The English baritone, William Townend, read Music at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours, and went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London (PG. Dip. Mus., Opera Course), where he was winner of the English Song Prize. He has also taken part in master-classes with Dennis O’Neill as part of the Wexford Festival Opera Artists Development Programme and Sir Thomas Allen at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He was a semi-finalist in the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition.
William Townend has worked with several opera companies including Glyndebourne Festival Opera, English Touring Opera (ETO), Opera Holland Park, The Early Opera Company (EOC), The Opera Project and British Youth Opera (BYO). Roles include Lescaut Manon, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Escamillo and Morales in Carmen, Keeper in The Rake’s Progress, Doctor in Macbeth, Corporal in La Fille du Régiment for ETO; Sir Richard Cholmondley in The Yeoman of the Guard for BYO; Genius in Love in Every Age by Clarke for EOC; Ambrogio in The Barber of Seville, Titye in La descente d’Orphée aux enfers, Ariodate in Xerxes, Man with a shoe sample kit in Postcard from Morocco by Argento, Chelsias in Susanna by George Frideric Handel, Tapioca in L'étoile by Chabrier, Henrik in Maskarade by Nielsen at GSMD and Purcell's The Fairy Queen in Salisbury and Worcester.
Equally at home on the concert platform William Townend's recent performances include Dover Beach by Samuel Barber at the Wigmore Hall, Messiah in Budapest with The Budapest Bach Ensemble, J.S. Bach's Cantata BWV 158 and Dietrich Buxtehude's Mein Hertz ist bereit in Belgium, J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) in Sweden, J.S. Bach's Johannes-Passion (BWV 245) (Christus and arias) with London Baroque and recitals in Sweden, Germany and the Turin Festival. Future plans (as of 2005) include J.S. Bach's Johannes-Passion (BWV 245) (arias) in Hungary and Dvorak's Stabat Mater in Winchester Cathedral.
William Townend is a member of the Cantamus Bach Choir (director: Peter Macdonald) and Retrospect Ensemble (director: Matthew Halls)