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“It is the most beautiful tenor voice, of its kind, that I’ve ever heard…" Read More

Franco Corelli, Tenor

“… This is one of the few dramatic tenor voices that I’ve ever heard that can be mentioned with the great ones of operatic history... ” Read More

Jerome Hines, Basso & Author

“The voice explodes like a ‘bomba atomica’… Read More

Nello Santi, Maestro

“I never thought I’d live to hear another American tenor sound like that again, he’s like a young Jimmy McCracken… He is exactly what is needed so desperately now: a dramatic, heroic tenor with a truly beautiful sound and a great stage presence… I’ve never heard a tenor voice carry any better in Symphony Hall.”

Alfredo Silipigni, Maestro

“One of those voices that just move the walls back… A very big, very beautiful voice built for big roles in big places.”

Richard Woitach, Maestro

“A truly wonderful, big, beautiful dramatic tenor voice… The sound has real heart and honest feeling. I think it’s every bit the voice that the greatest dramatic tenors, or heldentenors, that I sang with and heard had: Vickers, McCracken and King… This is a major talent.”

Teresa Stratas, Soprano

“Wonderful, excellent Italian diction and style... Your singing is very musical and dramatic… This is the most beautiful voice of its kind that I’ve heard in Wagner since Melchior, Otello since Vinay.”

Licia Albanese, Soprano

“Your Otello excerpts reminded me of Ramon Vinay, Mario Del Monaco and James McCracken, they were so beautiful, powerful, passionate and artistic.”

Delia Rigal, Soprano

“This is it, the real dramatic tenor quality: powerful, chiaroscuro sound, depth, richness, brilliance and beauty… This is the only tenor voice I’ve heard since that I could honestly say could be Jimmy’s (McCracken) legitimate successor. You are the very definition of a singing-actor.”

Sandra Warfield-McCracken, Mezzo-Soprano & Author

“Now that is a genuinely dramatic, schweren-heldentenor sound and delivery. Wow! You just can’t fake that kind of quality and depth. You have a very rare, unusually beautiful voice. Darned good singing! You should be a leading dramatic tenor in every major theatre in the world.”

James King, Heldentenor

“There are times when I close my eyes and just listen, that I almost swear I was hearing the likes of a Vinay, Del Monaco, McCracken or Vickers. I should know, I sang with all of them!”

Chester Ludgin, Baritone

“... you just may have the most beautiful, gorgeous voice of your kind that I can remember hearing. Your presence is tall, strong and handsome; your interpretations authentic. Your singing was thrilling, absolutely glorious! ...” Read More

Shirley Verrett, Mezzo & Soprano

“Wonderful, dynamic and exciting heroic singing. ... Your sound quality reminded me of the best dramatic-type tenors I sang with and heard: Mario Del Monaco, Ramon Vinay, Jon Vickers and James McCracken, which to my way of thinking, is an enormous compliment to you! ...” Read More

Theodore Uppmann, Baritone

“Your performance was extraordinarily beautiful and exciting. You had the entire audience in the palm of your hand from the moment you took the stage and began to talk and sing. You are a very impressive performer Mr. Short. Your stage manner is fantastic: you are very handsome, tall and easy yet commanding. Even though you are clearly a dramatic tenor to my ears, I hope you won’t let anyone talk you into singing too much Wagner, though you sound terrific in it and have the great power and baritonal underpinning in your sound for it. Because I think you have an Italianate voice with incredible morbidezza, a rare, almost unheard of quality in a dramatic tenor. Your voice, to me, is simply too beautiful and rich for the German repertory! Your Italian style and diction are wonderful! Please sing the heroic Italian romantic repertory, plus Otello and Canio, and maybe Jose and Samson. Let most of the German go! It would be a tragedy to lose that gorgeous, incredibly virile, sexy sound to Wagner! I don’t recall ever hearing a more purely beautiful dramatic tenor voice than yours. It was a pleasure to experience your singing and total presentation - thank you!”

Anna Moffo, Soprano

“...I believe you are a dramatic, heavy heroic tenor. Your quality of voice is extraordinarily noble, rich and sensuous, very beautiful for such an enormously strong, deep tenor..." Read More

Regine Crespin, Soprano

“John, you have maybe the best, most electrifying, powerful and beautiful sound for your repertory I’ve heard in a very long time. Vinay, Del Monaco, McCracken, Vickers, King, Giacomini: in some ways you remind me of all of them, but your sound, musical and dramatic nature are very much your own. Stage presence is outstanding, absolutely fantastic. I think you may be a born, heavy heldentenor, but your sound is almost too rich and colorful for that fach and its inherent limitations, so you are wise to favor the Italian and French repertory while keeping just a few carefully chosen German roles. The sound is almost 1 notch too dark and baritonal, but your high Gs, Abs, As, Bbs and the Otello high C, seem to come out very well and ring, massively even, so don’t tamper with that too much, just keep spinning them as easily as you can. Very, very impressive sound, personal style and package. I think you should be singing in every major theatre in the world right now.”

Charlie Riecker, (former) Met artistic Administrator and Vocal Coach

“Chet (Ludgin) was totally right about you: you ARE a genuine Otello, an authentic dramatic tenor. I really enjoyed your style and acting. Your presence is excellent, very impressive. Great job! You have a very beautiful voice: keep up the good work!”

