John’s specialty is being the bad guy – the absolute villain of the opera. With his powerful voice and dramatic scenic appearance the evil characters have become the signature of John’s career.
John Lundgren is born and raised in Sweden. While still attending The Opera Academy in Copenhagen he quite extraordinarily joined the soloist-ensemble at The Royal Theatre, Copenhagen. His debut here was as Schaunard in La Bohème, conducted by Dietfried Bernet.
John has portrayed several of the most important, dramatic baritone characters at his ‘home stage’ in Copenhagen such as Conte di Luna in Trovatore, Enrico Ashton in Lucia di Lammermoor, Giorgio Germont in La Traviata, Posa in Don Carlos, and Amonasro singing together with Roberto Alagna at the prestigious opening production of Aida at the new opera house in Copenhagen. Lately, John has made his debut in as diverse roles as Escamillo in Carmen, Scarpia in Tosca, Berg’s Wozzeck, Tarquinius in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde.
In 2006 John sang the title role in Nabucco at the big Theater Hedeland outdoor arena. During 2007 he sang Don Pizzarro in Beethovens Fidelio with Jonathan Miller as stage director at The Danish National Opera. He returned to this opera house in 2008 to make his debut in the title role of Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer with tremendous success. And he was invited to sing this role again at Teatro Pérez Galdós in Las Palmas in 2010. Furthermore, John made his Tokyo Opera debut as Scarpia in 2009.
Contemporary opera is also an important part of John’s repertoire. In 2005 he sang the demanding part of Prospero in The Tempest by Thomas Adès conducted by the composer himself. He also appeared at the Drottningholm-production of Cecilia and the Monkey King, by Reine Jönsson, where he sang nothing less than four different roles.
2012 John sang Carlo Gérard in Andrea Chenier at Bregenzer Festspiele, Amfortas in Keith Warners Parsifal production in Copenhagen and Jack Rance in La Fanciulla del West in Stockholm.
Last season he sang Jaroslav Prus in a new production of Makropulos at Bayerischer Staatsoper München, Telramund and Jack Rance at the Deutche Oper Berlin, Kurwenal at the Zürich Opera and Siegfried Wanderer in Leipzig.
This season will include the part of Devlin in the world premiere of Notorious in Gothenburg (with KS Nina Stemme), The Flying Dutchman in Hamburg, Jochanaan at The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen. During the summer he will sing Wotan and The Flying Dutchman at the Bayreuther Festspiele, as the first Swedish helden baritone in 65 years!
In 2006 John received the prestigious Birgit Nilsson Prize for being one of the few Scandinavian-born dramatic baritones of his generation. In 2010, John was honoured Ridder af Dannebrogordenen (‘Knight of Dannebrog’) by HM The Queen of Denmark.