Samuel Dale Johnson

Australian baritone Samuel Dale Johnson graduated from the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in 2016. Since the 2016/17 season, he has been a member of the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

© Inna Kostukovsky


Samuel’s roles as part of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at Covent Garden included Wigmaker Ariadne auf Naxos, Morales Carmen, Zalzal L’Étoile and Thésée Oedipe, Silvio Pagliacci and Albert Werther.  During the 2015/16 season Samuel also made his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra in Tom Ades’ orchestral work Brahms, conducted by the composer.

In January 2017, Samuel joined the ensemble at the Deutsche Oper Berlin where his roles included Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Escamillo Carmen, the Imperial Commissioner Madama Butterfly, Clerk Death in Venice, Matthieu Andrea Chénier, the Bosun Billy Budd, Ping Turandot, Border Guard Boris Gudonov and the Flemish Deputy Don Carlo. Other highlights of recent seasons include Conte Le nozze di Figaro, title role Eugene Onegin, which The Herald praised as “a performance that transcends such distractions by being beautifully measured and characterful as well as excellently sung”, and Silvio Pagliacci for Scottish Opera and Guglielmo for Northern Ireland Opera.

In the 2020/21 season, Samuel’s roles at the Deutsche Oper Berlin include the title role Don Giovanni, Don Alvaro Il viaggio a Reims and Angelotti Tosca. He will also make his Zurich Opera debut as Belcore L’elisir d’amore and appear in concert with the Bordeaux Opera.


  • More info  
    28 Oct 20 DONIZETTI L'Elisir d'amore
    Opernhaus Zürich

    “Samuel Dale Johnson, an Australian baritone, was first-rate as Belcore, very solid tone, perfectly fine acting”
    John Rhodes, Seen and Heard International

    “Die Entdeckung des Abends ist der Haus- und Rollen-Debütant Samuel Dale Johnson: Mit kräftigem, wohlklingendem Bariton gibt er einen grundsympathischen Belcore.”

    “The discovery of the evening is the house and role debut of Samuel Dale Johnson: With a powerful, melodious baritone he gives a fundamentally sympathetic Belcore.”
    Jan Krobot, Online Merker

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    28 Dec 19 ROSSINI Il barbiere di Siviglia
    Deutsche Oper Berlin

    “Voilà un barbier qu’on aimerait avoir tout près de chez soi ! Samuel Dale Johnson semble trouver dans le personnage de Figaro un rôle à sa pleine mesure. Ce garçon est vibrionnant, infatigable, d’une souplesse de félin et d’une agilité circassienne (y compris lorsqu’il chante dans les airs, retenu par un harnais d’escalade !). Tout cela ne serait rien sans la voix ; et là aussi, on en a pour son comptant. Timbre dense et clair, ligne de chant bien tenue (ce qui, selon les positions acrobatiques qu’on lui impose, relève parfois de la gageure).”

    (Translated) “Here is a Barber that you’d like to have close to home! Samuel Dale Johnson seems to find in the character of Figaro a role to fulfill his potential. This young man is vibrant, tireless, with a feline flexibility and a circus-like agility (including when he sings in the air, restrained by a climbing harness!). All this would be nothing without the voice; and here too, he is worth his weight in gold. Dense and clear timbre and well-maintained vocal line (which, depending on the acrobatic positions imposed on it, could sometimes have been a challenge).”

    Thierry Verger, Forum Opera, 03 January 2020

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    22 Nov 19 BRITTEN Death in Venice
    Deutsche Oper Berlin

    “Samuel Dale Johnson was particularly impressive as the English Clerk, piling up chairs agitatedly as he revealed, with an anxious tinge and good projection, the malignity which would menace Aschenbach should he stay in Venice.”

    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 08 December 2019

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    16 Nov 19 PUCCINI Tosca
    Deutsche Oper Berlin

    “…une saine voix colorée par le don comique de l’interprète. On retrouve les mêmes qualités chez l’Angelotti sonore de Samuel Dale Johnson”

    “…a wholesome voice coloured by the comic talent of the performer. We find these same qualities in the resonant Angelotti of Samuel Dale Johnson”

    Yannick Boussaert, Forum Opera, 19 November 2019

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    06 Oct 19 PUCCINI Turandot
    Deutsche Oper Berlin

    “Samuel Dale Johnson’s quicksilver Ping made one especially keen to see and hear more”

