Johnny Herford graduated with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music Opera department in 2012, and the next year won the Song Prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Competition, and later the Jean Meikle Duo Prize at the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition. Since then, he has enjoyed a diverse career on the operatic stage and concert platform.
In 2014, Johnny was chosen by Philip Glass to create the role of Josef K in his opera, The Trial. The opera was premiered at the Royal Opera House Linbury Theatre, in a collaboration between the Royal Opera House and Music Theatre Wales. The Trial received five-star reviews and led to Johnny being nominated for the Welsh Theatre Award for Best Male Performance in an Opera. Johnny has also performed the role of Josef K for Theater Magdeburg, making his German debut in April 2015.
Other recent performances have included the role of Emireno in Handel’s Ottone for English Touring Opera, Kuligin in Janacek’s Katya Kabanova for Opéra de Dijon, the Scottish Opera Highlights Tour, and Nikitsch in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov with Jakub Hrůša and the Philharmonia Orchestra.
As a recitalist, he has performed a Strauss recital with Joseph Middleton in the Leeds Lieder Festival, Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin in Julius Drake’s Machynlleth Festival, Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad at the Oxford Lieder Festival, and a recital with Gary Matthewman for Lied in London. He regularly performs in the London English Song Festival, which is curated by his long-term duo partner William Vann. In 2016, Johnny made his solo recital debut at the Wigmore Hall with James Baillieu.
Johnny is delighted that the current season sees his return to Opéra de Dijon to play The Traveller in Britten’s Curlew River, and to Music Theatre Wales for an opera by Peter Eötvös, The Golden Dragon.