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Full Biography

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Early Years

Born in Adelaide, South Australia, Grant sang as a boy soprano with the Adelaide Boys' Choir and as Third Boy in The Magic Flute with the State Opera of South Australia as well as in productions with the State Youth Opera programme and his first professional engagement: one of the workhouse boys' chorus of the Cameron Mackintosh production of Oliver! in 1983.

As a child he was a versatile musician, studying organ, flute, piano, clarinet and guitar. While contemplating a career as a rock guitarist and vocalist, he was accepted as a classical flautist onto the Bachelor of Music course at the Elder Conservatorium, University of Adelaide. As a second study he chose to have singing lessons, and so his classical voice was discovered by Vivienne Haynes, who convinced him to give up the flute and train as a baritone. He subsequently gained straight Distinction grades in the Honours degree in voice at the Elder Conservatorium, winning quite a few local awards and prizes including the 1994 Arnold Matters Scholarship & the 1995 "Singer of the Year" at the Ronald Dowd Summer School in Bathurst, NSW.

First Operatic Performances

He began his operatic career singing small roles and chorus with the State Opera of South Australia and as principal baritone with the ground-breaking Australian touring opera company "Co-Opera" as Papageno (The Magic Flute), Marcello (La Bohème), Silvio (Pagliacci), Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), Escamillo (Carmen). He later made his principal debut for SOSA as Pooh-Bah (The Mikado) and Yamadori (Madama Butterfly). Also with Opera Australia in Sydney, where he made his debut as Luiz (The Gondoliers) and Yamadori (Madama Butterfly).

Move to London and the Royal College of Music

In 1997 Grant won the prestigious Thomas Elder Overseas Scholarship to study on the postgraduate opera course with Elizabeth Robson at the Royal College of Music in London. This scholarship was given to the most promising student from the Elder Conservatorium to have graduated within the previous five years. He was also generously sponsored by the Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship, who donated accommodation at their student house in Bayswater for the period of his studies.

Whilst at the RCM, he sang Sid in Britten's Albert Herring, Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) conducted by Sir Colin Davis and the title role in Britten's Owen Wingrave as well as the Learned Judge (Trial by Jury) in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. Other early UK appearances included Schaunard (La Bohème) with British Youth Opera, Rafaele (Jewels of the Madonna) for University College Opera, Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte) and Figaro (Barber of Seville) for Clonter Opera, Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos) in the Dartington Festival and Dandini (Cinderella) for the Mananan Festival.

He also sang Enrico in Donizetti's Il campanello di notte and Siméon in Debussy's L'enfant prodigue at the Les Azuriales Festival in Nice. He made his Irish debut as Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas) with the Irish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Nicholas McGegan and his US debut in 2001 at the Mt. Dora Spring Festival in Florida, in concert with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. His numerous other awards in the UK include the Royal Overseas League Overseas Trophy and first prizes in the Madeline Finden Memorial Trust competition, the RCM's Lies Askonas Prize and the National Mozart Competition in Southport in 2000.

He was also awarded a Junior Fellowship of the Royal College of Music 1999-2001.

Royal Opera House Young Artists Programme

In 2001 Grant's success continued as he was accepted as an inaugural member of the (Vilar, now Jette Parker) Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. During his time there he understudied the title role of Mozart's Don Giovanni, Nathan for the world premiere of Nicholas Maw's Sophie's Choice, Dandini (La Cenerentola), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Ford (Falstaff) , Hamlet (Thomas), Pelléas (Pelléas et Mélisande) and Frank/Fritz (Die Tote Stadt). He performed on the main stage minor principal roles including Marullo (Rigoletto), Rolla (Verdi's I Masnadieri), Imperial Commissioner (Madama Butterfly) and Huntsman (Rusalka). He also performed in acclaimed staging of the Italienisches Liederbuch of Wolf in the Linbury Studio Theatre accompanied by Roger Vignoles.

Furthermore, as part of the programme, he had the opportunity of working with and learning from the most respected luminaries in the industry including Sir Colin Davis, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Edward Downes, Sir Mark Elder, Antonio Pappano, Bernard Haitink, Sir Thomas Allen, John Copley, Sergei Lieferkus, Elena Contrubas, Simone Young and Francesca Zambello.

Concert and Oratorio

As well as opera, Grant became much in demand as a concert soloist in oratorio and recitals. He performed in a staged version of Carmina Burana with the Australian Ballet in Adelaide and Melbourne and made his London Royal Festival Hall debut in that same work.

