Bio

Northern Irish baritone Brian McAlea read music at the University of Oxford and sang with the Choir of New College. He subsequently won a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he studied under Robert Dean and graduated with Distinction. He won the Audience Prize at NI Opera’s Glenarm Festival of Voice Opera Competition 2019, is currently a BBC Northern Ireland and Arts Council Young Musicians’ Platform Award recipient, and is supported by Exitex Ltd.

Highlights as a concert soloist include Handel’s Messiah (Irish Baroque Orchestra; Instruments of Time and Truth) and Israel in Egypt (Oxford Early Music Festival); Mozart’s Requiem (The Ulster Orchestra); Bach’s St John Passion (Sestina/East Cork Early Music Festival; The Oxford Bach Soloists); B Minor Mass, Christmas Oratorio and Magnificat; Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem; Haydn’s The Creation (Oxford Orpheus), Seasons and Nelson Mass; MacMillan’s Seven Last Words from the Cross (The Britten Sinfonia); and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria. 

Operatic roles include Endimione in La Calisto (Longborough Festival Opera); Starveling in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Nevill Holt Opera); Minister in Iphigénie en Tauride (The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment); Liberto in L’incoronazione di Poppea (Loughborough Festival Opera); Tobias Mill in La Cambiale di Matrimonio (Northern Ireland Opera Studio) and Aeneas in Dido & Aeneas (Sestina). His cover roles include Zuniga in Carmen (The Grange Festival) and Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro (Nevill Holt Opera).

Brian has performed on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Ulster, most recently in a live broadcast with the Ulster Orchestra for BBC Northern Ireland, and earlier this year, recorded Mohammed Fairouz’s Anything Can Happen with Signum Records for Seamus Heaney’s 80th Birthday.

He has also performed with some of the most notable ensembles in the UK and Ireland including the Gabrieli Consort, the Choir of the Age of Enlightenment, the Early Opera Company, the Dunedin Consort, Britten Sinfonia Voices, and Chamber Choir Ireland. He is a founding member of the Northern Irish early music ensemble Sestina.

A detailed CV is available on request.