'As always John Treleaven impressed with his vocal strength and artistic intensity which he shows in the 3rd Act , without obviously having spared himself earlier.'

Der Neue Merker


Heartfelt and expressive
‘A worthwhile encounter thanks to the singers. John Treleaven proves that it really is possible to sing the role of Tristan. Treleaven’s Tristan is very refined.’
Wagner as a thrilling sound event
'John Treleaven (Covent Garden) as Tristan:……with his tenor resources well husbanded, in order to deliver a subtly differentiated, controlled interpretation in the love duet and in the 3rd Act.'
'John Treleaven is a “sound” Tristan.'
Wiener Zeitung
'John Treleaven - his vocal input from the baritonal depths to the endless tenor highs always perfectly trained and with imperturbable confidence was once again astonishing. Without sparing himself in the 1st Act, and without neglecting the lyrics in the 2nd Act, he sang a magnificent 3rd Act without the slightest signs of fatigue and one could have imagined him singing a 4th Act. That he is able to render a soft “Ach Isolde, wie schön bist du!” after the powerful outbursts and a touching final pp- “Isolde” while dying, is admirable. Could the secret of this vocal talent be attributed to his total identification with the part so that the singing becomes a mere by-product of his mental, spiritual, mimic and physical expression? No matter what: He was Tristan.’
Der Neue Merker




Opening Night Tribute to John Treleaven by Placido Domingo

'What can I say about the Tristan who was also making his debut in LA today with us? I believe that it is one of the most difficult if not the most difficult part in the whole repertoire. Especially the third act which is really so easy to force sometimes. I’ll tell you one thing, John Treleaven is a specialist, but not only in Tristan he also sings the Siegfried phenomenally and any of the Wagnerian parts, but my God what a beauty of sound! Especially, what a tremendous way of developing the character in the entire third act, coming from nothing, from all the disgrace, being so close to death progressing towards all these big enthusiastic dreams, going all the way back to his childhood, you know, talking about the melody, the sadness of his life, losing his father and mother, then coming to life and going on to talk about his wounds and everything. I have never heard a Tristan that does this act with such a beautiful sound and performs in such a great way as he did here today. We are very proud and very happy that he is here with us and we sincerely hope that he will come back. Ladies and Gentlemen our Tristan here tonight John Treleaven!'


Radiant Loveliness

'John Treleaven, who sang the title role, was actually born in Cornwall, where some of the action takes place. He has interpreted this part in many major opera houses and he knows how to pace himself in order to sound as fresh as possible, even at the very end. He was a strong, virile, romantic Tristan, who feared no enemy and sang with burnished tones.'

Music & Vision
Liebesnacht: Treleaven’s Triumphant Tristan and Watson’s Wondrous Isolde at LA Opera

'It was in the Liebesnacht that I became aware of how well Treleaven’s sturdy voice fits with the requirements of this role. Like many heldentenors, his voice has a baritonal sound, and it has the heft to hold his own with the orchestra. Above all, Treleaven shows he has the ability to sustain Tristan’s long legato passages, that sometimes must be projected softly, sometimes with evident sweetness and expressiveness, and sometimes as a burst of high energy displaying Tristan’s delirium……..he is clearly a great Tristan…..'

Opera Warhorses
'Helden tenor John Treleaven possesses the vocal heft and stamina for the role of Tristan…….made beautiful by his musical intelligence and dramatic singing. Tristan’s justly famous Act 3 monologue was handled with searing power and poetic poignancy – showing the pitiful mental disintegration of the delirious hero from utter dejection to unhinged elation of seeing his Isolde once more.'
Classical Voice: LA Opera Notes
'In the title roles, John Treleaven and Linda Watson manage their marathon with plenty of stamina, not to mention moments of breathtaking tenderness……..this Tristan and his fellow vocalists sang with that Germanic style of uncoloured utterance, like inner thoughts issuing from the throat on their own – without conscious shaping, without mannerism.'
LA City Beat
'John Treleaven is more than up to the task of heldentenor, or “heroic tenor,” in the incredibly demanding role of Tristan.'
LA Downtown News

LA Opera’s ‘Tristan und Isolde’ a stunning production, a real winner.

'The music in the Act 2 love duet was sung expressively by Watson and her Tristan, heldentenor John Treleaven. Treleaven sang lyrically, with the most security and intense emotional musicianship in Act 3.'

