To the official website for English Tenor, Alexander Grove.
Once described by the BBC as “England’s Mario Lanza”, Alexander is an award winning English tenor, producer, actor and vocal + stagecraft coach. Performing internationally, he is known for his wide range of repertoire, interpretations, engaging stagecraft and acting ability and warm toned, yet flexible vocal ability. Alexander’s career currently spans the opera, oratorio, concert and musical theatre stages, television, radio and recordings. From recording at Abbey Road Studios, London to performing to capacity crowds of over 30,000 per night in some of Europe’s largest arenas, to leading roles in A stage opera houses; his career has taken him all over the world from the USA to Brazil to Japan.
In addition to performing, Alexander is a vocal + stagecraft coach and consultant and is active in supporting fairness within the arts. He supports students wherever he can through his private studio and as a Visiting Fellow of Aberdeen University.
As a producer Alexander is creator of the international 3 Tenors Ensemble - TENORI, performing 3 tenors concerts worldwide for corporate and private clients, and for Fource: a four female opera rock group. He is also a published opera critic reviewing for various online classical music and operatic publications.
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Alexander has performed over 63 operatic / operetta roles, and is also in demand on the concert platform having performed the majority of the oratorio repertoire and given recitals and galas in festivals and tours covering the length and breadth of the UK. Internationally he has been heard throughout Europe, the United States, Japan and as far as the Manaus Opera House in Brazil. Amongst others, he has performed under the batons of Sir George Solti, Kent Negano, Simon Halsey, Sir Edward Downes, Sir David Wilcocks, Pier Giorgio Morandi, Edward Gardner, Noel Davis, Tobias Ringborg and Daniel Harding. He is now considered to be one of the most versatile tenors to emerge from the UK in recent years.
Although primarily a lyrico-spinto tenor, Alexander has a broad repertoire and experience from buffo roles to leading men. Over the course of his career he has received consistent critical acclaim from the broadsheets and magazines: Opera Magazine hailed his professional debut in 2003 as Peter Quint in Britten’s Turn of the Screw as a “triumph”. Recent career highlights include the father in Weill’s 7 Deadly Sins under David Radom at the Gothenburg Opera, his Swiss debut in Die Zauberflöte under Daniel Harding at the Lucerne Festival; his Finnish debut as Don Ramiro under the baton of Pier Giorgio Morandi with the National Finnish Opera in a revival of the 1988 Michael Hampe production of La Cenerentola; his Swedish debut receiving acclaim for his interpretation of Magnus Gabriele de la Gardie in Foroni’s revived bel canto opera Cristina Regina di Svezia for Vadstena under Tobias Ringborg; Don Ramiro, La Cenerentola for Malmö Opera under Brad Cohen; Don José (cover) for Metropolitan tenor Stuart Neill in Bizet’s Carmen under Marcello Mottadelli at Opera På Skäret. His Count Danilo in Lehar’s The Merry Widow for Scottish Opera was described as “the Danilo of one’s dreams” (Opera Magazine). Other highlights include the roles of Le Nos, Pytor and Yarishkin in Le Nos (Shostakovich) at Royal Opera House 2; Trio, Trouble In Tahiti (Bernstein) and Charlie, Mahagonny Songspiel (Weill) all under the directorship of the Royal Opera���s associate director, John Fulljames for The Opera Group; Pierrot, Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Ullmann) under Edward Gardner and the Hallé Orchestra which he reprised for Upfront Opera; and Lupo with the composer Hans Werner Henze as conductor on his children’s opera Pollicino. Other roles include Bajazet, Tamerlano; Hippolyte Hippolyte et Aricie (Lully) and Telemachus Il Ritorno d’UIisse in Patria (Monteverdi) for Yorke Trust Opera; Count Almaviva Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Göteborgs Operan; Pedrillo Il Seraglio for Scottish Opera; Count von Zedlau Wiener Blut and Eisenstein, Die Fledermaus for Clonter Opera; Chinese Man The Fairy Queen for Armonico Consort; Dottore The Jewel Box (Mozart) for Bampton Classical Opera; Fenton Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor (Nicolai) for Cumbria Opera; Mercury Orpheus in the Underworld (Offenbach) for BYO; Borsa Rigoletto (Verdi) for Mid Wales Opera; Remendado Carmen (Bizet) for Opera På Skäret and Stowe Opera, Ralph Rackstraw HMS Pinafore (Sullivan) for Phoenix Opera; Colonel Fairfax Yeomen of the Guard (Sullivan) for West Cumberland Opera; Rapunzel’s Prince Into The Woods (Sondheim), Dr Caius Falstaff (Verdi), Chekalinsky Pique Dame (Tchaikovsky), Monsieur Taupe Capriccio (Strauss), Oronte Alcina (Handel), Egisto L’Egisto all for the RNCM.
