Bass Laurence Meikle made his principal debut with Opera Australia at the age of 22 at the Sydney Opera House, and since that time, his burgeoning career has encompassed performances at some of Europe’s most important opera houses and concert halls.
After having sung with most of Australia’s major opera companies and orchestras, Laurence pursued studies on the opera course at London’s Royal Academy of Music, where he graduated dux of his year. During the course of his studies, he made debuts with Opera Holland Park (Betto - Gianni Schicchi), Grange Park Opera (Angelotti -Tosca), and the London Handel Festival (title role - Saul, and the Herald - Belshazzar). He also toured regional theatres in Italy during this period, singing Colline in La Bohème and Escamillo in Carmen.
Upon graduation, Laurence was offered a contract by the Deutsches Nationaltheater und Staatskapelle Weimar, Germany, where he sang a varied repertoire, including the title role in Don Giovanni, Comte des Greiux in Manon, Hobson in Peter Grimes, Elmiro in Rossini’s Otello, Astolfo in Vivaldi’s Orlando Furioso, Colline in La Bohème (a role he has sung over 90 times in Australia, Germany, the UK, France, and Italy), Escamillo in Carmen (productions in Germany, Italy, and in Scotland with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra), both Gretch and Borov in Giordano’s Fedora, Angelotti in Tosca, Der Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte (in Australia and Germany), Martino in Rossini’s L’occasione fa il Ladro (for which he was awarded the Opera Rara Bel Canto Prize), Hercules in Cavalli’s Il Giasone conducted by Jane Glover, Geronte in Manon Lescaut, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, Luiz in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, and Cascada in Die Lustige Witwe. During this time, he also appeared with Theater Erfurt, Theater Nordhusen, Landestheater Altenburg, and Bühnen der Stadt Gera.
After some years in Germany, Laurence returned to Italy where he sang Guglielmo in Così fan tutte for the Festival della Valle d’Itria, conducted by Fabio Luisi, followed by Zuniga in Carmen at the Teatro delle Muse Ancona, and his role debut at Teatro San Carlo in Naples singing Osmin in the legendary Strehler production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail.
Based in Italy since 2017, the 2017-18 season saw his return to Teatro San Carlo in Naples in several roles, Colline in La Bohème, Il Faraone in Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto, Portye in Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, and Grenville in La Traviata with Nino Machaidze and Leo Nucci. He was also re-invited to the Festival della Valle d’Itria, where he sang Belmonte in Meyerbeer’s Margherita d’Anjou, again with Fabio Luisi conducting, and at the same time covered the role of Astolfo in Vivaldi’s Orlando Furioso with Diego Fasolis and the Barocchisti. Amongst several concerts that season were Rossini’s Petite Messe Sollennelle at the Festival Suoni dal Golfo in Lerici, and a concert of Vivaldi arias with Diego Fasolis.
In 2018-2019, Laurence began the season with Colline in La Bohème, again at Teatro San Carlo, and Samuel in Un Ballo in Maschera, with an all-star cast led by Donato Renzetti. After his debut as Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Teatro Sociale di Campobasso, he recorded his first album in partnership with Concerto Classics, featuring the Psalms of Benedetto Marcello, which is due for release later this year. Upcoming concerts include Mozart’s Requiem for the Festival Suoni dal Golfo, and Mozart’s Missa Brevis in C Major with Christoph Poppen and the Kölner Kammerorchester.
The 2019-2020 season will see Laurence debut major roles at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, Teatro Municipale di Piacenza, Teatro Verdi di Padova, Teatro Sociale di Rovigo, Teatro Comunale di Ferrara, Teatro Verdi di Pisa, Teatro Goldoni di Livorno, and Teatro del Giglio di Lucca, with repertoire to be announced soon.
Laurence has worked with conductors Sir Charles Mackerras, Fabio Luisi, Richard Bonynge, Daniel Oren, Diego Fasolis, Stefano Montanari, Renato Palumbo, Stefano Ranzani, Donato Renzetti, Jane Glover, and Richard Hickox, and directors such as John Copley, Ferzan Öspatek, John Cox, David Pountney, and Martin Kušej.
As a concert soloist, he has sung with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the London Handel Players, the Gulbenkian Orquestra, the Staatskapelle Weimar, the Barocchisiti, the Cambridge Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Bourmouth Symphony, and the English Concert Orchestra; singing most of the major bass oratorio literature of Handel, Mozart, Rossini, and Bach, as well as concert works of Mahler, Delius, Brahms, Dvorak, and others. Highlights include concerts with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Angelika Kirchschlager, Yvonne Kenny, and Dame Emma Kirkby, and a Royal Command recital for Queen Elizabeth II; at venues such as Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Kings Place, the Royal Court Theatre, Buckingham Palace, the Royal Albert Hall and the cathedrals of Canterbury, St Albans, and Exeter in the UK, the Mozarteum Großersaal in Salzburg, the Sydney Opera House, and the Melbourne Town Hall, to name a few.
Laurence’s major teachers have included Ryland Davies and Tom Krause, and he has worked closely with many notable singers, namely, Sir John Tomlinson, Sir Thomas Allen, and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Laurence continues his studies in Italy with Antonio Lemmo.