John Mark Ainsley is a highly versatile concert singer whose international engagements include appearances with the London Symphony under Sir Colin Davis, Rostropovich and Previn, the Concert D’Astrée under Haim, the London Philharmonic under Norrington, Les Musiciens du Louvre under Minkowski, the Cleveland Orchestra under Welser-Möst, the Berlin Philharmonic under Haitink and Rattle, the Berlin Staatskapelle under Jordan, the New York Philharmonic under Masur, the Boston Symphony under Ozawa, the San Francisco Symphony under Tate and Norrington, the Vienna Philharmonic under Norrington, Pinnock and Welser-Möst, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields under Marriner and Langrée, and both the Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Orchestre de Paris under Giulini.
At the 2005 Saito Kinen Festival he appeared in Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder under Ozawa. His discography is extensive, including Handel’s Saul with Gardiner, Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream with Davis, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with Haitink and J.S. Bach’s Mass in B minor and the Evangelist in the St Matthew Passion with Ozawa, L’enfance du Christ, Alexander’s Feast, Acis and Galatea, the Berlioz Requiem and the title role in Monteverdi’s Orfeo. He has made a series of recital records of Schubert, Mozart, Purcell, Grainger, Warlock and Quilter, with a recording of Vaughan Williams’s On Wenlock Edge nominated for a Gramophone Award. Other recordings include the Britten cycles Serenade for tenor, horn and strings, Les Illuminations and Nocturne, Charlie in Brigadoon and Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni. On the operatic stage he has sung Don Ottavio at the Glyndebourne Festival under Sir Simon Rattle, and at the Aix-en-Provence Festival under Claudio Abbado. He has appeared with Opera Australia as Tito and Idomeneo, with the Netherlands Opera as the title role in Handel’s Samson, with the San Francisco Opera as Don Ottavio and Jupiter in Semele and at the Munich Festival as Jonathan in Saul and as Orfeo, for which he received the Munich Festival Prize. In 2002 he made his début at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as Don Ottavio under Mackerras. At the 2003 Salzburg Festival he created the rôle of Der Daemon in the world première of Hans Werner Henze’s L’Upupa, which he reprised at the Teatro Real, Madrid. He returned to Salzburg in 2006 where he sang Soliman in Zaide and Belfiore in La finta giardinera. He sang The Madwoman in Britten’s Curlew River in Frankfurt and his first Pelléas for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin.