This Newport-born singer is much in demand for his rich bass-baritone voice and versatile acting skills.
Neal Davies is particularly sought after in baroque roles, especially Handel, but he also excels in a wide range of repertoire, from Rameau to Rossini, Mozart to Britten and Sullivan to Wagner. On the opera stage, he is as convincing playing comic roles such as Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Dulcamara in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'amore and Ko-Ko in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado as in more serious, three-dimensional portraits, including Sharpless in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Count Gremin in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and Tiridate in Handel's Radamisto.
He studied at King's College and the Royal Academy of Music in London and with Kenneth Bowen. Neal's studies continued at the International Opera Studio in Zurich, under the patronage of Dame Gwyneth Jones.
Neal followed in Bryn Terfel's footsteps, winning what was then known as the Lieder Prize in Cardiff Singer of the World in the following competition in 1991. He has continued to have an active career in the recital hall and in the recording studio with this repertoire.
He performs regularly at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and at all the major opera venues throughout Britain, including Welsh National Opera. Abroad, Neal also appears at major houses such as the Lyric Opera Chicago and Berlin Staatsoper.
His concert calendar is very busy, and he appears with some of the greatest orchestras in the world, including the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Dresden Staatskapelle and the New York Philharmonic. Neal's particular specialism in baroque music has led to many appearances with groups notable in that repertoire, including William Christie's Les Arts Florissants, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields and the Akademie für Alte Musik.
Recordings include acclaimed versions of Saul and Theodora, both by Handel, with Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort and Players as well as repertoire as diverse as Schubert Lieder, Janácek's Jenufa, Job by Parry and Vivaldi sacred music.