John Holland, Baritone
Czech-Canadian Bass-Baritone John Holland has embarked on a diverse career of opera, oratorio, and art song. In 2020, John won a JUNO award as a member of the Ottawa Bach Choir. His Operatic credits include Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Leporello and Masetto in Don Giovanni at the Estates Theatre in Prague, Vodník in Rusalka in the Czech Republic, Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algeri at Casa Loma, Purkrabi in Dvořák’s Jakobín, Caspar in Der Freischütz, Achilla in Giulio Cesare, Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore, Henry VIII in Anna Bolena, Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier, and Alberich in Der Ring Des Nibelungen with Toronto’s Opera by Request.
Oratorio credits include Bass Soloist for Mozart's Requiem, Haydn's Creation, Handel's Messiah, Bach's St. John Passion, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Shostakovich's Symphony #14, Haydn's Nelson Mass, CPE Bach's Magnificat, Mozart's Vespers, and Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle.
He has sung at such locales as the Canadian Opera Company, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Bachfest in Leipzig (2014, 2022), Smetana Hall and the Estates Theatre in Prague, and San Marco in Venice, and has shared the stage with the likes of Placido Domingo, Sherrill Milnes, Rene Pape, and Lorin Maazel. Recent 2023 performances include, Bass Soloist for a CD recording of Bach’s Motets on ATMA Classique, Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Mississauga Symphony, Leporello in Don Giovanni with Toronto City Opera, and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Opera York.
He was a winner of the 2002 CBC Radio Opera Quiz Competition, and a finalist in the London Opera Guild Competition in 2001 and 2003. A respected academic, John is a three-time lecturer for the Canadian Opera Company’s London guild, a regular lecturer at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and a nine-time judge for the JUNO Awards. He is also an alumnus of the University of Windsor and Western University music faculties.
Dr. Holland completed his PhD in Musicology at York University in 2018. His scholarly work reaches over many genres, but is focused on the study of Czech Opera, Art Song, and Choral Works. His book, The Lost Tradition of Dvořák's Operas: Myth, Music, and Nationalism, critically analyzes these operas, and views them through the lenses of social, cultural, and political history, and pieces together the answers to why these operas are essentially lost works within the Czech lands, and abroad. In the fall of 2014, he produced the Canadian premiere of Dvořák’s opera Jakobin. He is also the founding director of the Canadian Institute for Czech Music, and continues to be in demand as a performer, choral conductor, and lecturer, as well as being a member of the contract faculty at York University.