Biography

M.A. Oxon
Member: APTA

(Association Française des Professeurs de la Technique Alexander)

 

After graduating from Oxford university, Malcolm King opted for singing, and immediately began a career that rapidly assured him an international reputation. His debut at the English National Opera (Leporello) was followed by four seasons as bass soloist at Covent Garden. At his Paris Opera debut in 1977 he sang Masetto (Don Giovanni), the role he subsequently played in the celebrated film directed by Joseph Losey. Malcolm swiftly went on to sing major roles throughout Europe, including Figaro in Paris, Arkel in Madrid, Leporello in Monte Carlo, Mannheim and Glyndebourne, for whom he also sang Caspar (Der Freischütz) and La Roche (Capriccio). He sang the protagonist’s role in La Pietra del Paragone (Rossini) for La Scala and was invited to sing Leporello for the Metropolitan Opera. For the BBC, he recorded operas by Verdi, Rimski-Korsakov, Handel and Vaughan Williams and sang regularly in their prestigious annual promenade concerts. He also performed at numerous festivals such as Edinburgh, Madrid, Aldeburgh, Aix-en-Provence and Santa Fé.

At the same time Malcolm developed a rich concert career, singing under the most distinguished conductors. For Sir Georg Solti he performed frequently with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as in Europe, a highlight being a Beethoven Ninth Symphony in Florence, “In memoriam Italo Calvino”. Particularly attracted by the Russian repertoire, he has worked with Rostropovitch, Rozhdezvenski, Osawa, Eötvös, Cambreling and Rattle in works by Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Borodin and Shostakovich, notably the latter’s 13th and 14th Symphonies, with which he has a special affinity.

Malcolm has recorded for Decca, Philips, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, RCA, Argo and Erato.  His principle recordings include Don Giovanni, La Petite Messe Solennelle, the Glagolitic Mass, Pulcinella, La Damnation de Faust, Un Ballo in Maschera, gli Orazi ed i Curiazi (Donizetti), Maria di Rudenz (Donizetti), l’Étoile du Nord (Meyerbeer), Mozart C Minor Mass, Schubert Mass in C, Orfeo ed Euridice (Haydn), Ercole Amante (Cavalli) andCaractacus (Elgar).

From 1980, Malcolm, while fully continuing his operatic career, started to put into practice his parallel passion for the teaching of singing. He had been extremely fortunate in his own teachers, renowned guardians of the old Italian tradition of vocal technique: E. Herbert Caesari (1884-1969), Luigi Ricci (1893-1981) and Otakar Kraus, pupil of the great tenor and pedagogue Fernando Carpi (1879-1959). The pedigree of these three masters goes back by uninterrupted transmission to the belcanto of the early 19th century. Having been the recipient of such precious knowledge, now almost forgotten or poorly understood, Malcolm started teaching, aware of the importance of keeping alive the precepts that had sustained the great era of Italian opera.

In 1988, Gérard Mortier engaged him as singing professor and musical advisor at the Monnaie theatre, Brussels, where he also regularly sang major roles: Leporello, Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra), Seneca (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Assur (Semiramide), Pimen (Boris Godunov)... In 1991, having benefited greatly during his career from the practice of the Alexander Technique (a method of neuromuscular and sensory re-education) Malcolm trained to become a teacher of the technique, qualifying in 1994. Since then he has incorporated this inestimable tool into his singing-teaching practice.

Since 2005 Malcolm has lived in Paris, where he teaches privately. His pupils come from throughout Europe, as well as the United States and the Far East. They range from post-diploma level up to those whose careers have taken them to the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Vienna, La Scala etc.

From February 2017 Malcolm will be living and teaching in Brussels.