The Kennedy Center

William Shimell


William Shimell is one of Britain's most accomplished operatic baritones. Since beginning his career in the United Kingdom he has earned an international reputation and has sung in the world's leading opera houses. As Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, William Shimell has appeared at La Scala, Milan under Riccardo Muti, at the Vienna Staatsoper and Paris Bastille, in Geneva, Zurich, Munich, Chicago, Madrid and Glyndebourne.

He has sung Guglielmo in Così fan tutte at Covent Garden, Geneva, Zurich, Tokyo and, on tour with La Scala, at the Bolshoi in Moscow, and has gone on to sing Don Alfonso in Rome, at Covent Garden, Hamburg, the Aix Festival, Paris (Opera Garnier) and the Metropolitan Opera New York.

William Shimell is well known for his interpretations of Don Giovanni, which he first sang in Britain for Welsh National Opera and ENO, and has since sung in opera houses throughout the world, including Amsterdam and Zurich (with Nikolaus Harnoncourt), Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt, Vienna Staatsoper, Madrid, San Francisco, Lyon and the Aix Festival. He has recorded the role for EMI with Riccardo Muti. He has sung Marcello (La Boheme) at Covent Garden, the Met, Vienna Staatsoper and Munich, Nick Shadow (The Rake's Progress) at Covent Garden, La Scala Milan, the Met, Lyon, San Francisco and in the Robert Lepage production at La Monnaie (Brussels) and on DVD. He sang the title role in Handel's Hercules in the Luc Bondy/William Christie production at the Aix festival, Vienna, Paris, London, New York and on DVD, and has sung Sharpless (Madame Butterfly) in Florence and at the Met.

He has also been much in demand on the concert platform: Bach's B Minor Mass (recorded with Sir Georg Solti), Pergolesi's La Serva padrona and Stravinsky's Pulcinella (recorded with Riccardo Chailly) and Diepenbrock's Im grossen Schweigen which he performed with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Chailly. In the 2008/09 season he sang in Britten's War Requiem with the Gulbenkian Orchestra and Choir under Simone Young in Lisbon.

Forthcoming plans include Les Contes d'Hoffmann and Manon at La Scala and Cosi fan tutte in Washington, at the Teatro Real Madrid, La Monnaie Brussels and in Vienna.

William Shimell has recently performed his first acting role in the film ‘Certified Copy' co-starring Juliette Binoche and directed by Abbas Kiarostami.

October 2011
William Shimell