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Bettina Jonic
American-British theatre artist, singer, and musician

Bettina Jonic

Bettina Jonic
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Intro American-British theatre artist, singer, and musician
Is Jazz musician Poet Singer Writer
From United Kingdom United States of America
Field Literature Music
Gender female
The details


Bettina Jonic is an American-British theatre artist, singer, dancer and writer. She is the founder of Actors Work Group in London.

Early life

Jonic grew up in Los Angeles, California to Croatian parents.

She studied ballet for ten years with Theodore Kosloff and Bronislava Nijinska, then studied music and singing at Mozarteum, Vienna Academy of Music, and the Paris Conservatory of Music.


Jonic made her singing debut at the Festival d’Aix en Provence. Later, she worked in various international opera houses, where she specialized in the work of Mozart and Richard Strauss, and performed at festivals in Edinburgh, Holland, Adelaide and Paris.

She extended her singing career through the works of Bertolt Brecht, becoming the doyenne of a new generation of Brechtian interpreters.

In 1967, Jonic released an album titled Brecht with Music on D'Art Records. Int he album, she mixed her interpretations of Bertolt Brecht.

In 1975, she released an album of 22 songs on Actor/Singer Development Productions titled "The Bitter Mirror," which mixed her interpretations of Brecht and Bob Dylan, which was reissued in 1974 by Records for Peace. The album was finally reissued on compact disc in 2010 by Motéma Music.

Jonic has written the text for various music/theatre pieces including Lorca (Edinburgh Festival),The Wheel (Camden Festival) and The Ladies (The Little Garden production at the Artaud Theatre). In addition to The Bitter Mirror, she has created many original works for herself, including Brecht and His Composers, Marie Antoinette meets Eleanor Rigby, Denim Blues, Anna of the Seven Deadly Sins, A French Love Affair, and Journey into Exile.

She has had two poetry collections published:

  • Briefs (Covent Garden Press)
  • Deja Vu(Arfuyen Press, Paris).

Personal life

Bettina Jonic was married to Canadian-Scottish publisher and founder of Calder Publishing, John Calder. They met in 1957 and were married in 1961 and until they divorced in 1975. The couple has a daughter, Anastasia, born in 1963.


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