Born in Kent, Henry Waddington studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Barbara Robotham, and he made his operatic debut there as Bottom in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a role he will reprise for Opera North in the 2013–14 season.
He joined Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 1992, singing the role of The Madhouse Keeper in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, a role he repeated with Glyndebourne Festival in 1994. On the 1994 GTO tour, he created the roles of The Monstrous Messenger and Joe Shady in Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s The Second Mrs Kong for which he received the GTO/Esso Award for outstanding young singers, and he subsequently repeated the roles in the 1995 Glyndebourne Festival. Other Glyndebourne Festival engagements have included Stage Hand in a new production of Janàcek’s The Makropoulos Case, which has been filmed for TV and video, and which he also sang at the BBC Proms and toured to New York, Antonio The Marriage of Figaro, Graf Lamoral Arabella, Major Domo and La Roche (cover) Capriccio, Quince A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Valens Theodora, Don Fernando Fidelio, Christus in Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Kothner Die Meistersinger. For Glyndebourne on Tour he has sung Colline La bohème, Publio La clemenza di Tito, Valens, Don Magnifico Cenerentola and Don Alfonso Così fan tutte. He made his Royal Opera debut singing Fiorello Il barbiere di Siviglia and returned for Sacristan Tosca, Zuniga Carmen, and Spinellocchio Gianni Schicci. For Opera North he has sung the title role of Falstaff, Colline, Sacristan, Police Commissar Der Rosenkavalier, First Workman Wozzeck, Geronimo The Secret Marriage, Cyrus Croesus (by Keiser), and Frère Laurent Roméo et Juliette. For Welsh National Opera he has sung Count Horn Un ballo in maschera, Don Basilio Il barbiere di Siviglia, Bartolo Le nozze di Figaro and First Nazarene Salome. For English National Opera he has sung Trojan Soldier The Trojans. For Grange Park Opera he has sung Leporello Don Giovanni and for Garsington Opera Buralicchio in L’equivoco stravagante by Rossini and Don Magnifico. Other roles include Banquo Macbeth, Tutor Le Comte Ory, Kichiga in Tchaikovsky’s The Enchantress, Farlaf in Glinka’s Russlan and Ludmilla, and Haly L’Italiana in Algeri.
He made his debut at La Monnaie in Brussels singing Soligni Three Sisters (by Peter Eötvös) and has returned to sing Plutone Orfeo, Brander La damnation de Faust, Dieu infernale and Oracle Alceste, and Quince. He has also sung Quince for the Liceu in Barcelona and the Teatro Real in Madrid. For Netherlands Opera he has sung Lt Ratcliffe.
Recent and future operatic engagements include Man at window/ Old man Youth/ Beggar in Martinu’s Julietta, Jupiter Castor and Pollux, Sacristan Tosca and Lt Ratcliffe Billy Budd (English National Opera), Spinellocchio Gianni Schicci (Royal Opera House), Bartolo Figaro (Welsh National Opera), Lt. Ratcliffe (Netherlands Opera), Pallante (Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona), Pastor Oberlin Jakob Lenz (Staatstheater Stuttgart), Kothner Die Meistersinger and the title role in Saul (Glyndebourne), Publio La clemenza di Tito, Lodovico Otello, Handel’s Joshua, Bottom A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Bartolo (Opera North), Swallow Peter Grimes (Aldeburgh Festival), Alcindoro/ Benoit La bohème (Royal Albert Hall for Raymond Gubbay), Quince (Aix en Provence Festival) as well as concert performances of Wozzeck with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa Pekka Salonen in Europe and the US. Concert engagements include Berlioz L’enfance du Christ (BBC National Orchestra of Wales), Bach’s St Matthew Passion (Aberdeen Bach Choir), Tippet’s A Child of Our Time (Cambridge University Music Society) and Handel’s Messiah with the Hallé, Huddersfield Choral Society and in Wells Cathedral.