Baritone

Samuel Dale Johnson

Australian baritone Samuel Dale Johnson graduated from the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in 2016. He will return to being a member of the ensemble at Deutsche Oper Berlin from the 2018/19 season.

© Inna Kostukovsky

Introduction

Samuel’s roles as part of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at Covent Garden included Wigmaker Ariadne auf Naxos, Morales Carmen, Zalzal L’Étoile and Thésée Oedipe, Silvio Pagliacci and Albert Werther.  During the 2015/16 season Samuel also made his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra in Tom Ades’ orchestral work Brahms, conducted by the composer.

In January 2017, Samuel joined the ensemble at the Deutsche Oper Berlin where his roles included the Imperial Commissioner Madama Butterfly, Clerk Death in Venice, Matthieu Andrea Chénier, the Bosun Billy Budd, Ping Turandot, Border Guard Boris Gudonov and the Flemish Deputy Don Carlo. Other highlights of recent seasons include Conte Le nozze di Figaro, title role Eugene Onegin, which The Herald praised as “a performance that transcends such distractions by being beautifully measured and characterful as well as excellently sung”, and Silvio Pagliacci for Scottish Opera and Guglielmo for Northern Ireland Opera.

In the 2018/19 season, Samuel will return to the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin where his roles will include title role Don Giovanni, Escamillo Carmen, Figaro Il barbiere di Siviglia, Matthieu André Chénier, Angelotti Tosca, Dr. Falke Die Fledermaus and Count Monterone Rigoletto. He will also make his debut appearance at the Dvořák Festival Prague for a performance of The American Flag.


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  • More info  
    30 Apr 18 TCHAIKOVSKY Eugene Onegin (title role)
    Scottish Opera

    “…if one looked for the star of the evening it would be the Onegin of Samuel Dale Johnson; it would be difficult to find a more persuasive portrayal of this deeply conflicting role, from suitor to womaniser and then at the close, the cast-off lover poses a challenging task… Her beau, Onegin displayed all the capriciousness of his part equally through his acting and voice: ‘Were I a man whom fate intended’ revealed that he is a perfect Onegin with a magnificent lyric baritone, though he turned out not to be the one she had dreamt of before.”
    Gregor Tassie, Seen & Heard, 27 April 2018

    “Natalya Romaniw’s stunningly sung Tatyana is a mature creature from the start, so it’s clever to make her a mother by the time that Samuel Dale Johnson’s Onegin returns — memorably degenerated but in terrific voice.”
    Richard Morrison, The Times, 30 April 2018

    “Johnson is a credible Onegin, handsome and haughty in the first act; a broken man by the time he confronts Natalya Romaniw’s Tatyana in the final scene, even though his singing grew in expressive assurance as the opera went on.”
    Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 28 April 2018

    “Australian baritone Samuel Dale Johnson… a performance that transcends such distractions by being beautifully measured and characterful as well as excellently sung.
    Keith Bruce, The Herald, 30 April 2018

    “As the object of her desires, fast-rising Samuel Dale Johnson blossomed to leading man status. Indeed I cannot recall a more beautifully sung Onegin – albeit sounding less like a Russian than Escamillo with attitude – and the Australian baritone’s commanding physical presence made it easy to understand why Tatyana was so besotted. Yet Johnson’s descent from patronising aristo to broken self-loather was startling.”
    Mark Valencia, What’s On Stage, 30 April 2018

    “…Samuel Dale Johnson … is clearly a performer to watch.  He captured the haughty arrogance of Onegin to perfection in the early scenes and this contrasted strikingly with the distraught and dishevelled character in the final act.  He has a dark burnished tone which he used to great effect throughout rising above big orchestral forces when required or blending beautifully with the other performers in the ensemble scenes.  His final duet with Romaniw was thrilling both dramatically and musically and his final cries were devastating”

    Robert Beattie, Seen and Heard, 1 July 2018

     

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    08 Jan 18 LEONCAVALLO Pagliacci (Silvio)
    Royal Opera House

    “She has made a silent appearance in the village already in Cavalleria, where she’s wooed by the handsome baker Silvio (Samuel Dale Johnson).

    The young Australian baritone is wonderful and, when he begs Nedda to run away with him, it seems likely that half the packed audience would have followed him like a shot.”
    Lynne Walsh, Morning Star, 8 January 2018

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    20 Nov 17 MOZART Cosi fan tutte
    Northern Ireland Opera

    “I was particularly impressed with the Australian baritone Samuel Dale Johnson who gave a virile, laddish portrayal of Guglielmo while also throwing himself into the comic high jinks of Act I. His tone was excellent throughout and his Act II aria was delivered with braggadocio swagger all while mixing a cocktail.”

