As a vocalist, John Coons is at home performing in a wide variety of styles and settings. With a background in the worlds of classical, musical theater, jazz, and popular music, he is incredibly versatile as a performer and collaborator. Coons holds a Master's degree in Classical Voice Performance from the University of Southern Maine where roles included Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), Kaspar (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), and Monostatos (The Magic Flute). He was an Emerging Artist with PORTOpera for three seasons and has performed roles with the Boston Opera Collaborative, MetroWest Opera, Lakes Region Opera and Opera New Hampshire's Outreach program. As a classical soloist, he has performed with the Portland Symphony POPS, North Shore Philharmonic, Masterworks Chorale of Boston, Portland Choral Art Society, Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra, and Granite State Choral Society. Also as a soloist, he has performed the National Anthem for the Red Sox at a sold-out Fenway Park.
In the fall of 2009, Coons was selected by vocal jazz arranger/singer Kerry Marsh to perform a series of concerts with popular recording artist Ben Folds, the Boston Symphony Pops and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Additionally, John went on to collaborate with Ben Folds as as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony POPS in 2010. Since recently relocating to the Pacific Northwest, roles have included Beppe (Pagliacci) with the Skagit Opera, Jesus (Jesus Christ Superstar), Hitler-as-Lover (Magda G, world premiere) with the Fisher Ensemble, and the tenor soloist in Bellevue Ballet's production of Handel's Messiah. In 2012-13, Coons was chosen to create all of the tenor roles in the world premiere of Seattle Opera's commissioned three-opera cycle Our Earth.
Coons is also an active singer-songwriter, performing in venues from Mobile, Alabama to Skagway, Alaska. In addition to singing backup to The Dresden Dolls' Amanda Palmer and Foreigner, he appears on the award-winning Australian cabaret act The Jane Austen Argument's album, “Somewhere Under the Rainbow.” In 2012, Coons created an original one-man show, Six Months for Six Weeks, which he has performed in Seattle, Boston, the PortFringe 2012 festival (Portland, Maine), and at New York City's “Don't Tell Mama.”
Photo: Tess Johnson