Britten A Midsummer Night's Dream
Purcell Dido and Aeneas
Handel Partenope, Agrippina and Semele
In the summer of 2024 Hamish will be an Alvarez Young Artist for Garsington Opera. Covering the role of Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and performing in the chorus for Rameau’s Platée.
During July and August 2023, Hamish covered the role of Athamas in Handel’s Semele for Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
May 2023 Hamish sang the role of Narciso in the HGO Production of Handel’s Agrippina.
November 2022 Hamish reprised his performance of Arsace for a revival of HGO’s production of Handel’s Partenope, for the Malta Early Opera and Music Festival.
During 2021 Hamish understudied Dorian in English Touring Opera’s Aidan! an adaptation and animated film for children of Handel’s Amadigi di Gaula, recomposed by Noah Mosley with a new libretto by Paula Downes. Then in September 2021 Hamish sang the role of the Sorcerer(ess) in Hurn Court Opera’s production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
In the autumn 2020 Hamish performed the role of Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer of Night’s Dream for Royal Academy Opera in London, as well as appearing as a witch in an open-air production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at The Master Shipwright’s House in Deptford.
Whilst at RAM, in 2018, Hamish covered the role of Ferdinand for British Youth Opera’s production of The Enchanted Island, a pasticcio of baroque composers devised by Jeremy Sams.
Royal Academy Opera, Hurn Court Opera, British Youth Opera, English Touring Opera, HGO & Glyndebourne Festival Opera 2023, Garsington Opera AYA 2024
Royal Academy of Music
photo ©Benjamin Durrant
Hamish moved to London to study for an MMus and a Professional Diploma in vocal performance with Alexander Ashworth at the Royal Academy of Music, thence he graduated with Distinctions in the summer of 2019 and the Andrew S. Sykes prize.
While studying at the Royal Academy Hamish presented a lecture recital on the dynastic rivalry of the Hanoverian and Stuart dynasties as reflected in the operas of Handel and Leonardo Vinci, as well as completing a recording project of Russian Art Song, later released as a CD on Orchid Classics.
During his time at the Academy Hamish performed as a finalist in the Maureen Lehane competition at the Wigmore Hall (2017), and in the Anthony Lewis Memorial competition (2018) at the Royal Academy of Music. He was supported by the Josephine Baker Trust and was a RAM Kohn Bach Scholar 2017/18.
Hamish studies with Mary Nelson and Robin Blaze.
Tim Watts Kepler’s Trial
HANDEL Partenope role Arsace, Hampstead Garden Opera, London May 2019 photo©Laurent Compagnon 2019
In November 2017, whilst a post graduate student at the Royal Academy of Music, Hamish appeared on stage at the Victoria and Albert Museum to sing a solo interlude in Tim Watts’ innovative opera Kepler’s Trial. In spring 2019 Hamish sang in the chorus for the Monteverdi Choir’s European Tour of Handel’s Semele. In May 2019 Hamish, replete with an hideous moustache, performed the role of Arsace in Handel’s curiously flippant opera Partenope, Hampstead Garden Opera.
“….Hamish McLaren’s strong and sweet-toned countertenor….beautifully crafted…” Opera Today
Monteverdi Choir & Vox Luminis
In January 2019 Hamish joined the Monteverdi Choir and has since toured Europe and South America performing Handel’s Semele as well as works by J.S. Bach, Domenico Scarlatti, Purcell, Monteverdi and Giacomo Carissimi.
In the Autumn of 2021 Hamish toured with Vox Luminis and the Freiburger Barockorchester in Germany and Belgium. Works by Caldara, Lalande and Handel, artistic direction Lionel Meunier.
In Spring 2023 an MCO tour of Europe singing J.S. Bach: Mass in B minor and Autumn 2023 a tour of the USA and Canada with the MCO to sing Handel: L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato and J.S. Bach: Mass in B minor.
Spring of 2024 a tour of Europe with the MCO to sing Handel: Israel in Egypt.
PURCELL Dido and Aeneas, First Witch. Shipwright’s House, London October 2020 photo©Alicia Clarke
Oberon, Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Royal Academy Opera, November 2020, Conductor – Sian Edwards, Director – Christopher Luscombe, Designer – Simon Higlett, Lighting – Mark Jonathan, Movement – Ewan Jones
Arsace, Handel Partenope, Teatru Manoel, Valetta.
Malta Early Opera & Music Festival 2022
In May 2021 Hamish released his debut CD as a solo artist on the Orchid Classics label. The CD, recorded with the pianist Matthew Jorysz, explores Russian and Soviet art song, and includes première recordings of Shostakovich, Myaskovksy, and Elena Firsova.
Hurn Court Opera, Purcell Dido and Aeneas Sorcerer
“Countertenor Hamish McLaren was an impressive Sorcerer, admirably scaling the heights of a role originally conceived for a young woman.” Purcell Dido and Aeneas, Hurn Court Opera. David Truslove, Opera Today, September 2021.
“As the head of the witches, Hamish McLaren was superb, with a comfortable sounding, room filling alto.” Purcell, Dido and Aeneas, Hurn Court Opera. Will Frampton, Bournemouth Echo, September 2021.
Bach St John Passion
“Superb clarity of articulation in Hamish McLaren’s, Von den Stricken.” Bach St John Passion, Somerset Chamber Choir, Wells Cathedral. Review, Robert Langston 2019.
More about Hamish
Hamish graduated from St. John’s College, Cambridge with a BA and an MPhil in History and Early Modern History in the summer of 2016. During his time as an undergraduate and graduate student at St. John’s, Hamish sang both as a choral scholar and as a lay clerk in the Choir of St. John’s College Cambridge under Andrew Nethsingha.
Away from the choir stalls Hamish took on numerous and varied roles in operas around Cambridge. Between 2013 and 2016 he appeared bald and vaping as Oberon (Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream), an incongruously hefty Marcellina (Mozart’s La Nozze di Figaro), twirling a suspiciously feminine cape as Damon (Rameau’s Les Sauvages), and even as Vava, a lurid and petulant mistress in Shostakovich’s brilliant satirical operetta Cheryomushki Moskva.
Full CV and references available, please get in touch via the contact form