Marcus Farnsworth was awarded first prize in the 2009 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition and the Song Prize at the 2011 Kathleen Ferrier Competition.
Marcus began his musical training as a chorister at Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire where he attended the Minster Comprehensive School. He went on to Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester to study the Trumpet and Jazz Piano, but it was here that he began formal vocal training with Martin Bussey. He read music at the University of Manchester graduating with a first class honours degree in 2005.
Whilst at university singing became his first study, though Marcus also spent a lot of time conducting. He ran the University Chamber Choir Ad Solem for two years and upon graduating was appointed Conductor of Manchester University Chorus, a post he held from 2005 to 2009. He was also appointed Assistant Musical Director of the St George's Singers. During this time he continued his vocal studies with David Lowe and began freelancing in oratorio, opera and recital work in addition to singing as a Lay Clerk at Manchester Cathedral and as a member of the BBC Daily Service Singers.
In 2007 Marcus began his postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music, studying with Glenville Hargreaves and Audrey Hyland. Whilst at the Academy, Marcus relinquished his regular conducting commitments in order to focus entirely on his vocal training. He graduated from the RAM in July 2011 and was awarded a DipRAM, the Academy’s highest performance award. He now studies with Gary Coward in London.
Marcus is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Southwell Music Festival. He is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and President of the St Geroge's Singers.
Highlights of the 2016/17 season and beyond include Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream on tour with the Aix en Provence Festival; Eddy in Turnage Greek for Boston Lyric Opera; The Traveller in Britten’s Curlew River in a European tour with Ian Bostridge; Birtwistle The Last Supper with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins, with whom he will also sing Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; Ned Keene Peter Grimes at the Bergen Festival with Edward Gardner as well return invitations for recitals at the Wigmore Hall, London with James Baillieu and Amsterdam Concertgebouw with Joseph Middleton.
Past recitals include debuts at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and La Monnaie, Brussels with Mark Padmore and Julius Drake; a UK tour of Schubert Winterreise with James Baillieu; Salute to Venice with Graham Johnson for Leeds Lieder and a recital for Opéra de Lille with Simon Lepper and well as appearances at the Wigmore Hall with Malcolm Martineau, Julius Drake and Graham Johnson, the Myrthen Ensemble and Joseph Middleton and with the Carducci Quartet.
Opera roles include Guglielmo, English Clerk in Britten Death in Venice and Novice’s Friend in Billy Budd for ENO; Lance Corporal Lewis in the world premiere of In Parenthesis by Ian Bell for Welsh National Opera and, in concert, Sid in Britten Albert Herring with the BBC SO and Aeneas in Purcell Dido and Aeneas with the Early Opera Company and Christian Curnyn. Further afield Marcus has sung Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Bergen National Opera and Kelvin in Fujikura Solaris in Paris, Lille and Lausanne;
In concert Marcus has appeared with the Adelaide Symphony, Royal Scottish National, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras; RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Dublin; BBC Symphony, Philharmonic and Scottish Symphony Orchestras in repertoire including Britten War Requiem, Elgar The Apostles, Carmina Burana; Berlioz L’enfance du Christ, Brahms and Faure Requiems conducted by François-Xavier Roth, Paul McCreesh, Claus Peter Flor; Bernard Labadie and Edward Gardner.
A strong supporter of living composers, Marcus has sung many works by John Taverner, Sally Beamish, Thomas Larcher, Peter Maxwell Davies and David Sawer with orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC SO and Aurora Orchestra and conductors Gianandrea Noseda and Nicolas Collon
Marcus has also sung Bach St John Passion (bass arias) with the Ulster Orchestra; Bach St Matthew and St John Passions (bass arias and Christus) with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh and Monteverdi Vespers on tour with Emmanuelle Haïm.
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