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Tenor John Mark Ainsley was born in Cheshire County and first began studying singing at Oxford, later continuing study with Diane Forlano. He gave his debut as soloist in Stravinsky’s Mass under Simon Rattle, and in the following year he made his stage debut in a Scarlatti opera at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music. An international career began to develop rapidly, with concerts in New York and Boston in 1990 and his Berlin Philharmonic debut in 1992. He sang Mozart’s Don Ottavio at the Aix-en-Provence Festival (under Claudio Abbado) and Glyndebourne (under Simon Rattle) and made his debut at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden with the same role. Ainsley first became known for his Handel roles at the Netherlands Opera and was a guest artist at San Francisco Opera as well as the Bavarian State Opera. In recent years, he has expanded his repertory to modern classics and contemporary music. He created the role of the demon in the first performance of Hans Werner Henze’s L’Upupa at the Salzburg Festival in 2003 and also sang in the world premiere of Henze’s Phaedra at the Berlin State Opera (207). In Frankfurt, he has sung in Britten’s Curlew River and Billy Budd, while he has interpreted Skuratov in Janácek’s From the House of the Dead in Vienna, Amsterdam, and Aix. A central focus of his career is the concert repertoire, performing with such conductors as Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink, Emmanuelle Haim, Kurt Masur, Marc Minkowski, Roger Norrington, Seiji Ozawa, and André Previn. He is also a much sought-after interpreter of art songs from Purcell to Britten. In 2007 John Mark Ainsley was given the Royal Philharmonic Society Singer Award.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on August 26, 2001 in Haydn’s The Creation, conducted by Trevor Pinnock.