John Atkins “paints pictures with his voice.” Praised both for his dramatic intensity on stage and the lyrical quality of his singing, Mr. Atkins has performed leading roles with distinguished American opera companies including the Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Santa Fe Opera, New York City Opera, Opera Pacific, Boston Lyric Opera, Long Beach Opera, Opera Omaha, and the Dallas Opera, and at music festivals from Ojai in California to the Savonlinna Festival at Finland’s historic Olavinlinna Castle.
John’s voice has moved higher over the years and, recently, he embarked on the exciting journey of becoming a tenor. He has sung the Male Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia) by Britten and the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion. He is now exploring repertoire such as Wagner’s Siegmund and Parsifal, Richard Strauss’s Herod (Salome), the title role in Idomeneo, and Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth.
From 1987 to 2003, he sang baritone roles such as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, the Count in The Marriage of Figaro, Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos, Dandini in La Cenerentola, Sid in Albert Herring, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mr. Flynt in Billy Budd, Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Captain Corcoran in HMS Pinafore, Elviro in Xerxes, and the title role in Don Giovanni. He also performed symphonic repertoire at the Hollywood Bowl, and with the Long Beach, New World, Sarasota and Pacific symphonies, and the Orange County Master Chorale and the William Hall Chorale.
A consummate entertainer with a broad range of styles from art song to the opera stage and Broadway, Mr. Atkins is also sought after for concerts and private recitals. Recent engagements include, Good Soldier Schweik with Long Beach Opera and a series of concerts with orchestra including both classical and Broadway repertory. Upcoming engagements include an evening of Broadway songs in A Tribute to New York with orchestra and Uncle Samuel in An American Tragedy by Tobias Picker.