Jonathan Best was born in Kent and educated at St John’s College‚ Cambridge and at the Guildhall School of Music. He made his operatic debut in 1983 with the Welsh National Opera‚ and has since sung with all the major British Opera companies.
Recent and future plans include Bartolo The Marriage of Figaro (Opera North)‚ Lesbo Agrippina (The Grange Festival)‚ Father Traurnacht (Festival d’Aix en Provence in Arras and Lisbon)‚ Sarastro The Magic Flute‚ Benoit/Alcindoro La Boheme and Le Bailli Werther (Scottish Opera)‚ Judge Turpin Sweeney Todd (Théâtre du Châtelet‚ Paris and Münchner Rundfunkorchester)‚ Drunken Poet The Fairy Queen (in concert with the Handel and Haydn Society‚ Boston)‚ title role Saul (The Sixteen and Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society)‚ Capellio I Capuleti e i Montecchi‚ Don Fernando Leonore‚ Zebul Jephtha‚ Notary Intermezzo and Maître Jean La Colombe (Buxton Festival)‚ Don Alfonso Cosi fan tutte and Lord Henry The Picture of Dorian Gray (Den Jyske Opera)‚ Quince A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Speaker The Magic Flute (Garsington Opera)‚ 3rd Seller / Dignitary The Portrait and Achilla Giulio Cesare (Opera North)‚ Pastor Oberlin Jakob Lenz and Bartolo The Marriage of Figaro (English National Opera)‚ Sacristan/Lunarbore/Domšic The Adventures of Mr Broucek (Opera North/Scottish Opera)‚ Missa Solemnis (Gloucester Cathedral)‚ Arthur The Lighthouse‚ Narrator The Waste Land‚ The Soldier’s Tale and the world première of Sally Beamish’s The Sins (Psappha Quartet).
A regular guest with Opera North‚ roles have included Des Grieux Manon‚ Barbe-bleue Ariane et Barbe-bleue‚ Sparafucile Rigoletto‚ Don Alfonso Così fan tutte‚ Leporello Don Giovanni‚ Bottom A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Villabella The Thieving Magpie‚ Speaker The Magic Flute‚ Bishop Caritas‚ Sirocco L’étoile‚ King The Love for Three Oranges‚ Radcliffe Billy Budd‚ Bartolo The Marriage of Figaro and Rambaldo La rondine. Further appearances in the UK include Garibaldo Rodelinda‚ Zuniga Carmen‚ Alcindoro La Boheme‚ Valens Theodora and Kramer Tangier Tattoo (Glyndebourne)‚ Drunken Poet The Fairy Queen (ENO and at the BBC Proms)‚ the world premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ opera Mr Emmet Takes a Walk (Psappha)‚ Don Alfonso (Grange Park Opera and Garsington)‚ Doctor Wozzeck and Rocco Fidelio with BOCO‚ Quince A Midsummer Night’s Dream (ROH‚ Covent Garden)‚ Saul‚ Ralph The Fair Maid of Perth‚ Walter Raleigh Roberto Devereux‚ Oscar Bluebeard‚ Pancratius The Poacher‚ Harapha Samson‚ Gubetta Lucrezia Borgia‚ Sancho Panza Die Hochzeit des Camacho‚ Don Cassandro La Finta Semplice and Don Annibale Il Campanello (all Buxton Festival)‚ Leone Tamerlano (Scottish Opera) and Foreman of the Mill Jenufa (Opera Holland Park).
Engagements abroad include Pitkin On the Town (Châtelet)‚ Don Pedro Béatrice et Bénèdict with Netherlands Opera‚ Valens in Strasbourg‚ King Ariodante‚ Zoroastro Orlando and Arkel Pelléas and Mélisande with Opera Theatre Company in Dublin‚ Drunken Poet in Barcelona‚ Antinoo Il Ritorno D’Ulisse in Patria for Teatro Sao Carlo‚ Lisbon‚ Father Trulove The Rake’s Progress in Israel and Count Robinson in Sir Jonathan Miller’s production of Il Matrimonio Segreto at The Brooklyn Academy of Music‚ USA‚ as well as appearances at the Salzburg Festival‚ Maggio Musicale-Florence and Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie.
He appears regularly in concert throughout the United Kingdom and abroad‚ has appeared at the Proms and has made many recordings for both television and radio. Appearances include The Fairy Queen with the Sixteen‚ Uberto La Serva Padrona with the Gabrieli Consort touring Norway‚ Mozart’s Requiem (Harrogate Choral Society and Cork)‚ Verdi Requiem and Christus St John Passion with the Bach Choir‚ Jesus St Matthew Passion in Sheffield and L’enfance du Christ with BOCO.