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Anson William Austin

Anson William Austin (born 9 July 1940) attended Christchurch Boys’ High School 1953-1957.

Christchurch tenor Anson Austin spent three years with the BBC Singers in London in the 1960s, and in 1970 went on to a distinguished career with Australian Opera (often singing opposite Joan Sutherland), interlaced with performances at Glyndebourne (1975), San Francisco (1981) and Toronto (1982).

His first role was one of the biggest and most difficult – Rodolfo in La Boheme – for the Australian Opera's 1978 production. Among the highlights in a career spanning more than three decades are the role of Tamino in the Australian Opera's 1973 production of Mozart's The Magic Flute for the inauguration of the new Sydney Opera House, and the role of Raoul in the company's 1990 production of Les Huguenots, which featured Dame Joan Sutherland as Queen Mary, in her final performance in opera.

Many of his historic performances with Sutherland – as Camillie in The Merry Widow, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur and Tonio in Daughter of the Regiment – are available on DVD.

Although he did concert work with the NZSO and other Kiwi ensembles, he appeared in only one major NZ opera production, Rigoletto in Christchurch in 1988. He also performed in Europe and America but most of his career has been in Australia.

Among his highlights Austin cites the Australian Opera's 1983 production of Gounod's Romeo et Juliette, with Glenys Fowles as Juliette, as his most memorable season. He was a resident principal artist with Opera Australia for 34 years until his retirement in 2004. Austin has been awarded an Order of Australia Medal. He joined the Opera Australia’s board in August 2005 as the staff-nominated director.