"Tomlinson's is a voice that carries the soul of the music in its every breath.“ (Daily Telegraph)
“Even towards the end of [his] Wagner career, … Tomlinson continue[s] to set extraordinarily high standards, as well as providing a demonstration of the sterling virtues of clarity and directness.”
(The Guardian on a 2002 Wagner Opera Gala)
“John Tomlinson's Gurnemanz, a performance of integrity and strength, was one to cherish.”
(The Guardian on a performance of Parsifal at the ROH)
“John Tomlinson chokes out the Narrator's phrases with terrifying anguish. It's difficult to get through it without tears.” (The Guardian on Schoenberg A Survivor from Warsaw 3984-22905-2)
Warner Classics celebrates the artistry of John Tomlinson with a 4-CD box set featuring recordings made between 1979 and 2000 for the Warner labels Erato and Teldec. The repertoire is dominated by the music of Wagner (from the Bayreuth Festival) and Mozart (with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra), conducted by Daniel Barenboim.
A bass baritone in the forefront of his profession, John Tomlinson is a singer and actor with tremendous vocal and stage presence regularly in demand for his portrayals of some of the most demanding roles in opera today. In a career that has lasted over three decades, he has performed with Glyndebourne Opera, Kent Opera, the New Opera Company at Sadler’s Wells, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and English National Opera, with whom he has had a 25-year association and performed 50 roles. Internationally, Tomlinson has made important appearances at San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, L’Opéra de Paris, the Salzburg Easter Festival, Deutsche Oper, Berlin Staatsoper, and at the opera houses of Munich, Dresden and Vienna.
In 1988, John Tomlinson starred in Harry Kupfer’s new production of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival with Daniel Barenboim conducting. It was with these performances that Tomlinson firmly established himself as the greatest living interpreter of Wotan (in Das Rheingold and Die Walküre) and of the Wanderer (in Siegfried) - these roles present what are generally regarded as being among the greatest vocal challenges in the entire operatic repertoire. He has sung at Bayreuth every year since.