Alan Warhurst is Principal Contrabassoon and Sub-Principal Bassoon with The Orchestra of Scottish Opera. He was born in Manchester in 1951 and grew up in Glossop, Derbyshire. He started playing the bassoon at school when he was 13 and was then taught by Charles Cracknell of the Halle Orchestra. He went to the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) in London where his teacher was Gwydion Brooke.
'My experience of opera was very limited when I left the Academy - a few local Gilbert & Sullivan shows and a week of L’elisir d’amore for Manchester University before I went, but curiously almost nothing at the RAM itself.
However, after leaving, my whole career has revolved around opera with various companies. I was lucky that my first work was to join Benjamin Britten’s English Opera Group, where the tour included Mozart’s Idomeneo. This was to have been conducted by Britten, but sadly he was recovering from a heart operation at that time. The piece was a revelation to me and I have loved Mozart’s operas ever since. The bassoon parts in the operas are some of the best in the whole orchestral repertoire. Also on that first tour was Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta which we played here with Scottish Opera a couple of years ago.'
ListenListen to Alan's top Opera Moments on Spotify.
Final Interlude from Alban Berg's Wozzeck
O Sink Hernieder from Tristan und Isolde
The opening of Der Rosenkavalier
Dido and Aeneas duet from Act 4 of Les Troyens
King Philip aria / Philip and Inquisitor duet from Don Carlo