The Welsh baritone Jeremy Huw Williams studied at St John’s College, Cambridge, at the National Opera Studio in London, and with April Cantelo. He made his debut with Welsh National Opera as Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) and has since appeared in more than sixty operatic roles. He has given performances at major venues in North and South America, Australia, China, India, and most European countries.
In France he has sung the roles of Olivier (Capriccio), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), George (Of Mice and Men), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Shchelkalov (Boris Godunov), Baritone (Hydrogen Jukebox) and title role Till Eulenspiegel by Karetnikov for L’Opéra de Nantes, and Sebastian (The Tempest) for L’Opéra du Rhin. In Italy he has sung the role of Nixon (Nixon in China) at the opera house in Verona and Ferryman (Curlew River) at the opera houses of Pisa and Trento. In Greece he has sung the role of Chou En-lai (Nixon in China) for Greek National Opera. In Belgium he has sung the role of Marcello (La Bohème) for Zomeropera. In Norway he has sung the role of Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) for Vest Norges Opera and Serezha (The Electrification of the Soviet Union) for Opera Vest. In Austria he has sung the role of Dr Pangloss (Candide) in Vienna, a role that he repeated in Bremen, Munich, Leipzig, Suhl and London. In the USA he has sung the role of Lukash (The Good Soldier Schweik) for Long Beach Opera.
In Wales he has sung the roles of Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Escamillo (Carmen), Germont (La Traviata), Marcello (La Bohème) and Le Dancaïre (Carmen) for Welsh National Opera and the roles of Serezha (The Electrification of the Soviet Union), Tarquinius (The Rape of Lucretia), Choregos (Punch and Judy), Mangus (The Knot Garden) and Dr Simon Browne (For You) for Music Theatre Wales. In Ireland he has sung the role of Teddy (The Silver Tassie) for Opera Ireland. In Scotland he has sung the roles of Andrew (74 Degrees North), Father (Zen Story), Epstein (The Letter) and Kommerzienrat (Intermezzo) for Scottish Opera.
He has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room, and at many major music festivals. He has appeared with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in Tippett’s King Priam at the Royal Festival Hall, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in Lambert’s Summer’s Last Will and Testament at Symphony Hall, the Hallé in Handel’s Messiah at the Bridgewater Hall, the Philharmonia in Mozart’s Requiem at St David’s Hall, the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Nielsen’s Third Symphony at the Royal Albert Hall during the BBC Proms, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in Rawsthorne’s Medieval Diptych, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Adams’s The Wound Dresser at City Halls, the BBC Philharmonic in Schubert’s Mass in Ab, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Watson’s O! Captain, the Ulster Orchestra in McDowall’s Theatre of Tango, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in Mathias’s This Worlde’s Joie at the Three Choirs Festival, and the BBC Concert Orchestra in Stainer’s Crucifixion at Southwark Cathedral for BBC Radio 2.
He has also appeared with the RTE Concert Orchestra in Dvoøák’s Requiem at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, the Orchestre National de Lyon in Benjamin’s Sometime Voices at the Auditorium de Lyon, l’Orchestre Léonard de Vinci in Brahms’s Requiem at the opera house in Rouen, the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya in Orff’s Carmina Burana at the Auditori in Barcelona, and the Sønderjyllands Symfoniorkester in Bach’s Weinachts-Oratorium.
He is renowned as a fine exponent of contemporary music, having commissioned much new music and given premieres of works by Alun Hoddinott, William Mathias, John Tavener, Michael Berkeley, Paul Mealor, Julian Phillips, Richard Causton, Mark Bowden, and Huw Watkins. He frequently records for BBC Radio 3 (in recital, and with the BBC NOW, CBSO, BBC SO, BBC SSO, BBC Philharmonic and BBC CO), and has made many commercial recordings, including more than ten solo discs of songs.
As a principal singer with Welsh National Opera he appeared at the opening night of the Wales Millennium Centre, and received the inaugural Sir Geraint Evans Award from the Welsh Music Guild, given annually to a person or persons who have made a significant contribution to Welsh music in any one year or recent years: ‘there has been an unanimous decision that the first award should be made to baritone Jeremy Huw Williams in recognition of not only his performing ability but also for the tremendous support that he has given to Welsh composers and their music in recent years’.
He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by Glyndŵr University in 2009 for services to music in Wales, the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Aberdeen in 2011, the Medal of the Order of the British Empire in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours, and the 2022 John Edwards Memorial Award, the most prestigious non-competitive award given in Wales for services to the nation’s music