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Past MIF events

Jonathan Lemalu

Jonathan Lemalu performed in the John Tavener event for MIF13. For more details, please visit the event page by following the link in the left hand panel.

Jonathan Lemalu, a New Zealand born Samoan, is already at the very forefront of today’s young generation of singers.  He graduated from a Postgraduate Diploma Course in Advanced Performance on the London Royal Schools Opera Course at the Royal College of Music and was awarded the prestigious Tagore Gold Medal.  He is a joint winner of the 2002 Kathleen Ferrier award and the recipient of the 2002 Royal Philharmonic Society’s Award for Young Artist of the Year.

Jonathan’s debut recital disc was awarded the Gramophone Magazine Debut Artist of the Year award.  He subsequently released his first solo recording, with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and then a recital disc with Malcolm Martineau, also featuring the Belcea Quartet.

He has performed at the Tanglewood Festival with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Mozart’s ‘Requiem’), at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven’s Symphony No 9) under Conlon and with San Francisco Symphony in John Adams’ ‘El Nino’.  At the Edinburgh Festival he has appeared in ‘Les Troyens’ under Runnicles, and ‘Maria Stuarda’ and ‘Jeptha’ under Mackerras.  At the BBC Proms he has sung a programme of operatic arias with the Hallé Orchestra and Mahler’s ‘Das Knaben Wunderhorn’ with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.  Other concert engagements include Mozart’s Requiem with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, ‘Elijah’ with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  ‘The Flowering Tree’ with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, ‘The Damnation of Faust’ with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Dutoit, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Colin Davis and with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Dutoit, Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’ with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Mozart arias with the Salzburg Camerata, Handel’s ‘Messiah’ with the New York Philharmonic, ‘Peter Grimes’ with the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Colin Davis in London and New York, the world premiere of Harbison’s ‘Requiem’ with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Bernard Haitink in Boston and New York, ‘Orlando Paladino’ with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the ‘St Matthew Passion’ with the Orquesta Nacional de Espana, Rachmaninov’s ‘The Bells’ with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and performances of ‘Messiah’ in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Equally at home on the recital platform, he has given recitals throughout Europe and North America, taking him to Berlin, Cologne, Athens, Birmingham, Amsterdam, Salzburg, Brussels, Baden-Baden, Vienna, Montreal, Vancouver, Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington, New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall and the Munich and Edinburgh Festivals.


His operatic engagements in the UK have included Figaro (‘Le Nozze di Figaro’) and Don Basilio (‘The Barber of Seville’) for English National Opera, Papageno (‘The Magic Flute’) for the Glyndebourne Festival and Zoroastro (‘Orlando’) and Colline (‘La Boheme’) at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.  In Europe, he has sung the title roles in ‘Saul’ and ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’, Argante (‘Rinaldo’) and Leporello (‘Don Giovanni’) for the Bayerische Staatsoper, Leporello for Hamburg Opera, Rodomonte (‘Orlando Palladino’), Papageno and Collatinus (‘The Rape of Lucretia’) for the Theater an der Wien, Bottom for the Opera de Lyon and in Bari, Rocco (‘Fidelio’) under Gergiev at the Gergiev Festival in Rotterdam and Gobrias in Handel’s ‘Belshazzar’ for the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse under Jacobs. He also recently sang his first Porgy for the Styriarte Festival with Harnoncourt. For Opera Australia he has sung Leporello (‘Don Giovanni’) and Mozart’s Figaro and he reprised his portrayal of Queequeg for South Australia Opera.  In the United States, he made his debuts for the Metropolitan Opera Company as Masetto (‘Don Giovanni’), for the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Papageno, the title role in ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ for the Cincinnati Opera, and Queegueg in Jake Heggie’s world premiere based on ‘Moby Dick’ for Dallas Opera as well as for San Diego Opera, South Australia Opera and San Francisco Opera. His future engagements include concerts with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra; ‘Don Giovanni’ for Baden Baden and Le gazza ladra for Frankfurt Opera.

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