The British-Canadian baritone, Alexander Dobson, was born in Sussex, England, and grew up in Toronto where he attended Royal St. George’s College. He began singing with the Toronto Children's Chorus at the age of 9. His solo debut was at 12, as treble soloist in the Canadian premiere of Lloyd Webber’s Requiem under conductor Elmer Iseler. Dobson also sang with World Youth Choir, Ontario Youth Choir, and Mendelssohn Youth Choir, and attended camp of some sort every summer until university, when camp was replaced with planting trees in the summer to support his studies. He studied choral conducting at the University of Western Ontario, graduating with Honours, and graduated from The University of Toronto Opera Division. He is also an alumnus of the Music Theatre Program at the Banff Centre, Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, the Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia, and L’Atelier Lyrique de L’Opera de Montreal. He is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes including those from the International Voice Competition of Paris (including the Edward Marshall Association Award for Outstanding Baritone), the Jeunesses Musicales National Competition, the Marilyn Horne Competition (Music Academy of the West), and the Jacqueline Desmarais Competition.
Alexander Dobson's career to date embraces a wide range of choral and concert repertoire, and opera on Canadian and international stages. He has been praised for his musical and dramatic artistry on both opera and concert stages.
Alexander Dobson's operatic roles include Masetto in W.A. Mozart's Don Giovanni with Calgary Opera; Guillaume in the French version of W.A. Mozart's Così fan tutte with Opera Lafayette; The Count in W.A. Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro with Against the Grain; Marcello in La Bohème with Saskatoon Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, and on television in BRAVO’s StreetScenes version of the work; Silvio in Pagliacci for L'Opéra de Québec; Mercutioin Roméo et Juliette for L'Opera de Montréal and also for Opera Ontario; Harlequin in Calgary Opera's Ariadne auf Naxos, Sonorain La fanciulla del West with L'Opera de Montreal; Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas with The Theatre of Early Music; De Retz in Bard Summerscape’s production of Les Huguenots; and Moralès in Opera Pacific’s Carmen. He made his London debut at the Linbury Theatre with Royal Opera House Covent Garden in the premiere of The Midnight Court by Ana Sokolovic. His portrayal of Alban Berg's Wozzeck conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin with Théâtre du Nouveau Monde and Orchestre Métropolitain was lauded for his “gripping embodiment of Wozzeck” (Journal Voir). Other roles of note include Guglielmo in Così Fan Tutte, Belcoré in L’elisir d'amore and Ned Keene Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes, all with L’Opera de Montréal. His recent performance as The Master in Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie’s production of Against Nature with director James Kudelka was praised for its "clarity and sustained feeling" (The Globe and Mail). Other recent performances of contemporary works include Maximilian in Leonard Bernstein's Candide with Calgary Opera and The Pilot in Soundstreams’ production of Airline Icarus, a new opera by Brian Current. A recording of Airline Icarus (winner of the JUNO for Classical Composition of the Year) featuring Mr. Dobson was released on Naxos Records in 2015.
On the concert stage, Alexander Dobson has appeared with the Orchestre Métropolitain for Gustav Mahler's Songs of a Wayfayer, Gabriel Fauré's Requiem with the Windsor Symphony, and G. Mahler's Symphony No. 8 with Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting the combined National Arts Centre Orchestra and Orchestre Metropolitain. He has sung W.A. Mozart's Mass in C Minor with the St. Lawrence Choir, Toronto’s Aldeburgh Connection, the Vancouver New Music Festival, and with Montréal's Theatre of Early Music. He has sung George Frideric Handel's Messiah with Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestra London, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony, Grand Philharmonic Choir, Elmer Iseler Singers, Boris Brott Festival, and Spiritus Chamber Choir.
Alexander Dobson is also a dedicated recital artist. Composer Derek Holman wrote the song cycle Daybreak and a Candle End especially for Dobson and the Talisker Players. He has also performed Robert Schumann's Dichterliebe with Talisker Players Chamber Music and Coleman Lemieux Dance Company, and Schubert’s Winterreise to great acclaim in Montréal, Victoria, England, Paris, and, with Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the piano, in Toronto. He has also been heard frequently on CBC Radio Canada in recital and concert.
Highlighting Alexander Dobson’s 2016-2017 season is his performance in the title role in Don Giovanni at Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera, a role he has also sung with Orchestre Metropolitain de Montreal. He also appears in concert with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic (G.F. Handel's Messiah), and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (W.A. Mozart's Requiem). In recital, he can be heard this season on a program at Mooredale Concerts in Toronto.