Indian-Scottish Neil Balfour, is the first opera singer to be booked by the Glastonbury Festival as an artist “I cannot believe how powerful his voice is. I have never seen opera like he does it” - Haggis McLeod, head-programmer. He is the first performer to beatbox in an opera at Longborough Festival Opera and has premiered the roles of Nikolaus’ Father in Mysterious 44 (the first electronic opera) and La-La (role sponsored by the opera awards) in A Shoe Full of Stars (YAM Awards Best Opera 2018). "Neil is without a doubt one of the top singers I've ever worked with.” - Ruth Mariner, Director.
He is currently a Concordia Artist, the first classical sE Artist, director of www.artsongstory.com (compelling videos of classical art-song and their stories), founder of the Koko Koncerts (emerging classical stars in a coffee shop) and is in partnership with Penhaligon’s, the famous British perfume house. His voice-over work for YouTube channels have reached well over 100 million views.
Upcoming performances include Colline La bohème for Devon Opera, Guglielmo Così fan tutte for Mananan Opera (Isle of Man), Porgy & Bess at Leeds Town Hall, new show: Dark Cabaret for Glastonbury Music Festival, chorus for Opera North in their winter 2020/21 season and song recitals for &Piano Festival and the Magic Rock Brewery Tap Room.
Recent performances include Colline La bohème for Mananan Opera (Isle of Man) & OFMAN Opera Studio (Madrid), Mercurio La Calisto for Longborough Festival Opera, the nationwide tour of Aida with the Chorus of Opera North and soloist for the Dore Male Voice Choir during a concert tour of Sicily.
Contemporary works have included premiering roles in A Shoe Full of Stars by Omar Sharyar, Nikolaus’ Father in Mysterious 44 by Kevin Malone, Best Man in Cheese by Lucy Armstrong (premiere at The Bridgewater Hall), Sam in a contemporary re-telling of Dorian Gray for Proper Job Theatre and Magnificat by Oliver Tarney and Convivium Records.
Neil has been a Young Artist for Buxton International Festival, sung Claggart Billy Budd for The Royal Opera House (L&P Department), covered Don Alfonso Così fan tutte for Opera Holland Park and the title role in Le nozze di Figaro for Longborough Festival Opera.
November 2020 - February 2021
TO BE ANNOUNCED | Opera North
Neil will be joining the chorus of Opera North for their winter season
Where: Opera North, Leeds
26 September 2020
SONG RECITAL | &Piano Festival
Neil is joining pianist and festival director Chris Pulleyn for a programme of beautiful, unusual and characterful songs in the final concert for the &Piano Festival.
Where: The Civic, Slaithwaite
2 - 14 September 2020
COSÌ FAN TUTTE | Mananan Opera
Neil is playing the role of young officer and lover, Guglielmo in Mozart's comic opera, Così fan tutte. A controversial and satirical tale of love that takes a cynical swipe at men and women.
Where: Port Erin, Isle of Man
LA BOHÈME | Devon Opera
Neil is playing the role of young philosopher, Colline in Puccini's tragic love story, La bohème.
Where: Devon and surrounding areas
24 - 28 June 2020
GLASTONBURY | Contemporary Music Festival
Neil has been confirmed for a second year to perform a new show: Dark Cabaret for the Festival's very special 50th Anniversary. The story tells the dark and comic tale of a dead gangster stuck in purgatory. Expect opera, lights, full-body paint, skeletons and dancers.
Where: Glastonbury Music Festival, Pilton, Somerset, UK
10 May 2020
MAGIC ROCK GIG | &Piano Festival
Enjoy music, incredible Magic Rock beers and sumptuous food platters as Neil and &Piano festival director, Chris Pulleyn, serenade you with a programme of beautiful, unusual and characterful songs in this unique, cool and informal setting.
Where: The Tap Room, Huddersifield, HD1 5EB
29 March 2020
THE KOKO KONCERT II | ArtSongStory
Following the success of the sold out opening Koko Koncert, we are once again inviting you to share your evening with us at House of Koko in Chapel Allerton, Leeds where 4 extraordinary classical musicians perform their favourite pieces of music.
Where: House of Koko, Leeds
29 February 2020
PORGY & BESS | Leeds Philharmonic Chorus
Celebrating the very best of American choral and orchestral music, the concert opens with the original overture to the musical Showboat, followed by one of the most famous bass songs Ol’ Man River and Neil is the soloist in a full concert version of Porgy & Bess by Gershwin.
Where: Victoria Hall, Leeds
26 January 2020
THE KOKO KONCERT LAUNCH | ArtSongStory
Share your evening with 4 classical stars in a coffee shop as they perform their favourite pieces of music. You'll get to know them through the music they play and anecdotes they’ll share as well as informal chats over a glass of wine, gin and tonic and popcorn.
Where: House of Koko, Leeds