New Zealand Tenor Jonathan Abernethy has established himself as a vibrant and upcoming Australasian operatic artist. 2014 marked a successful year in Jonathan’s career, debuting the role of Fenton (Falstaff) to critical acclaim. A performance which awarded him a prestigious Green Room nomination, and was named the winner of the Australian Opera Awards.
Upon invitation in 2012 to join Opera Australia’s Young Artist Program, Jonathan moved from his home country of New Zealand and made his professional debut at the Sydney Opera House performing the role of Normanno (Lucia di Lammermoor). Within the Young Artist Program, Jonathan debuted the roles of Tamino (The Magic Flute), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Ruiz (Il Trovatore) and Fenton, covered Lensky (Eugene Onegin) and Remendado (Carmen) and worked with international artists including Christian Badea and Guillaume Tourniaire. Other highlights include a performance of Die Schöne Müllerin and Great Opera Hits, a concert series of opera highlights at the Sydney Opera House. In 2015 Jonathan debuted as Count Lerma (Don Carlos) while covering Don Ottavio in Sir David McVicar’s new Don Giovanni production for Opera Australia.
Since completing the Young Artist Program in Australia, Jonathan has pursued further artistic and technical training in Europe and the United States, including participation in the prestigious Aix-en Provence Mozart Residency, the Solti Accademia in Tuscany and Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute as part of the Ravinia Festival in Chicago.
On the concert platform, Jonathan has often appeared as guest soloist with choirs and orchestras in Australia and New Zealand, including performances of Haydn’s Creation and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle. In December 2015 Jonathan performed as tenor soloist in Messiah at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, with the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.
Jonathan continues to have close mentoring and support from Dame Kiri te Kanawa and the Kiri te Kanawa Foundation.