Los Angeles Opera - October 2009
'Siegfried's blue muscles, yellow curls and bearskins liberate John Treleaven from the naturally incompatible look of a mature heldentenor. He is free to be Wagner's charming but benighted half-human youth, brooding and playful, careening from impulse to outburst, eager to forge a sword and get on with something, anything.'
'Siegfried develops nicely as a character here. In his fearless eyes, the dragon Fafner is a trifle, easily slain, but this Fafner reverts to his true giant form and, in Eric Halfvarson's bottomless bass, drives home the import of Siegfried's act. He hasn't merely slain a dragon: he has killed a race. Now he can't even relish killing Mime. If Treleaven was uneven in this most trying of roles, he was right on when it meant the most. When Siegfried sang of his mother and his loneliness, Treleaven addressed his yearning directly to the audience with a modulated lyricism that broke hearts. And for the final duet, he leapt forward, opened up and projected a generous, exultant love for a newfound mate.'
Opera News
'John Treleaven impressively demonstrated that he was well able to cope with this exhausting role. His voice rang clear, well supported and secure. Even in the demanding final duet there were no signs of fatigue whatsoever.'

Opernglas, November 2009


Los Angeles Opera - September 2009
'Treleaven’s was a stirring performance and the closing scene was deeply moving and hauntingly beautiful.'
Wagner News
'As Siegfried, John Treleaven sang with intelligence and variety, had stamina aplenty.'
Orange County Register
'Siegfried, the tenor John Treleaven, who survived the arduous vocal challenges of this near-impossible role , had stamina and vitality.'
The New York Times
'Of course the toughest task of this five-hour marathon fell to John Treleaven, who, just for getting through it as well as he did, deserves kudos……he gave a heroic if not thrilling performance.'
LA Opus
'Siegfried is played by John Treleaven with sublime, emotional tenor tones. Some of his lines are so moving, especially when he is asking Mime about his mother, who died giving birth to him.'
L.A. Splash
'Vocally Treleaven is clear, accurate and tireless. He throws himself into the Freyer concept completely and is responsible for much of the success of this production.'
'As Siegfried, Treleaven’s penetrating timbre seemed fearless and inexhaustible.'
Opera Today
'A well projected Forging Song “Nothung! Nothung! Neidliches Schwert” sung by John Treleaven as Siegfried. He sang with grace and immense vocal strength.'
Music & Vision
'The ensuing love duet between Siegfried and Brünnhilde was beautifully sung by Watson and Treleaven. Treleaven – an extraordinary performance.'
Opera Warhorses
'Treleaven sang the role with a rambunctious combination of “heigh-ho” heldentenor magnitude and strutting cartoon bravado……it was a most endearing rendition.'

The Free Library




Royal Opera House Covent Garden
October 2005

Hail a new lord of the Ring

Treleaven is splendid. The singing is exceptionally accomplished and remarkable for its stamina. The one thing most Siegfrieds don’t or can’t convey is a sense of effortless. Treleaven does. He sings within his voice, often with real beauty, but he can pull out the ringing heroics, and did, in the forging scene. His triumphant cry of “Nothung!” as the finished sword is drawn from the forge and raised aloft was nothing if not rafter-rattling.

The Independent

Into the ring steps John Treleaven’s stunning, subtly acted Siegfried, his heroic tenor resounding strong and true to the close, with many a shapely and softly-sung phrase. Inexperience and warmth of heart temper his Siegfried’s exasperating energy and exuberance. Innocence becomes redemptive. It is a towering portrayal.

The Stage
Siegfried - The energetic John Treleaven is bright-toned, bouncy and irrepressible.
The Times

John Treleaven......his voice is a true heroic tenor, but how many Siegfrieds end the evening sounding as if they could sing it all again?

The Financial Times
The British tenor John Treleaven as the brawny hero is a brave performer who takes risks, yet he held enough in reserve to deliver a love duet of rare thought and passion.
The Evening Standard

Siegfried is perhaps the most taxing tenor role in the Wagner repertoire, not least because he is on stage most of the time. So it would have been reasonable for John Treleaven to flag towards the end. Instead, his performance in Act III was towering, at last giving forth a true Heldentenor power.
John Treleaven makes a fine, robust tenor sound as Siegfried.
Metro London
With the Forging Scene things pick up as John Treleaven (making his role début as that rare species, a British Siegfried) has harnessed his resources for this high spot and does not spoil it. He busies himself through one of the most active sword manufacturing processes seen for some time. Act III... some fine singing with his back to us all and the strength of his final ‘Erwache’ being particular highlights.