    Mark Berry, Seen and Heard International, 11 October 2019

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    30 Apr 18 TCHAIKOVSKY Eugene Onegin (title role)
    Scottish Opera

    “…if one looked for the star of the evening it would be the Onegin of Samuel Dale Johnson; it would be difficult to find a more persuasive portrayal of this deeply conflicting role, from suitor to womaniser and then at the close, the cast-off lover poses a challenging task… Her beau, Onegin displayed all the capriciousness of his part equally through his acting and voice: ‘Were I a man whom fate intended’ revealed that he is a perfect Onegin with a magnificent lyric baritone, though he turned out not to be the one she had dreamt of before.”
    Gregor Tassie, Seen & Heard, 27 April 2018

    “Natalya Romaniw’s stunningly sung Tatyana is a mature creature from the start, so it’s clever to make her a mother by the time that Samuel Dale Johnson’s Onegin returns — memorably degenerated but in terrific voice.”
    Richard Morrison, The Times, 30 April 2018

    “Johnson is a credible Onegin, handsome and haughty in the first act; a broken man by the time he confronts Natalya Romaniw’s Tatyana in the final scene, even though his singing grew in expressive assurance as the opera went on.”
    Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 28 April 2018

    “Australian baritone Samuel Dale Johnson… a performance that transcends such distractions by being beautifully measured and characterful as well as excellently sung.
    Keith Bruce, The Herald, 30 April 2018

    “As the object of her desires, fast-rising Samuel Dale Johnson blossomed to leading man status. Indeed I cannot recall a more beautifully sung Onegin – albeit sounding less like a Russian than Escamillo with attitude – and the Australian baritone’s commanding physical presence made it easy to understand why Tatyana was so besotted. Yet Johnson’s descent from patronising aristo to broken self-loather was startling.”
    Mark Valencia, What’s On Stage, 30 April 2018

    “…Samuel Dale Johnson … is clearly a performer to watch.  He captured the haughty arrogance of Onegin to perfection in the early scenes and this contrasted strikingly with the distraught and dishevelled character in the final act.  He has a dark burnished tone which he used to great effect throughout rising above big orchestral forces when required or blending beautifully with the other performers in the ensemble scenes.  His final duet with Romaniw was thrilling both dramatically and musically and his final cries were devastating”

    Robert Beattie, Seen and Heard, 1 July 2018


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    08 Jan 18 LEONCAVALLO Pagliacci (Silvio)
    Royal Opera House

    “She has made a silent appearance in the village already in Cavalleria, where she’s wooed by the handsome baker Silvio (Samuel Dale Johnson).

    The young Australian baritone is wonderful and, when he begs Nedda to run away with him, it seems likely that half the packed audience would have followed him like a shot.”
    Lynne Walsh, Morning Star, 8 January 2018

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    20 Nov 17 MOZART Cosi fan tutte
    Northern Ireland Opera

    “I was particularly impressed with the Australian baritone Samuel Dale Johnson who gave a virile, laddish portrayal of Guglielmo while also throwing himself into the comic high jinks of Act I. His tone was excellent throughout and his Act II aria was delivered with braggadocio swagger all while mixing a cocktail.”

    Robert Beattie, 19 Novemeber 2017, Seen and Heard

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    06 Mar 17 Adès 'Brahms'
    CD LSO0798 Adès: Asyla, Tevot, Polaris

    “deliciously humerous in this new recording from baritone Samuel Dale Johnson with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer”
    BBC Radio 3 Record Review, 4 March 2017

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    23 May 16 Enescu Oedipe (Thésée)
    Royal Opera House

    “Conductor Leo Hussain details the complex musical strands which amalgamate Gallic influences with Romanian folk elements and modernist echoes. This driving narrative continues beyond Oedipus’s marriage to Jocasta and horrified realisation, to his blinded exile with Antigone (sweetly sung by Sophie Bevan) and meeting with Thésée (a lyrical Samuel Dale Johnson), culminating in a radiant Bartókian affirmation of his own innocence.”
    Cara Chanteau, Independent, 24 May 2016 

    “Samuel Dale Johnson (Thesée), Stefan Kocan (Watchman) and In Sung Sum (Phorbas) also contribute notable cameos.”
    Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph, 24 May 2016 

    “Samuel Dale Johnson’s smoothly patrician Thesee (richly even and untroubled)…”
    Alexandra Coghlan, New Statesman, 25 May 2016

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    09 Mar 16 Adès 'Brahms', 9 March 2016
    London Symphony Orchestra, Barbican Centre

    “After the interval Adès conducted two more of his own works, the first aptly being called Brahms. This is a 5 minute setting for baritone and full orchestra of a poem by Alfred Brendel, which was commissioned to celebrate the pianist’s 70th birthday in 2001. A lugubriously humorous poem was set with wit and an element of menace implied in the words. Characterfully delivered by Samuel Dale Johnson, it gave one a small taste of the operatic genius of Adès.

