BARITONE

South African baritone William Berger was a member of the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir and the inaugural recipient of the Deon van der Walt UNISA/SAMRO bursary at age 17, before commencing his studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London supported by the Kathleen Ferrier Bursary Award and the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust. Since winning the Lucerne Festival Prize at the Ernst Haefliger Competition in Switzerland, William has distinguished himself as a performing artist on the international stage and made both his Royal Opera House London and Kennedy Center, Washington D.C. debuts in 2019.

Opera appearances include Marcello in La Bohème for Opera Vlaanderen, Opéra Rouen Normandie and Cape Town Opera, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte for the Liceu Barcelona, Oreste in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride for the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos Lisbon, Escamillo in Carmen for Cape Town Opera and the Luzerner Theater, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte for Opéra de Toulon and the title role of Imeneo for the Göttingen International Handel Festival, for which he was nominated Opernwelt Opera Singer of the Year in 2017.

In recital he has appeared at the Wigmore Hall in London on numerous occasions and more recently at the Konzerthaus Berlin, Beethoven-Halle Bonn, Gasteig Munich & Laeiszhalle Hamburg on a recital tour of Germany with pianist Julius Drake. Other concert appearances include Orff’s Carmina Burana at the Royal Albert Hall, Brahms’ Ein deutches Requiem at Westminster Abbey, Mozart Requiem with Philharmonie Zuidnederland, Faure’s Requiem with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle, St. Louis, Phoenix and Atlanta Symphony orchestras in the USA, amongst others.

His discography includes two solo albums “Insomnia: A Nocturnal Voyage in Song” (one of The Guardian’s Top Ten Classical CDs of the Year 2012) and “Hommage à Trois” featuring arias by Mozart, Haydn and Cimarosa with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Nicholas McGegan. Other selected recordings include Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum, Samson, Alexander’s Feast and The Triumph of Time and Truth, as well as DVD’s of Admeto and L’incoronazione di Poppea.

Engagements in 2021 have included Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beate Vergine for Kyknet, Mahler’s Rückert Lieder with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Bernhard Gueller, and Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs du Perles and Magdalene Minnaar’s new production of Puccini’s La Bohéme for Cape Town Opera. A former Principal Artist with English National Opera, William Berger was awarded the honour “Associate of the Royal Academy of Music” in 2009.