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Colin Ainsworth (Tenor)

Born: Canada

The Canadian tenor, Colin Ainsworth, made his début with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and at the Edinburgh International Festival in the world première of MacRae’s The Assassin Tree, and with the Greek National Opera as Orphée in Gluck’s Orphée et Euridice.

Recognized internationally and across North America, Colin Ainsworth has built his reputation based of exceptional singing, impeccable diction and a diverse range of repertoire. Commended by the Toronto Star for a “magnetic stage presence that was the ideal embodiment of a romantic lead” and in the Globe and Mail for "a rock-solid technique, excellent diction, and a virile tone" (Gluck’s Orphée), his career continues to expand. Praised for his “ability to move seamlessly between different areas of the repertoire”, he is eagerly sought out for his interpretations of operas ranging from Monteverdi to the contemporary operas of MacRae and Benjamin Britten.

Operatic highlights of past seasons include Pylades in Opera Atelier’s production of Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride conducted by Andrew Parrott, the title role in B. Britten’s Albert Herring and Lysander in Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ernesto in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Belmonte in with Toronto Philharmonia, L’Incoronazione di Poppea for Cleveland Opera, Mercure in Lully’s Persée conducted by Hervé Niquet, the title role in Charpentier’s La Descente D’Orphée Aux Enfers for Toronto Masque Theatre, Charpentier’s Medée conducted by Hervé Niquet. On the concert stage, highlights include B. Britten’s St. Nicolas Cantata with the Kitchener-Waterloo Philharmonic Choir, J.S. Bach's Weihnachts-Oratorium (BWV 248) and L.v. Beethoven’s Mass in C major with Chorus Niagara, Haydn’s Stabat Mater with Ensemble Montréal, the St. John Passion (BWV 245) (tenor arias) with the Kitchener Waterloo Philharmonic Choir, and Bach’s B Minor Mass (BWV 232) with Choeur St. Laurent.

Colin Ainsworth began the 2004-2005 season with Festival Vancouver singing Haydn’s Harmoniemesse and Charpentier’s Messe De Minuit conducted by Hervé Niquet. He made several debuts including the role of Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni for Opera Atelier under Andrew Parrott, Carmina Burana with the Elora Festival, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and also with Orchestre Métropolitain with Yannick Nézet-Séguin leading L.v. Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. He returned to Opera Atelier to sing the title role in Charpentier’s Actéon. His concert schedule included J.S. Bach’s Mass in B minor (BWV 232) with the Amadeus Choir and Menno Singers, concerts with the Aldeburgh Connection and the Evangelist in Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium (BWV 248) with the Bach Consort, Nicholas McGegan conducting.

Colin Ainsworth's 2005-2006 season began with his Glimmerglass Opera debut as Jean in a new production of Massenet's Le Portrait De Manon and continued with a rare production of Lully’s Armide as Renaud for Opera Atelier, conducted by Andrew Parrott. He appeared as Damon in Acis and Galatea for Toronto Masque Theatre, Ottone in Vivaldi’s La Griselda for Opera in Concert and Apollo in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo for Opera Atelier. His concert performances included, Messiah with the Edmonton Symphony, the Elora Singers and the Elmer Iseler Singers, Die Schöpfung for Orchestra London, W.A. Mozart’s Krönungsmesse and Davidde Penitente for Choeur St. Laurent and an all-W.A. Mozart program for the Aldeburgh Connection.

In summer 2007, Colin Ainsworth made his critically acclaimed debut with Royal Opera and the Edinburgh International Festival in the world première of Stuart MacRae’s opera The Assassin Tree as Youth. After appearing as Tamino in The Magic Flute with Opera Atelier, he traveled to Athens, Greece where he made his triumphant debut with the Greek National Opera to sold-out houses singing Orphée in Gluck’s Paris version of Orphée et Euridice, a role he reprised with Opera Atelier under the baton of Andrew Parrott. He made his debut with L'Opéra Français de New York as Castor in Castor Et Pollux, conducted by Yves Abel, and joined the Montreal Baroque Festival in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo. This year alone, he adds four new CD's to his discography: the role of Ottone in Vivaldi’s La Griselda for Naxos, a disc of Schubert’s music with Gerald Finley and Gillian Keith, a Bach/Mondonville recording with Tafelmusik Chamber Choir & Baroque Orchestra, and the première recording of Derek Holman’s cycle The Heart Mislaid with the Aldeburgh Connection.

On the concert stage, Colin Ainsworth was engaged in 2006-2007 season by the Bach Elgar Choir, Orchestra London, the Aldeburgh Connection (a programme of French music and also in the 25th Anniversary concert singing Johannes BrahmsLiebeslieder Walzes), the Elora Festival Singers in J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244), the Talisker Players in a chamber recital, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in L.v. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

Following on the success of last season, Colin Ainsworth has filled his 2007-2008 schedule with many company and role debuts including the world premiere of Victor Davies’ new opera, The Transit Of Venus (Desmarais) with Manitoba Opera, Tamino in W.A. Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with Opera Ontario, Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore and Fenton in Verdi’s Falstaff - both with Edmonton Opera, Jaquino in L.v. Beethoven’s Fidelio with Vancouver Opera, the Evangelist in J.S. Bach's Weihnachts Oratorium (BWV 248) with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, George Frideric Handel’s Messiah with the Vancouver Bach Choir and W.A. Mozart's Requiem with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. The Aldeburgh Connection will also feature him in two recitals: the first, singing music of John Greer (which will also be recorded) and the second is devoted to the music of Francis Poulenc.

Colin Ainsworth's discography includes Rameau’s Castor Et Pollux as Castor (Opera in Concert/Aradia), Charpentier’s Messe De Minuit, the collected Masses of Vanhal and a live DVD recording of Lully’s Persée.

“This young Canadian tenor proved himself entirely equal to the taxing role of Orpheus: in the aria L'espoir renait dans mon âme – a fiendishly difficult vocal marathon – he displayed a rock-solid technique, excellent diction, and a virile tone … Ainsworth looked every inch his part” The Globe and Mail, Colin Eatock

Source: Dean Artists Website (September 2007)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2008)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Ivars Taurins


BWV 191 [w/ Tafelmusik]

Links to other Sites

Colin Ainsworth, tenor (Dean Artists)

Colin Ainsworth Biography (Naxos)

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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