|Year of Birth:||1940|
|Year of Death:||2010|
Anthony Rolfe Johnson CBE (5 November 1940 – 21 July 2010) was an English operatic tenor.
Anthony Rolfe Johnson was born in Tackley in Oxfordshire. As a boy, he demonstrated musical ability and sang as a boy soprano, making a record with HMV. Despite his ability, he did not consider singing as a career and instead went to study for an agricultural degree. He worked as a farm manager, and would sing church hymns to his herd of cows. He joined a choral society in Crawley, West Sussex, and was encouraged by another member to pursue a professional singing career.
Rolfe Johnson studied with Ellis Keeler and Vera Rózsa at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He was also tutored by Peter Pears.
He first appeared in opera in the chorus and in small roles at the Glyndebourne Festival between 1972 and 1976. His major operatic debut was in the role of Count Vaudémont in Tchaikovsky's opera Iolanta in 1973 with the English Opera Group. The same year, he held his first professional recital at the Purcell Room at the Southbank Centre. In 1975, Rolfe Johnson made his Glyndebourne debut, singing the role of Lensky in Eugene Onegin, for which he won the John Christie Award. In 1978 he made his first appearance with English National Opera, as Tamino in The Magic Flute.
In the course of a long and varied career he performed in Handel's oratorios, sang the role of Evangelist in J. S. Bach's St John Passion and St Matthew Passion, and sang solos in Haydn's The Seasons and The Creation. Operas he recorded include Mozart's The Magic Flute, Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, Mozart's Idomeneo and La clemenza di Tito, and Britten's Peter Grimes as well as appearing in the latter's War Requiem, amongst many others. Many of these recordings were made under English conductor John Eliot Gardiner, including Monteverdi's Ulysses and Orfeo and Mozart's Idomeneo.