American baritone John Chest’s “presence and delivery complements the dark, rich colors in his voice” (Opera Now). Highlights of his 2016-17 season included Conte Almaviva Le Nozze di Figaro in his Opera Philadelphia debut, Nick Carraway The Great Gatsby with Staatsoper Dresden, and a return to the Deutsche Oper Berlin for the title role of Billy Budd. Future performances include major roles at the Glyndebourne Festival, the Teatro Real Madrid, the Teatro Municipal Santiago, and the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich.
Recent engagements include Albert Werther at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Nick Carraway The Great Gatsby (Staatsoper Dresden), Valentin Faust (Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse, Deutsche Oper Berlin), the title role of Don Giovanni (Angers Nantes Opera), title role of Billy Budd, Figaro Il barbiere di Siviglia, Papageno Die Zauberflöte, Ford Falstaff, Silvio Pagliacci, Guglielmo Cosi fan tutte, Il Conte Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro (all Deutsche Oper Berlin) Marcello La bohème (Washington National Opera, Fritz Die tote Stadt (Nantes and Nancy), Nardo La finta giardiniera and Demetrius A Midsummer Night’s Dream (both Festival d'Aix-en-Provence), Eddie in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek (Salzburg Landestheater), and Ned Keen Peter Grimes (Norwegian Opera).
Equally passionate about art song, Chest is an active recitalist, next appearing with the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence this summer, then with the Paris Philharmonie in October, both with pianist Marcelo Amaral. He was also a finalist in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize Competition. He is also scheduled to return to Wigmore Hall after a successful 2013 debut.
Chest is a recipient of the top prize at the prestigious 2010 Stella Maris International Vocal Competition and the Arleen Auger Prize in the 2012 Hertogenbosch International Vocal Competition. He was a member of the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin until September 2016 and a graduate of the Studio Bayerische Staatsoper, where he sang over eighty performances. He has held apprenticeships with the Santa Fe Opera and the Chicago Opera Theater, and took part in the esteemed Merola Opera Programme. Chest holds a Master of Music from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, where he studied with David Holloway.
Hailed by The New York Times as "a superlative accompanist", Brazilian pianist Marcelo Amaral has gained a reputation as a sought-after accompanist of singers and instrumentalists alike.
Winner of the Pianist Prize at the 2009 International Robert Schumann Song Competition, he has performed with numerous internationally renowned artists including Janina Baechle, Olaf Bär, Juliane Banse, Daniel Behle, John Chest, Layla Claire, Ronan Collett, Sarah Connolly, Roxana Constantinescu, Melanie Diener, Veronika Eberle, Manuel Fischer-Dieskau, Soile Isokoski, Michaela Kaune, Jochen Kupfer, Sophie Marilley, Íride Martínez, Nils Mönkemeyer, Christoph Pohl, Christoph Pregardien, Daniel Röhn, Edicson Ruiz, Tobias Scharfenberger, Birgid Steinberger, Roman Trekel, Michael Volle, Matthias Winckhler and the Alfama Quartet.
His collaboration with soprano Carolina Ullrich has led to both a song album for GENUIN Records in 2012 entitled Emoción, as well as a critically acclaimed tour of the United States which included appearances at New York City’s Merkin Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
Recent debuts at the Wigmore Hall in London, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg were highly praised and several of his collaborations have been broadcast on the BBC, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Deutschland Radio Kultur, WDR/Arte, and Radio France. He has appeared at numerous festivals including Montpellier Festival, Mozarteum Sommerakademie, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Europäisches Musikfest, International Art Song Festival, Ravinia Festival, Tuscan Sun Festival, Festival de Marvão and Oxford Lieder Festival, among others.
A graduate of both the Cleveland Institute of Music and Indiana University, he has worked together with and received guidance from such eminent artists as Elly Ameling, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Rudolf Jansen, Malcolm Martineau, Olga Radosavljevich, Andras Schiff, Peter Schreier and Roger Vignoles.
In addition, he studied German Lied Interpretation with renowned pianist Helmut Deutsch at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München.
A passionate teacher of song interpretation, Marcelo was invited to teach at the Master Class Series at the Internationale Hugo Wolf Akademie in Stuttgart, where he is on the artistic advisory board.
Since 2014 he has been Professor for German Lieder and Song interpretation at the Hochschule für Musik Nürnberg.