Born and educated in Scotland, Alexander Oliver studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Scottish Conservatoire). After winning the Richard Tauber competition in 1966 he completed his studies in Vienna under the tutelage of the renowned tenor Anton Dermota.
He made his debut with the Wiener Kamer Oper and subsequently joined the Glyndebourne Festival Opera where he went on to sing many roles, both on tour and in the Festival. He appeared with all the major British opera companies and made his debut at the Royal Opera in 1971.
His international career began in 1972 at the Netherlands Opera and this led to engagements in many of the leading European opera houses including Brussels, Paris, Zürich, Geneva, La Scala, La Fenice amongst others.
After a long and successful career he decided in 1999 to devote the greater part of his time to working with young singers and accepted the post of Artistic Director of the Dutch National Opera Academy. He retired from this post in January 2015.
He is a regular guest teacher for master-classes and has directed a number of productions as well as taking part as a jury member for several major competitions.
His appearance in “Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria” with the Academy of Ancient Music is a reprisal of the very role in which he made his Glyndebourne debut in 1973.