Treleaven brought zest and boundless energy to Wagner's tale of betrayal, murderous treachery and redemption. Tall and handsome, Treleaven cut the kind of appealing figure Wagner envisaged for his impetuous young hero, Siegfried. Tenors who combine youthful good looks with the vocal heft to project Siegfried's sustained melodic lines over Wagner's huge orchestra are rare commodities, Treleaven managed that near-impossible task well.
He was ultimately a charming, sympathetically human Siegfried.
Chicago Sun Times

Treleaven was simply amazing. Of the very few Wagnerians who can sing this punishing role, how many do so as tirelessly or play the gullible hero with such sparky exuberance? ........ he sang superbly, sounding nearly as fresh at the end of a very long evening as he did in the beginning.

Chicago Tribune
British tenor John Treleaven handled Siegfried admirably, with vocal power, physicality and just the right measure of naivete.
Associated Press

John Treleaven's lovable Siegfried......the tall British tenor was a handsome, robust Siegfried, brimming with both intelligent curiosity and rough, teen high spirits. Miraculously he had vocal power to spare for Siegfried's final, celestial love duet with Brunnhilde. At its best, his is a huge, heroic but still lustrous tenor.

Chicago Sun Times
Treleaven was the major discovery of the 2003 revival of August Everding's 1996 production and the British tenor proved his earlier success was no fluke. Siegfried evolves from a dumb jock to a knowing and passionate hero. Treleaven conveyed that evolution convincingly through the power and stamina of his singing, and also the natural ease with which he propelled his tall, beefy body around the stage.
His healthy, open sound and perpetual boyish grin told you a lot about this impulsive hero-in-training who, in the best fairy-tale tradition, slays the dragon, grabs the gold and wins the slumbering maiden.
Chicago Tribune
John Treleaven was a magnificent Siegfried with an heroic voice and an unbelievable top. Again he surprised us, not only with his high C's in the Götterdämmerung. He is a living example of a singing-actor and portrayed a powerfully emotional transition from a boy thirsty for knowledge to an all-knowing hero. The intensity and depth of his interactions with the strong Mime of David Cangelosi was one of the highlights of this Ring and showed what potential lies in the often underestimated first Act of Siegfried.

Der Neue Merker



Siegfried – Wiener Staatsoper

Pure joy! A Siegfried-debut long awaited by seasoned Wagner fans in Vienna has given complete satisfaction to all those opera-lovers who demand more than just a voice: John Treleaven has shown himself to be an artist of the highest calibre. Not only does he sing the giant role of Siegfried more masterfully from act to act, not only is he a musical singer who can act impressively, not only do his physical stature and appearance make him a natural for the role, but also he brings to the part a refreshing naivety and youthful charm, the deepest feelings, a vision of nobler worlds, and a prophetic power that make Siegfried the wonderful creature to whom Wagner dedicated, and not by chance, his fifth opera. (A simple oaf and brawler would not have interested Wagner—none of his characters are so one-dimensional.) Treleaven’s perfectly controlled voice with its endless reserves of power never produces a note that is not beautiful; middle voice and piano sound as good as the ringing highs. But what is even more pleasing: with Treleaven, voice, face, body are a single medium devoted to making audible and visible the rich inner life of this strange “lad.” Often vocal colour and facial expression change several times within seconds. With his sudden insight “So my mother died in bearing me,” for him and for us, time stands for a moment still. The Waldweben scene from a visual point of view is a psycho-trip through the soul of an orphan, and when Siegfried hears the voice of the Waldvogel there is a brightening of voice and vision that impressively anticipate the “sonnige Höh’” reached in Act 3. On his trip he is accompanied, as from his first entrance, by his carefree, happy smile, which make the character for me far more moving than all the pomposities and bellowings of so many Siegfrieds. When Brünnhilde awakes, she arouses in him not only fear, but far more a feeling of curious anticipation.
As though they had been rehearsing for weeks, Watson and Treleavan, who had never been on stage together before, found each other and holding hands spontaneously stood together on the cliff declaring to the public the rapture of their love—a finale worthy of two children of the gods.
Der Neue Merker
With John Treleaven the house now has for its Ring a new young Siegfried who is fully convincing both vocally and as an actor. Treleaven is a Wagner singer; he has the necessary staying-power, and he steers his light, lean tenor round all the vocal rocks in the score.