Due to his strong training, one of Alexander’s specialisations is repertoire in the English language. Alexander has created 10 roles in world premiere British operas with leading British composers and librettists. In world premieres for Scottish Opera’s innovative Five:15: Gesualdo collaborating with crime novelist Ian Rankin and composer Craig Armstrong; Dream Angus (Stephen Deazley) with poet and novelist Alexander McCall Smith; Steve in Lyell Creswell’s and Ron Butlin’s Money Man; Ghost in Paul Mealor and Peter Stollery’s 74 Degrees North; Vitya, The Letter (Bernard Maclaverty + V Khodosh). For The Opera Group, Faceless Suit, Walking Not Driving (Tim Coker); Dean, Anything Money Can Buy (Laura Bowler); Wilson Out of the Ordinary (David Bruce); For Yorke Trust Opera: Lord Nelson, The Sailor’s Tale (Rupert Bawden) which was recorded on the NMC Record Label. Other roles in English include Ben The Telephone and La Théière L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, Ravel.
In competition, Alexander is a multi-award winner, most recently becoming the male winner of the BBC Kiri Prize 2010, recorded for the BBC with the BBC Concert Orchestra on BBC Radio 2 and televised for BBC’s Last Night of the Proms. Other competition wins include the Anne Ziegler Competition and 2nd prize in the Frederic Cox Award.
On the oratorio and concert platforms, recent highlights include the tenor cantata Rinaldo (Brahms) with the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra in Sweden; appearing with soprano Louise Sjöstedt at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in Salzburg and at Berwaldhallen, Stockholm; and at the Hackney Empire, London in A Tribute to Mario Lanza recorded live for BBC Radio 2. Alexander’s performed repertoire covers the majority of the major works and his performances have been heard in many of the major venues and cathedrals in the UK. Just a few of the conductors and orchestras he has worked under include Daniel Harding and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (Lucerne Festival) Sir David Willcocks (Royal Festival Hall, London Symphony Orchestra - Fauré); Simon Halsey and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the Birmingham Symphony Hall (Beethoven 9th Symphony, Messiah); Kent Negano (L’Enfant du Christ: Bridgewater Hall); Wyn Davies and the Northern Sinfonia (Viennese Operetta at The Sage, Gateshead); David Lloyd-Jones (Rossini Petite Messe Solenelle / Mozart Mass in Cmin); BBC Concert Orchestra (Roderick Dunk / Martyn Yates); Edward Gardner and the Hallé Orchestra (Der Kaiser von Atlantis - Imperial War Museum North); St John Smith’s Square (The Jewel Box, Mozart). Other conductors and venues include Leo Hussain, Mark Shanahan, Stephen Barlow (Verdi), Manchester Camerata (Messiah - Royal Hall, Harrogate) and Sir Edward Downes (Otello). World premieres include A Song for St Stephen (John Joubert) with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Simon Halsey.
Other career highlights include performing a private performance for President Bush Snr at the White House, Washington; as a soloist with José Carreras under Sir Georg Solti at the Royal Festival Hall, London; the Queen Mother’s 90th Birthday at Horseguards Parade, London; Jim Henson’s Memorial Service; and as a soloist with Harry Secombe on “Highway” (ITV).
Recording credits include the world premiere of Bawden’s The Sailor’s Tale on the NMC label in which he created the role of Lord Nelson; a world premiere for Independent Ballet Wales of Turner’s Bride of Flowers; the soundtrack of James Horner, Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas’s animated movie The Land Before Time at Abbey Road Studios, London and the inaugural UK Häagen-Daas advert also at Abbey Road Studios, London. Alexander is also featured on multiple Hyperion recordings as a chorister. He has been heard on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, BBC World Service, SVT, Sveriges Radio amongst others in the UK and abroad.
