Neil Craighead’s burgeoning career has recently taken him from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland, featured in operas by Somers, Verdi and Puccini. The tall, imposing bass-baritone’s coming season is highlighted by his role debuts as Zuniga in Carmen for Opéra de Québec, and as Baron Scarpia in Tosca for Opera on the Avalon. He returns to the Canadian Opera Company for Count Ceprano in Rigoletto and earlier was featured in that company’s production of Louis Riel – celebrating Canada’s Sesquicentennial – with performances in Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City. He was heard in Tapestry New Opera’s highly anticipated premiere of Oksana G and also appeared during the 16⁄17 season as Pietro in Simon Boccanegra for Pacific Opera Victoria and Second Armed Man in Die Zauberflöte for the Canadian Opera Company.
Mr. Craighead’s recent credits include Against the Grain Theatre’s contemporary reimagining of Mozart’s Don Giovanni playing the role of Leporello. Titled #UncleJohn, the production was heard in Toronto and later toured to Ottawa’s Chamberfest. Cast as Dr. Grenvil in La traviata by Canadian Opera Company, he was heard as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte for Edmonton Opera.
An alumnus of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, Mr Craighead has appeared for the COC in Tosca, Gianni Schicchi, Ariadne auf Naxos, Die Zauberflöte, Idomeneo, Salome, Dialogues des Carmelites, La clemenza di Tito and the Robert Lepage production of The Nightingale and Other Short Fables.
Mr. Craighead was born in Cape Town, South Africa and grew up in Calgary, where he was member of the Calgary Boys Choir. He studied voice at the Academy program of Mount Royal College and later received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Opera from the University of British Columbia. During his formative years, he attended young artist programs in Italy and Alberta and participated in tours and performances in Austria, the Czech Republic and China.