Wiener Kurier



Siegfried – Ring Helsinki 2004

John Treleaven was the outstanding singer/actor in Siegfried and Götterdämmerung. One has the impression that his heldentenor has meanwhile even more gold in the high notes than before. His reserves seemed inexhaustible at the end of Siegfried, and no one singing now can equal his high C in the Rhein scene in Götterdämmerung. Great lyricism and generous legato are the hallmarks of his “Seliger Öde und Sonniger Höh’”. Add to all this his charismatic acting, which make him always a sympathetic and, because of his stature, a noble and therefore credible impersonation of Siegfried.
Der Neue Merker
Fine tenors

The Ring of the Finnish National Opera has introduced a surprising amount of fine tenors. It is crucial that the same goes on in Siegfried, because without a convincing Siegfried you could forget about performing the opera altogether. John Treleaven is, without a doubt, one of the most brilliant Helden-tenors of our time.
He sang the exhausting monologue at the end of the first act without holding back, but still managed to sound fresh and intense in the big love-duet of the finale. The high and youthful voice of Treleaven brings to mind the leading Helden-tenor of the 1960s, Wolfgang Windgassen.

Matti Lehtonen / Turun Sanomat 24.8.2004




The cast was of an excellent standard, mostly thanks to the extraordinary performance of the tenor John Treleaven....... he sang a mighty Siegfried with really powerful moments, a well placed voice and a pleasant timbre of high quality.
La Vanguardia, 18. 5. 04

John Treleaven was an exemplary Siegfried, thanks to his shining top notes and vocal stamina, and especially because he sang the part and did not shout - as one has become accustomed to in Bayreuth.

Avui, 18.5. 04
The Siegfried of John Treleaven was totally convincing through his intensive performance and youthful portrayal.
ABC 18.5.04
When one has no suitably voiced tenor, one can not perform Siegfried. John Treleaven is one. He sings with courage, knows how to husband his resources so that he can sing the performance to the end without breaking down in exhaustion.

El País, 18.5.04




John Treleaven triumphs in his Lyric debut
John Treleaven, the British heldentenor who made his Lyric debut in this, the company's first "Siegfried" of the season, not only faced the outsized demands of the role but achieved them triumphantly in this splendid revival. Treleaven cut a tall, strapping figure, fully convincing in his portrayal of Siegfried. His voice commands a smooth and beautiful timbre, ringing high notes and fine German diction. This was a more lyrical Siegfried than most but he never had to force. Also, by pacing himself carefully, Treleaven sounded almost as fresh at the end of five hours as he did at the beginning, holding his own with Eaglen's stentorian sound in the opera's final scene. Siegfried's "Nothung! Nothung!" during which the tenor had to forge a sword while punching out high A's, was thrilling to hear.
Chicago Tribune

In the title role, British tenor John Treleaven proves to be a revelation in Lyric Opera's revival of Wagner's "Siegfried."
The evening's revelation was Treleaven, though Wagner lovers know him as a talent to watch, with a resume that includes "Lohengrin" in Vienna and Amsterdam, "Die Meistersinger" in Munich and Hamburg, and "Tristan" in Amsterdam and London.
Treleaven has sung "Siegfried" in Tokyo, Zurich and in Germany, and he had a firm grip on the punishing role, pacing himself wisely so that he had plenty of voice and energy left for the final ecstatic love scene with Brunnhilde. Savvy technical control and stage experience can take a singer only so far, however Treleaven's basic instrument has power to spare, soaring easily over the surging orchestra. He actually sang the forging scene, sending out Wagner's triumphant lines with no hint of bark or the kind of declamation that desparate tenors resort to when their voices aren't up to Wagner's demands. Big but not stout, Treleaven moved with ease onstage.

Chicago Sun Times
…..but the hero of the hour is John Treleaven. His strapping Siegfried is flawlessly paced, drawing a fine line between lusty adolescence and innocent maturity.
Financial Times, London

Lyric Opera's "Siegfried" not to be missed.
Heldentenor John Treleaven as Siegfried (Lyric debut) cuts an imposing figure onstage but with his great musical intelligence is able to believably portray the adolescent youth curious about his parentage. With intelligent singing which allows him to pace himself, Treleaven is as fresh as Eaglen when he finally bursts through the ring of fire to rescue her.

