New Zealand Tenor Jonathan Abernethy has established himself as a vibrant and upcoming operatic artist, his most recent accolades being named a HSBC 2015 Festival d’Aix-en-Provence Laureate and winner of the Australian Opera Awards. He currently performs as a Principal Artist with Opera Australia.
Upon finishing his time as a Young Artist with Opera Australia 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 debuted in the roles of Tamino (The Magic Flute), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Ruiz (Il Trovatore), Fenton (Falstaff), Remendado (Carmen), Count Lerma (Don Carlos), covered Lensky (Eugene Onegin) and worked with 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 and Mozart's Requiem at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall (Sydney Philharmonia Choirs), the Gilbert and Sullivan Spectacular (Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra) and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 (Dunedin Symphony Orchestra). For Opera Australia's 2016 season, Jonathan prepares the roles of Nadir (Les Pêcheurs de Perles) and Ferrando (Così fan tutte) to cover major international artists in two new productions. During the Sydney season of Les Pêcheurs de Perles Jonathan was called in part way through the penultimate show to perform the role of Nadir and then went on to debut the whole role in the final performance of the season to great success.
Jonathan continues to have close mentoring and support from Dame Kiri te Kanawa and the Kiri te Kanawa Foundation.