Juan Oncina was one of the best light tenors specialising in the lyric roles of Mozart, Rossini and Donizetti, though he also sang some French roles with success. His stage manner was appealing, with handsome appearance and a good sense of comic timing.
He studied in Barcelona with the soprano Mercedes Capsir. and made his debut there in 1946 as Des Grieux in Manon, when she sang the title role. His career developed quickly, with performances in Italy, Egypt and Spain. His Florence Festival debut in 1949 was in L’Hôtellerie portugaise by Cherubini, returning the following season for Gluck’s Armide. He soon worked in Naples, Venice, Trieste and Catania. His repertoire included Don Ottavio, Tamino, Paolino, Tonio, Ernesto, Nemorino, Elvino and Lindoro. He also sang Duke of Mantua, Alfredo and the title role in L’amico Fritz. His French repertoire included Wilhelm Meister, Nadir and Werther.
His British debut was in 1952 as Don Ramiro at Glyndebourne. The following season he sang Ferrando in Sussex, before repeating Ramiro in Edinburgh. He quickly appeared in other Rossini roles, Count Ory, Almaviva and Lindoro, as well as Fenton in Falstaff.
with a dedication and autograph dated 1955