John Graham-Hall

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Recent and future engagements include Witch of Endor Saul (Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Théâtre du Châtelet)‚ Aron Moses und Aron (Opéra National de Paris and Teatro Real‚ Madrid)‚ Aschenbach Death in Venice (for which he won the Franco Abbiati prize for best male singer) and Grimes Peter Grimes (both La Scala‚ Milan)‚ Basilio‚ Valzacchi Der Rosenkavalier and Triquet Eugene Onegin (Metropolitan Opera)‚ Peter Grimes (title role) for Opéra de Nice and Säo Carlos; Ashenbach (ENO and on DVD)‚ Kedril From The House of The Dead (Royal Opera House‚ La Monnaie and Opéra de Lyon)‚ Mr Taupe Capriccio (Madrid)‚ Aufidio Lucio Silla‚ Il Carciere / Il Grande Inquisitore Il Prigioniero (La Monnaie and Oper Stuttgart)‚ Shuisky Boris Godunov (ROH‚ Paris‚ Toulouse‚ Oviedo and Pamplona)‚ Mayor Albert Herring (Toulouse)‚ Zivny Osud (Stuttgart and Opera North)‚ Captain James Nolan Dr Atomic (Strasbourg)‚ Kaufmann Jakob Lenz (Berlin Staatsoper‚ La Monnaie and Stuttgart)‚ Schoolmaster The Cunning Little Vixen (La Monnaie and Netherlands Opera)‚ Beadle Sweeney Todd (Châtelet)‚ Basilio (Metropolitan Opera‚ New York‚ La Monnaie‚ Glyndebourne and Aix en Provence)‚ Monostatos The Magic Flute (ENO and Northern Ireland Opera)‚ Tree Frog/Tea Pot/Arithmetic L’enfant et les Sortiléges (Opera North).

Engagements postponed or cancelled due to Covid include Clock Keeper Violet (Music Theatre Wales & Aldeburgh Festival).

John Graham-Hall studied at King’s College‚ Cambridge and the Royal College of Music. He sings regularly with all the major British opera companies where roles include Albert Herring‚ Tanzmeister Ariadne auf Naxos‚ Basilio and Monostatos (Royal Opera House‚ Covent Garden)‚ Kudrjas Katya Kabanova‚ Flute Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Basilio‚ Bob Boles‚ Mayor/Abrenuccio Love and Other Demons‚ Eisenstein Die Fledermaus‚ Aschenbach‚ Lysander‚ Albert Herring and Ferrando (Glyndebourne)‚ Valzacchi‚ Basilio‚ Monostatos‚ Tikhon‚ Herod‚ Ajax 1 La Belle Helene‚ Vitek The Makropulos Case‚ Shuisky Boris Godunov‚ Mime‚ Sylvester The Silver Tassie‚ Goro‚ Triquet‚ Danilo‚ Shabby Peasant Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk‚ Alwa Lulu‚ Lysander (English National Opera)‚ Cassio (Welsh National Opera)‚ Eisenstein‚ Schoolmaster The Cunning Little Vixen (Scottish Opera)‚ Mayor Albert Herring‚ Tikhon‚ Elcius Croesus and Dr Caius (Opera North) title role The Excursions of Mr Broucek (Opera North and Scottish Opera)‚ and Kurt Schwitters in the premiere of Nyman’s Man and Boy: Dada (Almeida Opera).

Engagements abroad have included Aschenbach‚ Tikhon Katya Kabanova‚ Berger Oedipe‚ Sellem‚ Tanzmeister Ariadne auf Naxos‚ Cassio and Basilio (La Monnaie)‚ Podesta La finta giardiniera (Salzburg)‚ Doctor The Fall of the House of Usher‚ L’Incredibile Andrea Chenier and Edrisi King Roger (Bregenz)‚ Young Man/A Naked Youth Moses und Aron (Netherlands Opera‚ Salzburg Festival and Deutsche Grammophon recording)‚ Shapkin From the House of the Dead (Opéra de Nice)‚ Lysander A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Paris‚ Lyon‚ Caen‚ Montpellier‚ Rome‚ Ravenna Festival)‚ Officier Der Diktatur and Gaston Schwergewicht (Krenek double bill‚ Stuttgart)‚ Lensky (Lyon and Toronto)‚ Ferrando (Vancouver)‚ Cassio and Telemacus Il Ritorno d’Ulysse in Patria (Lisbon)‚ Achilles King Priam and Prince/Marquis/Manservant Lulu (Antwerp)‚ Basilio and Spoletta (Netherlands Opera)‚ Bob Boles (Salzburg Festival‚ Berlin Philharmonic and Netherlands Opera)‚ Tikhon Katya Kabanova (Lyon)‚ Michel Julietta and Der Narr Wozzeck at the Bastille‚ Paris and the title role in Pascal Dusapin’s Perela‚ L’homme de Fumée (Bastille and Montpellier).

John Graham-Hall has worked with conductors such as Haitink‚ Harnoncourt‚ Boulez‚ Andrew Davis‚ Tate‚ Rattle‚ Gardiner and Abbado. He has given concerts all over Europe and with the major British orchestras‚ and appeared frequently at the Barbican and the South Bank. Recent concerts include Messiah (Minnesota)‚ Henze’s Kammermusik 1958 (Purcell Room and Stuttgart‚ under Markus Stenz)‚ Winterreise (St. John’s Smith Square with Malcolm Martineau)‚ Britten War Requiem (Gothenburg Cathedral)‚ Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake (BBC Proms under Libor Pesek)‚ Peter Grimes (Lisbon) and Vaughan Williams’ Sir John in Love (Barbican)‚ both with Richard Hickox ‚ and Paris King Priam (BBC National Orchestra of Wales). Recordings include Carmina Burana‚ Lloyd Webber songs; Lysander A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and Basilio‚ Alwa‚ Vitek‚ Herod‚ Monostatos‚ Tanzmeister Ariadne auf Naxos‚ Bob Boles Peter Grimes‚ Isacco Thieving Magpie and Idiot Wozzeck (Chandos).

John’s debut novel My Wife the Diva is now available to purchase on Amazon UK and US.

Bob Boles - Peter Grimes - ROH

The smaller roles are all very strong: I’ll single out Jacques Imbrailo as a happy-go-lucky Ned Keene, John Graham-Hall as a bibulous Bob Boles...

BachTrack (March 2022)

The inhabitants of the Borough are played by a fine ensemble of singers, though Jacques Imbrailo’s handsome, wide-boy Ned Keene and John Graham-Hall’s truly alarming Bob Boles are particularly outstanding.

The Guardian (March 2022)

John Graham-Hall is terrific as the pugnacious Methodist Bob Boles

Opera Today (March 2022)

John Graham-Hall offers contrast in his more desperate – and rightly outraged – Bob Boles, a man who expresses despair at a community fallen so far.

Opera Wire (March 2022)

John Graham-Hall gave one of his stage-stealing performances as Bob Boles

Music OMH (March 2022)

Saul, Théâtre du Châtelet

Grâce à l'ambiguïté de son vibrato, John Graham-Hall révèle toute l'androgynie de la Sorcière d'Endor, figure shakespearienne et cauchemardesque sortie du cerveau malade du Roi. Il déploie toute l'étendue de sa voix souple et claire, son engagement scénique lui permettant d'endosser l'hystérie de ce fantasme angoissé. ///
Thanks to the ambiguity of his vibrato, John Graham-Hall reveals all the androgyny of the Witch of Endor, Shakespearean and nightmarish figure out of the King's sick brain. He deploys the whole extent of his flexible and clear voice, his scenic commitment allowing him to endorse the hysteria of this anguished fantasy.

Olyrix (Januray 2020)

Capriccio, Teatro Real Madrid

The characterization of Monsieur Tape by John Graham-Hall was brilliant. Graham-Hall not only performed his short scene with conviction and style but had to act during the first part of the opera with all of his stage craft abilities.

Opera Wire (June 2019)

In the secondary characters, I should mention the success of John Graham Hall as Monsieur Taupe...

Seen and Heard International (June 2019)

There were wonderful cameos from... John Graham-Hall as the dotty prompter, Monsieur TaupE...

MusicOMH (June 2019)

From the House of the Dead‚ Royal Opera House

Seasoned Janácek tenors John Graham-Hall and Peter Hoare steal their big moments...

What’s on Stage (March 2018)

Il Prigioniero‚ Oper Stuttgart

Il tenore inglese John Graham-Hall‚ considerato uno tra i migliori interpreti odierni delle opere di Britten (gli spettatori italiani ricorderanno certamente il suo Peter Grimes alla Scala) ha reso in maniera eccellente il tono freddo e falsamente paterno del Carceriere che alla fine si rivela essere il Grande Inquisitore.///The English tenor John Graham-Hall‚ considered one of the best contemporary performers of Britten’s works (Italian viewers will certainly remember his Peter Grimes at La Scala) has made excellent the cold and falsely paternal tone of the Jailer who eventually turns out to be be the Grand Inquisitor.