A revival of David Hockney’s production is a solid if not inspired account of Wagner’s masterpiece

'British tenor John Treleaven………Standing and belting is not his thing; creamy tones, connective, nuanced and eloquent lines are.'

Orange County Register
'Heldentenor John Treleaven as Tristan, delivered an outstanding performance singing effortlessly to the end.'
'John Treleaven totally identifies with the character of Tristan.'
'Tenor John Treleaven, who sang the role of Tristan with lyrical grace.'
Robert D. Thomas/Class Act
'In Act III, Treleaven showcases his tremendous talent as he sings, dying and lying on his back.'
Daily Trojan
‘It was a treat to see the famous Tristan John Treleaven in the title role in Wagner’s four and a half hour marathon opera.’
Michael Ching – Artistic Director of Opera Memphis – Blog


'...his voice is strong in the middle and lower register, he was solid and well rounded in his devotion and gave his Monologe with intensity and power.'
La Tercera
Do we still need Bayreuth? It's hard not to wonder when one sees and hears Wagner performed so much better everywhere from rural Sussex to far flung Chile.
Santiago's cast was led excitingly by John Treleaven........he was impassioned and untiring.
Sunday Telegraph
'British tenor John Treleaven who filled in for an ailing Ben Heppner, made a powerful Tristan both dramatically and musically. The two were in sync together making for some glorious singing.'
Times Argus
'Tenor John Treleaven was both firm and lyrical as Tristan. The lovers worked well together in the Act 2 duet.'
The Gazette

John Treleaven proved that, at the present time, he is vocally one of the few alternatives for this role, that are available to first-class theatres. .... He sang with sophistication and with lyricism in the duet, and had not only enough strength for the delirium-visions, but also the ability to really sing them. He also demonstrated that he was still in full possession of his strength right at the end, with a wonderful piano sounding "Isolde", - Respect!


John Treleaven has reached a degree of identification with this role that astonishes, captivates, moves and inspires. In act one where the majority of Tristan singers offer noble reservedness, the passionate, nearly enraged, intensity surprises one, with which he presents to Isolde "War Morolt dir so wert" ("Was Morolt so dear to you"), and his "Sühneeid" ("atonement oath") already contains the whole "ewige Trauer" ("eternal mourning") and the "einz'gen Trost" ("only consolation") which characterizes the defiantly, loving one. In act II Treleaven's ability for devotion is inspiring, as is the never ending Wagnerian emotional and spiritual world, that is reflected in his facial emotions as obviously as it is audible in his expressive voice. But in exploration of the depths of the 3rd act Treleaven is surely today absolutely unrivalled.
The ailing Tristan sits in a leather armchair in this production, which has the advantage that his face can be seen better than in a horizontal position. As in a waking coma, he stares into space with half-shut eyes, until Wagner allows him to come to life. Which singer of today can make us believe that he has visited the “expansive kingdom of the World’s Night”? ("im weiten Reich der Weltennacht") Treleaven does it. All the phases of pained longing, the hope that Isolde may come, the despairing disappointment and the ecstatic feeling of rapture, which he doesn't only sing but lives, take him to the brink of physical and emotional exhaustion, when Isolde actually appears. The production allows him to climb a wall, at which his wound tears open again and he collapses covered in blood into Isolde's arms. The fact that not one forced note dims the masterly vocal achievement of this wonderful singing actor, proves once again that with his portrayal of Tristan he has undoubtedly reached the zenith of his singing career.

Der Neuer Merker


The third act confirms that this English singer has a claim to be counted among the most important the Wagnerian heldentenors in the world today. In his monologue, he continuously increased the power of his depiction of insanity. Then he changed the colour to slender lyricism. In the first part of the scene, how clearly his timbre recalled that of Wolfgang Windgassen. This was followed by a continuous broadening and intensification of expressivity. Using a broad, slightly baritonal colouring, he mastered the heaviest moments of the death-addicted Tristan without the least sign of strain.
Mannheimer Morgen
On the stage with Luana de Vol and JT we saw two singers able without effort to cut through the somewhat restrained tones of the orchestra. Impressive for this very reason was their basic approach to singing these roles: essentially lyrical, both possess thew perfect technique without which it is impossible to succeed in two such monstrously difficult and taxing roles.



Wagner created a Tristan not of this world. The "languishing fire", the "burning torture", the "ecstatic passion"… these qualities we miss in most Tristans. It is odd how many tenors who can sing the music cannot master the role. One man today stands alone, as far as I can see, on the lonely heights of Tristan interpretation - John Treleaven.

