British Bass-Baritone John Savournin has been described as a “singer of considerable stage artistry and versatility”, receiving critical praise for his performances. In the 2019/20 season, his engagements include Priest Fotis (The Greek Passion) and Carl Olsen (Street Scene), both for Opera North, Zuniga (Carmen) for Welsh National Opera and his 5th return to Opera Holland Park (details t.b.a.). Last season, roles included Angelotti (Tosca) and Sarastro (The Magic Flute), both for Opera North, and returning to Opera Holland Park to sing Count Horn (Un ballo in maschera) and Sante (Il Segreto di Susanna).
Engagements in recent seasons included Leporello (Don Giovanni), Count Horn, and Alidoro (La Cenerentola), all for Opera North; 2nd Gunman (Kiss me, Kate) for Opera North/Welsh National Opera; debuts as Leporello (Don Giovanni), Colline (La bohème), and The Immigration Officer (Flight), all for Opera Holland Park; Armchair/Tree (L’enfant el les sortileges), as part of Opera North’s season of Little Greats. Other highlights to date include Peter Quince (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Schaunard (La bohème), both for Opera North, and his debut as Alidoro (La Cenerentola), Scottish Opera.
John studied with a scholarship at Trinity College of Music, singing Dr. Hasselbacher in a rare revival of Malcolm Williamson’s Our Man in Havana, and Tippett’s A Child of our Time. He was awarded the Founder’s Prize for Excellence and the Paul Simms Opera Prize. Operatic roles to date also include Dulcamara (L’Elisir d’Amore), Zuniga (Carmen), Don Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), and Don Fernando, (Fidelio).
He has a fondness for the Operetta repertoire, and has often performed/directed for the National G&S Opera Company, and his own company, Charles Court Opera, with whom he has also regularly appeared as the Dame in their annual pantomimes.
“John Savournin invests his mock-serious farewell to his coat (it’s off to the pawnshop) with immense dignity”
“John Savournin displays a warm voice and terrific comedic stage skills as his sidekick Leporello.”
John also enjoys a varied concert and chamber music schedule, and has a particular fondness for contemporary music.
Recent concert engagements include Fortitudo (Applausus) for Classical Opera Company at Cadogan Hall; Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room recitals as a Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians/Park Lane Young Artist; Narrating fairytales for Christmas concerts with the Orchestra of Opera North; Messiah for Bristol Choral Society, Gloucester Cathedral and at Bridgewater Hall, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and Glasgow Royal Concert Hall; Mozart’s Requiem for the Three Choirs Festival / Philharmonia. He sang the world premiere of Roxburgh’s A cycle of two songs, written for him and pianist James Young, at Wigmore Hall in 2014.
A lover of chamber and contemporary music, John recently performed Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King (Ossian Ensemble and Lands End Ensemble, Canada), Kagel’s …den 24.XII.1931 (Warehouse Ensemble, conducted by Edwin Roxburgh); The Boy who lived down the Lane by Diana Soh at the Performer’s Voice Symposium in Singapore and Stephen Oliver’s A Man of Feeling.
He sings the role of Bartolo on the BBC Singers / BBC Concert orchestra recording of Alfred Cellier’s The Mountebanks for Dutton Epoch and he made the premier recording of Peter Maxwell Davies’ A Sea of Cold Flame for Ayriel Classical.
Chamber and concert engagements have also included Elijah, Creation, Bach’s B Minor Mass, and Christus/Bass arias in Bach’s St. John & Matthew Passions.
John has worked regularly with Counterpoise, a contemporary chamber ensemble dedicated to performing melodramas. With Counterpoise, he has performed works including John Casken’s Deadly Pleasures (Brighton Festival), Walton’s Facade and David Matthew’s Acteon. He performed the UK premiere of Wynton Marsalis’ A Fiddler’s Tale at the Forge in Camden and Strauss’ Enoch Arden, Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale and Walton’s Henry V.
“A force of nature”
John has created productions both as Artistic Director of Charles Court Opera, and as a freelance director, deviser, and writer.
Alongside his singing career, John has created productions of opera and musical theatre for his award-winning chamber opera company Charles Court Opera, and recently made his main stage directorial debut with Opera North. Recent directing engagements include his main stage debut with Trial by Jury, as part of Opera North’s season of Little Greats; Il Barbiere di Siviglia and The Magic Flute, both for CCO at the Iford Arts Festival.
He has written and directed Opera North’s ‘Whistle-stop’ productions to date as part of their Outreach programme, wrote adaptations of The Magic Flute and Cenerentola for the Royal Opera House’s Opera dots series, and devised an abridged The Pirates of Penzance for Opera Holland Park’s Inspire Programme. He is the Education Manager for the Concordia Foundation, programming and creating their Young Audiences projects.
