Robert-John Edwards

Bass-Baritone

About

Bass-Baritone Robert-John comes from Stamford, Lincolnshire and originally trained as a pianist and composer at Middlesex University.  He has had small choral works performed at St Martin’s-in-the-Fields church and Lincoln and Winchester Cathedrals. He later trained as a singer, attending the Birmingham Conservatoire as a postgraduate and winning the PGDip course prize in 2007.

Roles to date include Marchese d’Obigny (La Traviata – Verdi) for Pavilion Opera, Il Commendatore (Don Giovanni – Mozart) for Opera Seria, Rochefort (Anna Bolena – Donizetti) for Hashtag Opera, Fafner (Das Rheingold – Wagner) for Secret Opera and Saffron Hall Opera, Don Parmenione (L’Occasione fa il ladrò – Rossini) for Opera Minima, Benoit/Alcindoro (La Bohème – Puccini) for Co-Opera-Co, Antonio/Bartolo (La Nozze di Figaro – Mozart) for Dorset Productions, Priest/Cadmus/Somnus (Semele – Händel) for Operamus, Ashmodeus (Tobias and the Angel – Dove) for Buxton Opera Festival, The Notary (Don Pasquale – Donizetti) for Apollo Opera and he has performed in the professional choruses of Buxton Festival Opera, Carl Rosa Opera and Stanley Hall Opera.

“”

Robert-John Edwards gives cleverly judged accounts of both Benoit and Alcindoro.

George Hall, Opera Now

AS A CONCERT ARTIST:

Following over a decade of professional operatic experience, Robert-John now focuses on his main passions of performing Lieder repertoire by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Richard Strauss, Mahler and Schoeberg, and English song.   He currently has four major song cycles/programmes in repertoire:  A Ploughman’s Tale, Schubert’s Winterreise, Robert Schumann’s Dicherliebe and Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel which he performs coupled with Elgar’s 5 Organ Grinder Songs from The Starlight Express.  In 2018, he also released a CD of A Ploughman’s Tale to commemorate the centenary of The Armistice which ended the First World War.

For a full list of the repertoire Robert-John currently covers and most previous performances, view his profile on:

“”

“Robert-John Edwards was an imposing Faffner”…and…”made his way through with accuracy and engaging style.” (2 reviews)

Charlotte Valori, Operarissima

Schedule

6th October 2019

4.00pm

Bristol Song Recital Series
The Wardrobe Theatre,
Old Market, Bristol.

Der Dichter Spricht

(“The Poet Speaks”)

Songs to words by Heine:

6 Heinelieder from Schwanengesang (Schubert)

2 Lieder Op.85 (Brahms)

Dichterliebe Op.48
(R Schumann).

 

Please visit the link below for tickets.

26th October 2019

7.30pm

St Mary’s Church, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

Eternal Light

Howard Goodall

(Bass Soloist)

Melton Mowbray Choral Society

James Gutteridge,
Musical Director

Please see MMCS' website for more details.

9th November 2019

6.00pm

Kyrkslätt Svenska Kulturförening

Kyrkslätt, Helsinki, FINLAND

Opera Gala

A selection of well known and loved operatic arias, Musical Theatre numbers and ensembles.

Caroline Sharpe
Soprano
(Mario Lanza Prize, 2009)

Ami Walsh
Mezzo-soprano

Andrew Powis
Tenor

Robert-John Edwards
Bass-Baritone

Kate Wishart
Piano

16th November 2019

7.30pm

Bourne Abbey Church, Lincolnshire.

Music by Stanford and Vaughan Williams

Bass soloist

Stanford’s Songs of the Fleet

Vaughan Williams’
Five Mystical Songs.

See Bourne Choral Society's website for more information.

23rd November 2019

7.30pm

All Saints’ Church, Oakham, Rutland. LE15 6AA

Der Dichter Spricht

(“The Poet Speaks”)

Songs to words by Heine

6 Heinelieder from Schwanengesang (Schubert)

2 Lieder Op.85 (Brahms)

2 Lieder Op.49 (R Schuman)

Dichterliebe Op.48
(R Schumann).

Please click the link below for tickets.

