Sunday, July 25, 2010

Anthony Rolfe Johnson

The tenor Anthony Rolfe Johnson died this week (in the youtube clip above he's singing with Simon Keenlyside), he always seemed so youthful - starting singing professionally at 30. Here's the Guardian obituary - the one in the Telegraph is also interesting but has him as been married one less time! They (the obituaries) both share the same wonderful photograph of him.
Born in Tackley, Oxfordshire, he was encouraged by his parents, but with no thought of taking up singing as a career. Instead he took an agricultural degree and became a farm manager, singing hymns he had learned in church to his herd of cows.

Another member of the choral society in Crawley, West Sussex, a singing teacher, told him he was in the wrong job. He eventually decided to go to the Guildhall School of Music, London, for a four-year course, which included performances of two Britten operas. When he sang Acis in Handel's Acis and Galatea in Cambridge, he was on his way. He felt as if he had been asleep for 10 years, and had suddenly awakened.
And he woke us to some wonderful performances - I'll be taking his cd of Nocturnes in the Hyperion Series of Schubert songs to listen to this week..

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