John Kapusta, born in White Plains, NY, is a tenor specializing in character roles (for John’s academic research, please visit this site). John recently made his Carnegie Hall debut as Lord Cecil in Roberto Devereux with the Opera Orchestra of New York (Eve Queler, conductor) in a performance the New York Times described as “impressive.” In the 2015–2016 season, John made his Houston Grand Opera debut as the Vain Man/Snake in Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince, having debuted with the Washington National Opera in the same role the previous season (in a production directed by Francesca Zambello). In the summer of 2014, John performed as the Tanzmeister in Ariadne auf Naxos (directed by Francesca Zambello and conducted by Kathleen Kelly) and as Reverend McMillan in the premiere of a revised version of Tobias Picker and Gene Scheer’s An American Tragedy (directed by Peter Kazaras and conducted by George Manahan) at the Glimmerglass Festival. Other recent roles include Don Eusebio in Opportunity Makes the Thief, Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte, and Sellem in The Rake’s Progress (with Tito Arturo Muñoz, Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony). John was a 2014 National Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
An avid concert singer, John has performed with the Chiara Quartet (Haydn’s Twelve Last Words of Christ), cellist Natasha Brofsky (world premiere of Stephen Coxe’s Earth’s Answer at Jordan Hall), and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble under conductor Sydney Hodkinson (Peter Eötvös’s Snatches of a Conversation). John recently performed Benjamin Britten’s Canticle III, Still falls the rain: The raids 1940. Night and dawn for tenor, horn, and piano at Santa Barbara’s Hahn Hall, and Debussy’s Ariettes Oubliées and Poulenc’s Fiançailles Pour Rire at Berkeley’s Herz Hall with pianist and musicologist Nicholas Mathew. In 2008, John represented the New England Conservatory at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as part of the Millennium Stage Conservatory Project.
A Fulbright grant recipient, John studied French opera and mélodie with baritone François Le Roux and pianist and vocal coach Janine Reiss in Paris from 2009–2010. His project focused on contemporary approaches to the tradition of French vocal performance practice, with an emphasis on lyric diction.
John is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College, where he was a member of the first class admitted to the Harvard/New England Conservatory joint program. At Harvard, John was featured as vocal soloist for a colloquium with composer John Adams at Harvard’s New College Theater, and was a winner of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra Concerto Competition, the first singer to win the prize in the orchestra’s history. At NEC, John was a student of Patricia Misslin.
John is also a music historian currently completing a doctorate in Musicology at the University of California, Berkeley. He and his wife reside in New York City.