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Bass-baritone Sam Carl was a member of the Opera Studio at Dutch National Opera (2019-21); he was a Jerwood Artist at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2019 and an Equilibrium Artist - mentored by Barbara Hannigan - during the 2020/21 season.

Sam’s appearances this season include his debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona as Prince Gremin in Christof Loy's production of Eugene Onegin; Leporello Don Giovanni and Achilla Giulio Cesare for the Glyndebourne Festival; La Talpa/Il tabarro and Betto di Signa/Gianni Schicci in Barrie Kosky’s new staging of Il trittico for Dutch National Opera; he will appear in a new staging of Haydn’s Die Schöpfung at the Opéra national de Lorraine and at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam he will sing the roles of Frog-Footman/Seven/Dodo in a concert performance of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland.  On the concert platform, Sam will make his debuts with the the London Symphony Orchestra; the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dutch Radio Orchestra.

In the 2022/23 season, Sam returned to Dutch National Opera as Der Holzhacker in Christof Loy’s new production of Königskinder conducted by Marc Albrecht and to the Glyndebourne Festival as Nick Shadow The Rake’s Progress conducted by Robin Ticciati; he made his debuts at Opéra de Montpelier in a concert performance of the Verdi Requiem and as Starek in Katie Mitchell’s production of Jenufa for the Palau de les Arts, Valencia.

In the 2021/22 season, Sam made his debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper as Panthée in a new production of Les Troyens; on the Glyndebourne Tour he appeared as Nick Shadow; at the Staatstheater Darmstadt he made his debut as Colline La bohème and also in the title role of Don Quichotte in a new production directed by Mariame Clément and he made his debut for Opera Vlaanderen singing Mephistopheles, Evil Spirit and Pater Profundus in a new production of Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust conducted by Philippe Herreweghe. 

Whilst a member of the Opera Studio at Dutch National Opera, Sam made his roles debut as Dr Dulcamara L’elisir d’amore - a collaboration with Dutch National Opera, Opera Zuid and the Nederlandse Reisopera and as Filippo Marinetti Ritratto (composed by Willem Jeths). 

In concert, Sam recently appeared with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra as the 2nd Sacerdote Il Prigioniero conducted by Franck Ollu at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; as the Bass Soloist Verdi’s Requiem with the Deutsche Philharmonie Merck conducted by Ben Palmer at Kloster Eberbach and in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with the Copenhagen Philharmonic at the Tivoli Gardens. 

Sam was born in London to American/British parents, and is now based in Amsterdam.

Biography not for publication, for an up to date version please contact Oliver Clarke.


"His antagonist is a fruitily-voiced Sam Carl as Nick Shadow. Carl alternates a feathery and ghostly head voice, like something out of Schubert’s “Erlkönig.” He has an inky lower register, that is pungent, indulgent, and more than a little portentous. His top notes, especially in the graveyard scene, were dark and bronzed. It is a stylish and slithering rendition. – Operawire

"Sam Carl also received the audience's approval; adding Zaretsky to Prince Gremin and confidently handled the almost two octaves of tessitura of his famous Act III aria. – El Pais

"Sam Carl entertains and beguiles with, not only a wonderfully rich, full-voiced Bass-Baritone, but also conducts himself with the mannerisms of a silent movie actor, effortlessly providing much needed comedic interactions throughout the performance as well as injecting almost palpable emotions of horror, fear, and wretchedness at key moments. On this outing, he stole the show.” – Operawire

"The vocal cast had outstanding soloists, Sam Carl performed in an exemplary way a Gremin (and also as Zarestky), with emphatic bass and rich harmonics.” – ARA

"The best of the voices this time came from the hands of the supporting cast: a splendid Sam Carl as Gremin who exhibited a sonorous and resounding instrument, ideal for this part, embroidering his demanding aria 'Lyubvi vsye vozrasti pokorni'. Without a doubt, a singer to follow.” – Platea Magazine

"Sam Carl – a mackintosh clad Leporello – inhabits his role as put-upon servant and reluctant co-conspirator with ease.  He brings plenty of assurance and gusto to his ‘Catalogue’ aria and makes a persuasive job later of his impersonation of the Don.  He captivates with the authority of his performance, and there’s no lack of chemistry with his master.” – Opera Today

"…and a star turn from Sam Carl’s saturnine Nick Shadow” – The Stage

"Sam Carl is an urbane Nick Shadow, unleashing infernal power...” – Financial Times

"The aforementioned wingman, the visitor from below disguised as factotum Nick Shadow – a demonic Figaro – was sung convincingly by bass-baritone Sam Carl, in excellent voice – forceful at the top, cavernous at the bottom." – Bachtrack

"The Holzhacker, sung by Sam Carl with his his sonorous, warmly timbered bass-baritone...not only sounded beautiful, but was extremely joyful to play..." – Das Opernglas

"Obvious is the vocal health of Sam Carl - the deep emission, the full-bodied voice, long, imposes itself by its gravity (Mors stupebit), its authority, its sweetness and cantabile in the arioso of Confutatis. A name to remember." – Forum Opera

"The resonant bass-baritone Sam Carl made a delightfully devilish Nick Shadow, persuasive and sinister in equal measure. His presence filling the auditorium." – Opera Magazine

"True to form, Stravinsky gives most humanity to the Devil, and Sam Carl sauntered away with the part of Nick Shadow — poised, droll and radiating plausibility, whether cajoling his way around Stravinsky’s mock-baroque courtesies, or using his sulphurous bass-baritone to drain all remaining light from the (genuinely chilling) graveyard scene." – The Spectator

"But the show is stolen by Sam Carl's Nick Shadow. Carl looks and sounds truly devilish (a compliment!), and his sardonically charismatic stage presence is the best I have seen in the role. The young man will go far.” –Daily Mail

"...he is outshone by the forceful presence and comic phrasing of Sam Carl’s Nick Shadow, the devil incarnate and Tom’s strikingly oleaginous tour guide to the London fleshpots..” – The Times

"Sam Carl sounds supreme in the powerful bass-baritone moments - could this be a Wotan in the making? - but has also mastered the art of sinister confidentiality.” – The Art’s Desk

"...the demonic Nick Shadow, realised in a witty yet alarmingly sinister performance from Sam Carl” – The Stage

"...aided and abetted by the utterly brilliant Sam Carl as a sonorous and perfectly cast Leporello. (Catch him as Nick Shadow in the Glyndebourne Touring production of The Rake’s Progress this autumn. Believe me, this is a world-class voice and a first-rate actor!)” – The Express

"Sam Carl's presentation of the bewitched bottom was masterly: sonorous and sincere, this was a Bottom we could truly believe in.” – Opera Magazine

"But it is Sam Carl, as Mephistopheles, who rightly receives the loudest applause.” – De Standard

"The bass-baritone Sam Carl with his perfidiously haunting and alluring, manipulative timbre drives the lemurs together as Mephistopheles.” – Frankfurter Allgemeine

"Conducted by Philippe Herreweghe, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra presents a complex and intense work, which allows us to discover superb voices... Sam Carl is striking as Mephistopheles.” – Toute la Culture