The Corner


John Relyea, Man of Parts

John Relyea, right, with Peter Seiffert during a rehearsal of Weber’s opera Der Freischütz at the Salzburg Festival in 2007 (Calle Toernstroem / Reuters)

I have a Q&A with John Relyea, live from the Salzburg Festival. (Or “live to tape,” as I believe they say.) He is a wonderful singer, a wonderful guy — and it turns out, a wonderful conversationalist. Relyea is a Canadian bass-baritone. He is the son of two singers. (It often works that way — in all fields, actually.) (I once wrote a piece about that.) (At my stage, you can say “I once wrote a piece about that” about virtually anything.) Relyea studied with Jerome Hines, the famous American bass. He talks about Hines and teaching generally. And about roles. And about national anthems (the singing of them). And about many interesting things. “Mozart is always a balance of mind and heart,” he says — and don’t forget the heart. He also touches on the Seattle grunge scene. And rock. He once played the guitar. He is a man of parts, John Relyea, and not just opera-and-oratorio parts.

You will enjoy him a lot. As a bonus, he has a great voice — speaking voice, I mean, in addition to the other one. Again, here.

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