Jonathan Sells, bass

Described as a ‘sparkling storyteller’ with ‘outstanding intelligibility and a naturally powerful sound’, baritone Jonathan Sells was born in London and lives in Bern.  He is equally at home on the opera, concert and recital stages.  He graduated with distinction both from Cambridge University (Music and Musicology) and the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (Janice Chapman), where he was subsequently a Guildhall Artist Fellow.  He then spent two years at the Zurich Opera Studio. Jonathan took 1st prize at the Thelma King Vocal Awards, and won the Rose Bowl at the Guildhall Gold Medal. His awards include the Prix Thierry Mermod at the Verbier Festival Academy, the Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Silver Medal, and the Gottlob Frick Bronze Medal.  He studies with Michelle Wegwart.


On the opera stage, favourite roles include Monteverdi’s Orfeo, which Jonathan will perform in summer 2017 at Oper Schloss Waldegg (Switzerland); Don Alfonso Così fan tutte (Glyndebourne Festival Opera); Papageno (Oper Schloss Hallwyl); Zar Zar und Zimmermann; Leporello (Verbier Festival; Bahrain); Count Almaviva Le Nozze di Figaro; Figaro Il Barbiere di Siviglia; Lautsprecher Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Opéra de Dijon); König Die Kluge (Zurich Opera); and Bottom A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Zurich Opera).  He has also worked at the Opéra de Paris, Teatro Real (Madrid), and Aix-en-Provence Festival.


Jonathan Sells is also joint artistic director of the collective Solomon’s Knot, whose performances have been described as “organic music-making at its most sophisticated” (The Guardian). 


In recital, Jonathan has performed at Wigmore Hall, Tonhalle Zürich, ‘Das Lied’ in Bern, Leeds Lieder, South Korea, and City of London Festival. He is a member of ‘Besuch der Lieder’, a Swiss team of singers and pianists who give recitals in the home of anyone with a piano.

More information:
Official Homepage

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Robert Schumann

Adventlied, Op. 71 (World première recording)

Ballade vom Pagen und der Königstochter, Op. 140

Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantata 105, version by Robert Schumann

Carolyn Sampson, soprano

Benno Schachtner, countertenor

Werner Güra, tenor

Cornelius Uhle, bass

Jonathan Sells, bass

Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Helsinki Baroque Orchestra

Aapo Häkkinen, conductor

ODE 1312-2

Released 05/2018

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