Music

Anthony Rolfe Johnson

Born 5 November 1940. Died 21 July 2010.

Biography

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

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.

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