Countertenor John Holiday has established himself as “one of the finest countertenors of his generation” (Los Angeles Times). His voice has been praised as “a thing of astonishing beauty” (New Yorker), “arrestingly powerful, secure and dramatically high” (Wall Street Journal), “exceptional [and] strong...even in its highest range” (The New York Times) and “timeless” (Washington Post). Holiday’s unique voice and powerful story have been the subject of profiles in The New Yorker, CNN’s Great Big Story, Los Angeles Times, and more.
Holiday began his 2022-23 season as a featured artist with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. The season continues in October at Quantum Theatre in Claire van Kampen's production of Idaspe, where Holiday makes his debut in the title role alongside mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux, followed by the screening and streaming release of his acclaimed film After/Glow on the Opera Philadelphia Channel, part of their event Shorts: The Opera We Made. In November, Holiday returns to The Metropolitan Opera as the Man Under Arch and Hotel Clerk roles in the highly-anticipated stage premiere of Kevin Puts’s The Hours. In 2023, Holiday is set to debut as a featured artist in the world premiere of Four Portraits (Caroline Shaw/Jocelyn Clark) at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Holiday will also be joining the Pittsburgh Opera in May of 2023 to star as John Blue in their production of We Shall Not Be Moved, directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner and Kennedy Center Honoree Bill T. Jones.
During his 21-22 season, Holiday debuted at the Hollywood Bowl under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel in an all-Gershwin program with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, followed by his anticipated Metropolitan Opera debut in Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice as Orpheus’s Double. Holiday also made his debut with the New York Philharmonic in Handel’s Messiah and capped off the season with his debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Barrie Kosky’s production of Agrippina in the role of Nerone. Holiday went on to reprise his signature role of the Refugee in Jonathan Dove’s Flight with Utah Opera and The Dallas Opera.
An acclaimed concert singer, Holiday has performed at world-renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, London’s Barbican Center, and the Philharmonie de Paris. His career highlights include a tour with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; the Sorceress in Barrie Kosky’s production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and the world premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice as Orpheus’s Double at the Los Angeles Opera; the world premiere of Daniel Bernard Roumain’s WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED with Opera Philadelphia and the Dutch National Opera; title role in Xerxes at the Glimmerglass Festival; and Caesar in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto at Wolf Trap Opera. In addition to the traditional concert performances and recitals, Holiday has curated The John Holiday Experience (JHE) to showcase his affinity and talent for many different genres that includes classical, pop, jazz, and R&B. He has performed the program on a national scale, bringing it to Dallas, Des Moines, and Dayton, with plans to continue the eclectic evening of song in his upcoming seasons.
Outside of classical repertoire, Holiday excels in jazz, gospel, and pop music having opened for Grammy award winner Jason Mraz in concert. In 2018, Holiday sang the national anthem for his hometown team the Houston Rockets, and in 2019, Holiday performed at the star-studded Ozwald Boateng Harlem Runway Show at The Apollo Theater, in a performance that was covered by Vogue, Forbes, and CNN, and attended by celebrities Jamie Foxx, Idris Elba, Dapper Dan and others. Additionally, in 2019 Holiday performed Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” at the Apollo Theater Spring Gala. His debut pop single “Alive in Me” was released in August 2021, followed by two more singles: “Waste Mine” and “Love Finds A Way”. Holiday released a Future Rave remix of “Love Finds A Way” through UnitedMasters on August 19, 2022.
Holiday has been the recipient of numerous major competitions and award programs such as the 2017 Marian Anderson Vocal Award; the 2014 Richard Tucker Foundation’s Sara Tucker Award; first place at the 2013 Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, the 2012 Sullivan Foundation, and the 2011 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition; and third place winner in the 2014 OPERALIA competition. In addition, Holiday was selected among WQXR’s prestigious 20 for ‘20 Artists to Watch, named one of BroadwayWorld’s “New York Opera Gifts that Keep on Giving,” nominated for “Newcomer of the Year” by the German magazine Opernwelt, and listed as one of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 100 honorees for 2018.
John Holiday received a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Master of Music in vocal performance from the University of Cincinnati College – Conservatory of Music and the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies from The Juilliard School in New York City. Holiday grew up in Rosenberg, Texas, located near Houston, and attended the town’s public schools.