Sir John Tomlinson

Photo of Sir John Tomlinson





Sir John Tomlinson, bass, was born in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire. He intended becoming an engineer but singing took over and he studied at the RMCM and later with Otakar Kraus. He sang in the Scottish Opera Chorus from 1968 and in 1972 sang with Glyndebourne Touring Opera. He was principal bass at English National Opera from 1975 to 1981. He was invited to Bayreuth in 1988 and appeared there for 18 consecutive seasons in the Wagner roles of Wotan and Hagen in the Ring, King Mark in Tristan und Isolde, Titurel and Gurnemanz in Parsifal and the title-role in Der fliegende Holländer. His career has taken him to all the great opera houses of the world as Wotan/Wanderer, Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger, Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier, Boris Godunov, King Philip in Don Carlo, Claggart in Billy Budd, and Bluebeard in Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle. He was appointed CBE in 1997 and knighted in 2005.