Tenor Rhys Bowden builds his musical career

Tenor Rhys Bowden builds his musical career

Talented tenor Rhys Bowden (OE 1996-2003) has been building a name for himself as a professional classical singer since leaving the School.

This year alone has seen singing him in Rigoletto for Scottish Opera and performing twice with Surrey Opera – once in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring and once as Luiz in The Gondoliers – while other performances have taken him to destinations including the Isle of Wight (Monteverdi’s Vespers and Smetana’s The Bartered Bride) and Fareham (Mozart’s Requiem).

Over the past few years, music has taken him much further afield – to Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Singapore, Fiji, South America, Lapland and to many parts of both eastern and western Europe. “I’ve visited Bach’s church in Leipzig, sung to the King of Samoa, and performed in a canyon in the Australian Outback,” he says.

His enthusiasm for music was fired when he was at the School. “I first started taking singing seriously when I was 16. Kieron Howe [QE’s Director of Music] suggested I take singing lessons, and by the end of the year I auditioned for and got into the National Youth Choir. It was then that I realised that I wanted to be a singer, so I owe a lot to my musical experiences at QE. There was so much music going on there, with plenty of opportunities to perform! I sang in the choir and played saxophone in the Jazz Band, Saxophone Quartet and the Concert Band. One of the highlights was recording a CD with the Jazz Band.”

After leaving School, Rhys was a choral scholar at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, and then went on to study music at Girton College, Cambridge, where he performed frequently with the college choir and the university’s opera society and chamber choir. After graduating in 2007, he studied singing on the postgraduate course at the Royal Academy of Music in London from where he graduated in 2009 with a distinction and won the Hilda Anderson Deane Prize.