GBOpera Magazine (May 2018)

Der Tenor John Graham-Hall flüsterte‚ säuselte‚ verführte mit einem Reichtum an Stimmen‚ ohne dass man erkennen hätte können‚ welche wirklich sein eigenes Ich war. Was diese beiden Sänger an stimmlichen Nuancen zustandebrachten‚ ist ein ganzes Orchester an Klangfarben...///The tenor John Graham-Hall purred‚ whispered‚ seduced with a wealth of voices‚ without realizing which one was really his own self. What these two singers achieved with vocal nuances is a whole orchestra of timbres...

BachTrack (April 2018)

Il Prigioniero‚ La Monnaie

Il convient aussi de saluer une fois de plus le talent et le métier de John-Graham Hall en Geôlier et Grand Inquisiteur. Ce fidèle de la Monnaie répond toujours aussi admirablement aux exigences vocales et théâtrales de ses rôles. /// It is also fitting to once again recognize the talent and profession of John-Graham Hall as a Jailer and Grand Inquisitor. This faithful of La Monnaie always responds admirably to the vocal and theatrical requirements of his roles.

Concerto Net (January 2018)

Autre rôle surprenant‚ celui de l’inquisiteur et geôlier tenu par John Graham-Hall. Ténor aux vibratos mémorables‚ il incarne l’homme machiavélique dont les défauts faits de perfidie‚ de vices et de cruauté dessinent des angles théâtraux d’une grande force. /// Another surprising role is that of the inquisitor and jailer held by John Graham-Hall. Tenor with memorable vibrato‚ he embodies the Machiavellian man whose faults made of treachery‚ vice and cruelty draw theatrical angles of great strength.

Olyrix (January 2018)

Osud‚ Opera North

John Graham-Hall as a neurotic‚ self-obsessed Živný gave everything he had putting across Rodney Blumer’s smooth-flowing translation; just as well‚ since the score tends to luxuriance.

Opera Magazine (December 2017)

The director excels herself in her work in this opera assisted in a major part by the masterful sung and acted interpretation of John Graham-Hall as the composer. He gave one of the most convincing sung and acted interpretations than I have seen for many a year on the operatic stage‚ wholly memorable and commendable.

Seen and Heard International (November 2017)

...she gets compelling performances from John Graham-Hall (Zivny)‚ who gets the lion’s share of the music and dramatic focus...

The Sunday Times (November 2017)

Tenor John Graham-Hall as Živný excelled in his dominant role‚ his clear tones and dramatic charisma bringing much credibility to a difficult character. He was wincingly effective in Act 2 as he viciously berated Míla (an impressive Giselle Allen) and then begged for her forgiveness.

BachTrack (October 2017)

The central role of Zivny took sometime to get going‚ for much of the first act John Graham-Hall was an observer. But central to the opera was a pair of monologues and Graham-Hall delivered a towering performance.

Planet Hugill (October 2017)

Tenor John Graham-Hall as Živný excelled in his dominant role‚ his clear tones and dramatic charisma bringing much credibility to a difficult character. He was wincingly effective in Act 2 as he viciously berated Míla (an impressive Giselle Allen) and then begged for her forgiveness.

BachTrack (October 2017)

...she gets compelling performances from John Graham-Hall (Zivny)‚ who gets the lion’s share of the music and dramatic focus...

The Sunday Times (November 2017)

The director excels herself in her work in this opera assisted in a major part by the masterful sung and acted interpretation of John Graham-Hall as the composer. He gave one of the most convincing sung and acted interpretations than I have seen for many a year on the operatic stage‚ wholly memorable and commendable.

Seen and Heard International (November 2017)

John Graham-Hall as a neurotic‚ self-obsessed Živný gave everything he had putting across Rodney Blumer’s smooth-flowing translation; just as well‚ since the score tends to luxuriance.

Opera Magazine (December 2017)

L’enfant et les sortilèges‚ Opera North

This is less heavyweight than it sounds‚ thanks to Arden’s impeccable judgment of the work’s tone‚ which starts as comedy and darkens as the piece progresses. The foxtrot for the Teapot (Graham-Hall again) and Chinese Cup (Ann Taylor) had the first-night audience in fits...

The Guardian (September 2017)

Wallis Giunta is a delight as the knobbly-kneed child and there are splendid cameos from John Graham-Hall‚ Fflur Wyn‚ and Quirijn de Lang in a variety of roles.

The Telegraph (September 2017)

...there are vividly characterised multitasking performances from John Graham-Hall...

The Times (September 2017)

The Cunning Little Vixen‚ La Monnaie

The excellent cast was dominated by powerful and vivacious Foxie of Lenneke Ruiten‚ the robust but lyrical Forester of Andrew Schroeder‚ the assetive Harasta of Vincent Le Texier and John Graham-Hall’s loveable Schoolmaster.

Opera Magazine (July 2017)

Pour être complet‚ il faudrait mentionner aussi ... John Graham-Hall‚ qui offre un numéro unique en maître d’école aigri et aviné. /// To be complete‚ mention should also be made of ... John Graham-Hall‚ who offers a unique number as a schoolmaster‚ embittered and angry.

Forum Opera (March 2017)

Validi anche John Graham-Hall e Alexander Vassiliev nel ruolo‚ rispettivamente‚ del maestro di scuola e del parroco‚ resi entrambi con efficacia e sensibilità.///Valid also John Graham-Hall and Alexander Vassiliev in the respective roles of the school teacher and the pastor‚ made with both efficiency and sensitivity.

GBOpera Magazine (March 2017)

Excellente distribution également‚ avec notamment... l’attachant maître d’école de John Graham-Hall. /// Excellent casting throughout especially with... and the appealing schoolmaster of John Graham-Hall.

La Libre (March 2017)

Les chanteurs‚ eux‚ réagissent de manière très différente à cette énergie orchestrale. Le garde forestier d’Andrew Schroeder est idéal‚ tout comme le Curé de John Graham Hall /// The singers‚ in turn‚ react very differently to this orchestral energy. Andrew Schroeder’s ranger is ideal‚ as is the parish priest of John Graham Hall

ResMusica (March 2017)

Le nozze di Figaro‚ Glyndebourne Festival Opera

The signing was excellent throughout the extensive cast. John Graham-Hall‚ Nicholas Folwell and Alasdair Eliiott provided endless energy and panache as Basilio‚ Antonio and Don Curzio;

Opera Magazine (September 2016)

Boris Godunov‚ BBC Proms

John Graham-Hall gave a reptilian‚ inveigling Prince Shuisky; his smooth‚ clear tenor was well suited to the role‚ and his experience with the part was obvious...

BachTrack (July 2016)

John Graham-Hall’s Prince Shuisky articulated every intrigue to knowing effect with the clarity and care that befits such a character.

MusicOMH (July 2016)

Moses und Aron‚ Teatro Real‚ Madrid

l tenore John Graham-Hall‚ già protagonista delle recite parigine‚ è un ottimo attore‚ e possiede quella gestualità carismatica di cui Aron ha bisogno per persuadere e controllare il popolo;///The tenor John Graham-Hall‚ former star of the Parisian performances‚ is a great actor‚ and possesses the charismatic gesture of which Aron needs to persuade and control people; (June 2016)

Albert Dohmen y John Graham-Hall como Moisés y Aarón respectivamente. Dos colosos que tienen que expresar con sus voces inflexiones cada vez más imposibles‚ el tenor acusa el esfuerzo sin medida‚ podemos perdonar su fatiga... porque su actuación es sin tacha‚ creíble hasta la extenuación (hasta cuando le echan un líquido negro encima mientras canta)‚ es una locura tener que mantener tanta nota aguda y siendo esta su última función se ha ganado el descanso;... /// Albert Dohmen and John Graham-Hall as Moses and Aaron respectively. Two giants who have to express their voices increasingly impossible inflections‚ tenor accuses the effort without measure‚ we can forgive her fatigue...because his performance is unblemished‚ credible until exhaustion ( even when they throw a black liquid on top while singing)‚ is crazy having to maintain such high note and this being his last feature he has earned rest;...

Opera World (June 2016)

John Graham-Hall was a superb Aron... his phrasing was masterful‚ introducing nuances in every word with clear diction. He literally owns the character and‚ in vivid contrast with Moses‚ develops every possible side of it: the seduction of the proud prophet‚ the helpless‚ abandoned brother‚ and the ashamed false shaman‚ at the end‚ almost a caricature before severe Moses.

BachTrack (May 2016)

Boris Godunov‚ Royal Opera House

John Graham-Hall made a magnificently conniving Shuisky‚ evil dripping through a slightly nasal tone

BachTrack (March 2016)

John Graham-Hall‚ like Terfel another regular Jones collaborator‚ is excellent as the equivocal figure of Shuisky‚

Classical Source (March 2016)

John Graham-Hall in Shuisky‚ molto brillante con spiccati accenti e pause della lingua russa‚ predice il destino della nazione.

Giornale Della Musica (March 2016)

One of the most striking aspects of this new production is just how well each singer’s voice suits that of the character being portrayed. Amidst a plethora of very strong performances... As Shuisky John Graham-Hall’s tenor speaks of calculation and fear

MusicOMH (March 2016)

John Graham-Hall is superb as a sinister‚ sycophantic Shuisky‚ singing with sly sleekness;

Opera Today (March 2016)

The extraordinary versatility of John Graham-Hall took another turn with his Shuisky: wheedling‚ yes‚ but ultimately a sad figure‚ a more rounded assumption than one generally sees (and hears)

Seen & Heard International (March 2016)

...John Graham-Hall’s insinuating Shuisky‚ and Rebecca de Pont Davies’s Innkeeper are all vividly realised.

