The British baritone David Wilson-Johnson (Don Iñigo) was born in Northampton, studied Modern Languages at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge and singing at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Over a career already spanning forty years, he has been a guest of the major opera houses, orchestras and festivals worldwide. He has sung under the most distinguished conductors including Pierre Boulez, Frans Brüggen, Sir Colin and Sir Andrew Davis, Charles Dutoit, Carlo-Maria Giulini, Hartmut Haenchen, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Oliver Knussen, Reinbert de Leeuw, Gustav Leonhardt, Sir Charles Mackerras, Zubin Mehta, Kenneth Montgomery, André Previn, and Sir Simon Rattle.
His opera repertoire includes Le Rossignol, L’enfant et les sortilleges, Boris Godunov, Turandot, Werther, and Die Zauberflöte, Arianna, Così fan tutte (all at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden); Peter Grimes (Amsterdam, Brussels, Geneva, Madrid), Billy Budd (ENO, ROH, Opera Bastille), La Damnation de Faust (Berlin, Turin, Tanglewood), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Amsterdam, Paris), Die Zauberflöte (Opera Garnier), Tristan und Isolde (Monte Carlo), Rameau’s Les Boreades (Salzburg Festival), Eight Songs for a Mad King by Peter Maxwell Davies (Opéra Comique), Sir Michael Tippett’s A Midsummer Marriage (TV film), and the title role in Messiaen’s Saint François d’Assise (London, BBCTV, Lyon, Amsterdam, Brussels, New York. and Edinburgh Festival).
His concert repertoire includes Parsifal, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the National Youth Orchestra under Rattle, Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers under Knussen at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Ravel’s L’heure espagnole and Brahms’ Requiem under Previn in Carnegie Hall, Pittsburgh and Oslo, and Haydn’s Seasons and Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri under Rattle, plus The Creation with Brüggen, Britten’s Death in Venice under Montgomery, and Enescu’s Oedipe at the Holland Festival. At the 2001 Last Night of the Proms following the events of 9/11, he sang Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under Leonard Slatkin to a worldwide audience of 340 million.
His discography includes Tubular Bells (Mike Oldfield) as part of Angel Choir and Bootleg Chorus, the film Give My Regards to Broad Street (starring The Beatles), and more traditionally works of Bach (with Leonhardt and Giulini), Beethoven (Mackerras), Stravinsky (Knussen), Schoenberg (Knussen and Robert Craft), Ravel (Previn), Frank Martin’s Jedermann Monologues, Schubert’s Winterreise and songs by Finzi and Quilter on GMN.
In recent years, he has sung title roles in Tippett’s King Priam (Nationale Reisopera and the BBC Proms), Albeniz’ Merlin (Teatro Real, Madrid), Shostakovitch’s The Nose under Rozhdestvensky (Netherlands Opera), and Britten’s Owen Wingrave under Stefan Asbury.
David Wilson-Johnson taught for 21 years at the Summer School Ferrandou in the Dordogne. He now divides his time between houses in Amsterdam and France.
Recent and upcoming highlights include Elias in Strasbourg under Holliger, A Child of our Time with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlioz’ Roméo et Juliette with the Philadelphia Orchestra and La Damnation de Faust with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, both led by Charles Dutoit, The Creation with Brüggen and the New Japan Philharmonic, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Daniele Gatti and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and later with Philippe Herreweghe, Haydn’s Harmoniemesse with Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Haydn’s L’isola disabitata at the Ittingen Whitsun Festival, Peter Grimes at the Teatro Regio, Turin, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Berlioz’ L’Enfance du Christ with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Maxwell Davies’ Taverner with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Handel’s Athalia with Paul Goodwin and the Basel Kammerorchester, Handel’s Messiah with Harry Christophers and The Sixteen in Paris, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the King’s Consort, Stravinsky’s Threni and Tavener’s The Whale with David Atherton and the London Sinfonietta, Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen at the BBC Proms, and Ravel’s L’heure espagnole with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.