Bass Laurence Meikle is steadily gaining international recognition in the world of opera and concert performance. The past two years have seen Laurence's debuts of several new roles at major European theatres, and with conductors such as Fabio Luisi, and Diego Fasolis.
After studies at the Victorian College of the Arts, Laurence made his principal debut at the Sydney Opera House with Opera Australia at age 22, and sang principal roles with most of Australia’s major companies and orchestras before pursuing further studies at London’s Royal Academy of Music. Early roles during this time included Angelotti in Tosca, Colline in La Bohème, Masetto in Don Giovanni, and Betto in Gianni Schicchi. After a short time in the UK singing with companies such as Opera Holland Park, Grange Park Opera, and the London Handel Festival, he took up a contract with the Deutsches Nationaltheater und Staatskapelle Weimar. His repertoire during this time included the title role in Don Giovanni, Elmiro in Rossini’s Otello, Astolfo in Vivaldi’s Orlando Furioso, Colline in La Bohème (productions in Australia, Germany, the UK, France, and Italy), Le Comte des Grieux in Manon, Hobson in Peter Grimes, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte (conducted by Fabio Luisi), Escamillo in Carmen (productions in Germany, Italy, and in Scotland with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra), Hercules in Cavalli’s Il Giasone, 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 UK Opera Rara Bel Canto Prize), Geronte in Manon Lescaut, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, Luiz in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers, Cascada in Die Lustige Witwe, and the title role in staged performances of Handel’s Saul conducted by Laurence Cummings for the London Handel Festival.
In recent years, he has had the pleasure of collaborating with, amongst others, conductors Sir Charles Mackerras, Fabio Luisi, Richard Bonynge, Daniel Oren, Bruno Campanella, Diego Fasolis, Jane Glover, Renato Palumbo, and Richard Hickox. Laurence has appeared as a concert soloist with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the London Handel Players, the Gulbenkian Orquestra, the Staatskapelle Weimar, I Barocchisiti, the Cambridge Philharmonic, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the English Concert Orchestra; singing most of the major bass oratorio literature of Handel, Mozart, Schubert, and Bach, as well as concert works of Mahler, Delius, Brahms, Dvorak, and others. Highlights include Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn at the Melbourne Town Hall, Mahler's Rückert-Lieder with the Cambridge Philharmonic, and concerts with Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Angelika Kirchschlager, Yvonne Kenny, Dame Emma Kirkby, and a Royal Command recital for Queen Elizabeth II. He has given concerts and recitals at Cadogan Hall, Wigmore Hall, and Royal Albert Hall in London, The Sydney Opera House, and the Großer Saal at the Salzburg Mozarteum, to name a few.
Laurence began the 2016-17 season singing Grenville in La Traviata for the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, directed by Ferzan Öspetek, followed by Zuniga in Carmen for Teatro delle Muse Ancona in a new production by Francesco Saponaro. During the summer, he premiered the fiendish bel canto role of Belmonte in Meyerbeer’s Margherita d’Anjou under the baton of Fabio Luisi for the Festival della Valle d’Itria, at the same time covering the role of Astolfo in Vivaldi’s Orlando Furioso with Diego Fasolis and I Barocchisti. In November, he returned to Teatro San Carlo in Naples, where he sang for the first time the role of Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, in the legendary production by Giorgio Strehler.
For the 2017-18 season, Laurence again premiered new roles for Teatro San Carlo in Naples - Colline in La Bohème, Faraone cover in Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto in the new 200th-anniversary production by David Pountney, La Cusinière in Prokofiev’s L’amour des trois Oranges, Portye in Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, and Grenville in a new production of La Travaiata starring Nino Machaidze and Leo Nucci. Concerts included an evening of Vivaldi arias with Diego Fasolis and I Barocchisti, as well as Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle for the Festival Suoni dal Golfo in Lerici.
Laurence has developed a partnership with the recording label Concerto Classics, who in 2019 will release the first disc of their collaboration, the psalms of Benedetto Marcello. His successes at Teatro San Carlo in Naples have seen invitations for further roles in 2019, Colline in La Bohème, Samuel in a new production of Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera with an all-star cast, and Fenicio in Rossini's Ermione in San Carlo's new 200th-anniversary production. Further roles at major theatres in Spain and Italy for this season will be announced shortly.
Laurence’s major teachers have included Ryland Davies and Tom Krause, and he has studied 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.