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Bass-baritone John Relyea, a native of Toronto, Canada, was the son of professional singers and began vocal studies with his father, later completing his education at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Afterward he graduated from the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, where he made his debut as Colline in La Bohème in 1996. In 2000 Relyea made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Alidoro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola. He has been a regular guest ever since on the major operatic stages, including London’s Royal Opera House, Paris National Opera, the Bavarian and Vienna Staatsoper, and the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg. Credits have also included the Salzburg, Edinburgh, Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Blossom festivals. John Relyea’s repertoire extends from Handel and Mozart through bel canto to Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress and Duke Bluebeard’s Castle by Béla Bartók. He also sings Russian opera (for example, Rachmaninov’s Aleko) and interprets such French works as Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust and Gounod’s Faust (Méphistophélès in each case) and Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann (the villains); he is successful in the German repertoire, too, as seen in his portrayals of Kaspar in Der Freischütz and King Marke in Tristan. In the 2009-10 season, John Relyea made his debut at Chicago Lyric Opera; in concert performances, he performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Dresden Staatskapelle. The bass-baritone has worked with Pierre Boulez, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Simon Rattle, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. In 2003 John Relyea won the Richard Tucker Award, and in 2009 he garnered the Beverly Sills Award.
One previous LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) appearance: on September 2, 2004, with the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
11 July, 2010