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"John Osborn, an American tenor with a thirty-year career behind him, is absolutely in a class of his own. A walk in the park, for him, the feat of the nine Cs, which also allows himself to make a variation reaching to the high D, and which he then nonchalantly replicates in requested an encore by popular acclaim, showing off an even more prolonged and vigorous cadence. Above all, he enchanted in the aria of the second act: "Pour me rapprocher de Marie", performed in its entirety including the "pertichino" of the other singers, where he showed off a soft and persuasive emission of extreme sweetness, exhibiting his great school and technical superiority in dynamics and in the palette of colors and shades, using the stylistically perfect “mixed sound” in this Opéra Comique repertoire.

     It was an authentic masterclass: the public and... the critics appreciated it and then we thanked them with endless applause."

      ~Andrea Merli


"John Osborn is unmistakably - for the time he has been practicing it - one of today's best Hoffmanns. His exemplary French, mixed with a slight accent, is a real treat for the ears. At all times you can sense an attention to words. He manages to breathe meaning, even poetry, into the most innocuous sentences (such as “ma maîtresse” at the end of the prologue). If now he uses less treble than before - probably to last the length of an overwhelming role - he is, despite everything, not stingy, especially at the end of Kleinzach's aria. He thus manages, which is not easy, to enlighten the character in all the facets that make him interesting and allow him to go through the opera, the prologue, the three acts and the epilogue, with all the characterization of a man who evolves according to his adventures."

     ~ Paul Fourier




American tenor, John Osborn, has gained international acclaim in the “bel canto” and French “Grand Opéra” repertoire. Born in Sioux City, Iowa, he started his operatic experiences at an early age, winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council awards at the age of 21 years old while he was still a senior at Simpson College in Indianola, IA; making his professional debut with Des Moines Metro Opera in 1993, and joining the Met's Young Artist Development Program in 1994 right after college. His early career consisted of many international performances of Il conte d’Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Principe Ramiro in La cenerentola, Il conte di Libenskof in Il viaggio à Reims, Don Narciso in Il turco in Italia; and Lindoro in L’italiana in Algeri by Gioacchini Rossini; several performances as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, and Prinz Tamino in Die Zauberflöte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart;  Arturo Talbot in I puritani, Elvino in La sonnambula, and later sang Pollione in Norma by Vincenzo Bellini; Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, Tonio in La fille du régiment, and later sang Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor and Devereux in Roberto Devereux by Gaetano Donizetti.

Becoming a specialist in the French repertoire, Mr. Osborn has performed Roméo in Roméo et Juliette by Charles Gounod (Salzburger Festspiele, Bruxelles' Palais des Bozarts, and the Arena di Verona); Prince Léopold in La Juive by Fromental Halévy (Opéra National de Paris; Dutch National Opera; Opernhaus Zürich; Bayerische Staatsoper München) and more recently, as Eléazar (Grand Théâtre de Genève); Raoul de Nangis in Les Huguenots (La Monnaie de Munt Bruxelles; Dresdner Semperoper and Grand Théâtre de Genève); and Jean de Leyde in Le prophète by Giacomo Meyerbeer (Aalto Musiktheater Essen; Capitôle de Toulouse; Festival Aix-en-Provence); Werther in Werther (Frankfurt am Main) and Des Grieux in Manon by Jules Massenet (Teatro Colón Buenos Aires; Opéra de Lausanne); Hoffmann in Les contes d’Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach (Salle Pleyel de Paris; Opéra de Lyon; Dutch National Opera; Teatro San Carlo di Napoli; Gran Teatre de Liceu; Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, Valencia); Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles by Georges Bizet (debut Royal Opera House Covent Garden; Gran Teatre de Liceu); Faust in Charles Gounod's Faust (Opéra des Nation, Genève; Wiener Staatsoper); Faust in La damnation de Faust by Hector Berlioz (Orchestre de Radio France, Paris; Teatro Politeama, San Carlo di Napoli); and had huge successes as Cellini in Hector Berlioz’s masterpiece Benvenuto Cellini in a critically acclaimed production by Terry Gilliam (Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam; his debut at the Teatro dell’opera di Roma, where he was awarded the "Franco Abbiati Award" (Italian Critics); his debut at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, where he was also awarded “Best Male Singer” in the Critical Awards by the “Los amics del Liceu”) Season 2015/2016; and the Opéra National de Paris at the Bastille.

This past season 2022/23 Mr. Osborn made his debut as the Juif Eléazar in La juive by Fromenthal Halévy at the Grand Théaetre de Genève; returned triumphantly to Teatro La Fenice in Venice as Tonio in La fille du Régiment Gaetano Donizetti; made another role debut as Tito in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito in a concert tour with Cecilia Bartoli and Les Musicians du Prince in Martigny, Zurich, Paris, Liège, Luxemburg and Hamburg and Munich; an amazing run of performances in Opera di Roma as Nemorino in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore; his debut in Bel Canto Festival in Japan as Otello in Rossini's Otello: ossia il moro di Venizia in Tokyo; gave some concert performances as Faust in Berlioz's La damnation de Faust in Teatro San Carlo di Napoli. In March of 2023, he and his wife, Lynette Tapia, along with Ryan Haskins and the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, performed a Live Opera Gala: John Osborn: A Legend Returns Home, which along with Iowa Public Television, was Winner of Upper Midwest Regional Emmy Awards for Best in Entertainment - Long Form category. He rounded out the season with more performances as Tonio in La fille du Régiment in Teatro Regio di Torino; and his debut with Festival Aix-en-Provence as Jean de Leyde in Le prophète by Giacomo Meyerbeer, and quickly jumped in to make his debut as Edgar in the French version of Donizetti's Lucie de Lammermoor.


