B i o g r a p h y
GREGORY MASSINGHAM (Tenor)
A graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium, tenor Gregory Massingham is one of Australia’s most experienced singers. Following postgraduate study at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama and with the distinguished tenor Sir Peter Pears, Mr Massingham took up a position at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, where from 1995 until 2014, he held the position of Head of Opera.
In addition to his academic commitments, Mr Massingham has maintained a performance schedule that embraces a wide range of styles. In particular, his performances as the Evangelist in the Bach Passions and his interpretation of the works of Benjamin Britten have been highly acclaimed. He has appeared regularly as tenor soloist with all the major orchestras and Choral Societies particularly in Australia and New Zealand, performing with such distinguished conductors as Sir David Willcocks, Sir Charles Mackerras, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Gunther Schuller, Bruno Weil and Jane Glover.
Mr Massingham holds a particular interest in contemporary music and has given the first performance of many works by Australian composers as well as the Australian premiere of works by composers such as Witold Lutoslawski, John Corigliano and Howard Blake. With the Seymour Group, he premiered Stephen Cronin’s prize-winning composition, House Songs at the Adelaide Festival and gave the first Australian performance of Brett Dean’s Winter Songs with the Melbourne Symphony Chamber Players, a work he has performed several times since, most recently at the Sydney Festival with the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet.
Mr Massingham has been a regular guest artist with the Sydney Philharmonia, appearing in their presentations of Bach’s Matthaeus Passion, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Mozart’s Mass in Cminor, Handel’s Samson, Bach’s Weihnacht’s Oratorium, Handel’s Solomon, Bach’s Johannes Passion, Mass in Bminor and Handel’s Israel in Egypt among others.
For Canberra Opera he has performed the role of Tamino in Die Zauberflote, for Victoria State Opera, the role of Alessandro in Mozart’s Il re pastore and with Opera Queensland, the role of Jack in Graeme Koehne’s Love Burns, M. Triquet in Eugene Onegin, the Prologue in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and the role of the Emperor in Turandot, a collaboration with Opera Australia.
As Head of Opera at Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, Mr Massingham has conceived and directed numerous stage productions applying innovative approaches in his realisation of the art form. These productions have often been collaborative ventures with major arts organisations such as the Brisbane Festival, the Queensland Music Festival and Opera Queensland, that have included productions of operas such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Britten), Die Zauberflöte (Mozart), Semele (Handel), L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (Ravel), Angelique (Ibert), Les Mamelles de Tirésias (Poulenc) Orfeo ed Euridice (Gluck) and The Burning Fiery Furnace (Britten).
In 2013, the anniversary year of the birth of Benjamin Britten, Mr Massingham was tenor soloist in major works by the composer, including Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, Les Illuminations and War Requiem.