"The voice itself is both beautiful and immediately engaging, virile but distinguished by an appealing vulnerability and urgent catch in the timbre."
"The poised intensity of Chest’s presence and delivery complements the dark, rich colours in his voice, but the quicksilver wit of Rossini’s Figaro is also in his armoury..."
"In the title role [of Billy Budd], John Chest sounded tenorishly clear and agile, reserving a fuller, fleshier sound for the ‘Darbies’ solo."
American baritone John Chest is winner of the prestigious 2010 Stella Maris International Vocal Competition and was a finalist in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition in 2017. He has recently been awarded a Richard Tucker Music Foundation Career Grant. Until September 2016 he was a member of the ensemble at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where his roles included the title role of Billy Budd in a new production by David Alden, Valentin Faust, Ford Falstaff, Silvio Pagliacci, Figaro Il barbiere di Siviglia, Papageno Die Zauberflöte, Guglielmo Cosi fan tutte, and Il Conte Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro.
Highlights of the 2018-19 season include his house debuts at the Teatro Real Madrid (Valentin Faust) and Den Norske Opera (Belcore L’elisir d’amore), as well as his role debut as Heathcliff in Bernard Hermann’s Wuthering Heights (Opéra national de Lorraine).
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John Chest and Marcelo Amaral / Die Schöne Magelone
Alpha Classics; ALPHA421 / release date 11 January 2019
The voice itself is both beautiful and immediately engaging, virile but distinguished by an appealing vulnerability and urgent catch in the timbre. His German is impeccable, too, his way with Tieck’s words natural, engaged and engaging. He’s matched by vivid, supportive playing from the outstanding Brazilian pianist Marcelo Amaral
Hugo Shirley, Gramophone
Pelléas in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, Glyndebourne Festival Opera
Glyndebourne Festival Opera, July 2018
Christopher Purves and John Chest play off each other as Golaud and Pelléas to wondrous effect. Golaud’s rage and pathos is heartrending, while Chest’s warm baritone pervades the story with a thread of marvellously sustained beauty.
Michael Church, The Independent, July 2018