The Independent (March 2016)

At the heart of this production are four shatteringly rich and expressive performances... John Graham-Hall as the duplicitous Prince Shiusky...

What’s On Stage (March 2016)

The Magic Flute‚ English National Opera

The only humour came from the foolery of Monostatos‚ the talented John Graham-Hall in a dark suit and a long‚ ageing-hippie wig.

Opera Magazine (April 2016)

Monostatos is a thankless role to sing (the lamentable pantomime booing at the curtain call showed that)‚ but John Graham-Hall sang it well‚ bringing an appropriate – or inappropriate – lust to "Alles fühlt der Liebe Freuden"

BachTrack (February 2016)

John Graham-Hall’s Cockney Monostatos showed what a truly versatile artist this is; it is only a few months ago that I saw him as Schoenberg’s Aron in Paris

Boulezian (February 2016)

Dramatically effective support from...John Graham-Hall as an eminently whiny and ill-dressed Monostatos

Mark Ronan (February 2016)

John Graham-Hall is both comic and creepy as Monostatos

MusicOMH (February 2016)

John Graham-Hall made a dark and seedy Monostatos‚ his creepy presence felt more than usual as he leered from above the stage‚ lecherously spying on Pamina’s reunion with the Queen of the Night

Opera Britannia (February 2016)

As Monostatos‚ ENO stalwart John Graham-Hall comes across as an East End funeral director; and very well it works‚ in the context of this production‚ as well

Seen & Heard International (February 2016)

John Graham-Hall creates an oleaginous‚ cockney Monostatos

The Stage (February 2016)

As for John Graham-Hall’s angular Monostatos‚ he proves that there is little on earth more evil than a man with a combover. (The poor tenor seems to be cornering the market in repellent figures‚ with this following on from his mammarily endowed Witch of Endor in Glyndebourne’s Saul)

What’s On Stage (February 2016)

Boris Godunov‚ Royal Opera House

...from Shuisky’s narration about a spinning-top (as played by John Graham-Hall‚ on wonderfully insinuating musico-dramatic form‚ Shuisky was one character who was meaningfully fleshed out)

Opera Magazine (January 2016)

Moses und Aron‚ National Opera de Paris‚ Bastille

John Graham-Hall as Aron offered an equally intense interpretation‚ vocally and dramatically. With Graham-Hall‚ leaner of voice than the lyric or heroic tenors who are usually cast‚ the word was once again placed centre stage‚ serving not only to exaggerate Aron’s stultifying verbosity‚ but also to bring him much closer to Moses

Opera Magazine (January 2016)

Quant à Aaron (le ténor John Graham-Hall‚ stupéfiant de vaillance vocale et d’endurance physique)‚ mandaté porte-parole de son frère Moïse /// As for Aaron (tenor John Graham -Hall‚ amazing vocal prowess and physical endurance)‚ appointed spokesman of his brother Moses

Concert Classic (November 2015)

...un John Graham Hall convincente sia in vocalità che nei movimenti... /// ...John Graham Hall is convincing both vocally and in movement... (November 2015)

John Graham-Hall’s impressive high lyrical tenor Aron

Opera Journal (November 2015)

That was the case also for John Graham-Hall’s Aron. We think of Graham-Hall as a ‘character’ tenor‚ a Basilio or a Monastatos‚ yet his repertoire is far more varied than that‚ and who would want a ‘non-character’ tenor? (Sadly‚ many do.) Aron has been portrayed by tenors of many varieties‚ including bel canto ‘specialists’ – the reality is always more complex – such as Chris Merritt‚ for Boulez no less‚ and of course many a Heldentenor. A great strength of Graham-Hall’s performance was his complexity; Aron emerged more as a chameleon than one often sees – or hears. He could adapt‚ marshal his resources to the situation. Even at the moment of apparent defeat‚ a Mime-like obsequiousness or infantilism‚ immediately following upon Moses’ outburst‚ resolved itself into some of Aron’s initial composure‚ faith‚ and/or advocacy

Seen & Heard International (November 2015)

...le chant de lumière du ténor John Graham Hall incarnant un Aron saisissant de netteté /// ...singing light tenor John Graham Hall embodies a striking sharpness as Aron ( the arguably more difficult role of Aron‚ the British tenor John Graham-Hall proved himself not only a lithe and cunning singer but a brave actor as well‚ singing the later passages while tangled in metres of ink-slicked audio tape

The Guardian (October 2015)

Saul‚ Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Musically and dramatically‚ John Graham-Hall as the Witch of Endor delivered a characteristically reliable performance

Opera Magazine (September 2015) vision la plus forte est peut-être la confrontation avec la sorcière d’Endor‚ créature hermaphrodite aux mamelles pendantes dont Saül /// ...the strongest vision is perhaps Saul’s confrontation with the Witch of Endor‚ a hermaphrodite creature with hanging breasts

Forum Opera (August 2015)

Saul’s Beckett-like encounter with the Witch of Endor are profoundly tragic and deftly-made coup after another‚ culminating in the unforgettably repulsive staging of Saul’s encounter with the Witch of Endor...John-Graham Hall’s hermaphrodite Witch of Endor is a brilliant creation‚ sung with an unearthly sense of resignation

Classical Source (July 2015)

The way in which his envy of the triumphant David morphs into murderous hatred is graphically charted right up to his confrontation with John Graham Hall’s pendulous-breasted Witch of Endor‚ still crazily suckling after all these years

The Guardian (July 2015)

Saul’s end is hauntingly strange‚ singing his aria ‘Wretch that I am’ while running in desperate circles through a blasted landscape‚ before being suckled (milkily) by the hermaphrodite Witch of Endor (sung by the Protean John Graham-Hall)

The Independent (July 2015)

...this visually stunning‚ gloriously sung production by Barrie Kosky‚ making his Glyndebourne directing debut and providing the house with a definite hit‚ received with the nearest thing to wild abandon which this sophisticated audience can muster...John Graham-Hall made much of the small role of the Witch of Endor

MusicOMH (July 2015)

Thankfully the role of the Witch of Endor was cast with a man‚ as it should be‚ and John Graham-Hall brought a wealth of experience to the role. Kosky seems to have seen the scene in Lear-like blasted heath terms. By now Christopher Purves’ Saul was stripped to his boxer shorts and John Graham-Hall’s witch appeared out of the ground and was an old crone also stripped to the waist with huge pendulous breasts on which Saul sucked‚ and the voice of Samuel spoke through Saul so that Purves sang both roles. It created an incredible piece of theatre from what is one of the strongest scenes in the oratorio

Opera Today (July 2015)

...a weirdly poignant vision of Saul’s visit to the hermaphroditic Witch of Endor‚ during which milky wisdom is suckled from the crone’s withered dug

The Telegraph (July 2015)

...enlivened by shafts of unapologetic grotesquerie. John Graham-Hall’s Witch of Endor‚ replete with enormous floppy breasts that Purves sucks like a geriatric infant‚ is the pick of the latter. You could say he milks the role

The Times (July 2015)

Les Fiançailles au couvent‚ Théâtre du Capitole‚ Toulouse

John Graham-Hall est un Don Jérôme de grande qualité‚ aussi à l’aise quand il s’agit de maîtriser le périlleux numéro de métallophone dans la dernière scène que dans l’expression de la jalousie paternelle /// John Graham-Hall is a Don Jerome of great quality‚ as comfortable mastering the perilous glockenspiel number in the final scene or in the expression of paternal jealousy

AltaMusica (May 2015)

Majoritairement russe ou russophone‚ le plateau vocal est de très haut niveau‚ avec une belle cohésion d’ensemble. La palme revient sans doute au ténor anglais John Graham-Hall‚ extraordinaire Don Jérôme‚ aux gesticulations et frétillements d’une raideur comique toute britannique‚ proprement désopilante. Il faut le voir manipuler lui-même son carillon tout en chantant‚ parfaitement à l’aise dans son rôle bouffe...Le duo qu’il forme avec Mendoza est merveilleusement équilibré /// With a primarily Russian or Russian-speaking cast‚ the vocal standard is very high. The honours‚ without doubt‚ go to English tenor John Graham-Hall‚ for his extraordinary Don Jerome‚
gesticulating and wriggling in a very comically stiff British way‚ which is properly hilarious. You have to see him manipulate a glockenspiel whilst singing‚ perfectly at ease in his buffo role... The duo he forms with Mendoza is wonderfully balanced

Forum Opera (May 2015)

Jakob Lenz‚Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie

Henry Waddington et John Graham-Hall livrent une prestation tout aussi convaincante dans les rôles d’Oberlin et de Kaufmann /// Henry Waddington and John Graham-Hall deliver an equally convincing performance in the roles of Oberlin and Kaufmann

