John Tomlinson was born in Lancashire. He gained a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering at Manchester University before winning a scholarship to the Royal Manchester College of Music. He was awarded a C.B.E. in 1997 and knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2005.
John Tomlinson’s engagements include performances at La Scala, Milan, Rome, Barcelona, Geneva, Lisbon, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin (Deutsche Oper and Deutsche Staatsoper), Dresden, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Bilbao and the Festivals of Bayreuth (where he sang for eighteen consecutive seasons), Orange, Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg, Edinburgh and the Maggio Musicale, Florence. He has sung regularly with English National Opera since 1974 and with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, since 1977 and has also appeared with all the other leading British opera companies.
John Tomlinson has a large concert repertoire and has sung with all the leading British orchestras and in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, France, Spain, Denmark and the U.S.A. He has made many recordings including Wotan, Wanderer, Hagen, Hans Sachs, Titurel, Don Alfonso COSÌ FAN TUTTE, Leporello, and title roles LE NOZZE DI FIGARO and BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE, Beethoven CHORAL SYMPHONY, MESSIAH, ACIS AND GALATEA and the Verdi REQUIEM. Videos include MARIA STUARDA, PETER GRIMES, GIULIO CESARE, RIGOLETTO, DAS RHEINGOLD, DIE WALKÜRE, SIEGFRIED and THE MINOTAUR.
Engagements in 2016 include Varlaam BORIS GODUNOV, Tiresias OEDIPUS and Ivan Yaklovlevich, Khosrev-Mirza, Newspaper Clerk and Doctor THE NOSE for Royal Opera, Covent Garden and Doctor Charles Conde in the world premiere of Thomas Ades’ EXTERMINATING ANGEL at Salzburg Festival, as well as concerts including Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Berliner Philharmoniker and at Wigmore Hall. Future performances include further engagements for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, English National Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Glyndebourne Festival and Dresden Semperoper.