With a distinguished career that has spanned 4 continents, 90 operatic roles from the baroque to the newly-composed, high respect as a pedagogue, superlative press reviews and a Helpmann Award nomination, Dr. Simon Lobelson has established himself as one of the most versatile baritones of his generation. Born in Sydney of Egyptian parents and brought up in Brussels, Simon Lobelson gained his Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours from the University of Sydney and completed his Opera Diploma with distinction at The Royal College of Music on scholarship under Roderick Earle, with further studies under Sir Donald McIntyre, and continued his career in the United Kingdom for 9 years. He is fluent in almost four European languages; has sung in many masterclasses for some of the most revered names in the opera world; is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships and a champion of contemporary music; and has since worked as a soloist in Australia, the Middle East, New Zealand, Asia, the United Kingdom and Europe.
Simon has performed over 90 operatic roles form the lyric to the dramatic, having worked with companies such as The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera, Opera Australia, Opera Queensland, Garsington Opera, Chelsea Opera Group, Pinchgut Opera, English Touring Opera, Buxton Festival, Longborough Festival Opera, Iford Festival Opera, Valladolid Opera, The European Opera Centre, The Classical Opera Company, Canberra International Music Festival, Sydney Festival, Sydney Biennale, Sydney Chamber Opera, The Young Vic, British Youth Opera, Swansea City Opera and The Opera Project in a wide range operatic roles including Escamillo, Rigoletto, Alberich, Amfortas, Germont, Sharpless, Marcello, Ford, Aeneas, Nick Shadow, both Rossini’s and Mozart’s Figaro, Don Alfonso, Guglielmo, Masetto, Papageno, Osmin in Zaide, Michele in Il Tabarro, Claudio in Beatrice et Benedict, Quinalt in Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, Nottingham in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, Le Berger in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande with Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit, the title role of Gregor Samsa in Metamorphosis for Opera Australia in Sydney and Melbourne (for which he was nominated for a 2019 Helpmann Award), Junius in The Rape of Lucretia for Sydney Chamber Opera, Victorian Opera, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Dark Mofo Festival, Mittenhofer in Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers, the title role in Smetanin’s Mayakovsky, the title role in Jack Symonds’ Notes from Underground, Spencer Coyle in the Australian premiere of Owen Wingrave (winning Time Out Sydney’s Best Opera Award 2013) , Elliott Gyger’s 2020 Art Music Award-winning Oscar and Lucinda, Apra Amcos Award-winning Breaking Glass for Sydney Chamber Opera, Deborah Cheatham’s multi-award winning Pecan Summer at the Sydney Opera House, Harry Easter in an Evening Standard Award-winning production at the Young Vic of Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Ramiro in Ravel’s L’heure espagnole, The Pirate King and also covered major roles for Royal Opera House Covent Garden and English National Opera. He has worked with such renowned collaborators as conductors Pierre Boulez, Daniel Reuss, Reinbert de Leeuw, Charles Dutoit, Paul McCreesh and Richard Bonynge, and directors Jean-Claude Auvray, Patrick Nolan, Kip Williams, Ian Judge, John Copley, Bruno Ravella, Melly Still, Cheryl Barker and Jude Kelly.
On the concert platform, highlights have included Haydn’s Creation and Nelson Mass with the Israel Camerata and London Mozart Players under Simon Halsey, Berio’s Sinfonia under Pierre Boulez for the Lucerne Festival, Gubaidulina’s Jetzt immer Schnee with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Reinbert de Leeuw and again under Daniel Reuss for the Lucerne Festival, Elijah (bass 1) with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Paul McCreesh, Paul Stanhope’s Jandamarra with Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Pascal Dusapin’s Passion for the Sydney Festival, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Ascension Oratorio alongside James Bowman, Duruflé’ Requiem and Gounod’s Messe Sollonelle at St. Johns Smith Square London, Oliver Beer’s Superposition for the Sydney Biennale at the Sydney Opera House, Messiah with the Darwin Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem and Great Mass in C minor with the English Chamber Orchestra, Mozart and Handel arias on tour with The Australian Haydn Ensemble, Haydn’s Theresienmesse with The Australia Ensemble, Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King with the Verbrugghen Ensemble, Puccini Messa di Gloria and excerpts from Tosca (Scarpia) with New Zealand’s Napier Civic Choir and Hawkes Bay Orchestra, Walton’s Façade, CPE Bach Magnificat, Messiah, Haydn’s The Seasons, A Sea Symphony, Ein Deutsches Requiem, Elijah, Carmina Burana and Rameau’s Les Grands Motets, Bach’s Johannes-Passion, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Duruflé’s Requiem and the title role in Handel’s Saul with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, and in venues such as The Sydney Opera House, City Recital Hall, St. Marys Cathedral, Aldeburgh Snape Maltings, Cadogan Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Sydney Town Hall, Handel House, St. John’s Smith Square, Brighton Festival, LSO St. Lukes, York Minster, Sydney Town Hall, St. Martin in the Fields and New Year’s Day Concerts and Opera Galas all over China with the Kent Sinfonia for the OLA Asia Group. He has also sung with some of England and Australia’s finest ensembles, including The Song Company, ACO Voices, Cantillation, BBC Singers and London Voices.
Current and recent projects include Bach Mass in B minor for Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, The Sopranos with Opera Queensland and The Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Mary Finsterer’s Antarctica with ASKO/Schönberg Ensemble and Sydney Chamber Opera for the Holland Festival and Sydney Festival and with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Scarpia’s aria from Tosca with Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, Tom Rymes’Annus Horribilis in Hobart, Luke Styles’ Awakening Shadow, Huw Belling’s Victory over the Sun for the National Gallery of Australia, Recitals of 20th/21st Century Song Cycles for Sydney Chamber Opera and Phoenix Central Park, Rosa Mystica on tour with the Song Company Handel’s Esther for Sydney University Graduate Choir and adjudicator for the Townsville Eisteddfod.
His recordings include The Sofa for Chandos, Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Nicolai Mass for Israel Camerata, the songs of Henry Handel Richardson for Toccata Classics, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and Charpentier’s David et Jonathas for ABC Classics; broadcasts for Classic FM, Fine Music FM, Foxtel and BBC Radio 3; on soundtracks to exhibitions at both the Australian and British Museums and NSW State Archives, and on the inflight soundtrack for British Airways and Qantas flights. Simon is also a full-time lecturer in voice and opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, a judge for the Sydney Eisteddfod, has coached for Pinchgut Opera and has given masterclasses in both Australia and China. He recently completed his Doctorate entitled Shattering Vocal Boundaries in Contemporary Opera: An Artist’s Analysis through the University of Sydney, having been awarded an RTP Commonwealth Government Scholarship and has been invited to present his research at the 10th International Congress of Vocal Teachers in Vienna in 2022 as well as for the Musicological Society of Australia. For more information, please visit www.simonlobelson.com