Skip to page content

John Relyea

About this Artist

JOHN RELYEA continues to distinguish himself as one of today’s finest bass-baritones. He has appeared in many of the world’s most celebrated opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera (where he is an alumnus of the Merola Opera Program and a former Adler Fellow), Seattle Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Munich State Opera, Vienna State Opera, and the Mariinsky Theater. His roles include the title roles in Le nozze di Figaro, Bluebeard’s Castle, and Aleko; Méphistophélès in La damnation de Faust; the Four Villains in Les contes d’Hoffman; Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor; Giorgio in I Puritani; Escamillo in Carmen; Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia; Alidoro in La Cenerentola; Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress; Colline in La bohème; Marke in Tristan und Isolde; Caspar in Der Freischütz; Banquo in Macbeth; Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia; and Garibaldo in Rodelinda. He sang King Mark in Tristan und Isolde with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in April 2007.

Relyea also remains in high demand throughout the concert world, where he appears regularly with orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Met Chamber Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the Montreal Symphony, the Monnaie Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Berlin Philharmonic. He has also appeared at the Tanglewood, Ravinia, Blossom, Vail, Lanaudiere, Salzburg, Edinburgh, Lucerne, and Mostly Mozart festivals, and in the BBC Proms. In recital, he has been presented at Weill Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Wigmore Hall in London, the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, and the University of Chicago Presents series.

The many conductors with whom Relyea has worked include Harry Bicket, Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Neville Marriner, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, Sir Roger Norrington, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Ilan Volkov.

Relyea’s most recent recording, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, was released on the EMI label. He also recorded Idomeneo with Charles Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for EMI, and appears on the Metropolitan Opera’s DVD presentations of Don Giovanni, I Puritani, and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Deutsche Grammophon), and Macbeth (Metropolitan Opera HD Live Series).

In the 2009/10 season Relyea makes his debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in Berlioz’ Damnation of Faust, and returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Le nozze di Figaro. He also appears as Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust at San Francisco Opera. In concert, he makes appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Dresden Staatskapelle.

Relyea is the winner of the 2009 Beverly Sills Award and the 2003 Richard Tucker Award.