Biography

 

Joel Williams is a British tenor on the Masters course at the Royal College of Music where he studies with Justin Lavender and Christopher Glynn, and is an HR Taylor Trust Scholar supported by a Mason Scholarship.  Joel is grateful for the additional support of the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Rhona Reid Charitable Trust and the Josephine Baker Trust.

Joel made his operatic debuts at the Royal Opera House, English National Opera and Glyndebourne as a boy treble with Trinity Boys Choir playing Cobweb in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of Die Zauberflöte’s Drei Knaben, and peasant-child in Puccini's Turandot.  In oratorio he performed as the boy-king Joas in Handel’s Athalia with Paul McCreesh, and toured with the Monteverdi Choir and Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

Joel spent a year in Princeton, New Jersey, where he sang with the choirs of Trinity Church, St Thomas Fifth Avenue, NYC, and co-directed the Episcopal Choir of Princeton University.  He went on to take up a Choral Scholarship King’s College, Cambridge, where he studied for a degree in History.  With the choir, Joel took part in numerous international tours, recordings, and radio and television broadcasts.  He was a soloist on many of their recordings, and has performed solos in venues including the Royal Albert Hall, the Concertgebouw and the Sydney Opera House for which he received glowing reviews from the international press.  

On stage, Joel has played Mayor Albert Herring, Hexe (Witch) Hänsel und Gretel, Dr Blind, Die Fledermaus (both Royal College of Music International Opera School, Michael Rosewell), Oronte Alcina (Ryedale Festival Opera), Tamino The Magic Flute (Cambridge University Opera Society), Satyavan Savitri (Cover, British Youth Opera), Pasek Cunning Little Vixen (Cover, British Youth Opera), and Phantom Phantom of the Opera.  Experience in opera scenes includes Lysander A Midsummer Night's Dream, Nanki-Poo The Mikado (both RCM), and Ferrando Così fan tutte (British Youth Opera). Joel created the role of Daniel in a new opera Bel and the Dragon by Alex Paxton for Tête-à-Tête Opera. In the summer of 2015, Joel was a selected to be part of the Southrepps Young Artists Programme by Ben Johnson. 

Joel's concert engagements include Verdi Otello Act One (Cambridge University Musical Society, Richard Farnes), Pärt Passio (Choir of King's College Cambridge, Stephen Cleobury), Bach Matthew Passion (Merton College Choir, Oxford, Benjamin Nicholas), Handel Messiah (Bedford Choral Society), Mozart Requiem and Cavalli Magnificat (Danesborough Chorus), Haydn Creation (Grantham Choral Society), Handel Acis and Galatea (Lymington Choral Society) and Vivaldi Magnificat and Gabrieli In Ecclesii (South Somerset Choral Society).

Joel is passionate about art song.  Joel has had success in song competitions, winning the Sir Anthony Lewis Memorial Prize Competition at the Royal Academy, the Sidney Sussex Lieder Competition, and the Pembroke Lieder Scheme.  As a Pembroke Lieder Scholar, Joel regularly worked with the accompanist Joseph Middleton and was coached by many of the country’s greatest song performers including John-Mark Ainsley, Joan Rodgers, and Amanda Roocroft.  Joel was awarded third prize in the Brooks-van der Pump English Song competition at the Royal College of Music.  At the Royal College of Music, Joel studies lute song repertoire with Jakob Lindberg.  Joel performed with Kitty Whately and Joseph Middleton at the Wigmore Hall, which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.  Joel recently gave a recital for the prestigious Leeds University International Concert Series. 

Joel is also so grateful to those who have supported him up to this point.  Many thanks to the Ladies of the Soirée d'Or, the Kathleen Trust, the Seary Charitable Trust, the Il Circolo Italian Cultural Association, the Ryan Davies Memorial Fund, the Mario Lanza Foundation, the Philip Bates Trust, and the Michael James Trust.

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Joel’s elegant tenor was total pleasure
— Peter Reed, classicalsource.com
All the cast turned in outstanding performances. All of the voices sparkled in the Britten Theatre... Special mention to Joel Williams for a well-observed and brilliantly obsequious Mr Upfold, brimming with awkward mannerisms belying a darker secret.
— Jon Jacob, thoroughlygood.me
The voices complemented each other perfectly – [Edward] Grint warm and mellifluous, [Thomas] Hobbs bright and edgy – and when they were joined by Joel Williams, the tenor Evangelist, for the trial before Pilate, the variance in timbres created a sublime example of minimalist contrast.
— Barry Creasy, musicomh.com
And so to the Phantom: Joel Williams’s anti-hero was a tour-de-force in the abilities of an exceptional performer. I do not use the term ‘shivers down the spine’ lightly but when Williams and Skinner were on stage together, the air was electric. His solo performance was similarly powerful: he made me cry at least twice...
And of course Williams, on whose entrance to the stage even the few shy stragglers were forced to leap to their feet in admiration.
— Gabrielle Watts, Varsity.co.uk
radiant solos
— Peter McCallum, Sidney Morning Herald
beautifully sung
— Alexandra Coghlan, theartsdesk.com