Skip to page content

John Holiday

About this Artist

In repertoire encompassing George Frideric Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto to Jonathan Dove’s Flight and beyond, countertenor John Holiday’s expressive and richly beautiful voice has made him an increasingly sought-after artist, possessing a “vocal instrument that threatens to equal the name artists in his range.” (Herald Times) Mr. Holiday is the recipient of the Marian Anderson Award from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Washington National Opera.

As an advocate of new works, John Holiday will make his debut with Opera Philadelphia singing the role of John Blue in a world-premiere of Daniel Roumain’s We Shall Not Be Moved, a production directed by Bill T. Jones that will also be seen at the Apollo Theater in New York and Hackney Empire in London. Also in the 2017/2018 season, he will debut at Florida Grand Opera as Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice and make his debut in Flight as the Refugee at Des Moines Metro Opera. He will make his Kennedy Center recital debut at the Terrace Theater and perform in Handel’s Messiah with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. With the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, he sings Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms in Los Angeles and on tour in New York City at Geffen Hall, in Paris at the Philharmonie, and in London at the Barbican Centre.

Recently, John Holiday premiered Huang Ruo’s Paradise Interrupted at the Spoleto Festival USA, Lincoln Center Music Festival and Singapore Arts Festival. On the concert stage, he was heard in Messiah with the Nashville Symphony, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Phoenix Symphony, and Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare with Boston Baroque. In the summer of 2017, he returned to the Glimmerglass Festival to make his debut in the title role of Xerxes. Holiday debuted at the Los Angeles Opera in Barrie Kosky’s acclaimed production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas as the Sorceress and returned to the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for a program of Baroque arias under Jonathan Cohen and Handel’s Messiah with Paul Agnew, as well as Baroque programs with Ars Lyrica and Mercury Baroque. He debuted at the Glimmerglass Festival in Vivaldi’s Catone in Utica. In concert, he was also heard in Messiah with Mercury Baroque and the Nashville Symphony.

John Holiday made his Carnegie Hall debut as soloist in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Spano, as well as in performances for audiences in Atlanta. He also joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera to cover Nireno in Giulio Cesare under Harry Bicket in David McVicar’s new production and reprised his roles in Philip Glass’s Galileo Galilei at Cincinnati Opera, having first performed the work at Portland Opera for his debut. He was also seen in the title role of Radamisto at The Juilliard School, with the Juilliard Orchestra in Giya Kancheli’s And Farewell Goes Out Sighing… under Anne Manson, and in Scarlatti’s La Sposa dei Cantici with Ars Lyrica in Houston. He debuted at Wolf Trap Opera in the title role of Handel’s Giulio Cesare.

Holiday was an apprentice artist at Santa Fe Opera where he covered the role of Corrado in Peter Sellars’s production of Vivaldi’s Griselda and was seen as the Refugee in Flight for the Apprentice Scenes Program. He was soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and performed with the Chorus of Westerly (Rhode Island) in their concert of Purcell’s Come, Ye Sons of Art. He was also seen in a benefit concert at Dallas Opera having recently been the first-place winner of the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. Additionally, he was seen as Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare in Egitto at the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, soloist with Bourbon Baroque in Louisville, and soloist in Handel’s Messiah. A career highlight includes an invitation by Pope John Paul II to sing as soloist for High Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel in 2002.

Holiday received third prize at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition held in Los Angeles. In addition to the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, he received a first prize from the Sullivan Foundation for 2012 and was also awarded fifth place in the Palm Beach Opera Competition in 2011. In 2007, he was the first-place winner in his district of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. From 2004 to 2006, Holiday was a first-place winner of the TEXOMA region of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

In addition to the classical repertoire, Holiday excels in jazz music having opened for Grammy award winner Jason Mraz in concert. He is a graduate of the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, where he earned his Bachelor of Music in voice performance and will complete his Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music in the spring of 2012.