Hailed as “every inch the hero in stature and voice” (Classical Voice North America), award-winning American tenor John Riesen is consistently impressing audiences with his "impassioned...and vibrant" voice (Opera Today). John’s growing career boasts a variety of roles in which he excels and includes significant work in opera, musical theatre, studio recording, and concert. He has released two albums: What You'd Call a Dream (2019) and Christmas at Home (2020) and several singles, including “Autumn Leaves” (2021), “What a Wonderful World” (2021), and “Maria” (from West Side Story, 2021), that have reached well over one million streams on Spotify and Apple Music. John is also the head of Spotify promotion and PR for Emitha LLC, building an ecosystem for classical singers to be heard around the world.
Last season was a busy one for John and included his role début as Camille in The Merry Widow at Knoxville Opera, where he also reprised his Younger Thompson in Glory Denied. He made his role début as the Duke in Rigoletto at Intermountain Opera Bozeman, appeared with Opera Las Vegas as Detective Daniel Lewis in A Capacity for Evil, and brought his Younger Thompson to Opera Roanoke. Additionally, he was named a semifinalist on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Engagements for this season include joining the Dallas Symphony for their concert Prohibition, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Southwest Michigan Symphony and Pacific Symphony, Carmina Burana with Sinfonica Costa Rica, the Choral Society of Pensacola, and Flint Symphony Orchestra, a holiday Pops concert with the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra, Alfred in Die Fledermaus with Pensacola Opera, and his return to Intermountain Opera Bozeman as Rodolfo in La bohème. [read more...]
"... Riesen was perfectly cast..." – Utah Arts Review
The Pirates of Penzance – “Making his Utah Opera debut, John Riesen was perfectly cast as Frederic. . . Riesen’s expressive voice was mannered in just the right way to reflect Frederic’s self-righteousness, and as an actor, he fully committed to being the “slave of duty.” The seriousness he brought to his character’s moral dilemma propelled the show forward and heightened its humor."
“... Riesen’s (Chris) voice filled the theater with a welcoming richness…” – Music City Review
Favorite Son – “Right out of the gate, John Riesen’s (Chris) voice filled the theater with a welcoming richness in the lower register. It continued to bloom further throughout the story in more grand tenor-y moments, as in the anthemic chorus of the eponymous “Favorite Son” song."
"... Every inch the hero in stature and voice…” – Classical Voice North America
Glory Denied – “As Younger Jim, Riesen glowed with his love of Alyce... Every inch the hero in stature and voice, Riesen could express the sweetest of emotions or become rapier-sharp with indignation or defiance when he was roused by demons real or imagined.”
"... youthfully blooming tenor..." – San Francisco Classical Voice
La Traviata– “Riesen, with his youthfully blooming tenor and beamish face, comes off as an eager innocent who falls hard and fast for a woman he’s drawn to but doesn’t quite fathom. That lays the ground work for his wounded anger at her apparent betrayal later on. . . Riesen is still on a roll as the second act begins, all but belting out his infatuation. . . His brow furrowed, voice fibrous, and body tense with anger, Alfredo flings his gambling winnings at Violetta in a violent frenzy. It’s a powerful, frightening moment.”