B i o g r a p h y
Brisbane-born Jeffrey Black began his career in 1983 when, at the age of twenty, he was offered a contract to join The Australian Opera as a principal artist singing roles which included Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette, Schaunard in La Bohème, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Dr Falke in Die Fledermaus, Dandini in La Cenerentola and Ottone in Goran Jarvefelt’s new production of L’lncoronazione di Poppea.
He undertook his postgraduate training at The National Opera Studio, London.
In 1985 he was named The Australian Opera’s Esso Young Artist of the Year as well Young Queenslander of the Year. Subsequent roles as a guest artist with The Australian Opera (Opera Australia since 1997) include Figaro in II barbiere di Siviglia, Guglielmo in CosI fan tutte, the title role in Don Giovanni, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, the title role in Eugene Onegin. New productions where he has created the roles with company include Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Posa in Don Carlo, Zurga in Les Pecheurs de Perles, Graf in a new production of Capriccio for the Olympic Festival in Sydney, Belcore in L’Elisir d’amore, Conte in Le Nozze di Figaro and Danilo in The Merry Widow.
Jeffrey Black made his European debut in 1986 as Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos in Monte Carlo and his British debut the same year at the Glyndebourne Festival as Sid in Albert Herring where he has subsequently returned for Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1989) and the Count - in both Capriccio (1990) and Le nozze di Figaro(1991).
At the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden he has appeared as Harlekin, Sid, Figaro (II barbiere), Dandini, the Count de Nevers in Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots and the Count (Figaro).
Jeffrey made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York with Figaro (II barbiere) in 1995 and returned in 1997 to sing the Count (Figaro).
His other international engagements include Guglielmo at the Salzburg Festival - a role he has also sung in Los Angeles, Chicago and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. - Netherlands Opera (Harlekin); the Bastille, Paris (Lescaut in Manon Lescaut and Valentin in Faust); Geneva Opera (Dr Falke, Fieramosca in Benvenuto Cellini, Valentin and Riccardo in I Puritani); San Francisco Opera (Figaro in Il Barbiere); the Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires (Dandini); Los Angeles Opera (Marcello in La bohème); San Diego Opera (Figaro in II barbiere and the title role in Eugene Onegin); New Israeli Opera (Figaro in II barbiere and Demetrius); the Washington Opera (Count in Figaro and Marcello);Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp (the title role in Don Giovanni); and Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich (the Count, Figaro in II barbiere and Marcello).
On the concert platform in Australia, Jeffrey Black has taken part in a major tour with the ABC and appeared in recital with Geoffrey Parsons and also with the ABC orchestras. In London he has sung with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in excerpts from Die Fledermaus, and his first Christus in Bach’s St Matthew Passion under Franz Welser-Möst.
He has sung in arena concerts with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in London, Stockholm, Sydney and Melbourne, arena performances of Pere Germont in La Traviata in Auckland, New Zealand which was again performed under Simone Young in Tokyo with the NHK Orchestra.
In 1998 he recorded Mahler's Songs of the Wayfarer with the Sydney Symphony Soloists for ABC classics. Other recordings include: Orff's Carmina Burana under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst (1989) for EMI with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Arthur Sullivan's The Golden Legend with Ronald Corp (2000).
2006 saw a recommitment to the concert platform with a series of concerts and recitals in London, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, Australia with his accompanist, Tahu Matheson. Much of the great works of “the sons of Vienna”, were performed during this time; Schubert’s Schwanengesang, Die Winterreise, Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Liederkreis ( Op.24 & 39), Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and Des Knaben Wunderhorn.
2007 Jeffrey continued to delve into the Art song repertoire, including, Brahms, Duparc, Faure, Webern, Berg with concerts in Rome, the inaugural Summer festival at Chateau Padies. Performances of Verdi Arias in concert for the 4MBS festival in Brisbane as well a live broadcast for the BBC.
He made his role debut as Rigoletto under the baton of Alistair Dawes.
Other engagements included a Beethoven 9 in Australia as well as his debut as Scarpia in Tosca also undertaken in Australia. Summer of 2008 Jeffrey again performed at the Chateau Padies Festival, France.
Summer 2009 included a return to Glyndebourne undertaking the role of Falstaff for the first time, his debut in the title role of Simone in a Gala concert performance for Chelsea Opera Group of Simone Boccanegra (1857 version) at Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank. Also in 2009 Jeffrey made his role debut as Frank in Die Fledermaus for London Lyric Opera at Cadogan Hall.
In the Summer of 2010 Jeffrey performed the baritone role of Gianciotto in Zandonai’s opera Francesca da Rimini for Opera Holland Park.
Subsequently he made his role debut as Pizzaro in Fidelio for New London Opera Players as well as reprising his highly acclaimed portrayal of Scarpia for the same company. Forthcoming engagements include a Mozart Requiem at St Martin–in–the-fields and Rottingdean Festival, Sussex as well as his role debut as Telramund in Lohengrin for New London Opera Players.