Jamaican-born Canadian lyric tenor Paul Williamson has “a startlingly rich voice” (Edmonton Journal) and is now taking his place on the operatic and concert stages of Canada. With a Bachelor of Music degree from the Houghton College School of Music in New York, a Masters degree in Opera Performance from State Glinka Conservatoire of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Paul continued his vocal studies under Robert MacLaren at the University of Manitoba. In 2007, while a student in the Opera Diploma program at the University of Toronto, he starred as Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, where he was reviewed by Opera Canada as “a very pleasing tenor with Italianate colour, lovely phrasing and even the requisite sob” who can “play with his voice for nuance and has lots of power when needed.”
Fluent in Russian, Paul appeared as the Czar with Toronto’s Opera in Concert in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden in April 2008. The Globe and Mail declared “High tenor Paul Williamson, as the czar, had some ecstatic moments; his springtime aria was a high point” while *Opera Canada*’s review of this performance stated, “lyric tenor Paul Williamson impressed as the czar.” As an opera apprentice with the University of Manitoba, Paul performed the role of Wilhelm in school tours of Dean Burry’s popular The Brothers Grimm. He recently starred as Umberto in Rossini’s La Donna del Lago with Opera in Concert. Oratorio performances include Bruckner’s Te Deum (University of Toronto Combined Choirs and Orchestra), Britten’s St Nicolas Cantata (Tryptych, Toronto), and the Beethoven Mass in C with MasterWorks of Oakville. Mr. Williamson placed second in the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition in New York 2007⁄8.
Mr. Williamson sang the role of Finn in Glinka’s Ruslan and Ljudmila in October 2010 with Opera In Concert and debuted with the Thunder Bay Symphony in Handel’s Messiah in November of that same year. In 2011, he debuted with the both Toronto Philharmonia in their Bel Canto series and at Heliconian Hall in the Birthday Series: Pyotr Tchaikovsky. In 2012, he debuted the role of Don Carlo with Opera By Request to glowing reviews and sang the role of Remus in an opera entitled Treemonisha by Scott Joplin with the Nataniel Dett Chorale at Koerner Hall in May 2012.
Mr. Williamson’s recent appearances include singing Manrico in Verdi’s Il Trovatore with Opera York (Toronto) in November 2013, his debut at Carnegie Hall as tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the New York Festival Orchestra, and again at Carnegie Hall in March 2014 as tenor soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia.