thou Art Gone Up On High'. The authority and power he brought to the stunning piece, 'The Trumpet Shall Sound' was staggering. With trumpet playing of David Kjar underpinning both Tomkins singing and the orchestral scoring the effect was magisterial. Tomkins voice is rich with power but possessed of a softness that that leaves it free of any harshness.”

Brian Hay, NoRules-NoLights.com

 

In Dublin Messiah with Symphony Nova Scotia –

“Bass Giles Tomkins… has a strong, resonant voice… he sang brilliantly, fully in command of tone, phrasing and expression on ‘Why do the nations so furiously rage together’ and imparting a reverential hush to ‘Behold I tell you a mystery’(Part III)'.

Stephen Pedersen, The Halifax Herald

 

As Doctor Grenvil in La Traviata with Vancouver Opera –

“Vancouver Opera’s La Traviata reminds you why a classic is a joy forever...the others in the vocal cast all do wonderful work, particularly Giles Tomkins as Doctor Grenvil.”

Lloyd Dykk, The Georgia Straight

 

As Brander in The Damnation of Faust

The Damnation of Faust was nothing less than sensational in Vancouver...bass-baritone Giles Tomkins in the minor role of Brander was impressive.”

Lloyd Dykk, The Georgia Straight

 

As Marbuel in The Devil & Kate

“Giles Tomkins as the Devil’s assistant Marbuel is fulfilling his promise with a polished, commanding voice...as for diction, it was almost word perfect.”

Paula Citron, Classical 96.3 FM

 

In concert with Thirteen Strings –

“Thirteen Strings delivers a jolly good time...Tomkins has a dark, full voice that suited the material well... 'Dover Beach' had a lot going for it in Tuesday’s rendition, not the least of which was Tomkins’ assured singing.”

Richard Todd, The Ottawa Citizen

 

As Colline in La Boheme

“Giles Tomkins' Colline received prolonged applause after his beautifully sung ‘Vecchia Zimarra’.”

Dawn Martens, Opera Canada

 

In King Arthur

"Music in this piece is mostly associated with magic and celebration, and the tiny orchestra (led by artistic director Larry Beckwith) performed Purcell's score as if it were a festive catalogue of marvels ... Bass Giles Tomkins shivered effectively through the famous ice song, shadowed by a masked dancer who gradually thawed as the scene did ... Toronto Masque Theatre needs, and this production deserves, a co-producer with the resources to realize the exciting potential shown on Thursday. Stratford Festival, what are you waiting for?"

Robert Everett-Green, The Globe & Mail

 

In James Rolfe’s Inês

“The strongest performer is bass-baritone Giles Tomkins who has a solid, rich voice and clear diction.”

Michael Johnson, The Classical Music Network

 

As Pistola in Falstaff

“... a dazzling staging that combines earthy humour and a theatricality that buzzes so intensely that the three-plus hours sweep by in a flash ... Giles Tomkins is a bold but sycophantic Pistola...”

Kenneth Walton, The Scotsman

 

CD Review of "Purcell’s Theatre Music Volume #1" –

“...under Kevin Mallon, the Toronto-based Aradia Ensemble play with verve and rhythmic imagination, while soprano Nicole Bower and bass Giles Tomkins are the pick of a personable bunch of young soloists. A Purcell bargain.”

Richard Wigmore, The Daily Telegraph

 

“...a first class recording of highly charged and melody-rich music played with great style and originality by Mallon’s forces... Giles Tomkins’s expressive bass seems ideally suited to this repertoire for the words are always clear and amply endowed with meaning...”

Mark Sealey, Music Web International

 

CD Review of Vivaldi’s Griselda

“...a rewarding performance ... Giles Tomkins’s Gualtiero has riveting authority ...”

Nicholas Anderson, BBC Music Magazine

 

“Of the men Giles Tomkins as Gualtiero is expressively dramatic ... no one can deny that the aria 'Se ria procella' (CD 1 tr. 4) is thrilling and he manages the extensive runs with assurance.”

Göran Forsling, Music Web International

 

As Don Basilio in Il Barbière di Siviglia

"...we get true wit rather than tiresome gags... it is a very beautiful staging, that takes inspiration from the crumbling, pastel-coloured palacios of Havana...Giles Tomkins supplies louche, Lord Lucanesque presence as Don Basilio.”

John Allison, The Sunday Telegraph

 

As Don Alfonso in Così Fan Tutte

“...Giles Tomkins was great as a young Don Alfonso. He never seemed evil the way an older Alfonso easily can... Conductor James Levine brought energy and expertise to the score...This Così is one that you should beg, borrow, or steal your way into tonight”

Jeffrey Johnson, The Hartford Courant

 

CD Review of Beethoven’s An die Ferne Geliebte

“...Tomkins' rich voice and careful phrasing make nice work of the Lieder (Beethoven’s 'An die Ferne Geliebte').”

John Terauds, The Toronto Star

 

“Tomkins demonstrates an unfailing sensitivity to phrasing essential to the idiom ... he evinces a Fischer-Dieskau-like purity of tone ...”

Robert Franner, Opus Magazine

 

In concert with the Canadian Brass –

“...a special treat was the voice of up and coming, handsome and debonair baritone, Giles Tomkins. He showed that he is equally at home singing either popular or classical music, by leading the audience in a Christmas favourites sing-along ... Performing 'Jacob’s Ladder' with back-up by the Elmer Iseler Singers, every note went 'higher, higher' showcasing Tomkins’ impressive vocal range. Tomkins’ success on the international stage is almost guaranteed.”

Anna Lisa Eyles, The Live Music Report

 

CD Review of "And So It Goes" –

“...Tomkins employs a clear, reedy tone with characteristically impeccable diction... Billy Joel’s title track (nicely introspective and an impressive late-measure change of register) reveals the promise of greatness to come. Yet, unquestionably, it’s the Neapolitan warmth of the Donaudy ('O Del Mio Amato Ben') that whets the appetite for more.”

S. James Wegg, JWR Reviews

 

In Sokolovic’s The Midnight Court

“Look forward to hearing more of Giles Tomkins, who has developed so appealingly as a young artist.”

Peter Phoa, Opera Canada Magazine

 

As Somnus in Handel’s Semele

“...a droll and clever vision that could grace any opera house... Baritone Giles Tomkins as Somnus was the sole stand-out...”

Paula Citron, Opera Canada Magazine