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"A natural actor... he is as comfortable singing Mozart

as he is performing Sondheim."

-Garth Bardsley

Neil Balfour as Lord Ellington in La Vie Parisienne - Royal Northern College of Music 2016

"Neil Balfour used his attractive voice, smooth with a slight dark edge, to his best advantage."

-SeenandHeard International

Indian-Scottish Neil Balfour is an award-winning British Baritone and Voiceover Artist. He started musical life as a pianist, punk-rocker and conductor, graduating from Leeds College of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music and the National Opera Studio, before falling in love with all-things-voice to tell stories. A former Britten-Pears, Samling, Momentum and Concordia artist, he has performed at the Glastonbury Festival and is the first to beatbox in an opera at Longborough Festival Opera..

In the upcoming season engagements include Maslenitsa/Herald The Snowmaiden for English Touring Opera; Guillermo Kahlo Frida for the Northern Opera Group; King Hrothgar Beowulf  (world premiere) for Proper Job Theatre; Jacob Displaced (world premiere) for Tête-à-Tête/English National Opera; Navin The End of the World Party (world premiere) for Hull Urban Opera; Bartley Riders to the Sea OperaUpClose; Handel’s Messiah for the City of London Sinfonia; Horovitz’s Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo for the Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir; a recital paired with perfumes for Oxford International Song Festival; and new recordings of songs by Fanny Hensel, Reena Esmail and Cheryl Frances-Hoad.

Highlights in recent seasons include his American debut as Father Thumbprint for Portland Opera; Prince Yamadori Madama Butterfly and The Shoemaker (world premiere) for Welsh National Opera; Alice Through the Looking Glass (world premiere) for the London Symphony Orchestra; Jean Arp Sophie (world premiere) for Tête à Tête; a recital with Roderick Williams for Thaxted Festival and recitals on Schumann and Sondheim for Oxford International Song Festival.

Operatic performances include Colline La bohème (Mananan Opera & OFMAN Madrid Opera Studio); Mercurio La Calisto (Longborough Festival Opera); Don Alfonso Così fan tutteQuince A midsummer night’s dream and Lord Ellington La vie Parisienne (RNCM); Eustache The Six of Calais (Pegasus Opera); Diktator Der Diktator (Northern Opera Group); Dottore La Traviata (Devon Opera); Cold Genius King Arthur (Glastonbury Festival); Broadcaster The Flying Dutchman (OperaUpClose); Young Artist Macbeth (Buxton International Festival) and the nationwide tours of Aida and Fidelio (Chorus of Opera North). He has also understudied Figaro Le nozze di Figaro (Longborough Festival Opera).

Contemporary opera roles created for Neil include Ibn Al-Haytham Al-Haytham’s light and  Texy/Everywhere Back into the world (English Touring Opera); Jean Arp Sophie (Tête à Tête Opera festival);  Father Mysterious 44 (the first electronic opera); Dad/La-La A shoe full of stars (YAM Awards Best Opera 2018) and Punch Crocodile (a dark-web animated opera).

Concert performances have included Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess (Leeds Philharmonic Orchestra); Haydn’s Mass in time of War; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion  as well as an eclectic mix of song recitals for Leeds Lieder, &Piano, Britten-Pears Arts and the Leeds Opera Festival.

Neil is the first classical artist for sE Electronics and NORD (world-leading microphones & digital pianos), director of ArtSongStory (compelling videos of art-song) and is proud to be supported by Penhaligon’s British Perfumers, VivoBarefoot shoes, Tailfin and Mason Cycles. His work as a voiceover artist has had over 100 million plays.

 

Outside of opera, Neil is a keen barista, climber and adventure cyclist.

Steven Swales Artist Management represents Neil Balfour worldwide.

Biography
Neil Balfour as Don Alfonso in Cosi fan Tutte - Royal Northern College of Music 2017

MUSIC

music

 

 ARTSONGSTORY 


The discovery, practice and performance of song enriches understanding of emotion, relationships and all human interaction for performer and audience. Neil collaborates regularly to create artistic videos of songs and stories that are relevant, beautiful and fascinating in today's modern world. To see the full collection visit: www.artsongstory.com

