Indian-Scottish Neil Balfour, is an opera singer and the first 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 lead roles in Al-Haytham's Light for English Touring Opera, 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).
Currently an Emerging Artist at the National Opera Studio, a Samling Artist, the first classical sE Artist, a former Britten-Pears and Concordia Artist, director of www.artsongstory.com (compelling videos of classical art-song and their stories) and founder of the Koko Koncerts (emerging classical stars in a coffee shop). Neil is also in partnership with Penhaligon’s British perfume house, GIK Acoustics and Kapow meggings. His voice-overs for YouTube channels have over 100 million views.
Due to the unfortunate circumstances surrounding Covid-19, Neil’s performance of Dark Cabaret (premiere) for Glastonbury Music Festival, La fanciulla del West for Opera North, Colline La bohème for Devon Opera, Comedy of Errors for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Guglielmo Così fan tutte for Mananan Opera (Isle of Man) and song recitals for Britten-Pears Arts have been cancelled.
Upcoming performances include Prince Yamadori Madama Butterfly for Welsh National Opera, premiering the role of Nexy in Back into the World for English Touring Opera, touring Comedy of Errors for the Royal Shakespeare Company and recitals for the National Opera Studio.
Previous operatic performances have included Colline La bohème for Mananan Opera & OFMAN Opera Studio (Madrid), Mercurio La Calisto for Longborough Festival Opera, Figaro (cover) in Le nozze di Figaro for Longborough Festival Opera, Don Alfonso (cover) Così fan tutte for Opera Holland Park, Young Artist Macbeth for Buxton International Festival, Claggart Billy Budd for The Royal Opera House (L&P Department) and the nationwide tour of Aida with the Chorus of Opera North.
Previous concert performances have included Porgy & Bess with Leeds Philharmonic Orchestra, Haydn’s Mass in Time of War with Ilkley Choral Society and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at the Guards Chapel, London as well as an eclectic mix of song recitals for Leeds Lieder, &Piano, Britten-Pears Arts, the Leeds Opera Festival and the Dore Male Voice Choir in Sicily.
Contemporary works have included recording Early Stroll (written for performance during Covid-19 lockdown) by Richard Barnard as well as premiering roles in Al-Haytham's Light by Iain Farrington for English Touring Opera, A Shoe Full of Stars by Omar Sharyar, Mysterious 44 by Kevin Malone, Punch in Crocodile for Hull Urban Opera, Cheese by Lucy Armstrong (premiere at The Bridgewater Hall), Dorian Gray for Proper Job Theatre and Magnificat by Oliver Tarney for Convivium Records.
COMEDY OF ERRORS | Royal Shakespeare Company
Neil is joining the RSC, as an experimental singer, in Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, a fairytale farce of everyday miracles, mistaken identity and double vision.
Where: RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon
September - December 2021
MADAMA BUTTERFLY | Welsh National Opera
Neil is making his debut as Prince Yamadori in Welsh National Opera's new production of Madama Butterfly.
Where: Millenium Centre, Cardiff
June - July 2021
BACK INTO THE WORLD | English Touring Opera
Neil stars in a new project which will address the severe isolation, uncertainty, challenging emotions, disrupted learning, anxiety and craving interaction with friends that thousands of children have faced throughout lockdown.
RECITAL | National Opera Studio
Neil will be performing a beautiful and exciting rnge of arias and songs in his first Wednesday lunchtime recital for the National Opera Studio.
Where: Blackburn Hall, Wandsworth, London
CROCODILE | Hull Urban Opera
The online premiere of Crocodile, music by Lente Verelst and libretto by Lena Vercauten. Four singers are stuck in an eternal loop wherein they have to relive the same events from the perspective of four different characters.