ConcertoNet (March 2015)

il tenore inglese John Graham-Hall che interpreta con grande espressività un Kaufmann dai tratti malefici‚ al limite del sadism /// the English tenor John Graham - Hall who plays the evil Kaufmann with a great expressiveness‚ to the limit of sadism (March 2015)

La distribution est idéale...le ténor John Graham-Hall‚ dans celui‚ grinçant‚ de Kaufmann /// The casting is ideal...tenor John Graham-Hall‚ as the bitter Kaufmann

La (March 2015)

John Graham-Hall vulde het licht hysterische personage van Kaufmann in met een voortreffelijke karaktertenor /// John Graham-Hall filled the slightly hysterical character Kaufmann with excellent character tenor

LeidMotief (March 2015)

La basse tranquille d’Henry Waddington (Oberlin) et le ténor brittenien‚ assez inquiétant‚ de John Graham-Hall (Kaufmann) complètent habilement le trio /// The calm bass of Henry Waddington (as Oberlin) and the Britten-tenor‚ John Graham–Hall‚ as the rather disturbing Kaufmann‚ skillfully complete the trio (February 2015)

...John Graham-Hall donne à son Kaufmann une couleur noire et sadique assez réussie également /// ...John Graham-Hall successfully gives the role of Kaufmann a sadistic darkness

Forum Opera (February 2015)

Peter Grimes‚ Opéra de Nice

Marc Adam assembled an excellent cast. English tenor John Graham Hall as Peter Grimes possesses an appropriate voice for Britten heroes‚ not the dramatic tenor often associated with Grimes‚ but the lighter‚ character voice that characterizes the Aschenbach of Death in Venice‚ another of Mr. Hall’s Britten roles. Mr. Hall has an affecting presence and the vocal stamina to have seen the role through this production’s expressionist requirements

Opera Today (January 2015)

The Magic Flute‚ Northern Ireland Opera

...John Graham-Hall’s adept‚ panto-villain assumption

Opera Magazine (November 2014)

Jakob Lenz‚ Staatstheater Stuttgart

Il tenore inglese John Graham-Hall‚ consiedrato uno dei migliori interpreti odierni delle opere di Britten (gli spettatori italiani ricorderanno certamente il suo Peter Grimes alla Scala) ha reso in maniera eccellente il tono freddo e impenetrabile‚ quasi una citazione del Dottore nel Wozzeck di Berg‚ col quale si esprime il personaggio di Kaufmann /// The English tenor John Graham-Hall‚ considered one of today’s best performers of the works of Britten (Italian viewers will remember his Peter Grimes at La Scala) has an excellent tone‚ cold and impenetrable‚ like the Doctor in Wozzeck (Berg)‚ as he expresses the character of Kaufmann (October 2014)

Death in Venice‚ DVD Opus Arte

The chief interest of this DVD is in seeing the details of Graham-Hall’s performance that were lost in the opera house. Less ascetic and head-bound than Bostridge‚ his is an Aschenbach of the flesh‚ right from the start. His lips quiver‚ his forehead beads with sweat as he watches Tadzio (the athletic Sam Zaldivar)‚ and he struggles painfully with himself before succumbing to trembling‚ nauseous death. It’s a beautifully sung performance‚ and there’s a Pears-like edge that adds danger and drama here to the voice - at its finest in the sudden musical release of "Should I go beyond the mountains?".

Opera Magazine (August 2014)

Gawain‚ BBC Symphony Orchestra at Barbican

The solo singers are tested to the extreme because of the intensity of Birtwistle’s writing... and John Graham-Hall Fool’s often reached the manic heights of Wagner’s Mime who gets his own riddles in Siegfried

Seen & Heard International (May 2014)

Eugene Onegin‚ Metropolitan Opera

As Triquet‚ the French teacher‚ John Graham-Hall showed a pleasant and accurate high tenor voice in delivering the little serenade to Tatiana at her party

Opera Today (November 2013)

John Graham-Hall gave a charming portrayal of the handicapped Triquet in his brief scene...the performers created a tremendous amount of depth and nuance in an unforgettable night

Latinos Post (September 2013)

Death in Venice‚ English National Opera

...his Aschenbach was superb‚ ably vocalized and skillfully acted‚ conveying through a multitude of gestures and inflections the novelist’s diffidence‚ his self-confessed ’delight in fastidious choice’ and his eventual disintegration. It was without question a star performance

Opera (August 2013)

Tenor John Graham-Hall gives an astonishingly virtuoso performance as the ageing writer Gustav von Aschenbach. His vocal delivery is exemplary in its many shades of tonal colours and wide-ranging dynamics‚ while his dramatic portrayal gives a moving account of the artist’s fascination with beauty and youth as a possible salvation from disintegration and from the inevitable‚ final demise. Graham-Hall (as‚ crucially‚ stage director Deborah Warner) treats the central theme with respect towards Britten who clearly identified with the dying artist...Graham-Hall’s mesmerizing portrayal...There were no surtitles but there was no need for them: diction was crystal clear

Opera (July 2013)

Austere‚ beautiful‚ heartbreaking‚ streaked with genius - that goes for both Benjamin Britten’s last opera Death in Venice and Deborah Warner’s remarkable production of it for ENO‚ returning all too briefly to the Coliseum‚ with a superb central performance. Besiege the box office for one of the four remaining performances if you want to see contemporary operatic art refined to its most personal and powerful... The character’s attraction towards the boy is famously hard to pitch and John Graham-Hall’s assumption is magnetic‚ the eroticism smudged and ambiguous. He appears a thin‚ sandy‚ dry-skinned academic‚ proud of his reputation‚ pursing his lips in self-protection‚ smoking incessantly‚ evidently a man alone and easily self-embarrassed. He shows a remarkable command of body language. He adopts a hesitant swagger as he tells us of his willingness to experiment with life‚ then suddenly touches his mouth furtively as he draws on his cigarette‚ as if imagining a kiss. It would be an extraordinary performance just in physical terms‚ a Petrushka collapsing under a weight of sensual experience he is unprepared for‚ even if Graham-Hall were not also making his voice so subtly suited to his character’s indecisiveness‚ mixing overtones of Bach’s Evangelist‚ castrato and sometimes disconcertingly operatic tenor. Graham-Hall also convinces in implying that the whole show is in Von Aschenbach’s mind‚ these pictures of travels‚ hotels‚ beaches‚ are his imaginings‚ his dreams‚ his novel - so that the tricky scene where the gods Apollo and Dionysus have their pompous interchange over his sleeping body and soul obtain a credibility: this man dreams like this‚ he really does... The evening is profoundly moving‚ and a masterpiece of contemporary theatrical production in Britten’s centenary year

Arts Desk (June 2013)

The role of Gustav von Aschenbach‚ the ageing writer struck by a fatal infatuation for a beautiful young boy‚ is enormous‚ requiring the tenor to be on stage and fully involved for virtually the whole opera‚ running at nearly two and a half hours. For ENO last night‚ John Graham-Hall produced a bravura performance: clear of voice‚ melodious and utterly inhabiting the soul of Aschenbach as a once confident man slides into moral degeneration‚ unable to control his passions

BachTrack (June 2013)

It is a performance of staggering power. The tenor once known for ingénu roles like Flute and Albert Herring presents a haggard and increasingly delusional man who is losing the battle against anno domini with failing dignity. The physical engagement with which Graham-Hall plays a character dominated by introspection is extraordinary in itself‚ but it is matched by the intelligence of his sung interpretation. in Aschenbach’s extended soliloquies the voice falters and breaks until‚ during his Socratic contemplation “Does beauty lead to wisdom‚ Phaedrus?”‚ he falls apart entirely and the only possible corollary is death. The subtleties in Warner’s conception of the piece sit well with Graham-Hall’s interpretation and probably drove the thinking behind it

Classical Source (June 2013)

Deborah Warner’s production has also been seen staged in Brussels and at La Scala‚ Milan‚ where it scored a notable success with English tenor John Graham-Hall in the all-encompassing role of Gustav von Aschenbach. Production and tenor are reunited here... Graham-Hall’s Aschenbach is more challenging and original. Highly charged from the outset‚ he embodies the struggle between Apollo and Dionysus which is at the heart of the opera with extraordinary immediacy‚ as if Aschenbach is being physically torn apart from within

Financial Times (June 2013)

...John Graham-Hall’s remarkable Aschenbach... In the end‚ Aschenbach obviously matters most. Some guardians of the Britten flame will find Graham-Hall insufficiently forbidding when compared with more obviously intellectual Aschenbachs‚ such as Peter Pears and Robert Tear‚ or Ian Bostridge in the 2007 performances‚ and he cannot summon their austere vocalism either. But Graham-Hall inhabits the role more convincingly than any of them. Aschenbach’s disintegration is harrowingly believable‚ and Graham-Hall manages to sing the role with a refreshing naturalness that goes with his always fine acting. Death in Venice emerges anew‚ without some of the archness to which Britten and his librettists were so susceptible‚ yet with its rich layers of meaning fully intact

The Guardian (June 2013)

I can’t imagine a more exquisitely achieved marriage of music‚ drama‚ and design...The central performances are stunning... For two unbroken hours John Graham-Hall brilliantly holds the stage‚ utterly believable and with every phrase pellucidly clear... A flawless evening

