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Anthony Rolfe Johnson

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United Kingdom

Operatic tenor

Anthony Johnson

Years active

Opera singer (tenor)

Anthony Rolfe Johnson httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaenddaAnt

5 November 1940 (
Tackley, Oxfordshire, England

July 21, 2010, London, United Kingdom

Britten: The Rape of Lucretia, Benjamin Britten: Gloriana

English Song, Messiah, Handel: Athalia (2 CDs), Songs by Gounod, Solomon

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Anthony Rolfe Johnson CBE (5 November 1940 – 21 July 2010) was an English operatic tenor.


Anthony Rolfe Johnson Anthony Rolfe Johnson Telegraph

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Life and career

Anthony Rolfe Johnson Thou Shalt Break Him Messiah Anthony Rolfe Johnson

Born in Tackley in Oxfordshire, Rolfe Johnson studied with Ellis Keeler and Vera Rózsa 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.

He sang Polixenes in the world premiere of Philippe Boesmans' adaptation of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale.

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 was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1992 Queen's Birthday Honours.

He died of Alzheimer's disease on 21 July 2010.


Anthony Rolfe Johnson Wikipedia

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