An Interview with John Relyea

December 9, 2023, 4:00 pm

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Portrait of John Relyea, brooding, staring directly into camera, dark hair slicked back, in black shirt against dark background.
John Relyea (Photo: Shirley Suarez)

The career of John Relyea spans over 30 years. The distinguished Canadian bass has been seen on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in over 240 performances. He remains in high demand throughout the concert world where he appears regularly with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Berlin Philharmonic. Relyea joins WFMT to discuss his career in concert and opera in advance of his performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Watch John Relyea sing “La calumnia” from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.


All selections feature bass John Relyea.

George Frideric Handel (ed. Andrew Davis): Messiah
Recitativo accompagnato, “Thus saith the Lord”
Recitative accompagnato, “For behold, darkness shall cover the earth”
Aria, “The people that walked in darkness”
Toronto Symphony Orhcestra
Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

Gioachino Rossini: Stabat Mater
IV. Pro peccatis suae gentis
New Berlin Chamber Orchestra
Christoph Sperring, conductor

Giuseppe Verdi: Messa da Requiem
II. Dies irae: Lacrymosa
Christine Brewer, soprano
Karen Cargill, mezzo-soprano
Stuart Neill, tenor
London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra
Sir Colin Davis, conductor

Edward Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius
“Profiscere, anima Christiana…Go, in the name of Angels”
Chor der Staatsoperette Dresden
Staatskapelle Dresden
Sir Colin Davis, conductor

Béla Bartók: Final scene from Bluebeard’s Castle
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Edward Gardner, conductor

Hector Berlioz: Benvenuto Cellini
Act II, Entrance of the Pope and conclusion
London Symphony Orchestra Chorus & Orchestra
Sir Colin Davis, conductor