After reading anthropology and archaeology at St John’s College, Cambridge, Iestyn Davies studied at London’s Royal Academy of Music.
An esteemed Handelian, he has delighted audiences globally with his vocal agility and supreme musicianship in roles such as Bertarido, Orlando, Rinaldo, Ottone/Agrippina and David/Saul. Committed also to contemporary music, his intelligent and considered interpretations have led to fruitful collaborations with Thomas Adés, George Benjamin, and Nico Muhly.
On the opera stage, he has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, New York; the Lyric Opera of Chicago; Teatro alla Scala Milan; the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; English National Opera; Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Welsh National Opera; Teatro Real Madrid; Salzburg Festival and in Munich, Vienna, and Zurich. Recent appearances include Arsace/Partenope in Madrid, Ottone/Agrippina in Hamburg and Munich, Bertarido/Rodelinda for the Metropolitan Opera, and Ottone/L’incoronazione di Poppea in Versailles.
Concert engagements have included performances at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan with Dudamel, the Concertgebouw and Tonhalle with Koopman, and at the Barbican, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall with orchestras that include the New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, English Concert, Britten Sinfonia, Concerto Köln, Concerto Copenhagen, Ensemble Matheus, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. During the 2022/23 season, Davies appeared in concerts at Carnegie Hall with Bernard Labadie, the Berlin Philharmonie with Emmanuelle Haim, and at the Barbican in a world premiere production of music by Dowland with lutenist Thomas Dunford, staged by Netia Jones.
In the 2023–24 season, opera highlights include Tolomeo/Cesare at Opéra National de Paris and Oberon/A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Atlanta Opera and at Garsington Opera. In concert, he joins Les Violons du Roy for Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra for Benjamin’s Written on Skin conducted by George Benjamin, the English Concert for Bertarido Rodelinda on tour to the United States and Asia, and the Australian Chamber Orchestra for a solo Bach program on tour in Australia.
An outstanding recitalist, he has performed in Vienna, Tokyo, Paris, and New York in repertoire ranging from Dowland to Clapton. He is a regular favorite at London’s Wigmore Hall and Kings Place, where he has curated residencies.
Davies’ recital discs have won three Gramophone Awards, and he performed on the Grammy-winning recording of Thomas Adès’s The Tempest. He is the recipient of a Royal Philharmonic Society Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award for his singing role in Farinelli and the King opposite Mark Rylance (premiered at London’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and transferring to the West End and Broadway). In 2017, he was awarded an MBE by the Queen for his services to music.