The Chicago Crusader
The British heldentenor John Treleaven took on the formidable title role. He cut a strapping, sympathetic figure as the brawny young hero. He did not have to force the sound to ride the climaxes of Wagner's thick scoring. By pacing himself carefully, Treleaven sounded very nearly as fresh at the end of his vocal marathon as at the beginning, matching his stentorian voice to Eaglen's in their punishing love scene.
The American Record Guide

British tenor John Treleaven brings boundless energy to the title role, with sensitivity for the character and depth of expression.

Daily Herald
……and in particular the Siegfried of the decidedly up-and-coming British heldentenor John Treleaven. He sings splendidly and springs to life quite engrossingly in the characterisation department.
This is a wonderfully cast Siegfried. Six rows back from the orchestra pit all the singers voices were powerful, clear as a bell, right and on pitch.. John Treleaven, as Siegfried, kept up the vocal dramatic pace……a visual drama to match the vocal drama, this is a Siegfried not to miss.

The Beacon News



At the National Theatre Mannheim, John Treleaven was outstanding in Wagner‘s Siegfried. The man from Cornwall proved to be the dream-singer for the murderous title role: a heldentenor with bel canto qualities, untiring physical condition, an interesting personality, and theatrical intelligence.

John Treleaven was captivating both as actor and singer. He can give his voice a wide range of colours from heroic metal to lyrical warmth. Most effective was certainly the woodland scene in the second act.

Radio SWR2
The ensemble was first class. John Treleaven is a convincing, carefully defined Siegfried with the metal of a true heldentenor and a sensible husbanding of vocal resources.

The vocal performances were at a high level. John Treleaven was good in the title role in every respect. He paced his voice with economy allowing him to reach the final curtain without apparent effort. His bright, powerful tenor is marked by rich high notes and a dramatic attack.

Neuer Merker, Vienna
John Treleaven gave us a sovereign Siegfried from both the vocal and dramatic point of view. His voice is supple, distinguished and extremely mobile.

Above all John Treleaven is a Siegfried who meets every vocal challenge without difficulty, is extremely sensitive, powerful (the Forging Song was spectacular) and who commands an amazing repertoire of registers.

Deutsche Bühne
Everything revolved around John Treleaven, who jumped in as Siegfried for the indisposed Wolfgang Neumann. His tenor is tightly knit, bright in colour, gentle in phrasing - not a “heavyweight“ Siegfried but one capable of passionate expressivity when required. The Forging Song had brilliance and verve, the lightness of the Forest Songs was captivating and Treleaven had sufficient reserves for a blazing bravura in the final scene.
Mannheimer Morgen

John Treleaven in the heroic title role withstood the demands of the part with remarkable vocal condition, right through to the thrilling elan of the final duet. A powerful, tempestuous, young Siegfried, who gave the Forging Song the necessary emphasis and reflected on his own murderous deeds without unnecessary regret.

Darmstädter Echo
John Treleaven is ideal in the part both from the dramatic and vocal point of view. A brilliant, big sound, no one could wish for a better heldentenor.
Saarbrücker Zeitung

John Treleaven was a fantastic Siegfried, a last-minute replacement for the sick Wolfgang Neumann. Clean and secure in every situation, he gave us a hero at times piquant and lascivious, at times tempestuous and even occasionally coquettish.

Rhein-Neckar Journal
John Treleaven gave us a blundering, defiant Siegfried who mastered his mammoth part with the most remarkable ease and was duly celebrated by a delighted audience.
Badische Neueste Nachrichten

A 24-carat ensemble: with John Treleaven as a Siegfried with steely heroic heights and great powers of endurance. Tumult, bravos, ballistic applause.

Stuttgarter Nachrichten
John Treleaven is a fabulous Siegfried with a young voice that is not only powerful but is charged with a remarkable lyricism that was used to great effect in the second and third acts.

