The Australian Heldenbaritone John Wegner, known for his stage commitment and psychological insight, has died. The multiple Helpmann Award winner had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2014, cutting short an important career that many believed was at its peak.

“I’m extremely saddened to hear of the passing… of one of Australia’s greatest singers,” said Opera Australia Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini. “John was a magnificent singer/actor who owned every role he performed and sang in the greatest opera houses of the world. He had an extremely successful career in Europe as well as in Australia. He was also one of the loveliest people you could ever meet. A wonderful colleague and a real ‘Mensch’. On behalf of everyone at Opera Australia I send my deepest condolences to his wife, Mignon and to his immediate family.”

John Wegner with his 2009 Helpmanns. Photo supplied

Born in 1950, Wegner and his family moved to Australia from West Germany in 1955. A schoolteacher who performed in amateur musicals by night, he received an associate diploma in Opera and Music Theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts. His opera career began when he joined...