John Relyea

John Relyea continues to distinguish himself as one of today’s finest basses.

With a career now spanning 30 years, Relyea 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), Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Canadian Opera Company, La Scala, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Hamburg State Opera, Vienna State Opera, Rome, Napoli, Palermo, Theater an der Wien and the Mariinksy Theater. 

At the Met, Relyea has appeared in more than 240 performances since his debut as Alidoro in Rossini’s La cenerentola in 2000. He has sung a vast repertoire of major roles throughout his career, from the operas of  Handel, Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, Wagner, Britten, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and many more.

He also remains in demand throughout the concert world, where he appears regularly with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, NDR Hamburg and Berlin Philharmonic. 

He has also appeared at the Tanglewood, Ravinia, Blossom, Cincinnati May, Vail, Lanaudière, Salzburg, Edinburgh, Glyndebourne, Lucerne and Mostly Mozart festivals and at the BBC Proms.

In recital, he has sang 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 with include Harry Bicket, Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph von Dohnányi, Gustavo Dudamel, Allan Gilbert, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Neville Marriner, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Roger Norrington, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Wolfgang Sawallisch and Ilan Volkov.

Last year saw Relyea’s triumphant and critically acclaimed return to the Metropolitan Opera as the Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlos, as the Ghost/Gravedigger in the North American premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet, Boris in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Sparafucile in Rigoletto.

Please note: Biographies are based on information provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on websites of the artists or their management.