Jonathan Lemalu

Key details:

Music | Vocal Studies
Principal Study Professor


Grammy award winning bass, Jonathan Lemalu, was born in Dunedin, New Zealand where he began singing with Honor McKellar. He graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from Otago University, and in 2002 as a postgraduate voice student (Distinction) with Vera Rozsa at London’s Royal College of Music, where as a Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother scholar he was awarded the college’s top honours  (Tagore Gold Medal and Queen Elizabeth Rosebowl).

His competition successes include Royal Overseas League Gold Medal, Kathleen Ferrier Award and Llangollen Young Singer of the World. 

Jonathan was a BBC3 Radio New Generation Artist and Wigmore Hall-nominated Rising Stars recitalist.  His debut recording (EMI Classics) with pianist Roger Vignoles received Gramophone Magazine’s Debut Disc of the Year (2002), ECHO Klassik award and Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist of the year.   Other solo recordings with EMI Classics include Jonathan Lemalu: Opera Arias with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (TUI Classical Album of the Year), Love Blows as the Wind Blows with Malcolm Martineau and the Belcea Quartet (ECHO Klassik Award).

Jonathan has performed at the Royal Opera House, Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric, Bayerische Staatsoper, San Francisco, Theater an der Wien, Hamburg, Cincinnati, San Diego, Dallas, Salzburg Festival, Glyndebourne Festival, Frankfurt, English National Opera, Tokyo, Australia and New Zealand in roles including Dulcamara/L’Elisir D’Amore, Nick Shadow/The Rake’s Progress, Leporello\Don Giovanni, Bottom/A Midsummer Nights Dream, Pogner/Meistersinger Von Nürnberg, Basilio/Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Collatinus/Rape of Lucretia, Mr Flint/Billy Budd, Argante/Rinaldo, Zoroastro/Orlando, Colline/La Boheme, Gobrias/Belshazzar, Rodomonte/Orlando Paladino, Papageno/Die Zauberflöte, Sacristan/Tosca, Queequeg/Moby Dick, Rocco/Fidelio and the title roles in Mozart’s Figaro, Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Verdi’s Falstaff, Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, Britten’s Noye’s Fludde and Handel’s Saul and Hercules with conductors Mehta, Pappano, Rattle, Norrington, Jurowski, Jacobs, Christie, Dutoit, Gergiev, Summers, MacKerras, Davis, Bolton, Elder, Young, Harnoncourt, Gardner, Harding.

Jonathan teaches, gives masterclasses, repertoire coaching and is an external examiner/adjudicator in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK’s Royal College of Music, Welsh Academy of Music, and Guildhall School of Music & Drama where he is a Professor of Voice.