Colin Ainsworth has been praised for his “exquisite control and emotional directness” and has long distinguished himself internationally as a specialist not only with his interpretations of the major Classical and Baroque tenor roles but also by his performances in contemporary opera. Having traveled the world with his unique and expressive voice, his many performances have included the title roles in Orphée et Euridice, Pygmalion, Castor et Pollux, Roberto Devereux and Albert Herring; Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Fenton in Falstaff, Tonio in La Fille du Régiment, Nadir in Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Pylades in Iphigénie en Tauride, Renaud in Lully’s Armide, Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, and Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. An avid supporter of new works, he has appeared in the world premieres of John Estacio’s Lillian Alling at the Vancouver Opera, Stuart MacRae’s The Assassin Tree at the Edinburgh International Festival, Victor Davies’ The Transit of Venus with the Manitoba Opera, and Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna at Sadler’s Wells in London and at the Luminato Festival. Other past opera engagements have included appearances with the Royal Opera (London), Canadian Opera Company, Chicago Opera Theatre, Glimmerglass Opera, L’Opéra de Français, Opera Atelier, Pacific Opera Victoria, the Greek National Opera, Opera Columbus in Lully’s Armide, Seattle Opera as the Steuermann in Der fliegende Holländer; and Teatro Nacional São Carlos as Pylades in Iphigénie en Tauride.
Also a prolific concert singer, Mr. Ainsworth has appeared with the Cincinnati Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Pygmalion, Vancouver Symphony, Calgary Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra of San Francisco, with Jane Glover and the Music of the Baroque in Chicago, Mercury Baroque in Houston, Les Violons du Roy in Montreal, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in Toronto, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the Grand Philharmonic Choir. He has also appeared at the Lanaudiere, Montreal Baroque, the Elora and the Aldeburgh Connection festivals, and has toured throughout Germany. His vast concert and recital repertoire includes Bach’s Mass in B Minor and St. John’s Passion, Handel’s Messiah, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mozart’s Requiem, Schubert’s Dichterliebe and Janácek’s Diary of One Who Vanished.
Mr. Ainsworth’s growing discography includes Vivaldi’s La Griselda (Naxos), Castor et Pollux (Naxos), Schubert Among Friends (Marquis Classics), Gloria in Excelsis Deo with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (CBC Records), the collected masses of Vanhal, Haydn, and Cherubini with Nicholas McGegan (Naxos), and the premiere recording of Derek Holman’s The Heart Mislaid which was included on the Aldeburgh Connection’s Our Own Songs (Marquis Classics). He also appears in a live DVD recording of Lully’s Persée with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Euroarts). His new disc, A Play of Passion, featuring the music of Derek Holman with Stephen Ralls and Bruce Ubukata has just been released.
Mr. Ainsworth’s 2019 season highlights include the title roles in Actéon and Pygmalion with Opera Atelier with performances also at Chicago’s Harris Theater and the Palace at Versailles after which, he joined Pacific Opera Victoria for his role debut as Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata. He then maked his role debuts with Opera Atelier in the title role of Mozart’s Idomeneo and as Lensky in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin with Seattle Opera. On the concert stage, he joined the Guelph Chamber Singers, Uxbridge Messiah Singers and the Cellar Singers for Handel’s Messiah, Bach Elgar Choir for Beethoven’s Mass in C, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra for Bach’s Magnificat, and joined the Oregon Bach Festival for various concerts with conductors John Nelson, John Butt, and Jane Glover.