John Relyea is a man on the up and up. At 28, his voice is moving him to the foreground of the opera world. Relyea has performed with major symphony companies across the country, such as the New York Philharmonic, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera and the Metropolitan Opera in addition to the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Paul Wong
Bass-baritone John Relyea wants you to look deeply into his eyes.<br><br>Courtesy of UMS

Relyea enjoys the opportunity to act that comes with performing opera. The role of Figaro has been one of the most enjoyable for him to perform. His debut concert with the New York Philharmonic has also been a highlight for him. “Performing offers every artist something different,” said Relyea. “Performing is an opportunity to open up on a spiritual level, to become intimate and share with the audience.”

A recital sitting is one of the easiest ways for an artist to show off their best talents. Relyea tries to choose pieces he enjoys to sing, as well as keep a range of languages and styles.

After having performed with the Swedish Radio Orchestra in February, this performance is Relyea”s recital debut. He will be performing a variety of pieces from Tchaikovsky, Jacques Ibert, Strauss, Schubert and Schumann, as well as others.

He has trained under his father, Canadian bass-baritone Gary Relyea, and currently under Jerome Hines. The opportunity to train with his father was enjoyable. Sharing performance has provided an opportunity for a good relationship between the two, and gives Relyea someone in the business who he can go to for advice.

Relyea tries to stay away from superstitions before performances, which are very easy for performers to fall into. He does however try to eat a good meal and take in some exercise on the day of a performance.

For Relyea, the most rewarding side of performing is knowing what type of impact he has made on his audience. He hopes to “affect peoples lives and hope to enrich them” through the performance.

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