American baritone John Chest’s “presence and delivery complement the dark, rich colours in his voice” (Opera Now). Recent and forthcoming engagements include Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht at Teatro Massimo di Palermo; Conte d’Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro at Opéra National de Lyon; Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Orchestra National de Lille; a concert tour with Maxim Emelyanychev and Il Pomo D’Oro of Handel’s Theodora alongside compatriots Joyce DiDonato, Lisette Oropesa and Michael Spyres, and a thrilling debut as Rodrigue in a new production of Don Carlos at Theater Basel.
Recent operatic engagements include the title role in Billy Budd at Deutsche Oper Berlin and San Francisco Opera; Pelléas Pelléas et Mélisande at Glyndebourne; Albert Werther at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées; Nick Carraway The Great Gatsby for Staatsoper Dresden; Valentin Faust for Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse and Teatro Real Madrid; title role in Don Giovanni for Angers-Nantes Opéra; Figaro Il barbiere di Siviglia, Papageno Die Zauberflöte, Ford Falstaff, and Silvio Pagliacci at Deutsche Oper Berlin; Guglielmo Così fan tutte at Bayerische Staatsoper, Hamburgische Staatsoper and Deutsche Oper Berlin; Il Conte d’Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro for Grand Theatre de la Ville de Luxembourg, Opera Philadelphia and Deutsche Oper Berlin; Marcello La bohème at Washington National Opera and Semperoper Dresden; Nardo La finta giardiniera and Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Festival d’Aix-en-Provence; and Ned Keen Peter Grimes for Norwegian Opera.Read more
Equally passionate about art song, Chest has sung recitals at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Paris Philharmonie, Essener Philharmonie and Wigmore Hall. He has recorded Brahms’ Die schöne Magelone with Marcelo Amaral and can be heard on all four volumes of Malcolm Martineau’s The Complete Songs of Fauré.
In 2017 Chest represented the United States at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. The same year he was awarded a Career Grant by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. He received the top prize at the prestigious 2010 Stella Maris International Vocal Competition and the Arleen Auger Prize in the 2012 Hertogenbosch International Vocal Competition. He was a member of the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin until September 2016 and is a graduate of the Bayerische Staatsoper Opernstudio, where he sang over eighty main stage performances. He has held apprenticeships with the Santa Fe Opera and the Chicago Opera Theater, and took part in the esteemed Merola Opera Programme. Chest holds a Master of Music from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, where he studied with David Holloway.
“The title role was interpreted by American baritone, John Chest, and with panache. Chest appealed right from the start, his voice beautiful in its sonority, his conviction embedded in each note. His timbre was perfect, the plangent “cri de coeur” never cloying, nor a plea for sympathy. Lois Silverstein he told the Captain when he stood before him apparently going to receive a promotion. “In my hands, you would be safe.” Indeed, the audience was also safe in his hands.”
“His caramel baritone seduces audiences both live (he was a ravishing Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Aix-en-Provence) and on record, as witness his perfectly weighted contributions to the complete Fauré song cycle on Signum Classics; and his forthcoming turn as Pelléas at this summer’s Glyndebourne Festival is likely to engrave his name on the UK’s consciousness.”
“John Chest campe un Posa noble et raffiné, au timbre de velours.”
“John Chest portrays a noble and refined Posa, with a velvet timbre.”