Garth Bardsley

Visiting Associate Professor of Vocal Performance

Garth Bardsley


Award-winning British opera director, Garth Bardsley studied at St John's College, Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar, and at the Royal Northern College of Music. He has worked extensively as an actor, singer, writer and director. He made his operatic debut with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, was a soloist for various opera companies before moving across to musical theatre. He has starred in the West End productions of Jerry Herman’s The Best of Times and played the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera. Garth has worked as a leading actor in many of the UK's major repertory theatres and has extensive experience in musical theatre, especially in the works of Stephen Sondheim. He appeared as the Priest in the European première of Adam Guettel’s Light in the Piazza.

As a director, he has produced for numerous colleges and festivals including Buxton Opera Festival, Battersea Opera, Lichfield International Festival, Bath Festival, The Royal Academy of Music, Bath Spa University, University of Chichester and The Royal College of Music. He has also devised, directed and appeared in many revues and toured the UK, accompanied by jazz pianist Sandra Lambert, with his one-man cabaret, Once in a Lifetime.

As a writer, his first book, Stop the World - The Biography of Anthony Newley, garnered five star reviews from the national press. Garth has written several plays specifically created for young singers and, as a poet and lyricist, collaborates with the noted British composer Ben Parry. Their numerous choral and solo works are published by Peters Edition and have been broadcast and performed across the world at such venues as the Royal Albert Hall, Washington DC’s National Cathedral, Kings College Cambridge, St John’s College Cambridge and The Kennedy Center. Their major choral work 7 Goodly Reasons to Sing was premiered at St Alban's Abbey in 2015 and their song cycle Songs for Girls of a Certain Age was premiered last year by the international mezzo-soprano, Sara Fulgoni. Garth also writes with American composer Gregory Wanamaker and their symphonic choral work, Adirondack Songs, has been recorded on the Naxos label by Crane School of Music in New York where Garth enjoyed a visiting professorship as Director of Opera. Their most recent choral work, Laude! was broadcast on PBS across the US and Canada.

Since 2005, Garth has been a senior lecturer at the Royal Northern College of Music, specialising in acting for singers, musical theatre, stagecraft and performance practice. He is also Senior Lecturer in Opera Studies at Bath Spa University and is a visiting professor at the Royal College of Music, London. His production of Sondheim's Company for the RNCM was nominated for a M.E.N CityLife Award for Best Musical and his production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream won the 2016 Manchester Theatre Award for Best Opera.