The English counter-tenor, Tim Mead, began singing as a treble in the choir of Chelmsford Cathedral under the direction of Dr. Graham Elliott, who later encouraged him to return to the choir as a counter-tenor. After leaving school he read Music at Cambridge University, where he was a choral scholar at King’s College under the direction of Stephen Cleobury. Whilst at university he began to study singing with counter-tenor Charles Brett. He went on to win a number of scholarships to the Royal College of Music in London where he studied with counter-tenor Robin Blaze.
In the final year of his studies, Tim Mead made his professional opera debut singing the role of Ottone in L’incoronazione di Poppea at Opera de Lyon under William Christie, a role he has since performed at English National Opera and Den Norske Opera, Oslo. In 2006 he made an unscheduled debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera singing the title role in David McVicar’s celebrated production of Giulio Cesare under Emmanuelle Haïm, replacing an indisposed David Daniels. Amongst his roles are the title roles in George Frideric Handel’s Orlando, Admeto, Siroe, Ezio and Rinaldo and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. Other roles include Endimione in La Calisto, Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare, Trasimede in Admeto, Melo in Sosarme, Athamas in Semele, Oronte in Riccardo Primo, Idelberto in Lotario, Paggio in Ercole Amante and Farnace in Mitridate. He has performed at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, English National Opera, Opera North, Bayerische Staatsoper, De Nederlandse Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Deustche Oper am Rhein, Opernhaus Halle, Opera de Rennes and Angers-Nantes Opera and at the International Handel Festspiele Göttingen, the Handel-Festspiele Halle and the Edinburgh International Festival. In 2008 Tim Mead made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden singing the role of Innocent in the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur conducted by Antonio Pappano. Roles in other contemporary works include Ometh in John Casken’s Golem (Angers-Nantes Opera and Opera de Rennes)and the various counter-tenor roles in the world premiere of Julian Philips’ Varjak Paw.
In concert, Tim Mead has appeared at the Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Théatre Champs-Elysées, Salle Pleyel, Concertgebouw and the concert halls of Berlin and Vienna with works as G.F. Handel’s Dixit Dominus and J.S. Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium (BWV 248) and Magnificat (BWV 243). He has sung with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, Les Arts Florissants, Le Concert d'Astrée, Concerto Köln, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Bach Collegium Japan and Nederlandse Bachvereniging and with conductors including Ivor Bolton, William Christie, Laurence Cummings, Christian Curnyn, Alan Curtis, Paul Goodwin, Emmanuelle Haïm, Vladimir Jurowski, Alessandro de Marchi, Nicholas McGegan and Masaaki Suzuki. He made his debut at the BBC Proms in 2004 in Biber’s Missa Bruxellenis with the Academy of Ancient Music under Paul Goodwin.
