Kristján Jóhannsson

born 24 May 1948 Akureyri

Picture of Kristján Jóhannsson

Kristján Jóhannsson singsUn ballo in maschera: Ma se m'è forza perderti
In RA format

Jóhannsson studied voice in his native Iceland for many years, and then went to Italy for further lessons (with Gianni Poggi, Ettore Campogalliani and Ferruccio Tagliavini). Only in 1980, at age 32, he made his debut as Luigi and Rinuccio in Osimo. After a few years spent primarily between Reykjavik, Opera North Leeds and Welsh Opera Cardiff, he had good success in the USA from 1985 onwards: primarily in Cincinnati, but also with the Milwaukee Opera, in Los Angeles, Detroit, New Orleans, Columbus and Dallas.

In 1988, he made his debut at La Scala (as Jacopo Foscari), in 1989 in Chicago (Cavaradossi), in 1990 at the San Carlo in Naples (Turiddu), in 1991 at the Arena di Verona (Duca), in 1992 in Florence and Rome, in 1993 at the Vienna Staatsoper (Cavaradossi) and the Metropolitan Opera (Manrico), in 1994 at Covent Garden (Radames), in 1996 in Bologna (Otello). Most of these engagements were no singular events, and to most of those theaters, he returned again and again, particularly to La Scala, the Met, Chicago, the Arena and the Staatsoper. He continued his career into the late aughts.

Personally, I heard him but once, as Puccini's des Grieux, and decided not to repeat the experience. He certainly had a voice, but his singing was characterized by a greater amount of vulgarity than I was willing to accept.

Reference 1, reference 2: Kutsch & Riemens

I would like to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the recording.

Go Home