The Kennedy Center

Douglas Williams


Young bass-baritone Douglas Williams has been praised by the New York Times, the Seattles Times, and Music Web International, making him one of the most appealing singing actors  of his generation. He has collaborated with leading conductors including Nicholas McGegan, Helmut Rilling, Sir Neville Marriner, John Nelson, and Christoph Rousset, in such prestigious venues as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Stuttgart's Mozart-Saal, and the Frankfurt Alte Oper. His repertoire reaches over four centuries, being a sought-after interpreter of Monteverdi, Handel, Bach, and Mozart, in addition to the romantic and modern eras. Williams's 2016-2017 season features his debut as Figaro with Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony in a new production by Robin Guarino, as well as the roles of Sciarrone in Tosca with Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmoniker at the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, and the Monk in Toshio Hosokawa's Matzukaze in Hong Kong. Other performances include the roles of Aeneas and The Ferryman in Mark Morris Dance Group's double bill of Dido and Aeneas and Britten's Curlew River, the role of Kyoto in Bard Music Festival's production of Mascagni's Iris, a double bill of of Pergolessi's La serva padrona and Livietta & Tracollo with Boston Early Music Festival, the roles of Lycomede and Caron in Lully's Alceste with Les Talens Lyriques, and Handel's Messiah with National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Laurence Cummings. Recent performance highlights include the American premiere of Scarlatti's La gloria di primavera at Carnegie Hall and California's Orange County and Bay Area with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and conductor Nicholas McGegan. He is featured on a recording of the work released on the Orchestra's label in April 2016, and revives the piece this season at Tanglewood. Also last season, Williams performed the role of Caronte in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo with Sash Waltz and Guests and conductor Pablo Heras-Casado. He was also highly acclaimed as Polyphemus in the world premiere Mark Morris Dance Group production of Handel's Acis and Galatea, and recorded the work in 2015 with Boston Early Music Festival. His recording of Charpentier's La Descente d'Orphée aux Enfers with BEMF won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording.

Concert highlights include a performance at Carnegie Hall of Charles Wuorinen's It Happens Like This with the MET Chamber Ensemble and Handel's Messiah with the Detroit and Houston Symphony Orchestras. Other recent performances include Beethoven's Missa Solemni, Elgar's Dream of Gerontius, and Bach's St. John Passion.

Williams trained at the New England Conservatory and the Yale School of Music. Raised in Farmington, Connecticut, he now lives in Berlin.
Douglas Williams