British-Canadian baritone Alexander Dobson has been praised for his musical and dramatic artistry on both opera and concert stages. He was lauded for his “gripping embodiment of Wozzeck”(Journal Voir) in a production of the Berg opera with Théâtre du Nouveau Monde and Orchestre Métropolitain, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Other roles of note include the title role in Don Giovanni, the Count/Le Nozze di Figaro and Thomas Betterton/Prince of Players, all with Florentine Opera, and Guglielmo/Così Fan Tutte, Belcoré/L’elisir d'amore and Ned Keene/Peter Grimes, all with L’Opera de Montréal.
Acclaimed for his accomplished blend of stagecraft and vocal ability, Mr. Dobson is particularly in demand for contemporary stagings. His recent performance as “The Master” in Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie’s production of Against Nature was praised for its “clarity and sustained feeling” (The Globe and Mail )November 2021 will see Dobson return to Citadel for the premiere of The Machine Stops with Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, the final project in a trilogy directed by James Kudelka and composed by John Gzowski). Dobson was also acclaimed as “The Pilot” in Soundstreams’ production of Airline Icarus, a new opera by Brian Current. The recording of Airline Icarus was the winner of the JUNO for Classical Composition of the Year in 2015. The recording of Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players, with Florentine Opera and the Milwaukee Symphony, was released in April 2020 on the Reference Recordings label and received two GRAMMY(r) nominations. Alexander made his London debut at the Linbury Theatre with Royal Opera House Covent Garden in the premiere of The Midnight Court by Ana Sokolovic. He also was acclaimed for his appearances in a staged performance of Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony directed by Atom Egoyan at Spoleto Festival USA, and as King Karl in Schubert’s Fierrabras with Toronto’s VOICEBOX:Opera in Concert.
Other opera engagements include Raimbaud/Le Comte Ory for Edmonton Opera, Maximilian/Candide with Calgary Opera; “Guillaume” in the French version of Così fan tutte with Opera Lafayette; Count Almaviva/The Marriage of Figaro with Against the Grain; Marcello/La Bohème with Saskatoon Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, and on television in BRAVO’s StreetScenes version of the work; Silvio/Pagliacci for L'Opéra de Québec; Mercutio/Roméo et Juliette for L’Opera de Montréal and also for Opera Ontario; Harlequin/Ariadne auf Naxos for Calgary Opera, Sonora/La fanciulla del West with L'Opera de Montreal; and Aeneas/Dido and Aeneas with The Theatre of Early Music. He has sung Escamillo/Carmen in concert with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.
Concert performances of note include Walton’s Belshazzar's Feast with Toronto Symphony and Sir Andrew Davis, Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfayer with Orchestre Métropolitain, Faure Requiem with the Windsor Symphony, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting the combined National Arts Centre Orchestra and Orchestre Métropolitain. He has sung Mozart’s Requiem with the Milwaukee Symphony and San Antonio Symphony; Haydn’s Seasons with Cleveland Orchestra; and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with the St. Lawrence Choir, Toronto’s Aldeburgh Connection, the Vancouver New Music Festival, and with Montréal’s Theatre of Early Music. Alexander has sung Handel’s Messiah with Philadelphia Orchestra (Cristian Macelaru, conductor), Calgary Philharmonic (Nicholas McGegan), Kansas City Symphony (Julian Wachner) Orchestra London, National Arts Centre Orchestra (Paul Goodwin), St. Thomas Church in New York, Edmonton Symphony, Grand Philharmonic Choir, Elmer Isler Singers, Boris Brott Festival, and Spiritus Chamber Choir, Brahms Requiem with Pacific Chorale, and Bach’s St. John Passion with Bach Society of St. Louis. Among his many Canadian engagements this past season were Bruckner’s Te Deum and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Hamilton Philharmonic. Abroad, he performs in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with the Warsaw Philharmonic, a piece he previously performed with the Naples Philharrmonic.
Mr. Dobson is also a dedicated recital artist. Composer Derek Holman wrote the song cycle Daybreak and a Candle End especially for Alexander and the Talisker Players. Mr. Dobson has also performed Dichterliebe with Talisker Players Chamber Music and Coleman Lemieux Dance Company, and Schubert’s Winterreise to great acclaim in Montréal, Victoria, England, Paris, and, with Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the piano, in Toronto. Alexander has also been heard frequently on CBC Radio Canada in recital and concert.
Alexander graduated from the University of Toronto Opera Division and the Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario with Honours. He is also an alumnus of the Music Theatre Program at the Banff Centre, Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, the Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia, and L’Atelier Lyrique de L’Opera de Montreal. Alexander is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes including those from the International Voice Competition of Paris (including the Edward Marshall Association Award for Outstanding Baritone), the Jeunesses Musicales National Competition, the Marilyn Horne Competition (Music Academy of the West), and the Jacqueline Desmarais Competition.
An ardent singer since childhood, Alexander's solo début was at twelve years old, as a treble soloist in the Canadian premiere of Lloyd Webber's Requiem under conductor Elmer Iseler.