Spencer Britten

Triple threat Canadian tenor Spencer Britten, an emerging talent praised for having “the poise and confidence of a seasoned professional” (Bachtrack) and boasting a “full voice and ringing tone” (La Scena Musicale) will make his house and role debut this summer as Lindoro in L’Italiana in Algeri at the Bregenzer Festspiele. Mr. Britten is presently a member of the prestigious International Opera Studio at Staatsoper Under den Linden in Berlin. He will be seen there as Postillon in La Fanciula del West, Gastone in La Traviata, and Borsa in Rigoletto. Earlier this season he appeared as soloist in Messiah/Complex, in an acclaimed filmed version produced by Against the Grain Theatre. Prior to that he was a member at L’Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, after having completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of British Columbia and training since the age of six at the Caulfield School of Dance in Port Moody, BC, Canada in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, partnering and lifts.

In 2020, he reprised his role as Léon in John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles at the Opéra Royal du Château de Versailles with “sweet clarity,” (Ôlyrix), while also acting as the production’s dance captain. Of his first portrayal of the role with the Glimmerglass Festival in July 2019, Opera Today noted, “Tenor Spencer Britten imbued his impersonation of Léon with bright toned delivery and a loveable puppy dog deportment.” Earlier this season, ConcertoNet lauded Britten’s “felicitous turn as Monsieur Triquet” in l’Opéra de Montréal’s production of Eugene Onegin, which he did “while pulling off a few magical tricks to delight the ball’s attendees as well as the audience.”

Britten has completed two seasons with the Glimmerglass Festival, where he has shown his aptitude for both musical theatre and operatic repertoire in productions of Showboat (Beau/Dealer/Dancer), Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Count Almaviva Cover), Silent Night (French Soldier #2) and Trouble in Tahiti (solo trio).  While there, he also played the role of Gee-Tar in West Side Story, set by Julio Monge to the original Jerome Robbins choreography, and was selected as one of several cast members to continue with the production to Lyric Opera of Kansas City and The Atlanta Opera. He also acted as a Jet swing covering Diesel, Big Deal, Baby John, & Snowboy.

In concert, Britten has performed as tenor soloist with the Choeur Metropolitain in Montréal in Benjamin Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb and Dvořák’s Mass in D Major, where he worked with conductors François A. Ouimet, Pierre Tourville, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In October 2019, his interpretation of the goose in Carmina Burana with Les Grands Ballets was lauded by atuvu.ca as “brilliant” and “memorable.”

Spencer has been a recipient of the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation for Young Canadian Opera Singers, the Vancouver Opera Guild Career Development Grant, the Vancouver Opera Chorus Endowment Career Development Grant, the Joseph and Melitta Kandler Scholarship for Advanced Music Study, and the Barbara Eves-Motomochi Memorial Fund, and was chosen to compete in the final rounds of the Neue Stimmen International Voice Competition in Gütersloh, Germany.

Britten credits his love of dance and music to teachers including Cori Caulfield, Sommer Thome, Isabelle Yuan and Van “The Man” Porter of the Caulfield School of Dance, Donna Otto and Carrie Tennant of the Coastal Sound Music Academy, voice teacher and soprano Dr. Gina Oh, and UBC professors J.Patrick Raftery, Roelof Oostwoud, and director Nancy Hermiston.