Photo: David Ferri Durà
// Peter Grimes at Teatro La Fenice, Venice
// La Bohème at Teatro San Carlo, Naples
// Mozart's Requiem for Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova
// Shostakovich's 14th Symphony in Lisbon
"Laurence Meikle in the role of Count Horn showed what a fine singer he is. With his dark, resonant bass he reached terrific results"
- Bachtrack 2019, Un ballo in Maschera,
Teatro San Carlo Naples
"Buoni pure tutti i comprimari, tra cui si segnala, per volume di voce ed espressività, quella di Laurence Meikle un Sam o Conte Horn in cui all’importanza della voce si unisce quella scenica"
- Operaclick 2019, Un ballo in Maschera,
Teatro San Carlo Naples
"...very interesting the dark voice of Laurence Meikle's Colline, who received enthusiastic applause for Vecchia Zimarra"
- Spettacolo 2019, La Bohème
Teatro San Carlo Naples
Bass-baritone 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 as a singer of opera, concert, and song has encompassed performances at some of Europe’s most important opera houses and concert halls.
Laurence’s keen focus on music of the baroque and classical periods has lead to his collaboration as a soloist with musicians such as Sir Charles Mackerras, Diego Fasolis, Laurence Cummings, Dame Jane Glover, Stefano Montanari, Hansjörg Albrecht, and Dame Emma Kirkby; and ensembles such as I Barocchisti, La Lira di Orfeo, Aestas Ensemble, Ensemble Salomone Rossi, and the London Handel Orchestra.
Early success as a principal artist with most of Australia’s major opera companies and orchestras lead Laurence to pursue studies on the opera course at London’s Royal Academy of Music, where he graduated with honours and the Opera Rara Bel Canto Prize. During the course of his studies, he made debuts with the London Handel Festival (title role Saul, and Belshazzar) both under the direction of Laurence Cummings, as well as Hercules in Cavalli’s Il Giasone with Dame Jane Glover for Royal Academy Opera, and several performances with the Academy’s Bach/Kohn Bach Cantata series under the direction of Iain Ledingham. Debuts followed for Opera Holland Park (Betto - Gianni Schicchi), Grange Park Opera (Angelotti - Tosca), and Aestas Ensemble (Aeneas - Dido and Aeneas) with Laurence Cummings.
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, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Elmiro in Rossini’s Otello, Astolfo in Vivaldi’s Orlando Furioso, Papageno and Der Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte, Martino in Rossini’s L’occasione fa il Ladro, Hobson in Peter Grimes, Colline in La Bohème (a role he has sung over 90 times in Australia, Germany, the UK, France, and Italy), and Escamillo in Carmen (productions in Germany, Italy, and in Scotland with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra).
During this time in Germany, Laurence took part in numerous concerts and festivals, regularly singing Bach cantatas for Bachprojekt Weimar and J-S-Bach Ensemble Weimar, major works of Mozart, Schubert, and Haydn with the orchestras Staatskapelle Weimar, Jenaer Philharmonie, and Philharmonische Orchester Erfurt, as well as being an active recitalist, regularly presenting works of Schubert, Schumann, Wolf and Mahler.
Laurence’s concert repertoire centres around Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Mozart, and Rossini, having performed the major works at venues such as Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Kings Place, the Royal Albert Hall, the Mozarteum Großersaal in Salzburg, and the Sydney Opera House, to name a few, with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the London Handel Players, the Gulbenkian Orquestra, Orchestra Internazionale d'Italia, the Staatskapelle Weimar, I Barocchisiti, the Cambridge Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Bourmouth Symphony, and the English Concert Orchestra. Recent highlights include Mozart’s Requiem for the Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle for the Lerici Festival, and Vivaldi’s Magnificat at Cadogan Hall alongside Dame Emma Kirkby.
As a recording artist, Laurence has recently embarked on a project to record the complete bass psalms of Benedetto Marcello with Ensemble Salomone Rossi for Naxos, and will soon record previously unheard bass cantatas of Scarlatti for the Concerto Classics label. Other recordings include song repertoire of Elgar “The Fringes of the Fleet” for SOMM and a studio opera release of Glanville Hicks’ Sappho, featuring Sir John Tomlinson and Deborah Polaski. Live opera recordings include La Traviata from Teatro San Carlo Naples and Meyerbeer’s Margarita D’Anjou from Festival della Valle d’Itria.
After some years singing in Germany, in 2017 Laurence was invited by Fabio Luisi to sing Guglielmo in Così fan tutte for Festival della Valle d’Itria, after which followed 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 Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail.
Based in Italy since 2017, he returned to Teatro San Carlo in Naples in several roles, namely, 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, featuring Leo Nucci. In 2018 he was re-invited to the Festival della Valle d’Itria, where he sang Belmonte in Meyerbeer’s Margherita d’Anjou, again with Fabio Luisi conducting.
Laurence began the 2018-19 season at Teatro San Carlo, with Colline in La Bohème, and Samuel in Un Ballo in Maschera, with an all-star cast led by Donato Renzetti. This was followed by the title role in Don Giovanni at the Teatro Sociale di Rovigo, and appearing again at the Festival della Valle d’Itria, in a concert of Vivaldi arias with Diego Fasolis and I Barocchisti, whilst covering the role of Astolfo in Vivaldi’s Orlando Furioso.
During the initial stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, Laurence was due to make debuts at Teatro San Carlo including Gualtiero Valton in I Puritani alongside Lisette Oropesa, The Herald in Prokofiev's The Love of Three Oranges, as well as Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Teatro Municipale di Piacenza, and other debuts in Ferrara, Padova, Pisa and Orchestra Svizzera Italiana di Lugano, (including Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro and the title role in Don Giovanni). Despite these cancellations, Laurence was able to perform a concert version of La Rondine (Crébillon) at Teatro San Carlo, alongside Ailyn Pérez and Michael Fabiano. After a prolific period of operatic activity in recent years, Laurence has been pleased to use the pandemic time to sing more recital and concert repertoire, performing works such as Schwanengesang, Dichterliebe, and Die Schöne Müllerin at festivals throughout Portugal, Italy, and France. Other concerts during this time have included Mozart’s Missa Brevis in C Major and Schubert’s Mass in G Major with Christoph Poppen and the Kölner Kammerorchester.
Returning to the theatre in 2022, Laurence made his debut at Teatro La Fenice in Venice in Paul Curran's lauded new production of Peter Grimes, followed by La Traviata in Lugano with the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana. Other projects for this year include Ravel's L'Heure Espagnole with Ensemble Mediterrain at Lisbon's Centro Cultural de Belém, and Shostakovich's 14th Symphony with the Orquestra de Câmara Portuguesa.
In addition to the aforementioned, Laurence has worked with conductors Richard Bonynge, Daniel Oren, Bruno Campanella, Renato Palumbo, Stefano Ranzani, Donato Renzetti, and Richard Hickox, and directors such as John Copley, Ferzan Öspatek, John Cox, David Pountney, Mark Morris, and Martin Kušej.
Laurence studies voice in Italy with Maestro Fernando Cordeiro Opa; major teachers have included Ryland Davies and Tom Krause, and he has studied closely with many notable singers, for example, Sir John Tomlinson, Sir Thomas Allen, and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.