Francis Brett began singing at the age of eight as a Quirister at Winchester College. He was a music scholar at the same school before winning a Choral Scholarship to King's College, Cambridge where he was taught by Roderick Earle and read for a music degree. He studied as a postgraduate baritone at the Royal College of Music with Stephen Roberts and then for several years with Susan McCulloch. He held the post of Lay Vicar in the choir of Westminster Abbey for eight years before turning freelance.
Francis has worked as a soloist with conductors such as Essa Pekka Salonen, Andrew Litton,Trevor Pinnock, Richard Hickox, Vladimir Yurowski and Edward Gardner. International solo work has taken him to Australia, Poland and the USA and he has taken part in masterclasses with Wolfgang Holzmaier, Sarah Walker, Philip Langridge and Catherine Wyn-Rogers.
As a soloist, Francis has performed the major works of Oratorio throughout the UK. These include most recently Haydn Creation in King’s College Chapel under Edward Gardner, Verdi Requiem in St Mary’s Nottingham, Brahms Requiem in St John’s Smith Square and Bach B minor Mass with I Fagiolini on the Southbank. He sang the role of Schlendrian in Bach’s Coffee Cantata with the Little Baroque Company in the Brighton Early Music Festival and his performance of RVW Fantasia on Christmas Carols was broadcast live on Classic FM on Christmas Day. Solo recordings include Stainer Crucifixion, Elgar Great is the Lord and Pitts Jerusalem both on Hyperion and Greensleeves with the Armonico Consort on Signum Classics. In recital he has performed Schubert Winterreise at Benslow Music Halls, RVW Songs of Travel in St Brides Fleet St, Meirion Williams songs in Welsh in Llandybie, RVW Five Mystical Songs in Ramsey as well as recitals in the Handel House Museum and Temple Church.
Francis sang the role of Pontius Pilate in RVW Pilgrim’s Progress at Sadlers Wells for Hickox. He has worked with the chorus of ENO, ROH and Opera Holland Park and has taken part in numerous recordings and concert performances with Opera Rara and Chandos Opera in English. He has sung opera galas in Belvoir Castle and Kelham Hall, Newark.
He works regularly with the UK’s leading period ensembles such as the Sixteen, King’s Consort, Choir of the Enlightenment, I Fagiolini and the BBC Singers. He is a founder member of Britten Sinfonia Voices and Philharmonia Voices. With these ensembles he has toured to USA, Mexico, Australia, China, Japan, Russia, South Africa as well as throughout Europe.
An increasing interest in contemporary music has seen Francis work with EXAUDI vocal ensemble, most recently as baritone soloist in the world premiere of Finnissey Remembrance Day, Mark Simpson's The Immortal in the Manchester International Festival and performances of Pesson Cantatas in Germany and Paris.