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date: 20 November 2019

Tomlinson, John locked

  • Alan Blyth


(b Oswaldtwistle, Lancs., Sept 22, 1946). English bass . After studying at Manchester, he began his career with Glyndebourne Touring Opera as Colline in 1972, and as Leporello and Seneca for Kent Opera. He joined the ENO in 1975 and sang a large repertory including Talbot (Maria Stuarda), King Mark, Fasolt, Pogner, Bluebeard, Gounod's Méphistophélès (to arresting effect in Ian Judge's staging), Baron Ochs (a subtle, detailed portrayal in Jonathan Miller's production) and Fiesco. He made his Covent Garden début in 1979 as Colline, and has subsequently sung there Figaro, Leporello, Timur and, unforgettably, the Green Knight in the première of Birtwistle's Gawain (1991, which he also recorded. Other successes at Covent Garden include astonishingly vivid portrayals of Claggart and King Fisher, Hans Sachs and Wotan, both vocally imposing (if occasionally strained) and acted with tremendous panache. For Opera North he was praised as Boris Godunov, Attila and Philip II. At Bayreuth he was a massively powerful, anguished Wotan in Harry Kupfer's controversial staging (recorded on disc and video). Tomlinson has also appeared in his Wagner roles at the Berlin Staatsoper and at Munich. He is a noted oratorio singer, particularly in Handel. His other recordings include ...

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