Bass

Jonathan Lemalu

Engagements this season and beyond include A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Teatro Massimo Palermo, Israeli Opera and English National Opera, Hercules with the Handel & Haydn Society, his debut at the Grange Festival and a return to the Royal Opera House.

© Sussie Ahlburg

Introduction

Jonathan Lemalu, a New Zealand born Samoan, graduated from a Postgraduate Diploma Course in Advanced Performance on the London Royal Schools Opera Course at the Royal College of Music and was awarded the prestigious Tagore Gold Medal. He is a joint winner of the 2002 Kathleen Ferrier award and the recipient of the 2002 Royal Philharmonic Society’s Award for Young Artist of the Year. He has performed at the Munich, Edinburgh, Ravinia and Tanglewood Festivals and at the BBC Proms. He is in great demand from the major opera houses, orchestras and recital venues of the world. He released a debut recital disc on EMI with Roger Vignoles to great critical acclaim and which won a Gramophone Debut Disc of the Year award. Other recordings include an operatic arias disc with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and a disc of English and American songs with Malcolm Martineau.


Contact


Performance Schedule

  • 19:30 04 May 2018 Symphony Hall Boston, USA More info  

    HANDEL ‘Hercules’

    Conductor: Harry Christophers
    Hercules: Jonathan Lemalu
    Dejanira: Catherine Wyn-Rogers
    Hyllus: Robert Murray
    Iole: Amanda Forsythe
    Lichas: William Purefoy
    High Priest: Woodrow Bynum

  • 15:00 06 May 2018 Symphony Hall Boston, USA More info  

    HANDEL ‘Hercules’

    Conductor: Harry Christophers
    Hercules: Jonathan Lemalu
    Dejanira: Catherine Wyn-Rogers
    Hyllus: Robert Murray
    Iole: Amanda Forsythe
    Lichas: William Purefoy
    High Priest: Woodrow Bynum

  • 17:30 24 Jun 2018 Grange Festival, ALRESFORD More info  

    WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Die Entführung aus dem Serail

    Conductor: Jean-luc Tingaud
    Director: John Copley
    Konstanze: Kiandra Howarth
    Blonde: Daisy Brown
    Belmonte: Ed Lyon
    Pedrillo: Paul Curievici
    Osmin: Jonathan Lemalu
    Orchestra: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

  • 17:30 26 Jun 2018 Grange Festival, ALRESFORD More info  

    WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Die Entführung aus dem Serail

    Conductor: Jean-luc Tingaud
    Director: John Copley
    Konstanze: Kiandra Howarth
    Blonde: Daisy Brown
    Belmonte: Ed Lyon
    Pedrillo: Paul Curievici
    Osmin: Jonathan Lemalu
    Orchestra: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

  • 17:30 29 Jun 2018 Grange Festival, ALRESFORD More info  

    WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Die Entführung aus dem Serail

    Conductor: Jean-luc Tingaud
    Director: John Copley
    Konstanze: Kiandra Howarth
    Blonde: Daisy Brown
    Belmonte: Ed Lyon
    Pedrillo: Paul Curievici
    Osmin: Jonathan Lemalu
    Orchestra: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

  • 17:30 01 Jul 2018 Grange Festival, ALRESFORD More info  

    WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Die Entführung aus dem Serail

    Conductor: Jean-luc Tingaud
    Director: John Copley
    Konstanze: Kiandra Howarth
    Blonde: Daisy Brown
    Belmonte: Ed Lyon
    Pedrillo: Paul Curievici
    Osmin: Jonathan Lemalu
    Orchestra: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

  • 17:30 07 Jul 2018 Grange Festival, ALRESFORD More info  

    WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Die Entführung aus dem Serail

    Conductor: Jean-luc Tingaud
    Director: John Copley
    Konstanze: Kiandra Howarth
    Blonde: Daisy Brown
    Belmonte: Ed Lyon
    Pedrillo: Paul Curievici
    Osmin: Jonathan Lemalu
    Orchestra: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Discography

  • More info  
    Anniversary Series - Art Song Collection

    Label: Signum Classics

    Release Date: 01 Jan 12

    Simon Crawford-Phillips
    Andrew Kennedy
    Roderick Williams
    Iain Burnside
    Dante Quartet

  • More info  
    POULENC The Complete Songs, Vol. 1

    Label: Signum Classics

    Release Date: 01 Jan 11

    Lorna Anderson
    Felicity Lott
    Lisa Milne
    Jonathan Lemalu
    Christopher Maltman
    Robert Murray
    Malcolm Martineau

