John Wegner

During a long and distinguished career, John Wegner’s impressive Helden Baritone voice has thrilled audiences in opera houses across Europe with performances in major cities including Milan, London, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Berlin, Brussels, Prague, Oslo, Munich, Hamburg, Vienna and across the globe in Australia and Japan. John’s performances have attracted many award nominations. He has won four National “Best Male Performer in an Opera” Awards in Australia. These were at the 1999 Australian Entertainment Industry Mo Awards and the 2005, 2009, 2011 Australian Helpmann Awards. He has won two Best Male Opera Performer Green Room awards in the State of Victoria. At the 2009 Helpmann Awards, John also won the “Best Male in a Supporting Role in an Opera” and in 2007 he was awarded the National Theatre Prague “Singer of the Year” Award. John was born in Germany but grew up in Australia. He completed an Associate Diploma in Opera and Music Theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia. He performed with the Australian Opera as a Bass for eleven years (1981-1992), before moving to Europe to study the Helden Baritone repertoire at the Badisches Staatstheater, Karlsruhe where he made his European debut as Jochanaan in Salome. Since 2000 John has been a member of Deutsche Oper am Rhein based in Düsseldorf and has performed many Helden Baritone roles with this company including Wotan/Wanderer, Prus in the Makropulos Affair, Jochanaan in Salome, Escamillo in Carmen, de Flores in Vipern, Sebastiano in Tiefland, the King in Hamlet and Klingsor in Parsifal. As Scarpia in Tosca, John played to packed houses in Duisburg and Düsseldorf in an unusual production directed by Dietrich Hilsdorf. In 2003 John performed his powerful portrayal of Boris in Boris Godunov as well as Escamillo in Carmen and the Holländer in Der Fliegende Holländer. John first performed in the Bayreuther Festspiele in 1997 singing Donner in Das Rheingold. He returned in 2002 as Biterolf in Tannhäuser and eventually sang five different roles in six seasons at Bayreuth. These included Telramund in the 2003 Lohengrin and Kurwenal in the 2006 Tristan and Isolde as well as covering most of the major Helden Baritone roles during the festivals. From 2004 to 2006 he caused a sensation as the sinister Klingsor in the controversial and thought provoking production of Parsifal by Christof Schlingensief.