Rhein-Neckar Zeitung



First and foremost we must, naturally, praise John Treleaven, who with red mane and mighty power represented the new generation, still ignoramt of the world. His singing is radiant and carefully datailed; he never forces his tone and keeps in reserve the strength necessary for the third act: a helden-tenor straight from the book. It was harldy surprising that the applause of the Chemnitz audience broke all boundaries, including as it did a justified measure of pride that their theatre had produced such a formidable “Ring.“ For Wagnerians in every corner of the world, one can already safely say, this is a “Ring“ on one should be allowed to miss.
Opernwelt - Januar 2000

This “Siegfried“ was carried by a remarkable team of singers who turned the performance into a major vocal event. John Treleaven was an unusually secure and untiring Siegfried. Without the least sign of flagging, he sang the role with power and authority; on the acting side he was completely convincing

John Treleaven was a Siegfried who radiated power and self-confidence and revelled in his role as heldentenor. He overflowed with good nature and with joy in life and action. He forged his sword with real exuberance, with inexhaustible vocal reserves he heaped brilliance upon brilliance, with high notes that were not only rock-solid but that were sung with joy. His German is remarkable, sonorous and without a trace of an accent. In Act 2, Treleaven produced a refined lyric tone, especially in his dialogue with the Woodbird and in his recollection of his lost parents. No trace of weariness compromised the absolute vocal triumph of the third act which climaxed with his “Sei mein! Sei mein! Sei mein!“ and “Leuchtende Liebe, lachender Tod.“
Der Neue Merker, Vienna

In the title role, the English heldentenor John Treleaven fascinated the audience with his effortless high notes and reserves of power and brilliance that lasted to the final curtain. His Forging Song was one of the highlights both vocally and theatrically, contrasting to this was his sensitively played encounter with Brünnhilde.

Orpheus Opernspiegel
John Treleaven achieved an unexpected brilliance in this heavy repertoire.
And the singers. Their contribution was of the highest maturity and brilliance. For example John Treleaven. Who says „There are no more helden-tenors“? Treleaven‘s performance lays this insult to rest: he has not only the necessary strength and substance but also the highly refined vocal culture, unlike so many Siegfrieds today whose throaty bellowings reflect nothing but raw power. The Englishman combines the virtues of the “voce bianca“ (the natural white voice beloved of the Italians) with an unfla wed sensitive and lyrical timbre. This rare combination raises the forging song to a new interpretative level.

Nordbayerischer Kurier

Heinicke (producer) avoided the cliché of the blond Germanic hero and gave us a Siegfried who was in essence the ancestor of the Zenti-Kids (Hells Angels)..... John Treleaven was exactly the man to put this idea across: a wild man of the woods. There was nevertheless inside the rough shell a sweet enough nut. Vocally, this Siegfried left nothing to be desired: lyric and heroic, Treleaven‘s tenor mastered the part with irresistable authority; even the murderous finale he tackled with astonishing freshness.

Siegfried, Chemnitz October 1999: Many good things, yes, excellent to see and hear: before all the Englishman John Treleaven as the lively, vocally radiant Siegfried.

Neues Deutschland, Berlin
In the final scene...John Treleaven‘s Siegfried, despite all the challenges of the evening, was still brilliant and fresh as the dew.
Leipziger Volkszeitung

Heinicke (the producer) has discovered in John Treleaven and Janice Baird a pair of singers who, without heavy or fussy staging, can rivet an audience throughout the slowly unfolding final scene. This happens not least because the singers know how to use their excellent resources to express in full the richness of Wagner‘s music.

Sächsische Zeitung
John Treleaven as Siegfried was the perfect counterpart (to Mutze‘s Mime): red-haired, with flowing mane, impetuous and radiating power. He is as violent yet as naive as a bear. His treatment of his foster-father was anything but squeamish; in his meeting with Wotan he radiates the self-confidence of the new generation. Treleaven also conveys the many sides of Siegfried‘s character in his almost hopeless search for the past, his amazement and uncertainty in his first encounter with a woman, with Brunnhilde. This Siegfried is closely tied to Nature. All this convincingly balances the image of the mighty warrior..... Not only at the end but after each act the audience erupted into furious applause. At the final curtain, the soloists and crew were greeted by untiring choruses of bravos.
Freie Presse
John Treleaven‘s Siegfried displayed an astonishing and ever-increasing lyrical expressivity. Crescendo December 1999/January 2000 John Treleaven (Siegfried) achieved an unexpected brilliance in this heavy repertoire.

Ostdeutsche Tageszeitung