In season 2021/22, John Osborn made his debut as Robert in concert performances of Robert le diable by Giacomo Meyerbeer, this marking his return to Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux after 20 years. This recording with Palezzetto Bru Zane, has received the prize of BEST RECORDING in the prestigious "Franco Abbiati Award". He continued his season as Tonio in La Fille du Régiment in his debut with the prestigious Donizetti Festival di Bergamo; Hoffmmann in Les contes d'Hoffmann at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Spain. He was also awarded Los Amics de Opera Palau de les Arts, BEST MALE Performance; his role debut as Riccardo Percy in Anna Bolena by Donizetti in his return to Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova; performances as Arturo Talbot in I puritani by Bellini in both the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma and Wiener Staatsoper; a Gala concert Carmencita & Friends Salzburg Festspiel; a historic debut in concert as Hamlet in the original tenor version of Hamlet by Amboise Thomas with Radio France L'Occitanie in Montpellier; and finished the season as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor at Schloss Braunfels in Germany with Opera Classica Europa. 

The 2020/21 Season he made his debut in Oviedo, Spain in Teatro Campoamor for performances of Arturo Talbot in I puritani; returned to Gran Teatre del Liceu as Hoffmann in Les contes d'Hoffmann; made his debut at the Teatro Real de Madrid as Pollione in Norma; and returned to the Dutch National Opera in a new production by Calixto Bieito of Die ersten Menschen by Rudi Stephan. This role debut as Chabel is his first attempt of early 20th century German repertoire.

In 2019/20 season, Mr. Osborn performed his acclaimed Arnold in Guillaume Tell by Rossini at Opéra de Lyon. He also made his staged debut as Henri Monfort in Les Vêpres siciliennes by Giuseppe Verdi at the Opera di Roma; and finished the season as Raoûl de Nangis in Les Huguenots by Giacomo Meyerbeer at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. 


The 2018/19 season, he made his exciting debut in the title role of Hector Berlioz' La damnation de Faust with the Orchestre National de France and Maestro Charles Dutois at the Philharmonie de Paris. He also made is debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nezet-Séguin singing the Tenor part in Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. Rounding out his triumphant season he also made appearances in Guillaume Tell at the Theater an der Wien; I puritani at Oper Frankfurt am Main; La favorite at Teatro Massimo di Palermo; Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles by Georges Bizet at the Gran Treatre de Liceu; and Les Huguenots at the Dresdner Semperoper.


Notable Italian roles include Alfredo Germont in La traviata by Giuseppe Verdi (Arena di Verona, Opera Classica Europa, Teatrul National De Opera Si Balet Oleg Danovski in Constanza, Romania); Il duca di Mantua in Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi (Opera Festival of New Jersey, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Classica Europa); Rodolfo in La bohème by Giacomo Puccini (Phoenician International Festival of the Voice); Arnoldo in Guglielmo Tell by Gioacchino Rossini with Gianandrea Noseda (Teatro Regio di Torino; Stresa Festival; Harris Theater in Chicago; Carnegie Hall in New York, Hill Auditorium University of Michigan in Ann-harbor)

As a "bel canto" specialist as well as his love of the French repertoire, he sings other “bel canto” masterpieces in the original French language such as Arnold Melchtal in Guillaume Tell  by Gioacchino Rossini (L’accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome; Royal Opera Covent Garden; The Metropolitan Opera; Theater an der Wien; Opéra de Lyon; L’Opéra des Nations de Genève); Fernand in La favorite by Gaetano Donizetti (Teatro La Fenice, Venice, Italy; Teatro Massimo di Palermo); and to be included in this realm would be Henri in Les Vêpres siciliennes by Giuseppe Verdi (Bel Canto at Caramoor; Opera di Roma; and soon at the Bayerisches Staatsoper in Munich).

John Osborn has received several awards for his performances and contributions to culture including 2011 Goffredo Petrassi Award for his portrayal as Arnold in Guillaume Tell  with Antonio Pappano conducting the orchestra and chorus of L’Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy; 2012 Aureliano Pertile Award in Asti, Italy for his portrayal as Roméo at the Arena di Verona; 2014 Premio Bellini D’Oro in Catania, Sicily for his Elvino in La sonnambula in Bari’s Teatro Petruzzelli and Alfredo Germont in La traviata at the Arena di Verona; 2016 "Prix d’Amis" from the Friends of the Dutch National Opera for his performances as Cellini in Benvenuto Cellini; the Italian Franco Abbiati Critics Award for best “Male Singer” for his critically acclaimed performances as Fernand in La favorite in Teatro La Fenice, Cellini in Benvenuto Cellini at Teatro dell’opera di Roma, and his Otello in Otello: ossia il moro di Venezia by Rossini at the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli in the season 2016; the Italian "Oscar della Lirica" from Fondazione Arena di Verona in the category of "Best Tenor" 2016/17 (Awards Ceremony held in Haiku, Hainan, China); and recently, the prize BEST TENOR with the Friends of the Opera and Arts in Valencia, Spain for his performances as Hoffmann, and the Franco Abbiati Award for his recording of Robert le diable by Giacomo Meyerbeer with Palazzetto Bru Zane, Marc Minkowski and the Opéra National de Bordeaux.


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