John Mark Ainsley

Hon RAM

Royal Academy Opera - Visiting Professor of Opera
Vocal - Visiting Professor of Opera

Internationally acclaimed concert tenor, performing with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Staatkapelle and the New York, Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics

Extensive discography including several Britten cycles

As an opera singer, has sung in several world premieres including two of Hans Werner Henze’s operas

A highly versatile concert singer, John’s international engagements include appearances with the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Colin Davis, Rostropovich and Previn, the Concert D’Astrée under Haim, the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Norrington, Les Musiciens du Louvre under Minkowski, the Cleveland Orchestra under Welser-Moest, the Berlin Philharmonic under Haitink and Rattle, the Berlin Staatskapelle under Jordan, the New York Philharmonic under Masur, the Boston Symphony under Ozawa, the San Francisco Symphony under Tate and Norrington, the Vienna Philharmonic under Norrington, Pinnock and Welser-Möst, and both the Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Orchestre de Paris under Giulini.

His discography is extensive. For Philips Classics he has recorded Handel’s Saul with Gardiner, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Davis, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with Haitink and Bach’s Mass in B Minor and the Evangelist in the St Matthew Passion with Ozawa. For Decca his recordings include L’Enfance du Christ, Alexander’s Feast, Acis and Galatea, the Berlioz Requiem and the title role in Monteverdi’s Orfeo. His EMI recordings include the Britten cycles of Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, Les Illuminations and Nocturne, Charlie in Brigadoon and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. For Deutsche Grammophon his releases include Handel’s La Resurezzione, Rameau’s Dardanus and Handel’s Messiah with Minkowski, the Britten’s Spring Symphony with Gardiner and L’Heure Espagnole with Previn.

For Hyperion he has made a series of recital discs of Schubert, Mozart, Purcell, Grainger, Warlock and Quilter and his recording of Vaughan Williams’s On Wenlock Edge with the Nash Ensemble was nominated for a Gramophone Award. On the operatic stage he has sung Don Ottavio at the Glyndebourne Festival under Sir Simon Rattle, directed by Deborah Warner, the Aix-en-Provence Festival under Claudio Abbado, directed by Peter Brook and for his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, under the late Sir Charles Mackerras. John has appeared with the Netherlands Opera as the title role in Handel’s Samson and with the San Francisco Opera as Don Ottavio and Jupiter in Semele.

His many appearances at the Munich Festival include Bajazet in Tamerlano, Jonathan in Saul, the title role in a new production of Idomeneo at the Cuvilliestheater and as Orfeo, for which he received the Munich Festival Prize. He created the role of Der Daemon in the world premiere of Hans Werner Henze’s L’Upupa at the Salzburg Festival.

His recent operatic engagements include The Madwoman in Britten’s Curlew River in Frankfurt, Hippolyt in the world premiere of Henze’s Phaedra in Berlin and Brussels, his first Captain Vere in Billy Budd in Frankfurt, Emilio in Partenope for English National Opera and L’Upupa for the Semperoper Dresden. He also sang Skuratov in Janacek’s From the House of the Dead directed by Chereau and conducted by Boulez at the Amsterdam, Vienna and Aix-en-Provence Festivals. A DVD of this production has also been released.

In 2007 John won the Royal Philharmonic Society Singer Award.

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