Biography

New Zealand Tenor Jonathan Abernethy has established himself as a vibrant and upcoming operatic artist, his most recent accolades being named a HSBC 2015 Festival d’Aix-en-Provence Laureate and winner of the Australian Opera Awards. As a regular artist with Opera Australia, Jonathan has made important debuts on the Sydney Opera House stage including the roles of Nadir (Les Pêcheurs de Perles), Tamino (The Magic Flute) and Ferrando (Così fan tutte).
In 2015 he embarked upon six months of intensive studies abroad, participating in a number of festivals and opera programs. Jonathan was invited to participate in the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence Mozart Residency, the Solti Accademia in Italy and the Ravinia Festival Steans Music Institute in Chicago. During this time he had the opportunity to work with various distinguished artists including Sir Richard Bonynge, James Conlon and Leo Nucci.
Upon joining Opera Australia’s Young Artist Program, Jonathan moved from his home country of New Zealand in 2012 and made his professional debut at the Sydney Opera House performing the role of Normanno (Lucia di Lammermoor). Jonathan has since performed the roles of Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Ruiz (Il Trovatore), Fenton (Falstaff), Remendado (Carmen), Count Lerma (Don Carlos) and covered Lensky (Eugene Onegin). These roles allowed Jonathan to work closely with acclaimed international artists including Guillaume Tourniaire, Christian Badea and Sir David McVicar. Other highlights include a performance of Die Schöne Müllerin and appearing in Great Opera Hits, a concert series of opera favourites at the Sydney Opera House.
On the concert platform performances include soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall (Sydney Philharmonia Choirs), the Gilbert and Sullivan Spectacular (Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra) and Beethoven 9th Symphony (Dunedin Symphony Orchestra).

Jonathan continues to have close mentoring and support from Dame Kiri te Kanawa and the Kiri te Kanawa Foundation.