Paul Nilon



Helen Hogh
[email protected]

Fiona Wells
[email protected]

Groves Artists represents Paul Nilon worldwide


Paul Nilon is established as one of Europe’s outstanding lyric tenors in a wide repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to Britten.

Paul Nilon’s  major operatic roles include: Septimius/Theodora and Pirro/Ermione for Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Grimoaldo/Rodelinda, Alfredo/La Traviata  for Glyndebourne Touring Opera; Narraboth/Salome, Tamino/The Magic Flute, Almaviva/The Barber of Seville, Don Ottavio/Don Giovanni, Lurcanio/Ariodante and the title roles of  La Clemenza di Tito and Idomeneo for ENO; Tom Rakewell/The Rake’s Progress, Nerone/L’incoronazione di Poppea, Prologue/Peter Quint/The Turn of the Screw, Benedict/Beatrice and Benedict, Eisenstein/Die Fledermaus, Pylade/Iphigenie en Tauride and the title role in Il ritorno di Ulisse in patria for Welsh National Opera; Osmin/L’incontro improviso, Haydn, Don Ottavio, Sultan /La verità in cimento  by Vivaldi, the title role of Vivaldi’ L’incoronazione di Dario  and Paolo/Maometto II  for Garsington Opera.  His many roles,over 23 years,for Opera North include: Don Ottavio, Ferrando/Cosi fan tutte, Contino Belfiore/La Finta Giardiniera, Fenton/Falstaff, King Ouf/L’Etoile, Chartkov in Weinberg’s The Portrait, Michel/Julietta  by Martinu (also at the National Theatre ,Prague and the Ravenna Festival,) Albert Gregor/The Makropulos Case,  Golo/Genoveva by Schumann at the Edinburgh Festival and the title roles of  Idomeneo, Orfeo(Monteverdi), Croesus/The Fortunes of King Croesus by Keiser, Zemlinsky’s The Dwarf , Werther and La clemenza di Tito.    For The Birmingham Opera Company he has sung  Basilio in the world premiere of Life is a Dream  by Jonathan Dove, The Scribe / Khovanschina and the title roles of Idomeneo and Ulisse.

Overseas appearances include Monteverdi’s Ulisse at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Netherlands Opera; Lurcanio with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and on tour in Japan, Grimoaldo in Munich, at The Montreux Festival and for both the San Francisco and Dallas Operas; Croesus for Minnesota Opera; Ferrando, Tom Rakewell and Almaviva for New Israeli Opera and Pylade and Lurcanio for Opera di Oviedo.

Recent and future operatic engagements include Aschenbach/Death in Venice for the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Garsington Opera and Gothenberg Opera, the title role of Idomeneo for Gothenburg Opera, the Lithuanian National Opera and the Buxton Festival,   Bajazet / Tamerlano for the Buxton Festival and the Grange Festival, Paolo/Maometto II  for the Volkstheater Rostock, Ulisse / Il ritorno di Ulisse in Patria for The Grange Festival,  Soliman / Zaide for the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome and Grimoaldo/Rodelinda for the Bolshoi Theatre Moscow.

He has an active concert career with highlights including Bach’s B Minor Mass with the LPO, Mozart Requiem and Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri (conducted by Mark Elder) and Handel Susanna, all with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Handel L’Allegro with the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Handel Solomon in Florence and Israel under Ivor Bolton, Britten’s War Requiem and Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with the Hallé, Beethoven Symphony No 9 with the BBC Philharmonic and Gianandrea Noseda, Britten’s War Requiem with the Huddersfield Choral Society, Mendelssohn Elijah for the Newbury Spring Festival, Elgar The Dream  of  Gerontius with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Mahler (arr Schoenberg) Das Lied von der Erde  with the London Philharmonic and Mark Elder at the Wigmore Hall, a concert performance of  Handel Jephtha for City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Beethoven: Christ of the Mount of Olives for the Russian National Orchestra, Janacek Diary of one who Disappeared  for the Bath Festival, Mahler Das Lied von der Erde with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Tippett A Child of our Time with the Northern Sinfonia and Honneger Jean d’arc du Boucher with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Recent and future concert engagements include Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with the BBC Philharmonic, Beethoven Symphony no. 9 with Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Elgar’s The Kingdom in Worcester Cathedral, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, Rachmaninov’s The Bells and The Dream of Gerontius at Three Choirs Festival as well as at Salisbury Cathedral,  the world premiere of Blackford’s Not in our Time  with Bournemouth Symphony Chorus in Bremen, Mozart Requiem with the ORTVE in Madrid, Stanford’s Stabat Mater with Huddersfield Choral Society, Britten Serenade with the Bremen Philharmoniker as well as recitals for Kirker Festival, Ischia and Ilkley Concert Club.

Paul Nilon has appeared on a number of notable recordings for Opera Rara including: 100 years of Italian Opera Volumes 2 and 3,  Rossini’s Ricciardo et Zoriade and Donizetti’s L’assedio di Calais, Mayr’s Medea in Corinto, Mercandante’s Orazi e Curiazi, Paer’s Sofonisba and most  recently Rossini’s  Ermione.

This biography is for website use only. For a full and updated biography, please email [email protected]


Select an audio or video file
from the list below


  • Monteverdi's Il Ritorno di Ulisse in patria

    Nilon wonderfully captures Ulisse’s noble anguish and the innate, humorous cunning that makes him a born survivor.

    Tim Ashley The Guardian
  • Death in Venice

    The evening clearly belongs to Paul Nilon, the lyric tenor who embodies Aschenbach with a natural implicitness that defies the tremendous stamina needed to be onstage for the entire length of this almost two and a half hour long opera. While Nilon’s timbre is not as delicate as that of Peter Pears, for whom the opera was originally written, it is the intensity of his interpretation that suits the intimate atmosphere of the work so well

    Zenaida des Aubris Bachtrack


  • Graham Vick CBE directs new production of ‘Death in Venice’ at the Deutsche Oper Berlin starring Paul Nilon

    Graham Vick CBE directs new production of ‘Death in Venice’ at the Deutsche Oper Berlin starring Paul Nilon

  • Graham Vick directs new Idomeneo in Gothenburg with Paul Nilon in title role

    Graham Vick directs new Idomeneo in Gothenburg with Paul Nilon in title role

  • Douglas Boyd, Paul Nilon and Henry Waddington at Opera North

    Douglas Boyd, Paul Nilon and Henry Waddington at Opera North