William Purefoy established his reputation as a premier counter tenor in the UK through performances with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Hanover Band, English Concert and The Sixteen. He has also earned an international following, with concerts, recitals and operatic appearances in New Zealand, America, France, Austria, Germany and Switzerland, and a debut at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2008. A graduate of Magdalen College, Oxford, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, he was a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Awards and a winner of the NFMS Young Concert Artists Award.
His international operatic engagements have included Truth in Triumph of Time and Truth/Triumph of Beauty and Deceit in Kahlsruhe, a new play Le 6ème Continent at the Bouffes du Nord in Paris, Arsamene in Serse for New Zealand Opera, Ottone in L’Incoronazione di Poppea for Theater Basel, Ptolemy in Guilio Cesare and Dr Nice in Evening Hymn for Staatsoper Hannover, and Hamor in Jephthe for the Boston Handel and Haydn Society. Highlights of his UK appearances include Man 2 in Cafe Kafka and Pope/Surgeon in The Commission for Opera North, Aldeburgh Music and Linbury Studio Covent Garden, Apollo in Mozart’s Apollo and Hyacinth for Opera Theatre Company and Classical Opera Company, Ascanio in Mozart’s Ascanio in Alba and the Handel roles Athamas in Semele, Lychas in Hercules, Arsace in Partenope and Hamor in Jephthe for Buxton Festival. He has appeared frequently at Shakespeare's Globe and regularly performs with vocal groups I Fagiolini and Theatre of Voices.
His many recordings to date have included Bach's Lutheran Mass Volumes I and II (The Sixteen/Coro), Arvo Pärt's Stabat Mater (Theatre of Voices/Harmonia Mundi), Buxtehude's Scandinavian Cantatas (Theatre of Voices/Da Capo), Vaughan-Williams' Mass in G Minor (Hickox/Chandos), and the role of Spirit in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Chandos). He was featured in the television series In Search of Shakespeare and the film Young Victoria and has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Barbican and Purcell Room as well as in Innsbruck and Graz.
As the voice coach for the City of Oxford Choir, Billy works alongside conductor Duncan Aspden to improve the choir's vocal technique. During selected rehearsals he leads sessions for one or more of the voice parts as well as individual lessons.