Independent (June 2013)

Benjamin Britten’s centenary year is celebrated with an outstanding production of Death in Venice by the English National Opera. The high quality event‚ ENO’s revival of Deborah Warner’s 2007 production‚ serves not only as a worthy tribute to Britten‚ but also as a rewarding experience in the opera house. Tenor John Graham-Hall gives an astonishingly virtuoso performance as the ageing writer Gustav von Aschenbach. His vocal delivery is exemplary in its many shades of tonal colours and wide-ranging dynamics‚ while his dramatic portrayal gives a moving account of the artist’s fascination with beauty and youth as a possible salvation from disintegration and from the inevitable‚ final demise. Graham-Hall treats the central theme (as does‚ crucially‚ stage director Deborah Warner) with respect towards Britten who clearly identified with the dying artist...Graham-Hall’s mesmerizing portrayal

Musical Criticism (June 2013)

John Graham-Hall...inhabiting the role with convincing dramatic presence and unaffected sincerity. It was the part which won him the 2012 Franco Abbiati prize for best male singer from the Italian National Association of Music Critics‚ and one could see why. Tall and thin‚ introverted and self-contained‚ dressed in an Edwardian pale suit‚ as he crumbled and disintegrated under the burden psycho-sexual anxiety‚ Graham-Hall was a visual emblem of the confrontation between Bourgeois Convention and Bohemian Chaos identified within Britten himself by W.H. Auden in an oft-quoted letter of the 1930s... Graham-Hall’s meticulously conceived body language and physical mannerisms... Aschenbach’s roaming soliloquies were supple and intoned with clarity; surtitles were absent and for once not needed... Graham-Hall aimed for clear resonance and direct communication; there was no exaggerated darkness in the tone‚ the middle register was focused‚ the top quite light. But this made the moments of despair all the more telling... Graham-Hall’s simple‚ pure reminiscence of Socrates’ tender dismissal of Phaedrus‚ accompanied by gentle harp accompaniment‚ was poignant but never sentimental

Opera Today (June 2013)

Whatever claims one might make for Peter Pears’s artistry‚ that would be an eccentric place to start‚ and Gustav von Aschenbach is a Pears role par excellence. Graham-Hall offered something far more telling: elusive yet unmistakeable dramatic truth. One felt that this was Aschenbach’s story; one both saw it through his eyes and saw him through the eyes of the story‚ if that makes any sense. It is a strenuous role indeed‚ but Graham-Hall used its very difficulty to great effect... Graham-Hall of course deserves the lion share of the credit for the dramatic truth of his descent...

Seen & Heard International (June 2013)

Aschenbach is a role to which John Graham-Hall brings a sureness of dramatic understanding and developed acting skills that allow his interpretation to be listed among those of the work’s finest exponents thus far... With this superb realisation ENO’s season ends on a high note

The Stage (June 2013)

Graham-Hall brings out the anger and self-disgust of Aschenbach... this is an exquisite staging of Britten’s unsettling final work

Sunday Express (June 2013)

John Graham-Hall’s portrayal was vividly enacted and eloquently declaimed

Telegraph (June 2013)

English National Opera closes its current season with a golden show... ENO’s revival remains one of its finest achievements... John Graham-Hall is outstanding in the role. And what an extensive and demanding part this is (written for Peter Pears‚ then in his early sixties). Graham-Hall inhabits all of Aschenbach’s philosophies‚ fears‚ tantalisations‚ and not least the feeling of being the outsider; he holds the stage with a vivid but not overplayed portrayal that occasionally veers to Pears-isms‚ which is understandable‚ but this is very much an individual and compelling assumption

The Opera Critic (June 2013)

Extra punch is added with the powerful performance of ENO regular John Graham-Hall... Graham-Hall‚ happily‚ inhabits both stage and character with ease. We feel the man’s pomposity and age‚ taste the heat and sweat of his desperation in the grip of beauty and decay. The voice‚ gruffer than Bostridge’s‚ equally serves Aschenbach well: a voice that has lived‚ smoked too‚ but can also punch out recitatives with a clarity especially useful in a production without surtitles

The Times (June 2013)

It’s also a flawless celebration of Britten’s genius in his centenary year... John Graham Hall gives the role an authentic world-weariness‚ as he totters ever deeper into bewilderment and increasing desperation until he’s become the "young-old horror" he despises. His elegant tone is reminiscent of the peerless Philip Langridge and all-round it’s a miraculous portrayal...this revival can’t be recommended highly enough as an opportunity to experience the magic of opera...A knockout evening

What's on Stage (June 2013)

Albert Herring‚ Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse

John Graham Hall vocalise avec virtuosité et humour /// John Graham-Hall vocalises with virtuosity and humour

Classique info (February 2013)

Britten voulait des comédiens chanteurs ; il est parfaitement servi‚ car les interprètes s’investissent avec détermination et dans la mesure où la mise en scène le leur permet sont entièrement le trio masculin des notables‚ David Kimbell (le clergyman)‚ John Graham Hall (le maire) et Wayne Tigges (le surintendant) ont tous les moyens d’exécuter les requis d’étendue et de souplesse que leur réserve la partition /// Britten wanted singing actors; he is well served‚ because the performers are fully committed‚ and‚ as far as the production allows‚ they are entirely convincing. .. and the male trio of Notables‚ David Kimbell (the clergyman)‚ John Graham Hall (the mayor) and Wayne Tigges (Superintendent) all have the necessary means of carrying out the versatility and range which the score requires

Forum Opera (January 2013)

Le Nozze di Figaro‚ Metropolitan Opera

...the foppish‚ meddlesome Don Basilio (John Graham-Hall‚ making a fine Met debut in this run)

Classical Source (November 2012)

...John Graham-Hall’s grubby Basilio stood out

Opera Magazine (September 2012)

Peter Grimes‚ Teatro alla Scala

Shortly before opening night it was announced that John Graham-Hall had been awarded the 2012 Abbiati Prize by the Association of Italian Music Critics for best male performer for his Aschenbach at La Scala last year; his Grimes displayed all the very considerable virtues of his previous Britten portrayal‚ especially an extremely vivid delivery of the text and such powerful acting that at times it seemed as if the music was flowing in and out of his body‚ and this without any hint of histrionics

Opera Magazine (September 2012)

Le Nozze di Figaro‚ Festival d’Aix-en-Provence

John Graham-Hall ‚ è un Basilio convincente. Avvertiamo la duplicità del suo gioco scenico e la voce meriterebbe l’ascolto in un ruolo più importante /// John Graham-Hall‚ is a convincing Basilio. We perceive the duplicity of his stage play and the voice deserves to listen in a more important role

GB (August 2012)

John Graham-Hall enfin dessine un Basilio parfaitement mielleux et frustré /// John Graham-Hall Basilio finally draws a perfectly smooth and frustrated

Avant-Scène Opéra (July 2012)

Meilleurs‚ John Graham-Hall (Basilio) et Mari Eriksmoen (Barbarina) complètent heureusement la distribution /// Best‚ John Graham-Hall (Basilio) and Mari Eriksmoen (Barbarina) complete fortunately distribution

Forum Opera (July 2012)

Osud‚ Staatsoper Stuttgart

John Graham-Hall’s Zivny‚ forcefully articulated and sensitively played‚ had his softer moments radiantly reflected by Rebecca von Lipinski’s velvety‚ shimmering soprano...

Opera (August 2012)

La distribution‚ outre des petits rôles peu favorisés par la partition‚ est dominée par John Graham-Hall ‚ d’une très sûre musicalité‚ qui ne cherche pas à rendre son douteux héros plus sympathique qu’il n’est /// Distribution‚ in addition to small roles somewhat favored by the score‚ is dominated by John Graham-Hall ‚ a very secure musicality‚ which does not seek to make his hero more doubtful that it is friendly

ResMusica (June 2012)

...hätten die wunderbaren Sänger (John Graham-Hill als Živny‚ Rebecca von Lipinski als Míla) Am Ende gab es verdienten Jubel für einen kühnen Premierenabend ///...the wonderful singers (John Graham-Hill as Živny‚ Rebecca von Lipinski as Mila) In the end there was an earned applause for a bold first night

Neue Musikzeitung (March 2012)

...sehr beeindruckend meistert John Graham-Hall diese Partie ///...impressively‚ John Graham-Hall masters this part

Südwest Aktiv (March 2012)

Peter Grimes‚ Teatro alla Scala

Peter Grimes era interpretato da John Graham-Hall eccezionale sulla scena‚ un vero attore /// Peter Grimes was played by John Graham-Hall’s exceptional on the scene‚ a real actor

GB Opera Magazine (May 2012)

John Graham-Hall è un Grimes lirico‚ quasi puro‚ nel quale la felice presenza scenica si accompagna a una grande intensità vocale nel rappresentare un personaggio al limite dell’autismo /// John Graham-Hall Grimes is a lyrical‚ almost pure‚ in which the happy stage presence is accompanied by a great vocal intensity in portraying a character limit of autism

Giornale Della Musica (May 2012)

