© Edmond Choo

Christopher Tonkin


Management: Australasia


La Bohème, Opera Australia

“The feisty, amorous chemistry between Ede and Christopher Tonkin’s Marcello was convincing. The tall and charismatic baritone is both dramatically and vocally accomplished.”

Patricia Maunder, Bachtrack, November 9, 2018


“In a very masculine incarnation of Marcello, baritone Christopher Tonkin, gives a naturalistic, understated performance that commands attention through sheer charisma.”

Simon Parris, Man in Chair, November 8, 2018


The Nixon Tapes, Vivid Live, Sydney Opera House

“…Christopher Tonkin’s lighter and more shaded voice was ideally suited to the eloquent yet enigmatic Zhou Enlai”.

Murray Black, The Australian, June 7, 2017


Trouble in Tahiti, Lost and Found Opera

“Tonkin’s creamy baritone and sweet falsetto were a treat to listen to in close proximity while his chiselled features and contemptuous body language gave an extra arrogance to There’s a Law “
Rosalind Appleby, Limelight Magazine, May 2017


Capriccio, Opera Australia

"…simply superb as the Countess’ brother. A tall and striking man with a substantial voice with honeyed tone, he illuminated the character of the Count easily…"

Opera Insider, July 10, 2011

The Elixir of Love, Victorian Opera

“Tonkin…as Sergeant Belcore was the stand-out performer, portraying his character’s charismatic, gum-chewing arrogance vividly, reflected equally in his brilliant bass voice.”

Olympia Bowman-Derrick, Australian Stage Online, August 17, 2008

Australian baritone Christopher Tonkin has developed a reputation as one of Australia's most successful baritones, regularly engaged in principal roles in opera houses and concert halls in Europe, as well as his native Australia.


Christopher will start 2022 by returning to the stage as the White Rabbit in the Australian Contemporary Opera Company’s production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Todd/Gottlieb), performing with the Melbourne Bach Choir in an Easter performance of Bach and Mozart, and in the role of Bill in Melbourne Opera’s presentation of The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Weill/Brecht).

He will also feature in the Book of Longing (Glass) to be presented by the Australian Contemporary Opera Company.  


Recent engagements, which unfortunately had to be cancelled, included his role debut as Scarpia (Tosca) at City of Stonington’s Opera in the Park; Bach’s St. John Passion with the Melbourne Bach Choir; James Macmillan’s Christmas Oratorio with Melbourne Symphony and the roles of Harry M. Miller in Judy Australia 1964, and Leonard in Pieces of Margery (May Lyon). He however made his very successful debut West Australian Opera as Silvio in Pagliacci last year.


Christopher has worked throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia. His major roles include Marcello (La bohème), Silvio (Pagliacci), Il Conte Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Pollux (Castor et Pollux), Anténor (Dardanus), Robert (Iolanta), Ping (Turandot), Albert (Werther), Valentin (Faust), Tarquinius (Rape of Lucretia), Demetrius (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Harlekin (Ariadne auf Naxos) and Hans (Der Traumgörge). On the concert stage, Tonkin debuted at the acclaimed Lucerne Festival with conductor Howard Arman in Der Tod Jesu (Graun).


A regular performer with Australia's premiere opera companies and symphony orchestras, in recent years he has performed the roles of Marcello (La bohème), the Count (Capriccio) and Novice’s Friend (Billy Budd) for Opera Australia, the Black Minister in La Fura dels Baus' internationally renowned production of Le Grand Macabre (Adelaide Festival) and for Victorian Opera, Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Belcore (L'elisir d'amore), for which he received a Green Room Award nomination, Chou En-Lai in Nixon in China, and on the concert platform most recently Handel's Messiah with Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.


Christopher has worked with conductors Sir Colin Davis, Richard Hickox, Anthony Legge, Stuart Bedford, Markus Stenz, Ivan Repušić, Laurence Cummings, Howard Arman, Karen Kamensek and Oleg Caetani, as well as directors John Cox, John Copley, La Fura dels Baus, Neil Armfield, Benedikt von Peters, and Roger Hodgson.


A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, Christopher also studied at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne and was resident principal baritone at the State Opera in Hannover, Germany 2010-2016.

Christopher Tonkin is managed by Graham Pushee: graham@artsmanagement.com.au
February 2022
  This biography is for general information purposes only and not for publication.
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