New Zealand-born Samoan bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu made his Royal Opera debut in the 2003/4 Season as Zoroastro (Orlando), returning to sing Colline (La bohème) and Jake Wallace (La fanciulla del West). In the 2018/19 Season he sings Sacristan (Tosca) for The Royal Opera.
Lemalu studied at the Royal College of Music on the London Royal Schools’ Opera Course. He won a 2002 Royal Philharmonic Society Award (Young Artist of the Year) and was joint winner of the 2002 Kathleen Ferrier Award. He has appeared with opera companies including English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne, Bavarian State Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Theater an der Wien, Opéra de Lyon, Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, Liceu, Barcelona, Metropolitan Opera, New York, San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, Opera Australia, New Zealand Opera and at the Salzburg Festival. His repertory includes Argante (Rinaldo), Rodomonte (Orlando paladino), Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Masetto and Leporello (Don Giovanni), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Rocco (Fidelio), Don Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Fernando (La gazza ladra), Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore), Sir John Falstaff (Falstaff), Hunding (Die Walküre), Frère Laurent (Roméo et Juliette), Hobson (Peter Grimes), Mr Flint (Billy Budd), Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Porgy (Porgy and Bess), Joseph (El niño), Queequeg (Moby Dick) and Sergeant of Police (The Pirates of Penzance).
In concert, Lemalu regularly sings with the London Symphony Orchestra and other leading orchestras worldwide (including the Berlin Philharmonic), and has appeared many times at the BBC Proms. He is a keen recitalist and has recorded prolifically.