Australian baritone Christopher Tonkin has developed a reputation as one of Australia’s most successful young exports. Praised for his “sweet” (Opera Magazine), “gloriously rich baritone” (Opera Now), and “dramatic authority” (Chichester Observer), alongside his intensive characterisation, and striking physicality, he is regularly engaged in principal roles in opera houses and concert halls throughout Europe, as well as his native Australia.
In the 2017/18 season, Christopher returns to Opera Australia for both the Sydney and Melbourne seasons, reprising his recent outing with the national company as Marcello in La Bohème. He sings Handel’s Messiah in his debut with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Hadyn’s Nelson Mass with Victoria Chorale and continues his association with the role of Sam in the ground-breaking production of Lost and Found Opera’s Trouble in Tahiti for the Cardiff International Festival of Voices.
Tonkin has worked throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia. Credits include Marcello (La Bohème), Silvio (Pagliacci), Il Conte Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Pollux (Castor et Pollux), Anténor (Dardanus), Robert (Iolanta), Ping (Turandot), Albert (Werther), Valentin (Faust), Tarquinius (Rape of Lucretia), Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos) and Hans (Der Traumgörge). On the concert stage, Tonkin recently debuted with the acclaimed Lucerne Festival with conductor Howard Arman in Der Tod Jesu (Graun).
A regular performer with Australia’s premiere opera companies and symphony orchestras, Tonkin in recent years has performed the roles of Marcello (La Bohème), the Count (Capriccio) and Novice’s Friend (Billy Budd) for Opera Australia, the Black Minister in La Fura dels Baus’ internationally renowned production of Le Grand Macabre (Adelaide Festival) and for Victorian Opera, Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Belcore (L’elisir d’amore), for which he received a Green Room Award nomination, Chou En-Lai in the 2013 award-winning production of Nixon in China, and on the concert platform most notably Handel’s Messiah and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Tonkin has worked with conductors Sir Colin Davis, Richard Hickox, Anthony Legge, Steuart Bedford, Markus Stenz, Ivan Repušić, Laurence Cummings, Howard Arman, Karen Kamensek and Oleg Caetani, as well as directors John Cox, John Copley, La Fura dels Baus, Neil Armfield, Benedikt von Peters, and Roger Hodgson.