American baritone John E. Orduña is quickly gaining recognition as a singing actor of great versatility, impressing with a voice “rich and powerful top to bottom” (Peninsula Reviews) in a repertoire that spans the sacred oratorios of Bach and Handel to comic roles by Prokofiev and Verdi.
Mr. Orduña began 2014 with North Carolina Opera, debuting as Schaunard in La Bohème. Following a hometown debut with Opera Omaha as Dancaïre in Carmen in November 2013, he premiered the role of the Donkey in Jeanine Tesori and J. D. McClatchy’s holiday opera The Lion, the Unicorn and Me, for his Washington National Opera debut. Of his performance, The Baltimore Sun wrote, “John Orduña shines in this role, using his warm baritone to communicate humor and tenderness in equal measure.” Directed by Francesca Zambello, this acclaimed production marked his first principal role with a major company.
Summer of 2013 saw Mr. Orduña in the Glimmerglass Festival’s Young Artists Program. As a member of the company, he covered the role of La Rocca in the English-language production of Verdi’s first comedy, A King for a Day, directed by Christian Räth and conducted by Joseph Colaneri. He debuted with Sarasota Opera as a studio artist for their Winter 2013 season, covering the role of Slim in Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men and performing scenes from Verdi’s Falstaff.
With the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Mr. Orduña has performed the bass and baritone solos in Bach’s Mass in A Major and Handel’s Messiah. He has also appeared as a soloist with the Richmond Orchestra in Carmina Burana, Ensemble Monterey Chamber Orchestra in Britten’s War Requiem, and the Cincinnati May Festival in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.
Mr. Orduña holds a Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music from Florida State University and a Performers Diploma from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.
—Steven Jude Tietjen (operaturgy.com), alt.