Baritone John Allen Nelson hails from Minnesota and was recently seen as Escamillo in Skylark Opera's production of The Tragedy of Carmen. The St. Paul Pioneer Press said, “...pouring pleasing panache into Escamillo's 'Torreador' song” of his performance.
In the 2015/16 season, Mr. Nelson appeared as Pa Joad in The Grapes of Wrath with Sugar Creek Opera, Dandini in La Cenerentola with Boston’s NEMPAC Opera Project, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Boston University Opera Institute, and Moralès (while covering Escamillo) in Carmen at St. Petersburg Opera (FL). The Boston Musical Intelligencer said of his Dandini, “Nelson brought a deliciously hearty sound: his bold, rounded singing elicits the same earthly satisfaction as a great glass of Cabernet…He’s a natural choice for this role and others of its type…” His Demetrius was described as “a pleasure to listen to…His vocal performance left nothing to be desired.” Last season, he was seen as Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief with Hubbard Hall Opera, the Prior in Angels in America and Escamillo in La Tragédie de Carmen in his first year with B.U. Opera Institute. His Marcello in La Bohème with NEMPAC Opera in Boston was called, “…electrically charged…”
In recent seasons, Mr. Nelson has appeared with Minnesota Opera, performing Schaunard in La Bohème, Mandarin in Turandot, and Zimmerkellner in Arabella. As a Young Artist with Opera Colorado, he sang the roles of Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, the Old Gypsy in Il Trovatore, the Father in Hansel and Gretel, and Zuniga in Carmen. While with Des Moines Metro Opera as an Apprentice Artist he covered for Don Giovanni, a role he performed at UMKC, and with the Brevard Music Festival he sang Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore and Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro.
An active interpreter of concert works, in 2016 Mr. Nelson sang the baritone solo in John Rutter’s Mass of the Children with Masterworks Chorale in Boston and Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs at Old South Union Church. In recent years he has been the featured soloist in Händel’s Messiah with the Hyperion Singers and the Heartland Symphony, Fauré’s Requiem with Masterworks Chorale (Boston), and as a special guest artist at his alma mater, St. John’s University, in a program of both Bruckner’s and Koday’s Te Deum.
John Allen Nelson completed his residency at Boston University Opera Institute in spring 2016. He holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from St. John’s University in his native Minnesota
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