Bell’s critically-acclaimed third opera 'In Parenthesis', based on David Jones’ eponymous World War One epic poem (directed by David Pountney/conducted by Carlo Rizzi) premiered at Welsh National Opera with further performances at the Royal Opera House in Summer 2016. The Independent’s 5-star review called the work a ‘powerful act of remembrance’, with The Stage calling Bell’s score ‘technically exceptional’ and The Telegraph describing the opera as ‘gripping and moving’
2019 saw the premiere of two new operas. The first, ‘Jack the Ripper: the Women of Whitechapel' opened at English National Opera with a cast including Josephine Barstow, Susan Bullock, Lesley Garrett, Marie McLaughlin, Natalya Romaniw, Janis Kelly and Alan Opie. This was followed by 'Stonewall' at New York City Opera - commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. 'Stonewall' went on to be shortlisted as one of the best new operas of 2019 at the Annual Excellence in Opera Awards and was cited as one of WQXR's best classical concerts of 2019.
In the concert hall, Bell has worked with pianists including Helmut Deutsch, Kathleen Kelly, Levi Hammer, Roger Vignoles, Iain Burnside, Simon Lepper and Julius Drake. A recent orchestral highlight was the premiere of his setting of Shakespeare's 'Come Away Death' at the Philharmonie Luxembourg with tenor Rolando Villazon. 'Moll’s a’cold' - the excerpted mad-scene from his opera 'A Harlot’s Progress' was first heard at the Enescu Festival performed by soprano Adela Zaharia in Summer 2017. In 2018, Zaharia gave the world premiere Bell's 'Aurora' - a Concerto for Coloratura Soprano at the BBC Proms with the RLPO. Bell returned to the Enescu Festival in 2019 with his orchestral song cycle 'The Hidden Place' performed by the LSO and led by Maestro Gianandrea Noseda, with Damrau as soprano soloist. In 2020, he was commissioned by the Salzburg Mozarteum to compose 'We Two' - a cycle of Walt Whitman poetry - for bass-baritone Douglas Williams and pianist Levi Hammer.
Summer 2021 saw the world premiere of the monodrama 'Comfort Starving' performed by tenor Petr Nekoranec and conductor-pianist William Kelley, followed by its first staged-production at the Bach Festival, Świdnica in a production by Krystian Lada. This team subsequently mounted the debut production of Bell's baritone monodrama 'The Man With Night Sweats' at the Opera Rara Festival - Krakow in November 2021 with Alex Rosen as soloist. 2022 sees the world premiere of 'Amore Immortale' at the LIFE Victoria Festival Barcelona, sung by baritone Mattia Olivieri, a new cycle of Nezahualcoyotl poetry that Villazon and pianist Carrie-Ann Matheson will tour throughout Europe and a new production of 'Stonewall' in Mexico City. The 22/23 season kicks-off with 'Bell Canto' a gala in Prague featuring excerpts from three of Bell's operas, headlined by Damrau and Nekoranec, 'Beowulf' for BBC Symphony & Chorus with Stuart Skelton as tenor soloist, the premiere of his orchestral suite 'Stonewall '69' with the Hartford Symphony and staged revivals of 'Comfort Starving' and 'The Man With Night Sweats'.
Iain Bell is published by Chester Music Ltd, part of the WiseMusicClassical Group.