A Ploughman’s Tale

“A Ploughman’s Tale” is a concept-recital which tells the story of an everyman who fought in the trenches, told through songs by composers or with words by poets who lived through the time of The Great War.

It includes songs composed by Butterworth, Farrar, Elgar, Gurney, Britten, Peel, Vaughan Williams and Ireland as well as contemporary popular songs and an original setting of John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders’ Fields” by Robert-John Edwards. It was first performed on the centenary of the beginning of The Great War in August 2014 and then again on Armistice Day in 2015.  In 2018, it was formally recorded along with the pianist, Sara Wilander and also taken on a 5-date tour around England (Bury (Lancs), Peterborough, Birmingham, Grantham and London) including a performance on the centenary of Armistice Day itself on Sunday, 11th November 2018.

 

Feedback from previous recitals:

“Loved it! [I] thought [it] was wonderful and very moving… it deserves a wider audience.” (Jane S, Oakham)

“… a wonderfully moving recital…” (Mr M Cunliffe-Lister, Stamford)

“A Ploughman’s Tale by @rjedwards_btone @bhamfest @BlueOrangeThtr.  Beautifully performed, evocative & atmospheric WWI piece.” (@cjharry, on Twitter)

 

The Ploughman’s Tale has been released on CD. Available to buy now.

Winterreise

In June 2018, Robert-John Edwards (with pianist Gina Kruger) first performed Schubert’s immortal and epic song-cycle Winterreise at a salon style performance in London.  12 months later, they repeated this performance with recitals at the prestigious Harlaxton Manor (for the Red Cross Summer Recital Series) and the Gloucester Music Festival. 

Winterreise (“Winter’s Journey” – the original poetry by Wilhelm Müller) tells the story of a lonely wanderer (giving a new dimension to The Wanderer of Germanic/Norse folk-lore), cast out from society and destined to wander the hinterland for eternity.  Featuring famous songs such as Der Lindenbaum (The Linden Tree), Die Krähe (The Crow) and the genre-changing Der Leiermann (The Hurdy-Gurdy Man), this 24-song, 74-minute long song-cycle represents the peak of early Romantic Lieder (song) writing.

Robert-John’s academic and well researched approach along with his outstanding story-telling help bring this phenomenal masterpiece of the genre to life. 

 

Feedback from previous recitals:

“Alternately tender and richly resonant, [he] powerfully conveyed the travails and tribulations of [The Wanderer]….Spellbinding.”  (Dr P Arnold, Watford)

“The vast array of emotional landscapes [were] conveyed with a strong commitment to the text and the German was very clear.” (Dr K Firth, Manchester)

“It was a real pleasure to attend this recital that was delivered with emotion and depth.  Light and dark were expressed with ease…No translation was necessary to enjoy this remarkable performance.” (Mrs C Thomas, Rutland)

For more information or to book this recital, please use the contact form below.

Der Dichter Spricht

2019 sees the debuting of a Der Dichter Spricht (The Poet Speaks) – a recital made up exclusively of the poetry of Heinrich Heine. 

The centrepiece of the recital is Robert Schumann’s masterpiece Dichterliebe.

Dichterliebe, Op.48 is 16 songs set to poetry by Heine in the midst of a fever of creative activity from Schumann in 1840 where he wrote over 140 songs.   Along with pianist, Sara Wilander, the present this tale of unrequited-love-turned-bad along side two other Heine settings by Schumann from the same year (Die Beiden Grenadier and Die feindlichen Brüder), two Heine settings by Schumann’s protégé, Johannes Brahms (from his Opus 85), and Franz Schubert’s six groundbreaking settings from 1828 which form part of the posthumous collection Schwanengesang (Der Atlas, Ihr Bild, Das Fischermädchen, Die Stadt, Am Meer & Der Doppelgänger).

As Heine is attributed to have said: “Wenn Worte aufhören, beginnt die Musik” (“When words stop, Music begins”).

For more information or to book this recital, please use the contact form below.

Vagabonds

Vagabonds is a recital based around characters whom are vagrants in some way.  It is centred around Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Songs of Travel to poetry by Robert Louis Stephenson and Edward Elgar’s Organ Grinder Songs from the incidental music for the play The Starlight Express by Algernon Blackwood.

