John Tessier

Tenor

Biography

On the international stages of opera, concert, and recital, Canadian John Tessier has garnered attention and praise for the beauty and honesty of his voice, for a refined style and creative versatility, and for his handsome, youthful presence in the lyric tenor repertoire.  The Juno Award-winning artist has worked with many of the most notable conductors of our day including David Robertson, Leonard Slatkin, Plácido Domingo, John Nelson, Franz Welser-Möst, Emmanuelle Haïm, Charles Dutoit, Donald Runnicles, Robert Spano, Yannick Nézet-Séguinand Bernard Labadie.

In the 2017-18 operatic season, Mr. Tessier returns for a fourth consecutive year to the stage of the Wiener Staatsoper and, this time, reprises his acclaimed portrayal of Tonio in Laurent Pelly’s production of La fille du Régiment. He also joins the Edmonton Opera to sing Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Calgary Opera for Conte Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia. On the concert stage appearances include Messiah with the Colorado Symphony, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Rune Bergmann and the Calgary Philharmonic and with the National Arts Centre Orchestra conducted by Alexander Shelly, as well as concert performances of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Requiem with Krzysztof Urbański and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

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Reviews

“Fellow Canadian John Tessier’s high, almost haute-contre tenor is ideal for Nadir’s Act 1 romance – combining an easy legato with a finely modulated voix mixte, this was by far the best performance I’ve heard of this killer aria. Tessier shows a strong command of the style, and his crystalline French was the finest in the cast. Additionally, his impetuous physicality also lent a nice degree of realism to the role.”

Kevin W. Ng

Bachtrack

“Tessier’s lyrical, soaring tenor was an excellent match for the delicacy and purity of McKay’s Leila”

Melinda Bargreen

Seattle Times

More Reviews

“Tessier has the lyric style, and above all the range, required for the part – he cleanly hit the incredible F above high C that Bellini demands of Arturo in the final act, and elsewhere plucked other high vocal fruit with ease. And he can fence credibly, had bedroom chemistry with Coburn, and is certainly easy on the eyes – you could see why a girl would go mad for him. ”

Thomas Garvey, The Hub Review 

“The reunion of Coburn and Tessier (lauded for their part in BLO‘s “Barber of Seville” two seasons ago) was a stroke of genius, as they have obvious chemistry together and again prove their virtuosity, especially in Arturo’s paean to his prospective bride, “a te, o cara, amor talora”, as well as his troubadour song, “corre a valle, corre a morte”…The entire opera can be a breathtaking (almost literally) endurance contest for the singers…While they may not sustain the highest notes as long as some singers in beloved studio recordings, they impress with their passion in character. Not only is their sound lovely, but their diction is estimable; one needn’t be multilingual to appreciate the beauty of the Italian language. ”

Jack Crib, South Shore Critic 

“Tessier owned the coloratura, absolutely nailing Bellini’s orbiting melodic lines as they passed far up into the stratosphere, including the incredibly high line in “Credeasi, misera. ”

Joseph E. Morgan, The Boston Music Intelligencer 

“Tessier sang his part of an ardent lover, beset with a heavy burden of frustrations, ambiguities, and pains, with exceptional beauty of tone, as a classic lyric tenor with a substantial instrument, and fine insight into Gomez’ character as a constant, honorable nobleman, cast into ambiguity and ultimate rejection.”

Michael Miller, New York Arts 

“Tessier has a lovely, limpid voice that carries extremely well. With its warm timbre, he seems to float to the highest notes, as in the famous aria Ah mes amis, in which he reeled off a whopping nine high Cs, completely free of strain.”

Gwenda Nemerofsky, Winnipeg Free Press 

“John Tessier set the bar high with his flexible forward tenor…he handles Rossini’s runs with unostentatious ease, so the demanding coloratura sounds seamlessly part of a whole. More over he sings expressively and imbues honesty…”

Angelo Mao, Boston Classical Review 

“Mr. Tessier was strong in that work’s title aria and elsewhere. Bach Cantata BWV 163.”

James R. Oestreich, New York Times 

“Tessier’s nuances performance as the narrator was equally memorable.”

Catherine Reese Newton, Salt Lake City Tribune 

“Internationally renowned tenor, John Tessier, consistently projects stirring passion as he pines for his mysterious inamorata. Tessier’s duets with Constantinescu define romantic longing, as does his Act 2 aria, Si, ritrovarla io guiro.”

Brad Richardson, Examiner.com 

“There’s touching tenderness in tenor John Tessier’s solos.”

Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press 

“John Tessier’s glowing Ferrando…”

Larry Fuchsberg, Star Tribune 

“…it’s hard to mistake the swaggering bravado tenor John Tessier lends to his portrayal of Ferrando…”

Brad Richason, Examiner.com 

“John Tessier, who recently sang in Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the Boston Symphony deployed a robust and well-controlled tenor as Almavia”

Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe 

“Also returning is John Tessier’s Steersman, whose legato makes a jewel of his love song, glittering like the Dutchman’s treasures against the matter-of-fact Daland.”

Alexandra Coghlan, The Arts Desk 

““Tessier‭’‬s voice is one of those lyric tenors with a cutting,‭ ‬thrilling vocal edge that makes it stand out immediately on stage.‭ ‬His‭ ‬Ah,‭ ‬mes‭ ‬amis,‭ ‬quel jour de fête,‭ ‬from Donizetti‭’‬s‭ ‬La Fille du Régiment,‭ ‬showed a voice that had no difficulty at all hitting the aria‭’‬s legendary nine high C‭’‬s,‭ ‬even to the point that he was able to sing the first eight‭ ‬at mezzo-forte,‭ ‬with a sense of plenty of muscle to spare. His second appearance,‭ ‬also in music by Donizetti‭ ‬– Una furtiva lagrima,‭ ‬from‭ ‬L‭’‬Elisir d‭’‬Amore‭ ‬– demonstrated that he can sing with full-blooded warmth as well,‭ ‬spinning out rich lines‭ ‬of song with apparent ease and textual sensitivity.‭ ‬The‭ ‬audience loved this performance.””

Greg Stepanich, Palm Beach Arts Paper 

“John Tessier’s Steersman, for example, sang only a brief ballad, but the quality was astonishingly good.”

Jon Massey, Wharf.co.uk 

“But it probably wouldn’t work so well without Tessier…..he sings exquisitely and has the rare ability to rouse laughter and tears simultaneously.”

Tim Ashley, The Guardian