John founded CCO in 2005, and recent productions for them also include The Mikado and H.M.S. Pinafore. He has written/directed their 13 pantomimes to date, described by the Telegraph as an “annual madhouse” and he also directed an evening entitled ‘Avant garde’ for CCO, including Pierre Lunaire, Eight Songs for a Mad King and a series of Beckett shorts. For more information and a full list of productions John has directed for CCO, please visit their website: www.charlescourtopera.com
Elsewhere, John has directed a rare revival of Sondheim and Rogers’ musical Do I Hear a Waltz? at the newly opened Park Theatre in London; Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Tosca for the Musique Cordiale Festival in the South of France; Wolf Ferrari’s Susanna’s Secret; Handel’s Julio Caesare; The Falcon (play – world-premiere); Acis and Galatea; Cosi fan tutte; Rimsky-Korsakov’s Mozart and Salieri and Mozart’s Impresario.
FOR ALL ENQUIRIES:
14 Sept – 16 Nov 2019
Martinů, The Greek Passion
12 October 2019
Chelsea Opera Group
Verdi, Un Giorno di Regno
Barone di Kelbar
31 October 2019
Young Audiences Project, The Man in the Moon (There’s no planet B?)
Director & Librettist, Performer
15th December 2019
Brighton Dome / Covent Garden Sinfonia
Chapell & Blake, Paddington Bear’s First Concert & The Snowman
18 Jan – 20 Mar 2020
Weill, Street Scene
27 Feb – 7 May 2020
Welsh National Opera
Opera Holland Park
Details to be announced
<July 2019 – Sante, Il Segreto di Susanna – Opera Holland Park>
<July – August 2019 – Director, The Gondoliers – The National G&S Opera Company>
<July – August 2019 – Director, Ruddigore – Charles Court Opera on tour>
<June 2019 – Count Horn, Un ballo in Maschera – Opera Holland Park>
<June 2019 – Cadmus/Somnus, Semele – Northern Aldborough Festival>
<June 2019 – Librettist, La Cenerentola – Royal Opera House ‘Opera dots’ series>
<Spring 2019 – Librettist, The Magic Flute, Royal Opera House ‘Opera dots’ series>
<April – August 2019 – Director, H.M.S. Pinafore – Charles Court Opera at the King’s Head Theatre and on tour>
<Jan – March 2019 – Sarastro, The Magic Flute – Opera North>
<December 2018- January 2019 – Director/Librettist, Buttons (A Cinderella Pantomime) – Charles Court Opera>
<Autumn 2018 – Angelotti, Tosca – Opera North>
<Summer 2018 – Librettist, Pirates ‘revisited’ – Opera North Youth Chorus>
<Summer 2018 – 2nd Gunman, Kiss me, Kate – Opera North>
<Summer 2018 – Director/Librettist, The (mini) magic flute – Opera North & CBBC Summer social>
<Summer 2018 – Director, The Sorcerer – The National G&S Opera Company UK tour>
<Winter/Spring 2018 – Leporello, Don Giovanni – Opera North>
<Winter/Spring 2018 – Count Horn, Un ballo in maschera – Opera North>
<Spring 2018 – Director, The Mikado – Charles Court Opera at the King’s Head Theatre>
<Spring 2018 – Director/Librettist, Don Giovanni – Opera North ‘Whistle stop opera’ – Outreach>
<Winter 2017 – Director/Librettist, King tut – an egypt panto – Charles Court Opera (King’s Head Theatre)>
<Autumn 2017 – Armchair/Tree – L’Enfant et les sortileges – Opera North>
<Autumn 2017 – Director, Trial by Jury – Opera North main stage production>
<Summer 2017 – Leporello, Don Giovanni – Opera Holland Park>
<Summer 2017 – Director, The Barber of Seville – Iford Arts collaboration with Charles Court Opera>
<Winter/Spring 2017 – Alidoro, La Cenerentola – Opera North>
<Spring 2017 – Director/Librettist, Hansel & Gretel – Opera North ‘Whistle stop opera’ – Outreach>
<Winter 2016 – Director/Librettist, Pinocchio (pantomime) – Charles Court Opera (King’s Head Theatre)>
<Autumn 2016 – 2nd Gunman, Kiss me, Kate – Welsh National Opera co-production with Opera North>
<Summer 2016 – Colline, La Boheme – Opera Holland Park>
<Summer 2016 – Director/Librettist, The Magic Flute – Iford Arts collaboration with Charles Court Opera>
<Spring 2016 – Director, The Pirates of Penzance – Opera Holland Park Inspire Project>
<Autumn 2015 – 2nd Gunman, Kiss me, Kate – Opera North>
<Summer 2015 – The Immigration Officer, Flight – Opera Holland Park>
John is represented worldwide by
Mark Kendall Artists Management