His oratorio repertoire includes

  • Carmina Burana (Brimingham Royal Ballet, Australia Ballet, Bournemouth Symphony; Royal Philharmic/Bach Choir; Raymond Gubbay at the Royal Albert Hall; Hertfordshire Chorus/Daniele Gatti),

  • Fauré Requiem (Hallé Orchestra; Carl Davis; Crouch End Chorus at the Barbican),

  • Britten's War Requiem (Huddersfield Choral Society; Hertfordshire Chorus)

  • Handel's Messiah (Nottingham Harmonic Choir; Royal Philharmonic at the Albert Hall),

  • Christus in St John Passion (Irish Chamber Orchestra/Stephen Layton) and in St Matthew Passion (Leicester Bach Choir)

  • Vaughan-Williams A Sea Symphony (Hertfordshire Chorus; Crouch End Festival Chorus at the Barbican),

  • Handel's Judas Maccabeus (King's Lynn Festival),

  • Tippet's A Child Of Our Time (Crouch End Festival Chorus at the Barbican)

  • Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem (Philharmonia in Cheltenham Festival; Westminster Cathedral/David Hill; Tasmanian Symphony Orch/Arvo Volmer).

TV and Film

On television he was the voice of the Forester in the BBC's cartoon production of Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen, conducted by Kent Nagano now available on DVD. He also sang the role of Carlo in a new movie version of Judith Weir's Armida for Channel 4/MJW Productions airing on Christmas Day 2005.

He played the title role in the 2008 ABC/Channel 4 film of Jonathan Mills' The Eternity Man, the story of Sydney's legendary Arthur Stace. The film premiered at the Sydney Film Festival and had screenings on ABC TV, Channel 4, Barbican Cinema in London, Locarno Festival and won a Rose d'Or for best Performing Arts Programme  in 2009.


Opera in UK & Europe

Grant is now an established singer maintaining a busy career in opera, oratorio, recital and recording. On the stage he has a versatile repertoire including roles in grand opera, contemporary works, operetta and music theatre.

His roles for the Royal Opera House include Ping (Turandot),  Second Apprentice (Wozzeck), Billy Wayne Smith (Anna Nicole), Tarquinius (The Rape of Lucretia), Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos), Schaunard (La Bohème), Morales (Carmen), Bello (La fanciulla del West), Demetrius (A Midsummer Night's Dream) also Schaunard (La Bohème) for Glyndebourne Touring Opera.

His extensive appearances in opera also include:
  • Don Giovanni , Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) and Forester (Cunning Little Vixen) for Garsington Opera;

  • Zurga (Les pecheurs de perles), Marcello (La Bohème), Fréderic (Lakmé) and the title role in Fantastic Mr Fox for Opera Holland Park

  • Robin Oakapple/Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd (Ruddigore), Albert (Werther), Sasha (Paradise Moscow) for Opera North

  • Marcello (La Bohème) at the Royal Albert Hall for Raymond Gubbay

  • Hector (King Priam), Marcello, Eduardo (L'assedio di Calais, Paolo (Simon Boccanegra) and Figaro (Barber of Seville) for English Touring Opera

  • Demetrius (A Midsummer Night's Dream) for the Teatro Real Madrid and also for the Komische Oper in Berlin

  • Ned Keene (Peter Grimes) for Teatro Perez Galdos in Gran Canaria

  • Abraham in James MacMillan's new opera Clemency directed by Katie Mitchell for the Linbury Studio theatre at the ROH which was revived for Scottish Opera at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival.

He is an ambassador for the community project "Blackheath Halls Opera" and assists in fundraising and as an advisor as well as performing Marcello La bohème, Belcore L'elisir d'amore, Escamillo Carmen and in 2012, Pandolfe in their well received production of Massenet's Cendrillon.

In Australia

For the State Opera of South Australia he has since returned to sing the major roles of Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) and Zurga (Les pecheurs de perles). For his performance as Starbuck in the production of American composer Jake Heggie's new masterpiece, Moby Dick, he won a 2012 Helpmann Award for "Best Male Performer in a Supporting Role in an Opera". In 2014, he performed with Pinchgut Opera in Sydney the role of Orestes in Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride to great acclaim. 

He holds dual citizenship of Australia and the UK and currently lives in south east London.