There is something very special about his tenor voice: there is a colour, a kind of tiny musical accent, to his sound that is entirely his. Jon Vickers and Jussi Björling had something similar, with the result that their voices are instantly recognizable. His tenor is also attractively lyrical, and his performance here was a pleasure to listen to, both in terms of interpreting the piece, and for the sheer pleasure of listening to lovely singing.
Edmonton Classical Music, Mark Morris
Tessier has a lovely, limpid voice that carries extremely well. With its warm timbre, he seems to float to the highest notes, as in the famous aria Ah mes amis, in which he reeled off a whopping nine high Cs, completely free of strain.
Winnipeg Free Press, Gwenda Nemerofsky
On the international stages of opera, concert, and recital, Canadian John Tessier has garnered attention and praise for the beauty and honesty of his voice, for a refined style and creative versatility, and for his handsome, youthful presence in the lyric tenor repertoire. The Juno Award-winning artist has worked with many of the most notable conductors of our day including David Robertson, Leonard Slatkin, Plácido Domingo, John Nelson, Franz Welser-Möst, Emmanuelle Haïm, Charles Dutoit, Donald Runnicles, Robert Spano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Bernard Labadie.
In the 2016-17 operatic season, Mr. Tessier returns for the third consecutive year to the stage of the Wiener Staatsoper and presents the role of Tonio in Laurent Pelly’s acclaimed production of La fille du Régiment. In Canada, he assays the title role of Massenet’s Werther in a new production at Manitoba Opera and sings Don Ramiro in a revival of La cenerentola for Edmonton Opera. His concert performances include Bernstein’s A Quiet Place with Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn’s Elijah both with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Charlotte Symphony, the Mozart Requiem with Rune Bergmann and the Szczecin Philharmonic, as well as the 37th annual CBC Christmas Sing-In, which is heard by more than one million listeners across Canada on CBC Radio One and CBC Radio Two.
Highlights of recent opera seasons feature Bellini’s I Puritani conducted by Marco Armiliato and Count Almaviva in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, both at the Wiener Staatsoper, Cherubini’s Médée at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées conducted by Christophe Rousset, and La cenerentola for New Zealand Opera. He has given the world première of Robin de Raaff’s Waiting for Miss Monroe at the Netherlands Opera, and has sung Der fliegende Holländer under the baton of Jeffrey Tate at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Don Giovanni for a South American debut at the Teatro Colón with conductor John Neschling, and The Pearl Fishers with the English National Opera. Further operatic credits include Salome at the Verbier Festival led Valery Gergiev, La cenerentola and Così fan tutte at Minnesota Opera, Don Giovanni and Hamlet at Washington National Opera, Lakmé with L’Opéra de Montréal, and a new Jonathan Miller production of The Elixir of Love at both English National Opera and the New York City Opera. Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia has featured prominently in the tenor’s career with performances at English National Opera, New York City Opera, Edmonton Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, L’Opéra de Québec, and in a new Leon Major production at Glimmerglass Opera.
Symphonic engagements include Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Iván Fischer and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall, Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust with the Cleveland Orchestra under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst, and Carmina Burana with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony. Other concert appearances feature Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Paavo Järvi and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Haydn’s Mass in the Time of War with Bernard Labadie and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Berlioz’ Te Deum under the direction of Charles Dutoit at the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Haydn’s The Creation with John Nelson and Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. He has sung Mozart’s Requiem with Donald Runnicles and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (recorded and commercially available on Telarc), Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Nicholas McGegan and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Händel’s Messiah with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and with Emmanuelle Haïm and Le Concert d’Astrée on tour in Vienna, Paris, Frankfurt, Cologne, and Milan.
Bill Palant, Étude Arts
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