Ottima la squadra degli interpreti. John Graham-Hall è un tenore camaleontico per l’abilità con cui riesce facilmente a passare da un registro ad un altro /// Excellent team of interpreters. John Graham-Hall is a chameleon-like content for the skill with which it can easily pass from one register to another

Il Velino AGV (May 2012)

Récemment primé par les critiques musicaux italiens pour son interprétation de Gustav von Aschenbach‚ ici-même l’année dernière‚ John Graham-Hall est un Peter Grimes magistral. On le connaissait excellent chanteur‚ à l’aise dans la prosodie anglaise comme peu d’autres /// Recently awarded by Italian music critics for his performance as Gustav von Aschenbach‚ right here last year‚ John Graham-Hall is a masterful Peter Grimes. He was known excellent singer‚ at ease in English prosody like few others

L’Avant-Scène Opéra (May 2012)

John Graham-Hall è un indimenticabile Peter Grimes‚ scontroso‚ isolato‚ ruvido‚ a tratti iroso‚ ma anche malinconico e pacato‚ straordinario nella scena finale quando‚ carico di dolore‚ si avvia muto verso il suo destino‚ uscendo dalla finestra. Dotato di un timbro chiaro adattissimo al personaggio e molto attento alla parola‚ egli ha saputo ben contrapporre i momenti lirici a quelli in cui il canto si spezza fino a divenire antimusicale...nel finale applausi entusiastici per uno spettacolo davvero splendido sotto ogni punto di vista: imperdibile /// John Graham-Hall is an unforgettable Peter Grimes‚ sullen‚ isolated‚ rough‚ sometimes angry‚ but also melancholy and quiet‚ great in the final scene when‚ full of pain‚ you start to mute his fate‚ through the window. Equipped with a clear stamp very suitable to the character and very attentive to the word‚ he has been able to contrast the lyrical moments to those in which the song is broken up to become unmusical... in the final enthusiastic applause for a truly beautiful from every point of view: not to be missed (May 2012)

Oedipe‚ Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie

John Graham-Hall a clear-voiced‚ cringing shepherd

Opera Magazine (January 2012)

Death in Venice‚ Teatro alla Scala‚ Milan

...when Aschenbach is played by John Graham-Hall‚ who conveyed masterfully the almost wounding effect on his body of his obsession with Tadzio. Graham-Hall’s interpretation was memorable also for his exceptionally clear enunciation of the text‚ and for the way in which he invested the long and potentially rather boring stretches of recitative with an intense emotional charge...On March 12 the audience loved the show‚ awarding Graham-Hall the triumph he deserved

Opera Magazine (August 2011)

Il debutto scaligero di “Death in Venice”‚ ultima opera di Benjamin Britten‚ basata sul racconto di Thomas Mann‚ è stato preparato con molta cura e bisogna riconoscere che tali attenzioni hanno portato alla realizzazione di uno spettacolo formalmente impeccabile e di grande suggestione visiva‚ premiato da un successo di pubblico davvero incondizionato…John Graham-Hall nei panni di Aschenbach è superlativo nell’evidenziare tutte le nevrosi del personaggio. La sua interpretazione segue il corso del disfacimento fisico ed intellettuale dello scrittore‚ attraverso una recitazione calibrata ed un canto in cui diviene padrone assoluto della parola

GB Opera Magazine (Italy) (March 2011)

Ottimo risultato per Death in Venice di Britten‚ per la prima volta alla Scala‚ 37 anni dopo il debutto mondiale alla Fenice...Come pure eccellente John Graham-Hall nei panni del protagonista (pur se di aspetto troppo giovane per la parte)‚ disinvolto in scena e sicuro di voce. Compito non facile perché Aschenbach è spesso solo‚ senza copertura né accompagnamento di strumenti...Successo pieno a fine serata‚ con applausi interminabili e fischi d’ammirazione da parte dei numerosi spettatori anglosassoni

Il Giornale della Musica (March 2011)

Nove i minuti di scoscianti applausi e una vera ovazione per il tenore John Graham Hall‚ che si è rivelato un degnissimo sostituto...Onnipresente nel suo monologo che copre tutto lo svolgimento dell’opera‚ il tenore Graham Hall riese a incarnare magistralmente il ruolo dello scrittore nel vortice che lo condurrà alla perdizione estetica e omoerotica e contemporaneamente alla morte

L’Arena (March 2011)

La défection de Ian Bostridge a révélé un formidable Aschenbach en John Graham-Hall...Le ténor anglais possède une diction parfaite‚ un flegme esthète et distancié qui confère à son personnage un second degré savamment ambigu

Le Monde (March 2011)

The long overdue company première of Benjamin Britten’s Death in Venice was welcomed with a warm nine minute applause at La Scala by an attentive audience...The light disappointment which preceded opening night for the cancellation of Ian Bostridge was wiped away by the compelling interpretation of tenor John Graham-Hall as Aschenbach. The singer displayed a solid middle range with an easy top‚ which made him a perfect fit for the role‚ originally written by the composer for tenor Robert Tear

Opera Critic (March 2011)

Il pubblico scaligero ha tributato una vera e propria ovazione per il tenore John Graham Hall

Rai Giornale (March 2011)

Kat’a Kabanova‚ Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie

On ne saurait croire un Tichon plus velléitaire que celui de John Graham-Hall

Anaclase (November 2010)

John Graham-Hall qui fut dans ce théâtre la révélation de Death in Venice de Britten (voir webthea du 22 février 2009)‚ s’est glissé dans la peau de Tichon‚ fils soumis et mari absent‚ avec un mélange de lâcheté et de désarroi

Webthea (November 2010)

John Graham-Hall‚ extraordinaire Tichon

La Libre (October 2010)

The Adventures of Mr Broucek‚ Scottish Opera

Comedic timing is notoriously difficult to pull off alongside the demands of the singing‚ acting and choreography‚ and more often than not it just doesn’t gel at all with the operatic form. In this instance‚ however‚ there were a good number of sincere belly-laughs throughout‚ induced from the playful manner in which the cast genuinely seemed to enjoy the performance‚ reveling in the dramatic absurdity that the work is so rich in...The principal cast morphed with ease through their past‚ present and alien characters. Anne Sophie Duprels shone in particular with her extremely beautiful soprano‚ and John Graham-Hall captured Broucek’s essence perfectly‚ making us hate him‚ excuse him and love him in rapid turns

The Journal (May 2010)

It falls to the central character to bear the brunt of the composer’s frustration‚ as Mr Broucek is teased‚ tormented and humiliated. But—a bit like Brecht’s Mother Courage—the antihero wins the audience’s sympathies despite the author’s best efforts. Thanks no doubt‚ on this occasion‚ to John Graham-Hall in the title role‚ whose permanently befuddled air masked an immaculate command as he tumbled through the often bewildering narrative!

Musical Criticism (April 2010)

...a cast who get fully inside the music...he wisely played up the humour so that he kept the audience’s sympathy for what is seldom a likeable character...well rounded tenor...

Musicweb International (April 2010)

John Graham-Hall is a marvellous Broucek‚ by turns bumptious and boorish‚ rumpled and reeling‚ clutching his briefcase‚ leering at Málinka/Etherea/Kunka‚ feeling his way round the cellar walls‚ falling down in the gutter

Opera Critic (April 2010)

Broucek himself is not a character whom we are supposed to warm to. John Graham-Hall managed to convey the fact that we are supposed to feel a little sneer towards this drunken everyman. The clarity of diction and the precision of his singing fitted well with Janácek’s particular ways of setting speech rhythms to music and allowed a controlled rage to bubble beneath the surface

Opera Britannia (April 2010)

Katya Kabanova‚ English National Opera

...John Graham-Hall’s unusually vivid and detailed vocal and dramatic portrayal of Tikhon‚ a weak and physically inexpressive man trapped in a household of three different yet strong women with nowhere to hide. He caught the emotional desperation better than most interpreters‚ making his alcoholism very much a symptom of his situation rather than the cause

Classical Source (March 2010)

John Graham-Hall’s neurotic Tikhon is superb

Evening Standard (March 2010)

John Graham-Hall‚ as Tichon‚ gives another of his definitive portrayals

Financial Times (March 2010) is never moving. With the exception of John Graham-Hall’s Tikhon‚ Kátya’s helpless husband

The Guardian (March 2010)

...her weak and violent son Tikhon (a terrifically irrational John Graham-Hall) who can never shake off his poisonous inheritance...