In the commercial side of the music business, Alexander has toured the UK with artists such as Beverley Knight, Lee Ryan, Alexandra Burke, Sabrina Washington (Mystique) and one of the world’s premiere beatboxer and urban artists, Beardyman, in the UK and Ireland’s largest venues including the MEN Arena, Birmingham NIA, O2 Millennium Dome, Royal Albert Hall, The Point Dublin and The Odyssey Arena, Belfast with Young Voices Concerts. His largest live audiences have exceeded 250,000 in one week and 35,000 in one night.
In the football world, Alexander has performed for Manchester United and Bury Football Clubs including a private fundraiser for Gary and Phil Neville. In 2009 Alexander was invited to sing at the UEFA Champions League Final in Rome.
Alexander was born in London to a pianist mother and has been singing, acting and dancing as early as he can remember. At 6 years old, he auditioned and gained a place as a chorister at St Paul's Cathedral, London under John Scott and Christopher Dearnley. For the next 5 years, (as well as learning the oboe, piano and theatre skills) he was trained intensively as a Treble. He rehearsed and performed in public with the choir and as a soloist every day in the cathedral, and frequently as a paid soloist in grand venues and abroad, and by the age of 10 was a consummate professional. On tour he travelled to: Japan, USA, France and Spain; on recordings he featured on the Hyperion label and made numerous appearances on television, at special events, private concerts, film soundtracks and royal engagements. Performance highlights of his chorister career included: at Mansion House for the Lord Mayor of London; with Big Bird and the muppets for Jim Henson’s memorial service; with José Carreras under Sir George Solti at the Royal Festival Hall; for President Bush Snr at the White House, Washington; for the Queen Mother’s 90th Birthday at Horse Guards Parade. During his career as a chorister, Alexander performed in the majority of the major venues and Cathedrals in London such as the Barbican, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Royal Albert Hall as well as recording at the legendary Abbey Road Studios with James Horner on his soundtrack of the animated movie “The Land Before Time”. He was also fortunate to work with such conductors as Sir David Wilcocks and orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra fairly frequently. By the time his voice broke, Alexander’s experience and knowledge of performance, musical adeptness and skills such as sight-reading, particularly in the field of choral and song repertoire were extensive.
When his voice broke at 13 years old, Alexander continued to develop his acting and musical skills while at Bishop’s Stortford College and began performing in musicals, while continuing as a baritone in the choir, working through his ABRSM singing and oboe exams and playing in the orchestra. His vocal tutors included Sue Waters, Ben Parry (Swingle Singers) and David Porter-Thomas (Kings Singers). He performed lead roles in the theatre, formed a successful barbershop quartet and an 8-piece jazz band.
Alexander was accepted as a choral scholar to Kings College, Cambridge, but wanting a more performance based training instead began on the undergraduate course as a baritone with Anthony Roden at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. 3 years later it was clear he was less a baritone than a tenor, so Alexander retrained in his postgraduate years as a tenor with Colin Iveson.
Alexander studied further at the Ferrandou Summer School in France with baritone David Wilson Johnson; at the Georg Solti Accademia di Bel Canto in Italy with Kiri Te Kanawa, Frederica von Stade and Corradina Caporello and studied privately in Switzerland with Nicolai Gedda; in Italy with Susanna Rigacci and in Sweden with dramatic tenor Sten Sjöstedt. He has also undertaken many masterclasses from eminent artists including Anne Howells, Geoffrey Shovelton, Nigel Douglas, Martin Isepp, Rafael Rojas, Joseph Ward, Sir Thomas Allen, David Lloyd-Jones, Bruno Rigacci, Robin Stapleton, Francesca Patané, Kiri Te Kanawa, Federica von Stade, Nicolai Gedda, Anna Sweeney, Anthony Legge, Paul Whelan and received specialist coaching from artists such as Jean Mallandaine, Jim Holmes, Paul Griffiths, Chris Squires, Adele Leigh, John Cameron and Dale Fundling.