  • More info  
    POULENC The Complete Songs, Vol. 2

    Label: Signum Classics

    Release Date: 01 Jan 11

    Lorna Anderson
    Felicity Lott
    Lisa Milne
    Jonathan Lemalu
    Christopher Maltman
    Robert Murray
    Malcolm Martineau

  • More info  
    POULENC The Complete Songs, Vol. 3

    Label: Signum Classics

    Release Date: 01 Jan 11

    John Mark Ainsley
    Lorna Anderson
    Sarah Fox
    Jonathan Lemalu
    Lisa Milne
    Ann Murray
    Robert Murray
    Thomas Oliemans
    Malcolm Martineau

  • More info  
    SCHUMANN The Complete Songs

    Label: Signum Classics

    Release Date: 01 Jan 10

    Bass: Jonathan Lemalu
    Piano: Graham Johnson

  • More info  
    BRITTEN Billy Budd

    Label: Erato

    Release Date: 15 Sep 08

    Jonathan Lemalu
    Ian Bostridge
    Nathan Gunn
    Gidon Saks
    Daniel Harding
    London Symphony Orchestra
    London Symphony Chorus

  • More info  
    Love Blows as the Wind Blows

    Label: EMI

    Release Date: 11 Aug 05

    Jonathan Lemalu
    Malcolm Martineau
    Alasdair Tait
    Krzysztof Chorzelski
    Belcea String Quartet

  • More info  
    Jonathan Lemalu: Opera Arias

    Label: EMI

    Release Date: 01 Jan 05

    Jonathan Lemalu
    James Judd
    New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

  • More info  
    SCHUMANN The Complete Songs, Vol. 8

    Label: Signum Classics

    Release Date: 01 Jan 02

    Jonathan Lemalu
    Christopher Maltman
    Mark Padmore
    Graham Johnson

  • More info  
    01 Mar 18 BRITTEN A Midsummer Night's Dream
    English National Opera

    “The others were all effectively and colourfully projected, with Robert Murray’s bashful Flute, Graeme Danby’s officious Quince, Simon Butteriss’s rather overlooked Starveling, Timothy Robinson’s delightful Snout and Jonathan Lemalu as an engagingly dim Snug.”
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 3 March 2018

    “The rustics are a joy, from Jonathan Lemalu’s dim Snug who gives us his all as Lion…”
    Peter Reed, Classical Source, 1 March 2018

    “…their comic timing is perfect: Bloom, Graeme Danby, Simon Butteriss, Timothy Robinson, Robert Murray, and Jonathan Lemalu all emerge as farceurs to the manner born.”
    Michael Church, Independent, 2 March 2018

  • More info  
    17 Nov 17 STRAVINSKY The Rake’s Progress
    Wilton's Music Hall

    “As the Mephistophelian Nick Shadow, Jonathan Lemalu – both genial and threatening – is enormously, fruitily resonant…”
    Yehuda Shapiro, The Stage, 21 November 2017

    “As for the cast, it’s one you’d expect to find in a far more glamorous theatre. It’s led by Robert Murray, who brings an easy, confiding manner and an airy-sounding tenor to Tom. He’s matched by Jonathan Lemalu as a charismatic, imposing Nick Shadow…”
    Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 20 November 2017

    “”And who wouldn’t be lured in by Jonathan Lemalu’s gravelly, smiling Nick Shadow…”
    Rebecca Franks, The Times, 22 November 2017

    “Jonathan Lemalu’s Nick Shadow ran the risk of stealing not only Tom’s soul but the whole show. He sang with gravelly charm and superb diction that trod a careful line between menace and obsequiousness, holding out his most terrifying delivery for the graveyard scene.”
    Benjamin Poore, 18 Novembher 2017, Bach Track

  • More info  
    21 Oct 16 HOLST At the Boar's Head
    Presto Classical

    “…Jonathan Lemalu is the robust Falstaff…”
    Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 22 December 2016

    “In the Holst, Lemalu dominates proceedings as an arresting, powerful Falstaff.”
    Guy Weatherall, Rheingold, 21 Janaury 2017

    “What makes this recording invaluable is Jonathan Lemalu’s Falstaff. Articulate, charmingly churlish and aptly stentorian, it is such a vivid characterisations…”
    Andrew Farach-Colton, Gramophone, February 2017

  • More info  
    09 May 15 GILBERT&SULLIVAN The Pirates of Penzance
    English National Opera

    “.. .Jonathan Lemalu’s Mummerset Sergeant of Police – his imperturbably lugubrious rendering of “When a felon’s not engaged” was my personal highlight of the evening.”
    Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 10 May 2015

  • More info  
    02 Sep 13 VERDI Requiem
    Taranaki Arts Festival, New Zealand

    “And Jonathan Lemalu looks just as a bass should, while singing with splendid depth and diction.”
    David Hill, Taranaki Daily News, 2 September 2013

