Biography

 
Joel Williams’s ‘Descend, kind pity’ was warm, mellifluous and perfectly controlled. It was his only solo moment, but we will be hearing much more from this Royal College of Music alumnus in years to come.
— Mark Valencia | Bachtrack
Williams has a warm, beautifully toned tenor voice and will be a singer to watch.
— Howard Shepherdson | Limelight

Joel Williams is a British tenor and member of the Royal College of Music International Opera Studio where he studies with Tim Evans-Jones, and is the Kiri te Kanawa Scholar supported by the Independent Opera Scholarship.

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 Le Ruisseau Les Fêtes D'Hébé (Bastille, Opéra de Paris), Don Ottavio Don Giovanni (Opera Holland Park), Lysander A Midsummer Night's Dream, Count Belfiore La Finta Giardiniera, Robinson Robinson Crusoe, Mayor Albert Herring, Hexe Hänsel und Gretel, Dr Blind Die Fledermaus (Royal College of Music International Opera Studio), Odoardo Ariodante (London Handel Festival), Oronte Alcina (Ryedale Festival Opera), Tamino The Magic Flute (Cambridge University Opera Society), and Satyavan Savitri (Cover, 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.  Joel was a member of the Verbier Festival Academy, a Southrepps Festival Young Artist, a Britten-Pears Young Artist, a Young Artist at Opera Holland Park, an Alvarez Young Artist at Garsington Opera, and a Concordia Artist.  Joel is now singing Captain Vere Billy Budd for the Royal Opera House's Learning and Participation programme.

Joel's concert engagements include Stravinksy Threni (LPO, Jurowski), Cilea Adriana Lecouvreur (Verbier Festival, Gergiev), Verdi Otello Act One (Cambridge University Musical Society, Richard Farnes), Pärt Passio (Choir of King's College Cambridge, Stephen Cleobury), Bach St John 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.  He was a finalist in the 2019 ROSL Competition, he has won the Somerset Song Prize, the Sir Anthony Lewis Memorial Prize, the Sidney Sussex Lieder Competition, second prize in the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, and third prize in the Brooks-van der Pump English Song competition and the Joan Chissell Schumann competition.  Joel was a Pembroke Lieder Scholar with Joseph Middleton.  Joel performed with Kitty Whately and Joseph Middleton at the Wigmore Hall, which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.  He has given recitals for the Oxford Lieder Festival, Leeds Lieder, the Barber Institute at Birmingham University, the Leeds University International Concert Series and at the Victoria Rooms in Bristol.

Joel is also so grateful to those who have supported him up to this point.  Many thanks to the Bawden Family, the Williams Family, the Mason Family, the H F Music Award Foundation, the Ladies of the Soirée d'Or, the Humphrey Richardson Taylor Charitable Trust, the Josephine Baker Trust, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, 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. 

 

There’s not a weak link to be heard, but woodland laurels are shared between Timothy Morgan’s rhetorical Oberon, every phrase coaxed into thoughtful musical shape, Harriet Eyley’s full-blooded Tytania and Joel Williams’s radiant Lysander, who all give the pros up the road at the Coliseum a run for their money.
— Alexandra Coghlan | The Spectator
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