    Robert Beattie, 19 Novemeber 2017, Seen and Heard

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    06 Mar 17 Adès 'Brahms'
    CD LSO0798 Adès: Asyla, Tevot, Polaris

    “deliciously humerous in this new recording from baritone Samuel Dale Johnson with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer”
    BBC Radio 3 Record Review, 4 March 2017

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    23 May 16 Enescu Oedipe (Thésée)
    Royal Opera House

    “Conductor Leo Hussain details the complex musical strands which amalgamate Gallic influences with Romanian folk elements and modernist echoes. This driving narrative continues beyond Oedipus’s marriage to Jocasta and horrified realisation, to his blinded exile with Antigone (sweetly sung by Sophie Bevan) and meeting with Thésée (a lyrical Samuel Dale Johnson), culminating in a radiant Bartókian affirmation of his own innocence.”
    Cara Chanteau, Independent, 24 May 2016 

    “Samuel Dale Johnson (Thesée), Stefan Kocan (Watchman) and In Sung Sum (Phorbas) also contribute notable cameos.”
    Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph, 24 May 2016 

    “Samuel Dale Johnson’s smoothly patrician Thesee (richly even and untroubled)…”
    Alexandra Coghlan, New Statesman, 25 May 2016

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    09 Mar 16 Adès 'Brahms', 9 March 2016
    London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican Centre

    “After the interval Adès conducted two more of his own works, the first aptly being called Brahms. This is a 5 minute setting for baritone and full orchestra of a poem by Alfred Brendel, which was commissioned to celebrate the pianist’s 70th birthday in 2001. A lugubriously humorous poem was set with wit and an element of menace implied in the words. Characterfully delivered by Samuel Dale Johnson, it gave one a small taste of the operatic genius of Adès.

    This was an exceptional concert which was totally convincing both in performance and the quality of the music being presented. My concert of the year so far.”
    Chris Garlick, Bachtrack, 10 March 2016 

    “Opening the second half was a piece called Brahms, Adès’s own “anti-homage” to a great predecessor in the shape of a setting of a poem by Alfred Brendel, sung with vitality and grace by the Australian baritone Samuel Dale Johnson.”
    George Hall, Guardian, 10 March 2016 

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    18 Jul 15 Bizet The Pearl Fishers (excerpts)
    Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Performance, Royal Opera House

    “Samuel Dale Johnson as Zurga and Lauren Fagan as his love-interest, Leila, were simply superb … These two fine singers proved they were worthy of headlining any Pearl Fishers cast and deserved the prolonged ovation they received”
    Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International, 20 July 2015 

    “Samuel Dale Johnson’s Zurga shone”
    Colin Clarke, Music Web International

    “The Pearl Fishers was exceptional, both singers giving their all and electrifying each other and, in the process, the auditorium”
    Colin Anderson, Classical Source

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    18 May 15 Verdi La Traviata (Baron Douphol)
    Royal Opera House Main Stage

    “Samuel Dale Johnson as Baron Douphol stands out”
    Sam Smith, Music OMH, 20 May 2015

    “Samuel Dale Johnson (Baron Douphol) was outstanding”
    Mark Valencia, What’s On Stage, 19 May 2015

Repertoire

OPERATIC REPERTOIRE

BIZET
‘Carmen’ (Escamillo, Morales)
‘Les pêcheurs de perles’ (Zurga)*

BRITTEN
‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (Peter Quince)
‘Billy Budd’ (title role, thr Bosun)*
‘Albert Herring’ (Sid)*
‘Death in Venice’ (Polish Father, The Clerk)

DONIZETTI
‘Don Pasquale’ (Dr Malatesta)*
‘L’elisir d’amore’ (Belcore)

GOUNOD
‘Faust’ (Valentin)

GIORDANO
‘Andrea Chénier’ (Mathieu)

HANDEL
‘Saul’ (title role)

LEONCAVALLO
‘I Pagliacci’ (Silvio)

MASSENET
‘Werther’ (Albert)
‘Cendrillon’ (Pandolfe)
‘Don Quichotte’ (Sancho)*

MEYERBEER
‘Les Huguenots’ (Le Comte de Nevers)*

MOZART
‘Cosi fan tutte’ (Guiglielmo)
‘Don Giovanni’ (title role)
‘Le nozze di Figaro’ (Conte)
‘Die Zauberflöte’ (Papageno)

MUSSORGSKY
‘Boris Gudunov’ (Border Guard)

PUCCINI
‘Gianni Schicchi’ (title role)
‘La bohème’ (Marcello)*
‘Madama Butterfly’ (Imperial Commissioner)
‘Turandot’ (Ping)
‘Tosca’ (Angelotti) *

ROSSINI
‘Il Barbiere di Siviglia’ (Figaro)
‘La Scala di Seta’ (Dormont)
‘Guillaume Tell’ (Leuthold)

PUCCINI
‘Manon Lescaut’ (Lescaut)*

STRAUSS
‘Die Fledermaus’ (Dr. Falke)*

STRAVINSKY
‘The Rake’s Progress’ (Nick Shadow)

TCHAIKOVSKY
‘Eugene Onegin’ (title role)
‘Pique Dame’ (Prince Yeletsky) *

VERDI
‘Don Carlo’ (Flemish Deputy)
‘La traviata’ (Barone Douphol)
‘Un Ballo in Maschera’ (Silvano)
‘Rigoletto’ (title role)*

*Upcoming

CONCERT REPERTOIRE

ADÈS
‘Brahms’

BACH
‘St Matthew Passion’ (Jesus) *

HANDEL
‘Messiah’

FAURÉ
‘Requiem’

MOZART
‘Mass in C Minor’

SCHUMANN
‘Liederkreis, op. 39’

Discography

 
  • More info  
    Adès: Polaris, Tevot, Asyla, Brahms

    Label: LSO Live

    Release Date: 03 Mar 17

    THOMAS ADÈS
    Asyla, Op. 17
    Tevot
    Polaris “Voyage for Orchestra”
    Brahms, Op. 21

    Composer: Thomas Adès
    Conductor: Thomas Adès
    Performers: London Symphony Orchestra; Samuel Dale Johnson