top of page





"...Big (in stature, personality, and voice) tenor John Riesen... belted out “O Holy Night” and then later returned for duets with Ms. Cherest."

- Buffalo Rising (Peter Hall)

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 9.48.11 AM.png



"Right out of the gate, John Riesen’s (Chris) voice filled the theater with a welcoming richness in the lower register. It continued to bloom further throughout the story in more grand tenor-y moments, as in the anthemic chorus of the eponymous “Favorite Son” song."

"...At evening’s end, the enjoyment of a live production, new music, a twist on a familiar story, and supporting Nashville arts culture certainly brought life and vitality to all who attended."


- Music City Review (Richard Blumenthal)



"As Younger Jim, Riesen glowed with his love of Alyce, whom he idealized as the soft, docile woman of his dreams and the mother of his children, thoughts that kept him alive during his captivity. Every inch the hero in stature and voice, Riesen could express the sweetest of emotions or become rapier-sharp with indignation or defiance when he was roused by demons real or imagined."

- Classical Voice North America

- DC Theatre Scene

"Tenor John Riesen brought youthful energy and vulnerability to younger Jim."

- In The Spotlight, Inc




" Tenor John Riesen’s short, colorful appearance as Pirelli was both musically and dramatically satisfying..."

- Opera News

- DC Theatre Scene

"Other characters are utterly remarkable here, such as John Riesen’s Pirelli, at turns bright and funny and downright sinister, with a stunning tenor."

- Encore Michigan

YCIML photo.png
Glory Denied_PC NKarlin_WEB_107 - Copy.j



"John Riesen as the Younger Jim went the distance to portray the fear, humiliation, and pain of the soldier’s harrowing nine-year ordeal. Opera is a great medium for showing people in emotional extremis, and Riesen knows how to deliver vocally that kind of tenor heartbreak."

- DC Theater Scene

- DC Theatre Scene

"Tenor John Riesen as the younger Jim Thompson, easily goes from the lyricism of a father who hung onto the mail from his family in his pocket when he was captured, including a misshapen paper star cut out by one of his children, to the dark tonelessness of a man kept in a tiger cage who creates the blueprint of a house in his mind to try to stay sane"

- Broadway World

"John Riesen’s substantial tenor remains strong through all the scenes in which he appears as Younger Thompson: from being kicked on the ground by his jailer to seeing the jungle for the first time at the end of the war with wonder and joy. . . "

- DC Metro Theater Arts


JUNE 2019

"As the pensive Prince Charming, John Riesen scored his finest impressions in his sensitive soft singing... In their Big Duet Ohse and Riesen gave the grateful audience the Big Operatic Gift of thrilling all­out climaxes. It was the stuff of fairy tales." 

- Addison County Independant

- DC Theatre Scene

Prince Charming 1 - Copy - Copy - Copy.j


APRIL 2019

"John Riesen has opera's Emotional Boy, Alfredo, firmly in hand. He is desperately in love and his heart is on his sleeve for the entire opera. Riesen and Valdes partner beautifully, and Riesen is note-perfect and powerful in his solos, an impressive tenor with dramatics to match. He gains power as the performance continues until his icy public confrontation with his lost love at her friend's soirée."

- Naples Daily News

- DC Theatre Scene



"John Riesen’s 'Younger Thompson' held the stage with a vibrant, focused tenor, and an impassioned performance of complete commitment and coltish deportment. Mr. Riesen bolted about the stage, flailed at his captors’ abuse, repeatedly flung himself on the floor, and managed to do all of this while singing with secure abandon."

- Opera Today

- DC Theatre Scene

"Younger Thompson, the prisoner of war, was a physically grueling role, and John Riesen portrayed the character with heartfelt sincerity..."

- Schmopera

Glory Denied_PC NKarlin_WEB_213.jpg
bottom of page