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Baritone David Wilson-Johnson, a native of Northampton, England, studied modern languages at St. Catharine’s College in Cambridge and voice at the Royal Academy of Music in London. During the course of a career that has spanned 40 years, he has worked with major orchestras around the globe and has appeared on the leading stages in a repertoire ranging from Rameau’s Les Indes galantes (at the Salzburg Festival), Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Così fan tutte (at the Royal Opera House), La Damnation de Faust by Berlioz (Berlin and Tanglewood), and Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Tristan (Amsterdam and Monte Carlo) to operas by Benjamin Britten, Michael Tippett, and Peter Maxwell Davies. One of his signature roles is Messiaen’s St. François, which he has performed in London, Lyon, Brussels, and New York and at the Edinburgh Festival. He has been engaged to perform in concerts and operas by a prominent list of conductors, including such names as Pierre Boulez, Carlo Maria Giulini, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Gustav Leonhardt, Frans Brüggen, Charles Mackerras, and Zubin Mehta. Wilson-Johnson sang in Mahler’s Eighth Symphony at the BBC Proms under Simon Rattle, and at Carnegie Hall in New York he performed in Ravel’s L’Heure espagnole and the Brahms Requiem with André Previn; in 2001 he participated in Beethoven’s Ninth for the Last Night of the Proms concert led by Leonard Slatkin, which was broadcast to a worldwide audience of 340 million people. His most recent projects have included Schumann’s Paradies und die Peri with Simon Rattle and Haydn’s The Creation with Frans Brüggen. Wilson-Johnson, who has recorded more than 200 CDs, teaches in Amsterdam and London and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.
One previous LUCERNE FESTIVAL performance on 1 April 2007 in the title role of Mendelssohn’s Elijah.