Biografie: Tenor John Zuckerman began his career primarily as a bel canto specialist, making his early and important debuts in that high-lying, virtuosic repertoire, including roles in Rossini&rsquos Cenerentola, The Barber of Seville , La Scala di Seta, Il Viaggio a Reims, and Otello, Bellini’s Puritani, and Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, The Elixir of Love, and the Daughter of the Regiment.
Since coming to Austria and Germany, his repertoire has greatly expanded, from the early-Baroque to pieces premiered just in the last five years, representing a range of composers from Monteverdi to Turnage and Vivaldi to Wagner.
His 2012 debut as Arnold in Rossini’s William Tell earned praised from Opernglas: “John Zuckerman sang the role of Arnold Melchtal credibly and confidently, with slender, elegant lines and a powerful top.” and Opernwelt: “John Zuckerman… masterfully dominated the murderous heights of the role.”
In the 2015/16 season he appeared with Opera Zuid in Rigoletto, and with Theater Aachen in Tosca, Tannhäuser, and Die Verkaufte Braut. He also sings the Evangelist in Bach's Johannes-Passion and the tenor solos in Franck's Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross. He returns to Theater Aachen as Malcolm in Macbeth and debuts with the Bergische Sinfoniker in Weil's Sieben Todesünde.
In the 2014/15 season he returned the International Chamber Music Festival Nürnberg for Henzes Voices and Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, debuted at Theater Bielefeld as Don Ramiro in Cenerentola and at Theater Pforzheim as Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and returns later in the season to Theater Dortmund as Don Ottavio and as the Moon in Das Mädchen, das nicht Schlafen Wollte.
He recently debuted in 2014 at the Bavarian State Opera as Tenor 2 in the Planet-Septet in Jörg Widmann's Babylon, under the baton of Kent Nagano, and returned to Theater Aachen as Severinho Sousa da Silva in the world-premiere run of Anno Schreier's Die Prinzessin im Eis, in both cases stepping in for ailing colleagues and learning new roles on just a few days notice. He sang with the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra in Rossini's Stabat Mater and at the International Chamber Music Festival Nürnberg in Britten's A Birthday Hansel. His roles at Theater Dortmund in 2013-14 included Walther von der Vogelweide in Tannhäuser, Lukas in a staged Die Jahreszeiten, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and Don Ramiro in Cenerentola.
In 2012-2013 he made his role debut as Arnold in Guillaume Tell at the Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern, returned to the Salzburger Landestheater as Don Ramiro in Cenerentola, jumped in at Theater Aachen as Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and sang the Simpleton in Boris Godunov, Nemorino in L’Elisìr d’Amore, as well as roles in L’Incoronazione di Poppea and Anna Nicole at Theater Dortmund.
Earlier highlights of his opera career include Libenskof in Il Viaggio a Reims under Andrea Battistoni at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro and at the Israeli Opera under the baton of Pietro Rizzo in Mariame Cléments production, Don Ramiro in Cenerentola at the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari and Lyric Opera San Diego, cover performances of the title role in Rossini’s Otello with Opera Orchestra of New York under Eve Queler, Almaviva with Opera Delaware, Dayton Opera, and Virginia Opera, Nemorino and Don Ottavio under Leo Hussain, Teseo in Marcello’s Arianna under Matthew Halls as well the title role in Vivaldi’s Farnace under Christian Curnyn at the Salzburger Landestheater, Tonio in La Fille du Régiment with Opera Viva Hong Kong and Lyric Opera San Diego, a return to the Rossini Opera Festival as Dormont in La Scala di Seta under Jose-Miguel Perez Sierra in Damiano Michieletto’s production, Alessandro in Cavalli’s L’Eliogabalo, Camille in Die Lustige Witwe, Obadiah in Jens-Daniel Herzog’s staging of Elijah at Theater Dortmund, Arturo in I Puritani with the Caramoor Festival (covering) and in concert with Opera Company of Brooklyn.
Other roles he has sung include Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Lindoro in L’Italiana in Algeri, Dorvil in Rossini’s La Scala di Seta, Quint in The Turn of the Screw, Prunier in La Rondine, Roméo and Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette, Beppe in Pagliacci, and Alfred in Die Fledermaus.
On the concert stage, he has sung Mozart’s Coronation Mass at Carnegie Hall, Carmina Burana with the Singapore Symphony, as well as Mozart’s Requiem and Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings.
In his life before opera, John appeared as the twins Zandor and Shandar in the independent sci-fi spoof Starslyderz, which was lauded by Variety as the “greatest backyard film ever made.”
A native of Southern California, John studied voice and composition at the University of Southern California and the Manhattan School of Music. He participated in young artist programs at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Tanglewood, Caramoor, and the Baltimore Opera Studio, and has received additional training at the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal, the Austrian American Mozart Academy in Salzburg, the Centro Studi Italiani in Urbania, Italy, and the Accademia Rossiniana in Pesaro.
“Tenor John Zuckerman sang the role of Arnold Melcthal credibly and confidently, with slender, elegant lines, and a powerful top” - Opernglass
“A voice that shows no signs of wear - as in John Zuckerman’s Arnold Melcthal, who masterfully dominates the murderous heights of the role” - Opernwelt
“The tenor can shine in the hero’s role, and John Zuckerman does so as Theseus with easy top notes and mastery of his body - he delivers a delicate vocal line, even while cartwheeling overhead.” - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“John Zuckerman mastered almost effortlessly the extreme tessitura demanded by the role” - Rheinpfalz
“The voice most suited to the Baroque was John Zuckerman. He shapes his Theseus with a supple tenor, effortless in ranges and with refined phrasing” - Salzburger Volkszeitung
“John Zuckerman convinces, vocally perfect, with phenomenal stage presence and body language through which he embodies the politically defeated, between terror, loss of reality, and self-destruction.” - gaynet.at
“John Zuckerman, a most elegant and noble Don Ramiro”- La Nuova Sardegna