The Independent (March 2010)

John Graham-Hall turned in a virtuoso performance as the unfortunate husband

Musical Criticism (March 2010)

The supporting cast that ENO has assembled is certainly one of the strongest of recent seasons...John Graham-Hall a weak vacillating Tichon

Music OMH (March 2010)

John Graham-Hall...was just perfect as Tikhon – a snivelling‚ buttoned-up weakling‚ forever coming to the brink of expressing actual human emotion towards Katya‚ but always pulling back at the last moment. At the climactic moment of Katya’s confession in Act 3 (which was brilliantly staged‚ with a giant red-and-black Soviet propaganda poster of Hell being suddenly struck by lightning and crashing to the ground in slow motion) he finally releases all that pent-up emotion in a genuine cri de coeur – and yet the final image of the evening is that of Tikhon being led away by the hand by his mother

Opera Britannia (March 2010)

Other outstanding performances included...John Graham-Hall perfectly embodied the subtlety of Katya’s feeble husband Tikhon‚ never commenting on his character’s pathetic nature‚ making the end horrible to watch as he discovers his dead wife

Operaticus (March 2010)

...John Graham-Hall making a good deal of her craven‚ cowardly husband‚ Tikhon

The Stage (March 2010)

ENO has gathered a fine ensemble cast around her‚ with the company stalwarts John Graham-Hall as the pusillanimous Tikhon

Sunday Times (March 2010)

...John Graham-Hall and Stuart Skelton as the dismal specimens of manhood between whom Katya is caught...quite exceptionally good

The Telegraph (March 2010)

That Stuart Skelton’s buttoned-up Boris should turn out to be as spineless as Katya’s freakishly mother-fixated husband Tikhon is one of many ironies that Alden points up. Indeed‚ his final image is of the superb John Graham-Hall (pictured‚ with Racette)‚ as the snivelling Tikhon‚ pathetically clinging to the skirts of his mother Kabanicha

The Times (March 2010)

The Adventures of Mr Broucek‚ Opera North

He (Mr Broucek) is vividly brought to life by that versatile and perspicacious singer-actor John Graham-Hall in another closely observed portrait from his gallery of eccentrics. He ranks with Nigel Douglas in his ability to create Pooterish characters

Opera Magazine (December 2009)

As the eponymous hero‚ John Graham-Hall is a delight‚ peevish and lean in the John Cleese manner‚ with a sure comic touch and vocal command

Country Life (October 2009)

John Graham-Hall turns the title character into a haplessly repressed stick whose sexual fantasies and innate cowardice are all too believable: it’s a virtuoso performance...

Financial Times (October 2009)

The updating is nicely judged‚ giving a wry humour to the lunar excursion and a real poignancy to the historical one‚ as well as injecting a touch more humanity into the comedy in the process. The same lightness of touch carries over into John Graham-Hall’s beautifully observed and judged central performance as Broucek‚ complete with three-piece suit‚ briefcase and toothbrush moustache

The Guardian (October 2009)

John Graham-Hall’s Broucek‚ well-sung‚ is tall and initially dignified‚ instead of being a bumbling fat drunkard

Spectator (October 2009)

Opera North fields a fine cast‚ too‚ most of them tripling up as Moon people and both ancient and modern inhabitants of Prague‚ with John Graham-Hall tirelessly determined as the flummoxed‚ cowardly Broucek

The Stage (October 2009)

... it’s a good-looking show‚ unmissable for John Graham-Hall’s brilliant assumption of the title role

Sunday Times (October 2009)

John Graham-Hall holds the evening together brilliantly as the peevish Broucek‚ in cheap suit‚ fiercly clutched briefcase (containing mostly sausages) and man-from-the-ministry moustache: this is a great comic turn‚ affectionate but pointed‚ characterful and expertly sung

Tablet (October 2009)

All praise‚ however‚ to an excellent cast‚ led by John Graham-Hall as a gangling Broucek‚ most of its members tripling roles in ’68 Prague‚ Hussite Prague and on the Moon‚ working hard to get the English translation across...

The Telegraph (October 2009)

...unmissable for John Graham-Hall’s brilliant assum¬ption of the title role and a fine cast‚ from which Anne-Sophie Duprels and Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts stand out in Janacek’s wondrously youthful love music‚ with fine character support from the Opera North stalwarts Donald Maxwell‚ Jonathan Best and Frances McCafferty

The Times (October 2009)

Yet if it’s laughs you want‚ you have them with John Graham-Hall’s Basil Fawlty of a Broucek. It’s a subtly brilliant performance: disgust‚ scorn‚ cowardice‚ all eked out of a horribly ungrateful libretto

The Times (October 2009)

Broucek is far from an heroic figure and John Graham-Hall does not attempt to put a gloss on his stuffy‚ middlebrow personality. Since he sings with immense conviction‚ this only reinforces Broucek’s short-fused stupidity. The humour is in the crassness‚ both in our antihero and in the group-mentalities of the people he encounters

York Press (October 2009)

Vocally it is very good‚ John Graham-Hall’s Broucek steering clear of the usual drunken caricature‚ but just tipsy enough...

Yorkshire Post (October 2009)

Król Roger‚ Bregenzer Festspiele

John Graham-Hall’s Edrisi is strong and warm and compelling

Financial Times (July 2009)

Le nozze di Figaro‚ Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie

l’impeccable John Graham-Hall (Don Basilio)

Concerto (June 2009) John Graham-Hall (qui fut récemment Aschenbach) un luxueux Don Basilio / ...and John Graham-Hall (who was recently Aschenbach) luxurious Don Basilio

La (June 2009)

Encore une perle dans cette distribution: le Basilio de John Graham-Hall (Aschenbach dans Mort à Venise)‚ grand échalas d’une perversité‚ d’un humour inimaginables!

Le Soir (June 2009)

Por ahí se colaba ya la parte menos ‘amable’ de la ‘folle journée’‚ que venía a remachar un excelente Graham-Hall (intérprete esta misma temporada de una memorable Muerte en Venecia) con su ‘don Basilio’ lleno de tics y represiones en su gran aria del cuarto acto –que por fortuna no se suprimió- a la que imprimió no sólo sentido dramático‚ sino que la convirtió en una estremecedora visión de las relaciones de poder de la que la ópera parecía privada: dicha y cantada así‚ el aria guarda una actualidad explosiva verdaderamente inquietante. Un tenor característico así querría yo para roles no tan característicos

Mundo Clásico (June 2009)

Death in Venice‚ Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie

Pas de Death in Venice réussi sans un grand Aschenbach‚ omniprésent deux heures et demi durant. John Graham-Hall signe une composition véritablement superlative‚ y compris vocalement‚ et d’une absolue crédibilité. Le public réserve un triomphe pour celui qui‚ le temps d’un spectacle‚ aura été Gustav von Aschenbach‚ plus qu’un simple interprète

Concerto (January 2009)

Una menzione particolare va a John Graham Hall‚ che ha sostituito il sofferente Ian Bostridge nella parte principale‚ in cui ha saputo entrare molto bene‚ per l’interpretazione vocale ma anche per la notevole presenza scenica. Un allestimento che sembra smorzare l’aspetto più propriamente sessuale dell’attrazione di Gustav per il giovane Tadzio per puntare su sfumature più sublimate e intellettuali che appaiono evidenti nella scena finale‚ quando il giovane danza lentamente‚ sullo sfondo‚ mentre il protagonista muore

Il Giornale della Musica (January 2009)

Magnifique Aschenbach de John Graham-Hall...Enfin‚ c’est à John Graham-Hall (un croisement inattendu de Jacques Tati et de Paul Dujardin) que revient le rôle écrasant d’Aschenbach : ce ténor peu connu chez nous signe une prestation exemplaire d’engagement‚ de maîtrise vocale et crédibilité théâtrale‚ offrant du personnage une vision à la fois distanciée - voire burlesque‚ malgré son côté british - et profondément humaine

La Libre Belgium (January 2009)

Une prise de rôle impeccable

Libération (January 2009) le ténor‚ John Graham-Hall omniprésent‚ charismatique Aschenbach‚ qui rayonne‚ évolue justement‚ au cours d’une performance épuisante. Au-delà du chanteur‚ un comédien que l’on croit pouvoir mourir d’amour à la fin du spectacle

ResMusica (January 2009)

Boris Godunov‚ English National Opera

John Graham-Hall is quite superb as Shuisky‚ the skunk-at-court. His is a well-crafted performance‚ always mellifluous in tone‚ and there is just the right amount of vicious cunning about him

Daily Express (November 2008)

John Graham-Hall’s clipped Shuisky is perfectly judged

The Guardian (November 2008)

...this was a strong ensemble effort. John Graham-Hall was threateningly suave and scheming as Shuisky

Musical Criticism (November 2008)

Another advantage is that this Boris doesn’t overwhelm the other parts. Prince Shuisky‚ in particular‚ is given more weight. He wasn’t just the stock villain of legend. John Graham-Hall’s strong‚ unfussy portrayal shows that it’s Shuisky’s tragedy too‚ for Russian audiences know what happens to him after the story in the opera ends

Seen & Heard International (November 2008)

The highest-profiled character was the superb Shuisky of John Graham-Hall‚ a slimy column of pseudo-concerned bureaucracy‚ the one kind of disgusting specimen who would never be eliminated in Russia or anywhere else

The Spectator (November 2008)

...and John Graham-Hall gave us a beautifully sung and intelligently understated Shuisky‚ never falling into caricature and proving all the more sinister for it.