    This was an exceptional concert which was totally convincing both in performance and the quality of the music being presented. My concert of the year so far.”
    Chris Garlick, Bachtrack, 10 March 2016 

    “Opening the second half was a piece called Brahms, Adès’s own “anti-homage” to a great predecessor in the shape of a setting of a poem by Alfred Brendel, sung with vitality and grace by the Australian baritone Samuel Dale Johnson.”
    George Hall, Guardian, 10 March 2016 

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    18 Jul 15 Bizet The Pearl Fishers (excerpts)
    Jette Parker Young Artists Summer Performance, Royal Opera House

    “Samuel Dale Johnson as Zurga and Lauren Fagan as his love-interest, Leila, were simply superb … These two fine singers proved they were worthy of headlining any Pearl Fishers cast and deserved the prolonged ovation they received”
    Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International, 20 July 2015 

    “Samuel Dale Johnson’s Zurga shone”
    Colin Clarke, Music Web International

    “The Pearl Fishers was exceptional, both singers giving their all and electrifying each other and, in the process, the auditorium”
    Colin Anderson, Classical Source

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    18 May 15 Verdi La Traviata (Baron Douphol)
    Royal Opera House Main Stage

    “Samuel Dale Johnson as Baron Douphol stands out”
    Sam Smith, Music OMH, 20 May 2015

    “Samuel Dale Johnson (Baron Douphol) was outstanding”
    Mark Valencia, What’s On Stage, 19 May 2015



‘Carmen’ (Escamillo, Morales)
‘Les pêcheurs de perles’ (Zurga)*

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (Peter Quince)
‘Billy Budd’ (title role, thr Bosun)*
‘Albert Herring’ (Sid)*
‘Death in Venice’ (Polish Father, The Clerk)

‘Don Pasquale’ (Dr Malatesta)*
‘L’elisir d’amore’ (Belcore)

‘Faust’ (Valentin)

‘Andrea Chénier’ (Mathieu)

‘Saul’ (title role)

‘I Pagliacci’ (Silvio)

‘Werther’ (Albert)
‘Cendrillon’ (Pandolfe)
‘Don Quichotte’ (Sancho)*

‘Les Huguenots’ (Le Comte de Nevers)*

‘Cosi fan tutte’ (Guiglielmo)
‘Don Giovanni’ (title role)
‘Le nozze di Figaro’ (Conte)
‘Die Zauberflöte’ (Papageno)

‘Boris Gudunov’ (Border Guard)

‘Gianni Schicchi’ (title role)
‘La bohème’ (Marcello)*
‘Madama Butterfly’ (Imperial Commissioner)
‘Turandot’ (Ping)
‘Tosca’ (Angelotti) *

‘Il Barbiere di Siviglia’ (Figaro)
‘La Scala di Seta’ (Dormont)
‘Guillaume Tell’ (Leuthold)

‘Manon Lescaut’ (Lescaut)*

‘Die Fledermaus’ (Dr. Falke)*

‘The Rake’s Progress’ (Nick Shadow)

‘Eugene Onegin’ (title role)
‘Pique Dame’ (Prince Yeletsky) *

‘Don Carlo’ (Flemish Deputy)
‘La traviata’ (Barone Douphol)
‘Un Ballo in Maschera’ (Silvano)
‘Rigoletto’ (title role)*




‘St Matthew Passion’ (Jesus) *



‘Mass in C Minor’

‘Liederkreis, op. 39’


  • More info  
    Adès: Polaris, Tevot, Asyla, Brahms

    Label: LSO Live

    Release Date: 03 Mar 17

    Asyla, Op. 17
    Polaris “Voyage for Orchestra”
    Brahms, Op. 21

    Composer: Thomas Adès
    Conductor: Thomas Adès
    Performers: London Symphony Orchestra; Samuel Dale Johnson