Opera Scotland

Jon Weaving Suggest updates

Born Melbourne, 23 February 1931.

Died Sweden, 19 October 2011.

Australian tenor.

Jon Weaving's operatic career in Britain formed two phases with Sadler's Wells. Firstly, as a light lyric tenor, he appeared in operettas by Offenbach and Lehàr. Later, after several years back in Australia, and a period in Germany, he performed leading dramatic and Wagnerian roles, including Siegmund and Siegfried in the Ring.

He grew up in Melbourne, gaining his first job at the local radio station. The quality of his speaking voice led to work as an announcer, which, in turn, led to a move to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Sydney. He took singing lessons, as a baritone, with Jessye Schmidt and Browning Mummery. After taking part in the 1950 Mobil competition (won by Joan Sutherland), he moved to Britain in 1952, studying with Jani Strasser at Glyndebourne and with Richard Bonynge, during which he retrained as a tenor.

His first period with Sadler's Wells, from the late fifties, saw him perform operetta roles by Lehàr (both Bogdanowitsch and Danilo in The Merry Widow), Strauss (Eisenstein), and Offenbach (Pluto-Aristaeus in Orpheus in the Underworld; Gardefeu in La Vie Parisienne). The two Offenbach roles were recorded in the EMI series of operetta highlights.

He returned to Australia in 1962 as a member of the Sadler's Wells company on tour, and stayed their until 1967, singing in and presenting a series of operetta programmes on Australian television. On his return to the UK he made his only appearances at Covent Garden as Macheath in Benjamin Britten's performing edition of The Beggar's Opera.

He then began a period under contract in Germany, and began singing heavier roles in both Italian and German repertoires. At Kiel his first Wagner role was Lohengrin. He soon sang most of the leading Wagnerian parts, including performances as Siegfried in Wiesbaden and Leipzig.

He rejoined Sadler's Wells for the 1973 Ring cycles conducted by Reginald Goodall - Alberto Remedios had sung Siegmund in the earliy performances of Valkyrie, but was only singing Siegfried in the cycles, so Weaving sang Siegmund, and in later seasons both in London and on tour, sang Siegfried.

He returned to Australia, and in the Australian Opera's Ring production in the early eighties sang both Siegmund and Siegfried. He retired from opera work in 1986 when hampered by the onset of arthritis, He moved to Melbourne and taught singing as well as running other businesses. His second wife was a Swedish singer, and his final move was to Sweden not long before his death.

Roles in Scotland

Bogdanowitsch Pontevedrian Consul
Lustige Witwe 1959
Pluto Lord of the Underworld
Orphée aux Enfers 1961

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