John Riesen and Gillian Riesen met performing professionally in 2014, as Artists in Residence with Shreveport Opera in Louisiana. As their working relationship grew, so did their romantic relationship. As they continued to perform around the world (Italy, China, and across the US), they got engaged, married, and now have a beautiful baby boy together. In that time they've performed duet concerts accompanied by their dear friend Neill Campbell, pianist.
With Covid-19 closing down theater in the US, they put their minds to a passion project they've long desired to make. A Christmas album of classic songs and duets. To accomplish this, they banded together with a family organization in Detroit, MI called Box Five Productions and a studio in Lansing, Michigan (Blue Griffin Recording) to put together this album to uplift the community and bring music and performances to so many in need of it during this challenging year:
Featuring songs in the style of Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, and Michael Buble such as:
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
It's Beginning to Look alot like Christmas
I'll Be Home for Christmas
(Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man with the Bag
O Holy Night
Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!
Baby it's cold outside
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
The Christmas Song
It will be nothing short of beautiful, intimate, fun, adorable, and heartfelt. This album will also be featuring jazz trombone by Chris Glassman, and background vocals by Lindsay Campbell.
"Their Classical cover album, Christmas at Home, is a collection of the most revered Christmas songs from across the decades, revived by award-winning Tenor, John Riesen. During the soul-melting crescendos, drinking in his theatrically transfixing vocal timbre becomes more important than breathing. Their ardent operatic stretches perfectly compliment the arcanely uplifting Classical score which is breath-taking enough to abstract you from the fact that Christmas 2020 might be a little bleaker this year." -Amelia Vandergast (A & R Factory)