Biography                       Opera Roles              Oratorio Roles

John Holland, Baritone


Baritone John Holland completed his PhD in Musicology in 2018 at York University, focusing on Czech Opera and Vocal music of Dvorak and other Czech composers. He received hi Masters Degree in Performance and Literature at the University of Western Ontario studying with acclaimed baritone Theodore Baerg. He also holds an Honours Bachelor of Music from the University of Windsor as well as an Artist Diploma in Performance from the University of Western Ontario. His Operatic credits include Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro in Prague and Salzburg,  Leporello and Masetto in Don Giovanni at the Estates Theatre in Prague, Vodník in Rusalka in the Czech Republic, Caspar in Der Freischütz, Achilla in Giulio Cesare, Belcore in L’Elisir D’Amore and Alberich in Der Ring Des Nibelungen with Toronto’s Opera by Request, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera Nuova, Peter Quince in a Midsummer Night’s Dream with Opera Nuova, and Baron Zeta in The Merry Widow with Orchestra London. On the Oratorio side of things, John has been Bass Soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Stratford Symphony, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Hamilton Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem and Haydn’s Nelson Mass with the London Singers and Orchestra, Beethoven’s Mass in C with Toronto Orpheus Choir, and Bach’s Cantata 182 with the Ottawa Bach Choir. He has sung at such locales as Bachfest in Leipzig, Smetana Hall and the Estates Theatre in Prague, and San Marco in Venice, and has shared the stage with the likes of  Sherrill Milnes, Placido Domingo, Rene Pape, Lorin Maazel, Marvin Hamlisch, the London Symphony Orchestra, and Adrienne Pieczonka.


John was a winner of the 2002 CBC Radio Opera Quiz Competition, a finalist in the London Opera Guild Competition in 2001 and 2003, and sang for Prime Minister Chretien when he visited London. In demand also as a conductor, John is the music director at Blessed Trinity Church in North York, and has acted as music director for the West Elgin Choral Society for four years, and for London Musical Theatre Productions’s Iolanthe and The Gondoliers. John has been conductor of some of the choirs at York University. A respected academic, John is a three-time lecturer for the Canadian Opera Company’s London guild, a six-time judge for the Juno Awards, a music reviewer for Toronto Life Magazine and Side Street Review arts magazine, and also a published composer.


In the fall of 2014, He produced the Canadian premiere of Dvořák’s opera Jakobin. His scholarly work reaches over many genres, but is focused on the study of Czech Opera, Art Song, and Choral Works. He is also the founding director of the Canadian Institute for Czech Music. John hopes to continue a career in performance and teach at the university level.