Indianola, IA — Des Moines Metro Opera (DMMO) is thrilled to announce an exciting concert and reception featuring internationally acclaimed countertenor John Holiday on Sunday, April 8 at 7:00pm. Featuring an eclectic mix of opera, jazz and gospel selections, the concert will be held in the sanctuary at Plymouth Church in Des Moines. Scott Arens, DMMO’s director of marketing and public relations, will be joining Mr. Holiday at the piano for the performance.

John Holiday is one of opera’s brightest rising stars. The 2017 recipient of the prestigious Marian Anderson Vocal Award, Mr. Holiday’s 2017-18 season has included a solo recital program at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts along with performances with Opera Philadelphia, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Florida Grand Opera, the Dutch National Opera and the Philharmonie de Paris before making a company and role debut at Des Moines Metro Opera this summer as the Refugee in Jonathan Dove’s breakthrough modern comedy, Flight.

John Holiday in Concert
Sunday, April 8, 2018 | 7:00pm
Plymouth Church
4126 Ingersoll Ave, Des Moines

 Tickets for the event are $25 for adults and free for students, and can be ordered online by clicking HERE or by calling the DMMO Box Office at (515) 961-6221.



John Holiday, one of Broadway World’s “New York Opera 2015 Gifts that Keep on Giving” and recent nominee for “Newcomer of the Year” by the German magazine Opernwelt, has established himself as a singer to watch. Singing the role of Caesar in the U.S. Premiere of Catone in Utica by Antonio Vivaldi during the 2015 Glimmerglass Festival, Holiday was greeted with standing ovations and outstanding critical praise.

“… there is a major reason to see this production: the superb young countertenor John Holiday, in the role of Caesar, who displayed an arrestingly powerful, secure, and dramatically high instrument. I had that jolt of excitement once before: exactly 20 years ago, at Glimmerglass, when David Daniels sang the title role in “Tamerlano” and made operatic countertenors something to be reckoned with.” Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal

Holiday recently completed appearances in the role of “first male voice” in Paradise Interrupted at the Singapore International Arts Festival 2016 and the Lincoln Center Festival 2016. Holiday’s performances received critical acclaim: “The Woman encounters four male singers portraying the Elements: … and the countertenor John Holiday, an exceptional vocalist with a strong voice, even in its highest range…” Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times.

In the summer of 2017, Holiday returns to the Glimmerglass Festival singing the title role in Xerxes by Handel. During the 2016-2017 season Holiday will debut with Boston Baroque in the role of Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare in Egitto by Handel, He will also appear with the Nashville Symphony in Handel’s Messiah and as a soloist in the Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein with The Phoenix Symphony. As a champion and big advocate of new works, Holiday will make his house debut with Opera Philadelphia singing the role of John Blue in a world-premiere of Daniel Roumain’s We Shall Not Be Moved, a production directed by the award-winning Bill T. Jones.

Holiday debuted with the Spoleto Festival USA 2015 in the world premiere of Paradise Interrupted and also substituted in the role of Zaida in Veremonda, l’amazzone di Aragona by Francesco Cavalli during its U.S. Premiere run at the USA Spoleto Festival. Due to last minute cast needs, he learned the role in only one day. Holiday debuted in 2014 at the Los Angeles Opera in Barrie Kosky’s acclaimed production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas as the Sorceress and appeared with the Wolf Trap Opera in June 2014 as Caesar in Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto. During the 2013-2014 season, he was seen in the title roles of Radamisto at the Juilliard School with the Juilliard Orchestra in Giya Kancheli’s And Farewell Goes Out Sighing… under Anne Manson, and as Sposo in Scarlatti’s La Sposa dei Cantici with Ars Lyrica in Houston, which has been commerical released on Sono Luminus records.

Holiday made his Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 2012 in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. Holiday joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera to cover Nireno in Giulio Cesare in Egitto under Harry Bicket in David McVicar’s new production and reprised his roles in Philip Glass’s Galileo Galilei at the Cincinnati Opera, having first performed the work at the Portland Opera for his operatic stage debut. He was an apprentice artist at Santa Fe Opera where he covered the role of Corrado in Peter Sellars’s production of Vivaldi’s Griselda and was seen as the Refugee in Jonathan Dove’s Flight for the Apprentice Scenes Program.

Holiday’s recital schedule includes engagements in Saint Paul, Minnesota with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, the Chorus of Westerly in Rhode Island, the Nashville Symphony, and programs with Ars Lyrica and Mercury Baroque in Houston, Texas.

Major competitions and award programs have recognized Holiday’s accomplishments. He is a 2014 recipient of the Catherine Filene Shouse Career Development Grant from the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts and is also a recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation and first prize from the Richard Tucker Foundation Sara Tucker award. He was awarded first place at both the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition for 2013 and the Sullivan Foundation for 2012. Holiday also received a first place win at the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. In 2007, he was the first place winner in his district of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

In addition to his classical repertoire, Holiday excels in jazz and gospel music having opened for Grammy award winner Jason Mraz in concert. Holiday recently released his debut jazz album entitled The Holiday Guide.

He 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.



Des Moines Metro Opera is a nationally recognized, progressive opera company that has taken its place among America’s leading opera festivals. Founded in 1973, it is the state’s largest performing arts organization, annually producing over 100 performances in the metro area and around the state and region. Last year 94,000 people experienced Des Moines Metro Opera programming via mainstage performances, educational programs and statewide television and radio broadcasts. In 2017 the Chicago Tribune called DMMO one of “the oldest and most enterprising summer opera fests in the nation,” and titled their review of the season, “World-class opera grows tall and proud in the Corn Belt.”

The Company’s Summer Festival Season runs from May through July of each year during which time three operas are performed in repertory for 15 mainstage performances. The Summer Festival Season takes place in the 467-seat Pote Theater at the Blank Performing Arts Center in Indianola, Iowa. Each season the Company welcomes audiences from nearly 40 states, most Iowa counties and several foreign countries. The 2018 Summer Festival Season runs from June 22 through July 15, 2018. Featured will be J. Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, DvoÅ™ák’s Rusalka and Dove/de Angelis’ Flight.

The Company develops audiences of all ages through five educational programs. The OPERA Iowa Educational Touring Troupe and the Apprentice Artist Program for singers are two of the long-standing, flagship programs of the education division. Des Moines Metro Opera serves more than 40,000 people each year across the state through its educational programming.

Des Moines Metro Opera serves its city as a cultural leader through unique community programming and collaborations. The 2nd Stages Series creates collaborative performances designed to engage audiences in creative spaces. This season’s 2nd Stages Series productions will feature Kaminsky/Campbell/Reed’s As One in the Stoner Theater at the Civic Center in downtown Des Moines and Copland’s The Tender Land performed outdoors at the Maytag Dairy Farms in Newton, Iowa.

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