Opera Magazine (January 2009)

Love and other Demons‚ Glyndebourne Festival

John Graham-Hall’s doctor...made the most of demanding role

Opera Magazine (October 2008)

There are wonderfully observed character roles from Jean Rigby as Sierva Maria’s fellow inmate and Felicity Palmer as the abbess‚ and from John Graham-Hall as a doctor (the only enlightenment figure in this god-obsessed society)

The Guardian (August 2008)

...strong performances also from John Graham Hall’s physician Abrenuncio...

musicOMH (August 2008)

The Adventures of Mr Broucek‚ Opera North

Yet if it’s laughs you want‚ you have them with John Graham-Hall’s Basil Fawlty of a Broucek. It’s a subtly brilliant performance: disgust‚ scorn‚ cowardice‚ all eked out of a horribly ungrateful libretto (bluntly translated by Andre and Fulljames). Naturally Broucek learns nothing from his adventures — except that he has survived by doing nothing. You won’t find another opera that teaches that

The Times (July 2008)

Merry Widow‚ English National Opera

Graham-Hall - a tenor Danilo rather than the usual baritone - is theatrically impeccable‚ as always.

The Guardian (April 2008)

John Graham-Hall makes a superb Count Danilo‚ caddish and charismatic‚ and excellently sung.

MusicOMH (April 2008)

John Graham-Hall makes an enjoyable meal of Monostatos.

The Guardian (February 2008)

John Graham-Hall enliveningly seedy as a pale-faced‚ diabolical Monostatos.

The Stage (January 2008)

I love John Graham-Hall’s grotesque‚ angular Monostatos.

Times (January 2008)

Falstaff‚ Opera North

John Graham-Hall is an incisive Dr Caius.

Ilkley Gazette (October 2007)

As for John Graham-Halls’ Dr Caius‚ audiences will be overjoyed when he enters.

The Stage (October 2007)

The Fortunes of King Croesus‚ Opera North

The other notable performance came from John Graham-Hall as the cockney Machiavellian bon viveur‚ Elcius‚ whose comical witticism and Faginism brought laughter throughout.

Musical Criticism (November 2007)

The opportunistic servant Elcius‚ appealingly played here by John Graham-Hall.

The Guardian (October 2007)

Graham Hall always threatens to steal the show with his mockney travelling salesman‚ Elcius.

Sunday Times (October 2007)

Les Noces‚ Opera North

Only two of the soloists really dug into the Russian...tenor John Graham-Hall.

Opera Magazine (July 2007)

Three Water Pays‚ Almeida Opera

John Graham-Hall’s tenor was always incisive.

The Times (July 2007)

Katya Kabanova‚ Opera North

...dramatically sung.

Darlington & Stockton Times (June 2007)

Other excellent performances came from ...John Graham-Hall as Katya’s vodka -swigging husband‚ Tichon.

Opera Magazine (June 2007)

The casting of the three tenor roles was not skimped with John Graham Hall’s tall Tichon...sang faultlessly.

Seen & Heard International (June 2007)

Notable also is John Graham Hall as her feeble‚ dipsomaniac husband‚ Tichon.

The Stage (May 2007)

...beyond criticism.

Yorkshire Evening Post (May 2007)

The supporting cast is superb...John Graham Hall is convincing.

Daily Telegraph (April 2007)

John Graham Hall’s repressed‚ spineless Tichon‚ taking regular gulps of Dutch courage‚ is right on target.

The Press (York) (April 2007)

John Graham Hall’s horribly hen-pecked Tichon is superbly observed: what a quivering jelly of a man.

The Times (April 2007)

Die Fledermaus‚ Glyndebourne on Tour

It was also good to hear Eisenstein sung by a tenor at last‚ especially since that tenor was John Graham-Hall. By turns crusty and manic‚ this all-singing‚ all-dancing Eisenstein was the start of the show.

Opera Magazine (December 2006)

Magic Flute‚ English National Opera

Monostatos is a figure of lust and pusillanimity‚ and John Graham-Hall provided a good dash of both.

Online Review London (October 2005)

Salome‚ English National Opera

John Graham-Hall was terrific in the role‚ his bilious words cast like swill before swine. But sung‚ not stammered out in lazy approximation of the musical line like some one could mention.

Independent (October 2005)

Herod‚ on the other hand‚ is a taxing but rewarding role‚ and John Graham Hall - always a good performer - moved into a different league while giving the performance of a lifetime. His voice has grown in stature and can be compared with Jon Vickers in his prime. He has always been good at creating utterly convincing characters on stage‚ whether loathsome or sympathetic - Mime (Siegfried) comes to mind most recently - but his Herod is a complete triumph. From the decadent‚ dissolute lecher as he lusts after Salome to the bewildered‚ fearful and horrified figure as he orders the killing of a monster even greater than himself‚ he is compelling.

MusicOMH (October 2005)

There are really four principals in this piece‚ and the interaction between them is crucial. Of these John Graham Hall’s portrayal of Herod was probably the most complex‚ blending princely power with moral weakness. Unable to break from his complete thrall to his step daughter‚ yet constantly haunted by strange portents‚ his every word was audible and telling.

Musical Pointers (October 2005)

Barker has a brilliant stepfather (Herod) in John Graham-Hall‚ desperately crumbling under his obsession.

The Stage (October 2005)

Merry Wives of Windsor‚ Buxton Festival

Incidental pleasures include John the idiotic Slender.

The Times (July 2005)

Eugine Onegin‚ English National Opera

John Graham Hall was the unforgettable Monsieur Triquet‚ sending up the character with gentle hilarity‚ where many singers go too far; coming not long after his Mime on the same stage‚ this was a reminder of what an incredibly versatile and valuable artist he is.

Opera Magazine (August 2005)

John Graham-Hall was a fun Monsieur Triquet (he sang his song in French).

Seen & Heard International (June 2005)

Peter Grimes‚ Salzburg

The most vivid performances come in the smaller roles‚ John Graham-Hall’s poisonous Boles.

Guardian Unlimited (March 2005)

Die Zauberflöte‚ Royal Opera House

John Graham-Hall made sure that Monostatos’ passages were elegantly phrased.

MusicOMH (February 2005)

John Graham-Hall was a seedy Monostatos‚ singing with bright tone and incisive phrasing.

Seen and Heard (February 2005)

John Graham-Hall was a great panto-villain Monostatos straight out of Rocky Horror with his gang of time-warping munchkins.

The Times (February 2005)

Messiah‚ Minnesota Orchestra

...some wonderful moments.

Pioneer Press (December 2004)

Tenor John Graham-Hall was impressive right from the start‚ delivering a weighty‚ resonant - Comfort ye.

Star Tribune (December 2004)

Siegfried‚ English National Opera

John Graham-Hall’s beautifully realised Mime‚ a crisply sung bundle of neuroses and incompetent cunning.

Guardian (November 2004)

The curtain rises on John Graham-Hall’s hunched‚ brooding Mime‚ a figure of beady-eyed malevolence‚ like a youngish Albert Steptoe plotting a new humiliation of his rebellious son. Graham-Hall is a long-serving ENO stalwart in character roles‚ but this brilliantly played and sung Mime is his finest hour at the Coliseum‚ a world-class performance.

The Sunday Times (November 2004)

John Graham-Hall’s Mime was brilliantly hangdog.

The Times (November 2004)

Man and Boy:Dada‚ Almeida

John Graham-Hall’s incarnation of Schwitters was a heroic piece of virtuosity.

Independent (July 2004)

John Graham-Hall is superb as the manic Schwitters.

The Times (July 2004)

Albert Herring‚ Opera North

John Graham Hall - Glyndebourne’s unforgotten Albert - Jeremy White and Eric Roberts give sharply etched character sketches of the randy Mayor...

Sunday Times (February 2002)

Katya Kabanova‚ English National Opera

In a night of splendid performances Skelton is matched by Susan Bickley‚ stately and imperious as Kabanicha‚ the mother-in-law from hell‚ by Anna Grevelius as a spirited Varvara and by John Graham-Hall‚ lettuce-limp as Tikhon

What's On Stage (March 2001)

Peter Grimes‚ Glyndebourne

John Graham Hall’s Bob Boles could not fail to make his mark.

Financial Times (July 2000)

...nicely sung contribution from John Graham Hall’s Bob Boles.

What’s on in London (July 2000)


Lulu, Alban Berg


Wozzeck, Alban Berg


Peter Grimes, Benjamin Britten

DVD Kultur

Albert Herring, Benjamin Britten

DVD Opus Artes

Peter Grimes, Benjamin Britten (DVD)

Virgin Classics

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Benjamin Britten

Naïve sa

Perelà‚ Uomo di Fumo, Pascal Dusapin


Orfeo ed Euridice. Haydn

DVD Arthaus

Kat'a Kabanova, Glyndebourne, Janácek


The Makropulos Case, Janácek


Taverner [Opera Premier], Peter Maxwell Davies


The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart


The Magic Flute, Mozart

DVD Deutsche Grammphon

La Finta giardiniera, Salzburg Festival 2006, Mozart

NVC Arts

Le Nozze di Figaro, Mozart (Glyndebourne)

LSO Classic Masterpieces

Carmina Burana, Carl Orff

Royal Philharmonic Collection

Carmina Burana, C. Orff


The Thieving Magpie, Rossini

Deutsche Grammphon

Moses und Aron, Arnold Schoenberg

ENO Live

The Silver Tassie, Mark-Anthony Turnage

HMP Classics

The Best of Richard Hickox, Various


The Poisoned Kiss, Vaughnan Williams