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, 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 channel’s have reached well over 100 million views.
Upcoming performances include Guglielmo Così fan tutte for Mananan Opera (Isle of Man), Porgy & Bess at Leeds Town Hall, Dream of Gerontius for Milton Keynes Chorale, chorus for Opera North in their winter 2020/21 season and a song recital for &Piano Festival.
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
28 June 2020
DREAM OF GERONTIUS | Milton Keynes Chorale
Neil is the bass soloist in The Dream of Gerontius by Edward Elgar for Milton Keynes Chorale and Philharmonia. The piece is widely regarded as Elgar's finest choral work, and some consider it his masterpiece.
Where: Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes
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
11 December 2019
OPERA FAVOURITES | Hull Urban Opera
An informal concert focusing on popular operatic repertoire. The show allows the audience to programme its own evening with a show of hands as the performers offer themed alternatives.
Where: Trinity Market, Hull
14 October - 1 November 2019
DORIAN | Proper Job Theatre
Neil will be a principal actor, singer and musician in this inspired contemporary re-telling of Wilde’s Dorian Gray, exploring male vanity, gym culture, masculinity and body dysmorphia. In a society where gender is becoming fluid, how do men deal with the airbrushing, catfishing and online beautification?
16 - 23 September 2019
TOUR OF SICILY | Dore Male Voice Choir
Neil is soloist for the Dore Male Voice Choir's summer tour of Sicily.
Singing music by Mozart, Verdi and some musical showstoppers too.
4 - 14 September 2019
LA BOHEME | Mananan Opera
Neil is playing the role of young philosopher, Colline in Puccini's tragic love story, La Boheme.
Where: Port Erin, Isle of Man
29 & 31 July 2019 | 2 & 3 August 2019
LA CALISTO | Longborough Festival Opera
Neil is playing the role of God Mercurio in Cavalli's strikingly expressive La Calisto, based on the mythical story from Greek legend. This is a comic yet poignant tale of twisted relationships between gods, women and men, in which Juno, jealous of Jupiter's desire, turns Calisto into a bear.
Where: Longborough Festival Opera
26 - 28 June 2019
THE YETI | Glastonbury Festival
Neil is playing the role of Bass Yeti, singing the famous 'Cold Song' from Henry Purcell's King Arthur as the first ever operatic performer at Glastonbury Music festival's Circus Tent.
Where: Glastonbury Music Festival
1 May - 11 June 2019
AIDA | Opera North
Two countries are at war. Aida secretly loves an enemy general, Radamès, who returns her love. When Radamès is selected to lead a renewed assault against the enemy, Aida is forced to choose between betraying her country and betraying her heart.
Where: Venues across the North of England
2 May & 16 June 2019
BILLY BUDD | Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Neil is sailing the high seas in the role of Claggart for the Royal Opera House Learning and Participation Department's miniature re-imagining of this epic maritime classic.
Where: The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
28 April 2019
LIEDER FOR LITTLE'UN'S | Leeds Lieder
This relaxed, family-friendly and informal concert is specially designed to introduce young children to the joys of the sung voice and piano. The programme will transfix toddlers, babies and grown-ups alike.
Where: Leeds College of Music
30 March 2019
CRUEL BRITANNIA | Hull Urban Opera
Neil is playing the role of Bass Yeti in this new show titled Cruel Britannia. He will be singing the famous 'Cold Song' from Henry Purcell's King Arthur at various places in Hull City Centre.