© Greg Barrett

John Bolton Wood AM


Management: Worldwide

La Bohéme, HANDA Opera on Sydney Harbour, Opera Australia
“…Bolton Wood not only brings a touch of class, but also knows how to sell character to a 3000-strong crowd, and his work is as engaging as ever here”.
Simon Parris, simonparrismaninchair.com, March 2018

Opera Projects Presents La Traviata  @ The Independent
“As Count Germont, Alfredo’s father, the legendary John Bolton Wood was magnificent and in splendid voice. His arias such as Pura siccome un angelo Iddio mi diè una figlia were memorably delivered, his Di Provenza il mar, il suol chi dal cor ti cancellò? brought the house down.”
Lynne Lancaster, February 2 2016 

La Forza del Destino  State Opera of South Australia
“Another performance that stood out was John Bolton Wood’s energetic portrayal of Fre Mellitone – a character that provides comic relief within the gloomy narrative. His voice is sparkly, including a brilliant top, while his acting is believable and engaging.”
Daniela Kaleva – Australian Stage, 15 October 2013

La bohème Opera Australia
“John Bolton-Wood's delicious cameo as the bohemians' landlord was a model of the humour, elegance and high professionalism that this artist unfailingly delivers.”
Peter Burch – The Australian, 14 April 2011

The Bear Victorian Opera
“…John Bolton Wood's perfectly nuanced bear of a man, Smirnov.
Peter Burch – The Australian 16 March 2010

“..one of Australia’s most intelligent actor- singers, John Bolton Wood”
Sybil Nolan - Herald Sun 15 March 2010

..”Smirnov (John Bolton Wood in fine form)..”
John Slavin – The Age 13 March 2010

“….John Bolton-Wood was outstanding as Smirnov.  His singing was a resonant delight – as was hic comic performance…“
Sandra Bowdler, Opera Magazine June 2010

Rigoletto Opera Queensland
“...but it is Australian opera veteran John Bolton Wood who turns in the most deeply affecting performance as the title character. Prepared to do anything to protect his daughter, he resonates with the desperation and heartbreak every father knows to some extent.”
Jason Whittaker  - Australian Stage Online 2009

“John Bolton Wood in the title role is simply magnificent. His interpretation... is wonderful… his voice seems to get better and better and this particular production allows him to find subtleties and nuances within the character”
Nigel Munro-Wallis  October 2009

Batavia Opera Australia
“Bolton Wood’s Predikant was a triumph – beautifully sung, acted with absolute conviction: a thoroughly credible man of the cloth whose abhorrence  of the precipitous descent of the society in which he is trapped into barbaric chaos and his own descent  into madness were flawlessly conveyed in demeanour and utterance alike.”
David Gyger Opera Opera June 2001

The Barber of Seville Wellington City Opera
“Australian John Bolton Wood stole the show. His subtlety of nuance, his comic acting and movement on stage could hardly be bettered.”
Rosemary Collier Sunday Star Times 19 October 1996

A celebrated performer and the winner of five Green Room Awards, John Bolton Wood, who was awarded an AM for his services to Opera in 2009, was born in Sydney, and received his music education at the NSW Conservatorium of Music and the London Opera Centre.  He made his UK debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Bosun in Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd.

John returned to Australia in 1973 to sing the role of Roderick Usher in Larry Sitzky's Fall of the House of Usher, the first full-scale production to be staged in the Opera Theatre, Sydney Opera House.  Since then he has appeared with all the State Opera companies and with Opera Australia in a wide variety of roles.

In 2018, John sings Benoit and Alcindoro in La Boheme for Opera Australia's Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour and Fritz Kothner in Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg Act 111 in a special staged gala concert with State Opera of South Australia.  he is also on the adjudication panel for the 2018 Lexus Song Quest in New Zealand.

Last year he sang Philippe in three seasons of Two Weddings, One Bride, a new operetta production of favourites, created by Robert Greene, based on a story by Charles Lecocq for Opera Australia. Other recent engagements include the roles of Sacristan in Tosca and Fra Melitone  in La Forza del Destino for State Opera of South Australia, Germont for Opera Projects, Sydney, at the Independent Theatre, Dottore Grenville in La Traviata for the inaugural Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour production, Baron Zeta in  The Merry Widow, Benoit in La bohème and Sacristan in Tosca,  all for Opera Australia and Baron Zeta for Singapore Lyric Opera, along with an appearance as soloist in the City of Stonnington’s Opera in the Park.

John received great acclaim from the public and colleagues alike for his role as Old Deuteronomy in the Australian production and Asian tour of Cats, which he sang for an astounding 1498 performances. He is also noted for his performances in the operetta repertoire, particularly in roles such as Agamemnon (La Belle Helene), Jupiter (Orpheus in the Underworld) and his justly renowned interpretation of Frank (Die Fledermaus).

John's successes in the Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire include Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore to Edward Woodward's Sir Joseph Porter, Major-General Stanley in the Broadway production of The Pirates of Penzance, the role of Lord Mountararat in Iolanthe for the Victoria State Opera and Gilbert and Sullivan Unlimited with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Other concerts include a Gala AIDS Benefit Concert in Brisbane, which was televised nationally, and Frank (Die Fledermaus) and Germont (La Traviata), both for the VSO at the Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne.

Other notable operatic engagements include Dr Bartolo (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) for the Welsh National Opera, Opera Queensland, Victorian State Opera and Wellington City Opera; the title role in Rigoletto for Opera Queensland, Victoria State Opera and New Zealand Opera; Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Sacristan (Tosca), Baron Douphol and Dr Grenville (La Traviata) and Fra Melitone (La Forza del Destino) for Opera Queensland; Frank (Die Fledermaus) for Opera Queensland and State Opera of South Australia; Smirnov (The Bear) for Victorian Opera; the title role in Gianni Schicchi for Opera New Zealand.

Roles for Opera Australia include Germont Père (La Traviata), Fra Melitone (La Forza del Destino), Somarone (Béatrice et Bénédict), Sacristan (Tosca), The Duke of Plaza-Toro and Don Alhambra (The Gondoliers), Lord Mountararat (Iolanthe), The Preacher in Richard Mills’ Batavia, Dr. Bartolo (Il Barbiere Di Siviglia), the title role in Gianni Schicchi, Medical Specialist, Banker and Professor in Lulu, Blansac (La Scala di Seta), Bruschino padre (Il Signor Bruschino), Baron Zeta (The Merry Widow), Germont Père (La Traviata), Benoit and Alcindoro (La bohème), Pooh-Bah (The Mikado), Frank (Die Fledermaus), Sir Joseph Porter (HMS Pinafore), Counsel for the Plaintiff (Trial By Jury), Judge Turpin (Sweeney Todd) and Major-General Stanley (The Pirates of Penzance). 

John Bolton Wood is managed by Nina Kang:  Nina@artsmanagement.com.au
December 2018
  This biography is for general information purposes only and not for publication.
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