Der Neue Merker


'...the physicality of what he does means you feel along with him throughout.'

Financial Times


Act 1 John Treleaven did it very well, his tenor grown more substantial and steady since his Coliseum days - welcome back! Act 2 As before, the dusky substance of John Treleaven' s tone in the middle register was most impressive. Act 3 Treleaven came to his own with a supremely intelligent response to the words. It was almost impossible to listen to his account of one man's physical and spiritual agony, and his final 'Isolde' stopped the heart. In a word, I found this act more moving in concert than I ever have in the theatre and no, I am not forgetting Jon Vickers.

John Treleaven's Tristan sang with ringing, clarion tone yet was capable of scaling down the voice in the intimate moments and both he and Brewer found hushed rapture for the central love duet.

The Times
John Treleaven's Tristan is sung with finesse. He negotiates the guelling challenge of Tristan's final ravings with tremendous vocal force.
The Guardian

Tristan, John Treleaven, also impressed me. To my ears he has the right vocal quality for the role - baritonal but ringing and heroic at the top of vocal range. Unusually for a Heldentenor, he also has the ability to sing pianissimo. His singing of the opening bars of " O sink hernieder, Nacht der Liebe" was magical.

The Classical Source
John Treleaven showed that his high reputation in Germany in Wagner roles seem not to have been exaggerated, his tenor has a strong baritonal grain to it and he sang with grace and a strong feeling for Wagner's overheated libretto.
Sunday Telegraph

I shan' t forget the performance sung with such evenness and intensity as it was by John Treleaven …

Sunday Times
The excellent singer's voice has truly marinated, acquired the darker colorations and the girth. But on drinking the love potion, can still give us the most honeyed and perfectly placed 'Isolde' - the name held in timeless rapture.

The Independent


John Treleaven is a Tristan today who has no need to fear any competition. He sounds somewhat like Wolfgang Windgassen: a soft timbre, very lyrical, but yet robust, powerful and passionate. He never forces his voice in any way. And because for once the Liceo Orchestra under De Billy played the complete love duet in a trembling piano without loss of intensity or consistency, not a single phrase of the tenor part was lost to the audience.
Die Presse, Vienna

John Treleaven is a Wagnerian tenor with a very beautiful lyrical tone. His declamatory style is expressive and of outstanding quality, sufficient to win him a personal success to equal Polaski's.

La Vanguardia
John Treleaven's Tristan is exceptionally lyrical and a perfect match for Polaski's Isolde. Both leading principals presented performances of outstanding quality and sound, with very beautiful timbre in the middle vocal range and supple in the higher.
La Razón

John Treleaven, with his solid vocal technique, was in full command of Tristan's remorseless tessitura.

El País
Deborah Polaski and John Treleaven are the protagonists in the first cast and made an excellent pair. They mastered their roles with bravura.
El Periódico
John Treleaven deserves our applause for his Tristan. His vocal line was good from the beginning to the end. The third act spiralled to the upper limit of visionary delirium. His singing was charged with meaning and expressed to the full the despair of his character on the threshold of eternity.





The singers gave outstanding performances. Gabriele Schnaut and John Treleaven, singers of impressive musicality and faultless technique, were excellently matched. Both were able to express to the full the many facetted moods and complex thoughts and feelings of Tristan and Isolde. Treleaven was in complete command of his role in its totality with his glorious tenor voice - so beautiful in the lyrical passages! He portrayed the feelings of Tristan so convincingly that one remained captivated by his wide diversity of expression right up to the fiendish outbursts of despair.
Der Neue Merker

The singers that Rattle had at his disposal were of an international standard. John Treleaven is strongly pushing his way forward as a Wagner Hero. He really lives out the part of Tristan in every act. His voice possesses power and agility, ringing clarity and expressiveness. Above all Treleaven recaptures the vocal quality appropriate to a Wagnerian tenor role, giving a performance of indisputable high quality, both musically and vocally.

Frankfurter Allgemeine
One seldom sees a Tristan who is really ailing in Act 3 as he was in Amsterdam. With Wagner in mind, John Treleaven actually comes from Cornwall. In Amsterdam he confirmed his reputation as a very promising and intelligent Heldentenor with tremendous powers of interpretation, a bright vocal timbre and considerable reserves.
Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

John Treleaven is heart-rending as the suffering Tristan of the third act, when he sings on a grand scale, with dark colours of bleakness and agony.

