Thursday, June 9, 2022

Twitter: Patrick D. McCoy shared "Enjoying the Ride with Countertenor John Holiday >> Early Music America"

Holiday in Juilliard’s 2013 “Radamisto” 
(Photo: Nan Melville)

by David Shengold
Published June 3, 2022

This feature appears in the May 2022 issue of EMAg, the Magazine of Early Music America. Non-members can read for FREE through June 17, 2022. Members can read EMAg articles free at any time by logging in.

On a Rocket to Stardom, the Versatile Countertenor Remains Committed to Early Music

In an age of remarkable countertenors, John Holiday cuts a unique profile. At 37, less than a decade out of Juilliard, he’s made a striking impact in the early-music world and, with equal adeptness, on the new-music scene—enlivened by a foundation of church and popular genres.

Stage director Francesca Zambello, who runs both the Washington National Opera and Glimmerglass Opera in upstate New York, has hired Holiday for both companies. In an email to me, she calls John Holiday “one of the most versatile opera singers I have ever met: Not only an accomplished countertenor, he’s a jazz and gospel singer, and pianist extraordinaire.”

Zambello engaged him as the lead in Vivaldi’s Cato in Utica and Handel’s Serse, where Holiday “dominated the stage both vocally and dramatically. After many a performance he would perform his cabaret act, keeping the Glimmerglass audience engaged with his work on the keyboard and his raconteur style going all night long after singing a demanding role.”

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