Recent engagements include Ottone in Il Coronazione di Poppea for Den Norske Opera Oslo; Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare for the Deutsche Oper am Rhein; title role Rinaldo with Masaaki Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan; title role in Admeto Händel-Festspiele Göttingen and the Edinburgh Festival; title role Endimione in La Calisto for the Bayerische Staatsoper; Paggio and Ombra di Bussiride in Ercole amante for De Nederlandse Opera conducted by Ivor Bolton; Ottone in Il Coronazione di Poppea for English National Opera conducted by Laurence Cummings; the première of The Minotaur (by Sir Harrison Birtwistle) at the Royal Opera House; title role in Orlando for Chicago Opera Theatre conducted by Raymond Leppard; Giulio Cesare for Glyndebourne Festival Opera; title role Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice conducted by Marcus Creed with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin in Hamburg; title role Siroe for Oper der Zeit conducted by Andreas Spering in Austria; David in Saul for Opera North in concert conducted by Christian Curnyn; Ometh in Golem for the Angers-Nantes Opéra; J.S. Bach Magnificat (BWV 243) and Dixit Dominus with Emmanuelle Haïm and Le Concert d'Astrée; Johannes Gebel's Johannes Passion for the NPS Zatertagmatinee; Das Weihnachtsoratorium with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants; Oronte in Riccardo Primo for the Kammerorchester Basel conducted by Paul Goodwin; Israel in Egypt conducted by Anthony Bramell in Karlsruhe; Orfeo for the English National Opera and for the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston conducted by Laurence Cummings; Ottone in Il Coronazione di Poppea for the Opéra de Lyon conducted by William Christie; Solomon for the Lufthansa Baroque Festival conducted by Ivor Bolton; Trasimede in Admeto for Opernhaus Halle conducted by Howard Arman; Athamas in Semele for British Youth Opera conducted by Christian Curnyn; Biber’s Missa Bruxellensis in the Proms with the Academy of Ancient Music conducted by Paul Goodwin; Messiah with the Manchester Camerata conducted by Nicholas Kraemer; Melo in Sosarme, re di Media and title role Ezio at London Handel Festival conducted by Laurence Cummings; concert performances of Idelberto in Lotario conducted by Paul Goodwin with the Kammerorchester Basel; Farnace in Mitridate with the Classical Opera Company at St. John’s Smith Square; J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion (BWV 245) with The Hanover Band; St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) with the Britten Sinfonia, and Occasional Oratorio with The King’s Consort at QEH; Georg Philipp Telemann's Brockes Passion, TWV 5:1 with the Nederlandse Bachvereniging for the NPS Zatertagmatinee; Messiah conducted by Alan Curtis in Madrid.
Tim Mead has recorded for a variety of labels, including EMI Classics, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Chandos, Carus, Channel Classics, Linn, Opus Arte and Arthaus Musik. Recordings include: J.S. Bach’s Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) with Nederlandse Bachvereniging/Jos van Veldhoven (Channel Classics); David in G.F. Handel’s Saul (Dresdner Barockorchester/Hans-Christoph Rademann (Carus); title role in G.F. Handel’s Solomon with FestspielOrchester Gottingen/Nicholas McGegan (Carus); G.F. Handel’s Israel in Egypt (alto solos) with Orchester der Deutschen, Handel-Solisten/Anthony Brammal (Brilliant Classics); Oronte in G.F. Handel’s Riccardo Primo with Kammerorchester Basel/Paul Goodwin (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi); title role in G.F. Handel’s Flavio with Early Opera Company/Christian Curnyn (Chandos); Purcell: Ode's (alto solos) with King's College Choir Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury (EMI); Domenico Scarlatti’s Laetatus Sum & other choral works (alto solos) with King's College Choir Cambridge/Stephen Cleobury (EMI); and Adam J C Smith’s Paradise Lost with La Banda/Wolfgang Riedelbauch (Lieco). Appearances on DVD include Trasimede in G.F. Handel’s Admeto with Handel-Festspiele Halle/Howard Arman, directed by Axel Kohler (Arthaus Musik) and Innocent in The Minotaur with the Royal Opera Chorus & Orchestra/Antonio Pappano, directed by Stephen Langridge (recorded live in 2008, Opus Arte).
Current and future plans include: Clearte in Steffani’s Niobe (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and at the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg/Thomas Hengelbrock), title role in Orlando (Scottish Opera/Paul Goodwin), Eustazio in Rinaldo (Glyndebourne Festival Opera/Ottavio Dantone), Ottone in Agrippina (Opera de Lille and Opera de Dijon/Emmanuelle Haïm), Ottone in Il Coronazione di Poppea (in Dijon and at Opera de Lille/Emmanuelle Haïm, directed by Jean-Francois Sivadier), Edimione in La Calisto (Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich//Moulds) and a return to English National Opera as Tolomeo in Julius Caesar. Concert performances include Messiah with the RIAS-Kammerchor under Ottavio Dantone and with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Laurence Cummings and a recital of G.F. Handel and Mozart arias in Bad Lauchstädt.