The New York Times
As Tristan the British John Treleaven was truly arresting in his intense feverish delirium. Earlier on too, he did not let all the dramatic ploys of Isolde overshadow his powerful performance.

Treleaven, whose Lohengrin was a welcome surprise at the Vienna State Opera last season, was joined on the stage by other skilled Wagnerian singers.

Financial Times, Germany
John Treleaven's stamina was truly formidable. A Tristan, who right up to the end can still sing out well with no apparent signs of vocal fatigue and be able to phrase beautifully, must definitely have drunk a magic potion.

John Treleaven, whose Tristan was beautiful, is becoming increasingly important as a Wagnerian singer. This English tenor, who has often sung Walther, Erik and Siegmund, takes on Tristan and Siegfried with clarity of voice production, elegant phrasing and a dramatic presence that constitutes the essence of his performance.

La Libre Belgique
Top international soloists are singing with the outstanding John Treleaven as Tristan.
Nieuwe Noordhollandse Courant

The tenor John Treleaven is vocally more than able to cope with the role of Tristan. In the duet with the impetuous Kurwenal Treleaven proves his very moving dramatic prowess.

De Gelderlander
It was an impressive performance for outstanding vocal athletics with John Treleaven as a human, powerful and magnificent Tristan.
Het Parool

...the tenor John Treleaven showed us a Tristan who mastered the difficult third act wonderfully.

Brabants Dagblad
John Treleaven is an estimable and moving Tristan.
Le Monde

John Treleaven sang an outstanding debut als Tristan. He has a wonderful future ahead of him as a Wagner-Tenor and God knows this voice group could use new blood...

Het Parool
...during the evening John Treleaven won us over with warmth and radiance.
De Groene Amsterdammer

..and the Tristan John Treleaven earnt the highest praise.

Amsterdam Radio
John Treleaven is valiantly stepping up into the international ranks of Wagner tenors and on this showing deserves to be taken seriously....he sings with breadth of phrasing and musicianship.
Financial Times

Gabriele Schnaut‘s partner is the British tenor John Treleaven, hardly ever heard in his homeland nowadays, but a robust and convincing Tristan here.

The Guardian
....a valiant Tristan in the Cornishman John Treleaven, who lasts the course and does some touching things in Act III - his poignant cry „“Isolde, Isolde, how beautiful you are“ is a moment of true pathos.

The Sunday Times




Tristan discovered! I have regarded John TRELEAVEN as a good, often very good singer - as Tristan he is exceptional! It‘s as if he had been born to the part! He took this vocal feat in his stride that has been the downfall of many a heldentenor. The longer the phrases, the more demanding the part in respect of power, challenge and the art of phrasing, the more at ease the singer appeared to feel and the more expressive and enthusiastic he became. The mature voice being so fabulously well-placed meant that he could really open up at the climaxes (of which there were many!). His being in complete command, not only of the text and vocal line but also in his understanding of the intrinsic meaning, enabled him to enact the whole abundant gamut of expression of the complex Wagner character. As a result the audience was captivated from his first entrance up to his last breath.
Der Neue Merker

John Treleaven husbanded his reserves so economically that the two monologues in the third act saw him in top form. After the demands of the love scenes, he could still produce what a tenor must give us at this stage: a feverish dementia of self-renunciation and self-forgetfulness, subsumed in an overwhelming longong for love and death.

Badisches Tagblatt
John Treleaven‘s tenor lent the part of Tristan an imposing dynamic power. He projected into the theatre the lurid insanity of the third act with great vitality. It was the highpoint of the production.
Badische Neueste Nachrichten

John Treleaven is a titan amoung Tristans. In Karlsruhe he showed his vocal power and kept enough in reserve to let him rise in the last act to a fever of insanity.

Frankfurter Rundschau
The diversity of John Treleaven's powerful, full-bodied tenor displays a mellifluous piano cantabile, yet can blaze forth in rich volume in his uppermost register, whilst the feverish delirium of his solo in the third Act has the effect of a suspense-filled psychological thriller.

In the role of Tristan, John Treleaven's Heldentenor wins the audience over with his impressive tone quality and his artistic characterisation.

With unbelievable expessivity Treleaven created Tristan‘s fever-driven insanity, revealing his powerful tenor in all its heroic brilliance.