There has always been a mystique surrounding The Vagabond, most likely borne out of ancient folklore of old Anglo-Saxon tales of a Wanderer, the fallen god Odin, who restlessly roams the Earth.  Indeed, he has taken many guises in literature and music: Wagner’s Das Ring der Nieblungen, Schubert’s Winterreise and the stories regarding Don Quixote to name a few.  Vaughan Williams’ songs to Stephen’s poetry bring to life a character more like that of Schubert and Müller’s Winterreise (indeed, Songs of Travel has been referred to often as the “English Winterreise“, where as Elgar and Blackwood’s character is more magical: a street vendor and wandering Organ Grinder (itself a reference to the end of Winterreise and Der Leiermann) who is the legendary Sandman (a mystical spirit who brings dreams to children) in disguise.

Together, these two cycles bring forth the best of English song writing, ranging from the deep and moving to the exquisitely charming.  Not to be missed.

For more information or to book this recital, please use the contact form below.

(More Than Just…) Surviving Sight-Singing

(More Than Just…) Surviving Sight-Singing is a book aimed at those at the beginnings of their journeys of learning to sing.  It aims to take you from the very first notes and basic rhythms up to a standard the equivalent of ABRSM Grade 2. 

From the preface of the 2018 edition of this book:

“Cast your mind back.  RIGHT back.  You were 3 or 4 (maybe younger, maybe older) and you were trying to decode your first string of symbols you now recognise as letters formed into a word.  Could you do it straight away?  No.  Of course you couldn’t.  It took lots of time with patient parents and talented teachers whose first key task is to show you the basics of literacy.   So, how long did it take you to become fluent in reading these “words”.   Can you remember?  You may have the statistic in your brain (i.e. “I could read by the time I was 6 years old”) but can you really remember the struggle and toil you went through?  I am not sure of the specific statistic regarding the average length of time it takes for a child to learn to read independently and fluently but it is certainly measured in years.  Why get cross with yourself when, after only a few lessons, you are still struggling to read a major 2nd with 3 different note lengths formed into a 2-bar rhythm? (You will be doing that and more by the end of chapter 4!) Be patient and methodical and you WILL get it eventually. After all, when you started school you could not read the word “to” and yet you are here, reading this long, boring text with barely a second glance.”

[Text (C) Copyright Robert-John Edwards 2018]

Discography

A PLOUGHMAN’S TALE

(2018)

This CD was produced to commemorate the centenary of
The Armistice.

50% of sales go to Royal British Legion.

(More Than Just…) Surviving Sight-Singing

Learn how to begin to read notes and sing them at sight with confidence with this book.

 

AUDIO

Teaching

Robert-John is a very successful singing teacher and is based in north Leicestershire.

He began teaching in 2001, formally qualifying as a classroom teacher in 2003 and has a reputation for excellence and success. He has a 100% pass rate in examinations, with well over 70% of his students achieving a Merit or Distinction (this improves to over 95% Merit and Distinction for students doing Grade 6-8 and 100% Grade 8 success with Merit or Distinction).  In the summer of 2017, one of his students scored 90% in her DipLCM Music Theatre diploma examination. He teaches from his home in Melton Mowbray, as well as at the famous Stamford Endowed Schools.  Lessons are also available on a visitation basis around Stamford, Uppingham and Oakham.

Teaching usually follows ABRSM, Trinity Guildhall and/or LCM (Music Theatre) syllabi.  He specialises in finding the right repertoire for the right voice at the right stage of their development, always looking at the longer term view rather than for instant success.  He strongly believes in training a voice, rather than just teaching songs.  This is why his students always perform well in concerts, examinations and auditions.

RATES:

£36 per hour basic with the following guidelines on lesson lengths:

Beginners to Grade 4/5 generally 30 minutes

Grades 4-7 generally 45 minutes

Grade 6-8 generally 60 minutes

Post-Grade 8 professional training and diplomas – 90 minutes.

For quotes and availability

Contact

For bookings or any other inquiries, please use this form.