  • More info  
    09 Sep 13 VERDI Requiem
    Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

    “A fine quartet of rising operatic stars provided an excellent account of the solo parts, the New Zealand bass baritone Jonathan Lemalu a superb last-minute substitute…”
    Eamonn Kelly, The Australian, 9 September 2013

  • More info  
    21 Aug 13 MOZART Don Giovanni
    CBS Canterbury Arena

    “… Jonathan Lemalu brings out the comic dimensions of Leporello with flair.”
    Elizabeth O’Connor, www.theatrereview.org.nz, 22 August 2013

    “Beyond question was the outstanding line-up of soloists who…sang superbly and presented a most convincing drama
    with the right balance of comedic relief… Driving much of this was the interplay between Mark Stone (Don Giovanni) and Jonathan Lemalu (Leporello), two fine performers relishing
    their roles as the master seducer and sidekick. The rapport between them gelled particularly well in the second act and it was a treat
    indeed to hear these two fine male singers together on the same stage.”

    Patrick Shepherd, The Press, 22 August 2013

  • More info  
    28 Jul 13 MUSSORGSKY Songs and Dances of Death
    Wellington Town Hall

    “There could hardly have been a more powerfully sympathetic singer than Jonathan Lemalu, of these dark though not really despairing songs, for Death is depicted mainly as friend, offering peace in place of suffering. Lemalu’s Russian sounded as if he were singing in his first language and his entire demeanour and vocal quality expressed their sombre but richly musical quality with utter conviction.”
    Lindis Taylor, Middle C, 28 July 2013

  • More info  
    07 Jul 13 TAVENER The Death of Ivan Ilyich
    Manchester International Festival

    “Punctuated by the repeated summons of stentorian trombones, against urgent strings, the bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu projected the intense physical suffering of the dying man who glimpses light at the end of his ordeal…”
    Paul Vallely, The Independent, 10 July 2013

  • More info  
    11 Oct 12 HEGGIE Moby Dick
    San Francisco Opera

    “Jonathan Lemalu imparted admirable dimension to the role of the noble native Queequeg.”
    Georgia Rowe, Opera News, January 2013

    “Bass Jonathan Lemalu sang Queequeg with gruff intensity…”

    Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 October 2012

    “In two welcome local debuts, Jonathan Lemalu as Queequeg and Stephen Costello as Greenhorn are memorable; their characters’ bonding is believable.”

    Janos Gereben, San Francisco Examiner, 11 October 2012

  • More info  
    24 Jul 12 WAGNER Die Walküre
    New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

    “…and the smooth darkness of Jonathan Lemalu, as Hunding, were similarly brilliant.”

    John Button, The Dominion Post, 24 July 2012

    “Hunding was powerfully sung by Jonathan Lemalu in a portrayal which gave the character a menacing quality hinting at a darkness which pervades much of the Ring.”

    John Daly-Peoples, National Business Review, 30 July 2012

  • More info  
    29 Jun 12 GERSHWIN Porgy&Bess
    Cincinnati Opera

    “The evening’s most unforgettable number was “Bess, You Is My Woman Now,” the love duet between Jonathan Lemalu as Porgy and a radiant Measha Brueggergosman, singing her first Bess…As the crippled Porgy, Lemalu gave a riveting performance as he alternately crawled and rolled on his knees on a cart. To sing while doing so was a heroic effort. He conveyed Porgy’s simple honesty with the kind of subtle emotional power that drew you in, from his heartwarming anthem “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’” to “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” and his final “I’m On My Way.””

    Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer, 29 June 2012

    “Starring in the handsome production…were soprano Measha Brueggergosman as Bess and bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu as Porgy…Lemalu as the crippled Porgy was a commanding presence from the very beginning, pushing himself on a “goat cart” (a little platform on wheels) to join the craps game. Lemalu’s large, warm voice was ideally suited to his roles as lover, protector and figure of integrity in Catfish Row…There were many unforgettable moments during the evening: Lemalu’s “Bess, You Is My Woman Now,” which bloomed into a rapturous duet with Brueggergosman…”

    Mary Ellyn Hutton, Music in Cincinnati, 29 June 2012

  • More info  
    28 May 12 WALTON Belshazzar's Feast
    Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

    “Jonathan Lemalu’s bass-baritone, however, was essential to Belshazzar’s Feast…soloist, choir and orchestra responded superbly to Tovey’s demands for light and shade, volume and hush as the story unfolded.”

    Suzanne Yanko, artshub.com.au, 28 May 2012

    “…Jonathan Lemalu’s bass-baritone riveting in the perilous unaccompanied description of Babylon…”

    Clive O’Connell, smh.com, 28 May 2012