Mark Beesley was born in Yorkshire and educated at Essex and Sussex Universities, graduating with an MSc and working as a Research Fellow. After a period of study with Dennis Wicks, he made his operatic début in 1987 as Pistol in Falstaff with Graham Vick’s City of Birmingham Touring Opera. He also appeared with Opera 80 as Zuniga in Carmen and Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, before returning to CBTO as Sarastro in The Magic Flute. From 1989 until 1996 he was principal bass at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where his many rôles include Colline (La Bohème), Timur (Turandot), Ancient Hebrew (Samson et Dalila), Capellio (I Capuletti e i Montecchi), Haly (L’Italiana in Algeri), Lodovico (Otello), Angelotti (Tosca), Hobson (Peter Grimes), Sam (Un ballo in maschera), and Giove in the première of Alexander Goehr’s Arianna.
Other notable engagements include Theseus (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) for the Aix-en-Provence Festival, Angelotti for the Hong Kong Arts Festival, First Nazarene and First Soldier at the Châtelet, Paris, Fiesco (Simon Boccanegra) for Welsh National Opera, Hobson in Palermo, Dr Grenville in Baden-Baden, Priest Fotis (The Greek Passion) with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and for English National Opera Daland (The Flying Dutchman), Colline, Pistol, Lodovico, Basilio (The Barber of Seville) and Sarastro.
Mark Beesley’s recordings include Pietro in Simon Boccanegra under Solti, First Nazarene in Salome under Downes, the title rôle in Mendelssohn’s Paulus and Schoenberg’s Die glückliche Hand with Robert Craft. In the summer of 1999 he made his Glyndebourne Festival Opera début as the Doctor in Pelléas et Mélisande (also given at The Proms) and appeared in concert performances of Schumann’s Faust Scenes with Sir John Eliot Gardiner in New York, Lucerne and the London Proms. His continuing successful career has taken him in recent years to major opera houses throughout Europe, America and the Far East.