DISCOGRAPHY

CREATOR

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SID

SHORT FILM

2023

WINNER

SOUND DESIGN

Vesuvius International

Film Festival

Neil Balfour as Mustafa in L'Italiana in Algeri - Mananan Opera 2017

SHOWS

Shows
  • AUTUMN TOUR
    AUTUMN TOUR
    Sat, 28 Sept
    National Tour
    28 Sept 2024, 19:00 – 01 Dec 2024, 22:30
    National Tour
    28 Sept 2024, 19:00 – 01 Dec 2024, 22:30
    National Tour
    Neil joins English Touring Opera as Maslenitsa/Herald in Rimsky Korsakov's The Snow Maiden; cover baritone solo in Masque and baritone soloist in The Wellies.
  • RIDERS TO THE SEA
    RIDERS TO THE SEA
    Multiple Dates
    Mon, 27 Jan
    Location is TBD
    27 Jan 2025, 19:00 – 23:00
    Location is TBD
    27 Jan 2025, 19:00 – 23:00
    Location is TBD
    This masterful miniature is partnered with a specially commissioned choral prelude, The Last Bit of the Moon, bringing hope, light and the modern world to a classic. Combining projection, recorded sound and live performance, this is powerfully direct musical storytelling at its most visceral.
  • UNTOLD LIVES (World Premiere)
    UNTOLD LIVES (World Premiere)
    Wed, 15 Oct
    Holywell Music Room
    15 Oct 2025, 15:00 – 16:00
    Holywell Music Room, Holywell St, Oxford OX1 3SB, UK
    15 Oct 2025, 15:00 – 16:00
    Holywell Music Room, Holywell St, Oxford OX1 3SB, UK
    Neil Balfour has commissioned Cheryl Frances-Hoad to create a song cycle based on letters sent by Indian Soldiers during World War I. This project is funded by Arts Council England and a world premiere.
Cosi Fan Tutte - Royal Northern College of Music 2018

PAST SHOWS

Neil Balfour - La Traviata - Devon Opera 2019

PRESS

Press
Neil Balfour - Home Recording Voiceover Artist

VOICEOVER

CAPTIVATING.  CONVERSATIONAL.  COMFORTING.

Voiceover

Neil Balfour is an award-winning Baritone, Actor and Voiceover Artist with 15 years' experience. His natural-neutral voice is captivating, conversational and comforting. A versatile performer, able to weave interchangeably between styles, he specialises in narration, animation, gaming and explainer videos. Fun Fact: Neil was the original artist (recording all voices) for the viral sensation that was Baby-Shark on the Little Angel Kids Channel.

Equipped with a TV broadcast quality home studio, Neil uses (and is endorsed by) sE Electronics Rupert Neve Tube microphones in an acoustically treated room by GIK Acoustics.

Neil has recorded over 100 VO's for clients including NHS England, Barnardo's, NowPressPlay, Gear4Music and Little Angel (Moonbug) and numerous radio stations. He is represented by agents in the UK and USA and his animation work has had well over 100 million plays.

COMMERCIAL

CORPORATE

E-LEARNING

CHARACTER

MEDICAL

ON HOLD

NARRATION

COMEDY

ANIMATION

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“Neil is a gifted actor, skilled audio technician, and by far the most professional voice talent I've had the pleasure of working with.”

- Jake Sanders - Director

“Neil was an audio director's dream. His range of voices and ability to adapt accents/timbre and energy is incredibly nuanced.”

- Anna Wheatley, Voice Director

"Neil's accents are strong and he brought the characters to life with a wide range of registers. The sound proofing/isolation on the [home studio] recordings was excellent.”

 

- Tim Bamber, Head of Sound for Now>Press>Play

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VOICE YOUR CHANGE

Neil Balfour is using his voice for change.

 

He believes in an inclusive, equitable and regenerative world for all people on our shared planet. At least 1% of all his profits go to human and environmental causes that help make these values a reality.

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Recognising that climate change poses a threat to the economy, nature and society-at-large, Neil Balfour commits to take action immediately in order to:

  1. Instantly and dramatically reduce his carbon emissions

  2. Use green energy and products in all areas of life

  3. Use cycling, walking and public transport as primary modes of travel

  4. Eat a flexitarian diet

  5. Achieve net zero emissions before 2025

  6. Detail his progress on a yearly basis

In doing so, he is proud to be recognised by the United Nations Race to Zero campaign, and join governments, businesses, cities, regions, and universities around the world that share the same mission.

To date, Neil Balfour has offset 32 tonnes of carbon dioxide by supporting a Global portfolio of Verified Carbon Reduction Projects as well as planting trees across the UK and the Great Rift Valley, Kenya.

In recognition of Neil's efforts to continuously prove that cycling and walking are viable options for primary travel he is proud to be supported by VivoBarefoot shoes, Tailfin and Mason Cycles.