Chinese-Canadian tenor Spencer Britten has been praised for having “the poise and confidence of a seasoned professional” (Bachtrack) and boasting a “full voice and ringing tone” (La Scena Musicale). A former member of the International Opera Studio at Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, Britten’s assingments there included the roles of Janek Prus in a new production of The Makropulos Affair, Erste Priester in Die Zauberflöte, Haushofmeister bei Faninal in Der Rosenkavalier, Silango in Le Cinesi, Kalil in Die Arabische Nacht, Postillione in La Fanciulla del West, Offizier in Ariadne auf Naxos, and Borsa in Rigoletto. Britten also recently made his house and role debut at the Bregenzer Festspiele in Austria, singing the role of Lindoro in L’Italiana in Algeri.
Following a summer covering Don Ottavio at The Glyndebourne Festival, Britten’s 2023-2024 season includes a debut at the Hungarian State Opera in L’Italiana in Algeri, a cover of Tonio in La fille du régiment at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Handel’s Messiah with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Orchestre Métropolitain at the Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal.
Engagements for the 2022-23 season included the role of Chung Saihin in the world premiere of Chinatown (a new opera from composer Alice Ping Yee Ho) at the Vancouver Playhouse, the role of Sailor in Opera Atelier’s Dido and Aeneas, tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Orchestre Symphonique de Trois Rivières and in a holiday concert with the Edmonton Opera, the role of Lysander in Vancouver Opera’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and tenor soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Georg Muffat’s Missa in labore requies with the Philharmonia Baroque.
Mr. Britten spent two seasons with the Glimmerglass Festival, where he showed his aptitude for both musical theatre and operatic repertoire in productions of Showboat (Beau/Dealer/Dancer), Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Count Almaviva Cover), Silent Night (French Soldier #2) and Trouble in Tahiti (solo trio). While there, he also played the role of Gee-Tar in West Side Story, set by Julio Monge to the original Jerome Robbins choreography, and was selected as one of several cast members to continue with the production to Lyric Opera of Kansas City and The Atlanta Opera. He also acted as a Jet swing, covering Diesel, Big Deal, Baby John, and Snowboy. In his second season at Glimmerglass, Britten acted as dance captain and performed the role of Léon in John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, which he later reprised at the Opéra Royal du Château de Versailles with “sweet clarity” (Ôlyrix).
Britten has performed as tenor soloist with the Choeur Metropolitain in Montréal, collaborating with conductors François A. Ouimet, Pierre Tourville, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin in Benjamin Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb and Dvořák’s Mass in D Major. Britten’s recent performances have included a “brilliant” and “memorable” (atuvu.ca) turn as the goose in Carmina Burana with Les Grands Ballets; a solo appearance “oozing with mirth and personality” (Opera Canada) in Against the Grain Theatre’s groundbreaking film production Messiah/Complex, and a “felicitous turn as Monsieur Triquet” in l’Opéra de Montréal’s production of Eugene Onegin (ConcertoNet).
Mr. Britten was recently a finalist in the Opera Crown Tbilisi International Voice Competition and the Edmonton Opera Rumbold Vocal Prize, and has received career development grants from the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation for Young Canadian Opera Singers and the Vancouver Opera Guild. He was also a semi-finalist in the Paris Opera Competition and a final rounds singer at Neue Stimmen. Britten was a member of L’Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, after having completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of British Columbia and training since the age of six at the Caulfield School of Dance and Coastal Sound Music Academy in Port Moody, BC, Canada.