Born in New Zealand, Jonathan Abernethy has established himself as a vibrant tenor on the international stage. His recent accolades came as a member of the Zürich International Opera Studio, a finalist in the 55th Tenor Viñas International Singing Contest and being named HSBC Laureate with the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. In the 2019/20 season he becomes a member of the Oper Frankfurt Ensemble and will debut as Nemorino in a new Elisir d’amore, production with the Tyrol Festival and sing in Julietta by Martinu, Drei Kurzopern by Ernst Krener, Salomé, Roméo und Julia by Boris Blacher, Don Giovanni, Rosenkavalier. He will also sing Ariadne auf Naxos in Luxemburg and also appears in concert with Thomas Hengelbrock in Amsterdam and in a Mozart Tour.
In 2015 he embarked upon six months of intensive studies abroad, participating in a number of festivals and opera programs. Jonathan was invited to participate in the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence Mozart Residency, the Solti Accademia in Italy and the Ravinia Festival Steans Music Institute in Chicago. During this time he had the opportunity to work with various distinguished artists including Sir Richard Bonynge, James Conlon and Leo Nucci.
Upon joining Opera Australia’s Young Artist Program, Jonathan moved from his home country of New Zealand in 2012 and made his professional debut at the Sydney Opera House performing the role of Normanno (Lucia di Lammermoor). Jonathan has since performed the roles of Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Ruiz (Il Trovatore), Fenton (Falstaff), Remendado (Carmen), Count Lerma (Don Carlos) and covered Lensky (Eugene Onegin). These roles allowed Jonathan to work closely with acclaimed international artists including Guillaume Tourniaire, Christian Badea and Sir David McVicar. Other highlights include a performance of Die Schöne Müllerin and appearing in Great Opera Hits, a concert series of opera favourites at the Sydney Opera House.
On the concert platform performances include soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem and Saint Matthew Passion at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall (Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra and Choirs), the Gilbert and Sullivan Spectacular and Carmen (Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra) and Beethoven 9th Symphony (Dunedin Symphony Orchestra).
Recently he performed in The Mikado de Gilbert and Sullivan at the New Zealand Opera, l’Erismena by Cavalli at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence… He has also joined this season the International Opera Studio, the prestigious training programm for young singers of the Opernhaus Zurich. He then sang in Vent du soir ou l’horrible festin, Salomé, Fidelio, La Fanciulla del West and Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny in Zurich.
Among his projects, let us mention Ariadne auf Naxos at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and in Luxembourg, Saint John Passion at the Paris Seine Musicale and Mozart’s Requiem with Insula Orchestra in Paris, Lyon and Rouen. In concert he will also perform at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
From the 2019-2020 season, he will join the Ensemble of the Frankfurt Opera.
Jonathan continues to have close mentoring and support from Dame Kiri te Kanawa and the Kiri te Kanawa Foundation.
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