Jon Fredric West
born 4 March 1952 Dayton
West studied voice in Bowling Green and at the Manhattan School of Music. He started his career as Tamino in Glens Falls in
1975. 1977 and 1978, he restudied at the Juilliard School. He also took private lessons with Rosa Ponselle, Jan Peerce and Richard Tucker. Until 1980, he sang
roles like Ferrando, Belmonte, Faust, Alfredo or Duca.
In RA format
His career took steam when he grew into a more and more dramatic repertory; to become a heldentenor had always been his
intention, but cautiously and slowly. In 1982, he was Manrico in Frankfurt and Canio in Houston. At the New York City Opera, he
made his debut in 1983 as Calaf, and returned in 1985 (Foresto) and 1987 (Canio). Waldemar in Schönberg's Gurrelieder
became one of his most important roles, he sang it in many places (at the Edinburgh Festival, Maggio musicale fiorentino,
Ravinia Festival, Carnegie Hall, Royal Festival Hall London and so on). He was Canio at La Scala in 1984, and sang a lot around
North America: Toronto, Detroit, Washington, Michigan Opera, Long Beach Opera, Metropolitan Opera (1989 to 2009, but just 25
performances: Luigi, Samson, Tichon, Erik, Walther von der Vogelweide, Bacchus, Tannhäuser, and both Siegfrieds). In
Europe, he was Calaf at La Fenice in 1993, sang Tristan at the 1996 reopening of the Prinzregententheater in Munich, Bacchus for
the English National Opera, Tristan at the Vienna Staatsoper (1997), Siegmund in Rome (1999), Kaiser at La Scala (1999), Young
Siegfried in Stuttgart (a spectacular success) and in Munich. In 2000, he was Tristan in Chicago, at Covent Garden and at the Salzburg Festival.
He was Tannhäuser at La Monnaie, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, in Dresden and Madrid. At the Vienna Staatsoper in 2001/02, he
sang Otello, Kaiser, Bacchus and Tannhäuser.
Reference 1, reference 2: Kutsch & Riemens,
reference 3: Vienna Staatsoper archives, reference 4: Metropolitan Opera archives, reference 5: West's website
In RA format
I would like to thank Tom Silverbörg for the recording (Tristan) and picture (Tristan).