Countertenor John Holiday has quickly established himself as a fast-rising singer to watch and “one of the finest countertenors of his generation” (Los Angeles Times). His voice has been praised as “a thing of astonishing beauty” (New Yorker), “arrestingly powerful, secure and dramatically high” (Wall StreetJournal), “exceptional [and] strong...even in its highest range” (The New York Times) and “timeless”(Washington Post)
Holiday starts his season by bringing his Baroque expertise for his debut at La Jolla Music Festival, singing a selection of Purcell and Handel arias alongside the famed Mark Morris Dance Group. Holiday then travels to Shanghai for his debut at the Art Macau Festival for performances of Huang Ruo’s chamber opera Paradise Interrupted as the First Male Voice, a role he created at the Spoleto Festival in 2016 for the world premiere. Holiday will then cover the role of Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Eurydice at The Metropolitan Opera, directed by Mark Morris. He makes his debut with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra as the Alto Soloist in Handel’s Messiah and in a solo recital with Roger Vignoles before returning to LA Opera as Orpheus’s Double in the world premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice. He appears with Dayton Opera and Dayton Ballet for their Going for Baroque concert, before finishing his season presenting a recital at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, curated as a part of the Jacob Lawrence “Struggle Series.”
Highlights from Holiday’s previous season included singing the role of Nero in Agrippina with Ars Lyrica in Houston, Handel's Israel in Egypt with MasterVoices at Carnegie Hall, and his debut with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor as the Alto Soloist in Handel’s Messiah. Holiday also made his debut at the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts in Taiwan, singing the role of the First Male Voice in Paradise Interrupted. Additional concerts and recitals were held at the legendary Apollo Theater, The Sorting Room in Beverly Hills, The Dallas Opera recital series, Trinity Wall Street, and London’s Barbican Center.
Past career highlights include singing John Blue in the world premiere of Daniel Roumain’s We Shall Not Be Moved with Opera Philadelphia and which also forged his European debut with the Dutch National Opera; his recital debut at The Kennedy Center; a tour with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil singing Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms in Los Angeles, New York’s Lincoln Center, London’s Barbican, and the Philharmonie de Paris; and performing the role of the Refugee in Jonathan Dove's Flight at Des Moines Metro Opera to critical acclaim. Holiday has also performed the title role in Xerxes at the Glimmerglass Festival; debuted with Boston Baroque in the role of Tolomeo in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto; debuted at the Spoleto Festival in the world premiere of Paradise Interrupted; his 2014 debuts with Los Angeles Opera as the Sorceress in Barrie Kosky’s acclaimed production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas; Wolf Trap Opera as Caesar in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto; as well as engagements with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony. Holiday joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in 2013 to cover the role of Nireno in David McVicar's acclaimed production of Giulio Cesare in Egitto, and his operatic stage debut was with Portland Opera in Galileo Galilei.
"The voice that rang from the stage that day was unique, powerfullyc lear with clarion high notes... In the balcony, people exchanged looks of astonishment."
- San Francisco Classical Voice
Holiday has been the recipient of numerous major competitions and award programs such as the 2017 Marian Anderson Vocal Award; the 2014 recipient of the Catherine Filene Shouse Career Development Grant from the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts; a recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation; the 2014 Richard Tucker Foundation Sara Tucker award; first place at the 2013 Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, the 2012 Sullivan Foundation, and the 2011 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition; and third place winner in the 2014 OPERALIA competition. In addition, Holiday was named one of Broadway World’s “New York Opera 2015 Gifts that Keep on Giving,” nominated for “Newcomer of the Year” by the German magazine Opernwelt, and listed as one of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 100 honorees for 2018. He was a 2007 District Winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Alongside his classical repertoire, Holiday excels in jazz and gospel music having opened for Grammy award winner Jason Mraz in concert. In 2006 he released his debut jazz album entitled The Holiday Guide.
He received a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Master of Music in vocal performance from the University of Cincinnati College – Conservatory of Music and the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies from The Juilliard School in New York City. Holiday grew up in Rosenberg, Texas, located near Houston, and attended the town’s public schools.