Neil Craighead made his Pacific Opera Victoria debut as Truffaldino in Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos in 2014, returning in 2016 as Pietro in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra and in 2018 as Don Fernando in Beethoven’s Fidelio. He performs the role of the Minskman in Pacific Opera’s 2020 Canadian première of Jonathan Dove’s Flight.
His 2019/20 season also includes a reprise of the role of Colline in La bohème for Calgary Opera, which he recently performed both at Vancouver Opera and at the Canadian Opera Company, an appearance as bass-baritone soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Vancouver Bach Choir, and a return to Calgary Opera to perform Truffaldino in Ariadne auf Naxos.
Neil’s 2018/19 season included the Speaker in Die Zauberflöte (Opéra de Québec), and Colline in La bohème (Calgary Opera, Vancouver Opera, Canadian Opera Company). 2017/18 credits include his role debut as Scarpia in Tosca (Opera on the Avalon), Zuniga in Carmen (Opéra de Québec) and the Canadian Opera Company’s Sesquicentennial production of Louis Riel. Further credits include Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte (Edmonton Opera) and Leporello in Against the Grain’s #UncleJohn.
An alumnus of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, Mr Craighead has appeared for the COC in Tosca, Gianni Schicchi, Ariadne auf Naxos, Die Zauberflöte, Idomeneo, Salome, Dialogues des Carmélites, La clemenza di Tito and the Robert Lepage production of The Nightingale and other Fables.
Neil was born in Cape Town, South Africa and grew up in Calgary, where he was a member of the Calgary Boys Choir. In his youth he studied voice in the Academy program at Mount Royal College and later received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Opera from the University of British Columbia where he studied with Canadian baritone Peter Barcza. During his university years, he participated in tours and performances in Austria, the Czech Republic and China.