Anthony Rolfe Johnson
|Anthony Rolfe Johnson|
5 November 1940|
Tackley, Oxfordshire, England
|Died||21 July 2010
|Occupation||Opera singer (tenor)|
Life and career
Born in Tackley in Oxfordshire, Rolfe Johnson studied with Ellis Keeler and Vera Rosza at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He first appeared in opera in the chorus and in small roles at the Glyndebourne Festival between 1972 and 1976. His major operatic debut was in Iolanthe in 1973 with the English Opera Group.
In the course of a long and varied career he performed in Handel's oratorios, sang the role of Evangelist in J. S. Bach's St John Passion and St Matthew Passion, and sang solos in Haydn's The Seasons and The Creation. Operas he recorded include Mozart's The Magic Flute, Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, Mozart's Idomeneo and La clemenza di Tito, and Britten's Peter Grimes as well as appearing in the latter's War Requiem, amongst many others. Many of these recordings were made under the multi-award English conductor John Eliot Gardiner, including Monteverdi's Ulysses and Orfeo. Other recordings include many important conductors as Charles Mackerras, Neville Marriner and many others.
He performed at the world's major opera houses, including the English National Opera, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, La Monnaie in Brussels, La Scala, Milan, the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, the Vienna State Opera, and the Paris Opera.
Aside from opera, he appeared in concert with the world's major symphony orchestras, such as the New York Philharmonic and Boston Philharmonic, and conductors, such as Mstislav Rostropovich and Seiji Ozawa. He also gave song recitals with Graham Johnson, many of which were recorded; he was a founder member of Graham Johnson's The Songmakers' Almanac. In 1988 he re-launched the Gregynog Festival, remaining its artistic director until 2006.
He died of Alzheimer's disease on 21 July 2010.
- "Anthony Rolfe Johnson—Anthony Rolfe Johnson, who died on July 21 aged 69, was a tenor of enormous talent who came to singing relatively late in life.". The Daily Telegraph. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
- Blyth, Alan (22 July 2010). "Anthony Rolfe Johnson obituary—Mellifluous tenor outstanding in the Passions of Bach and operas of Britten". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
- The London Gazette: . 12 June 1992. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
- Hyperion Records: Anthony Rolfe Johnson
- Bach-cantatas.com: Anthony Rolfe Johnson - pictures
- Anthony Rolfe Johnson at the Internet Movie Database
- Interview with Anthony Rolfe Johnson by Bruce Duffie, November 19, 1988