Mignon Dunn, Mezzo  

“You are one of the few men who could be either a dramatic tenor or a dramatic baritone and be very good at both! Since you seem to have the high notes securely, I’d advise you to stay with tenor. You are in your own category if you do and there’s a lot more money (laughter)! Your look and presence are wonderful. Style, diction, and feeling are all excellent. Go for Otello as your focus is my advice, also Canio, Samson and all the roles that usually go around those parts. Heroic, dramatic tenor roles should suit you perfectly, but not too much Wagner: your voice isn’t just very big and exciting; it’s also Italianate, warm and beautiful, remarkably opulent. Don’t let the sharks in this business push you too much in that Wagnerian direction too soon or whole hog, even though you’d be terrific at much of it I’m sure. If you didn’t have such a good top I might say, go ahead and do all the big Wagner parts. Your low range is extremely strong and good. Were you ever a Verdi baritone or think of going in that direction? Hmn. Did you ever consider doing Rigoletto (laughter)?”

Louis Quilico, Baritone

“My dear man: your sound has incredible passion and humanity within it, great beauty, the intensity of many complex emotions, as well as immense power and a unique, deep richness with an extremely unusual vocal color. I was very deeply moved, soul to soul, instantly, and remained that way from your first note to your last. Your spirit and your humanity, is very present in your singing, in the incredible, primal sound you make, which is utterly your own. It is vulnerable, naked even, exquisitely beautiful, warm and sensuous, extremely sexual and exciting, enormously strong, and yet conveys tremendous sadness and weariness. You sound like a very ‘old soul’ that has endured much suffering, yet convey deep, sincere, profound love. It is very sweet, direct and tender, touching, as well as startling in its great depth. You are a very rare singer and have a very unique gift for communicating John. Of course, it goes without saying that you have a phenomenal, world-class tenor voice of rare quality. But it’s the emotional impact, the spiritual and sexual impression that your sound AND your singing makes easily with such gorgeous warmth that is most remarkable, not just the huge size. Your appearance is quite impressive: tall, handsome, strong-looking, imposing, but also kind, even playful and fun, which is most alluring and attractive. It counter-balances your sadness and intensity. Your artistry and musical/dramatic expressiveness is also very personal and distinctive. You form and emphasize the words very boldly. The baritonal coloration of your entire range affords you an instinctual dramatic expressiveness that is very provocative and rare for any kind of tenor, even a dramatic one. It is very daring and risky how you choose to use it, but it is extremely effective and allows you many interpretive opportunities that most other tenors simply wouldn’t have as options. It is also extraordinarily masculine, virile and sexy: it creates an incredible artistic antagonism between your spiritual and sexual natures that is incredibly attractive and interesting; it lives within every sound you make. Your sound, singing, artistry, and acting become bound into one singular expressive presence that is gloriously primal, spiritually complex and impacts with a very profound humanity. You made me feel a great many things when you were singing: from dramatic, artistic inspiration to deep spiritual enlightenment, to very naughty and inappropriate female urges (laughter)! You have a very important, great gift, John. You are far more than just a very fine singer with great vocal and artistic talent. Please don’t ever forget that you have the rare power to very deeply move and affect people and touch their souls through the sound your own makes through your voice and beautiful heart.”

Hildegard Behrens, Soprano

“Mr. Short, you are the rarest thing in all of opera: a tall, handsome dramatic tenor with a remarkably powerful and beautiful sound. Blood and thunder mixed with velvet. The physical and emotional impact of your voice is simply staggering. Your sound is quite warm and unique to my ears. Your sound and the effect it had on me, actually reminded me of Leonard Warren, who could have been a dramatic tenor had he chosen to do so. The fact that you are also a terrific, compelling actor with a magnetic stage presence is incredibly exciting, intoxicating in fact. It was a rare pleasure to hear AND see you, a privilege to experience your total performance.”

Tony Randall, Stage & Screen Actor (and noted opera connoisseur)

“Who are you and how come I’ve never heard of you? It doesn’t make any sense to me. Did you just get out of prison or something? (Laughter) Mr. Short, in a perfect world you should be one of the leading dramatic tenors in the world right this moment based on what I’m seeing and hearing. This really is something of a mystery to me. I’m confused. Because it’s all there. You seem to have everything necessary to all but dominate your category currently, plus your looks and presence are fairly remarkable, very impressive for a dramatic tenor. Your style is almost too personal at times, but it’s distinctive as is your sound, and I liked it. It is puzzling. Our glorious regional opera system and ridiculous apprenticeship programs at work again no doubt. So why aren’t you famous again?”

Merle Hubbard, Artists Representative & Former Met rehearsal Assistant

“This is a major, wonderful talent, very unusual. My advice is stay with the Italian and French dramatic repertory. Be careful of too much German. Fidelio, Frau, Freischutz, Parsifal and Walkure should be fine. Eventually Tristan, maybe Tannhauser. I think your sound is too rich, dark and full for the Siegfrieds, and too dramatic for Ariadne, Dutchman, Lohengrin and Meistersinger, at least for how they’re cast today. Otello, Canio, Jose, Samson, etc, are all likely perfect fits. Probably Chenier and Radames as well. Also they compliment your personality and appearance. I can’t recall an authentic dramatic tenor I’ve heard with a more beautiful, richly colored sound than yours. Please stay with the romantic dramatic roles! Your musicality, style and quality are very distinctive: your stage presence is big, bold, handsome and very exciting, even imposing, but quite compelling. Be careful of letting your intensity of expression get away from you. I suspect you’ll need to guard against that aspect of your temperament. Still, that conflict is where much of your primal excitement and innate artistry seem to originate: not a bad thing. Your command and dignity onstage, your intuitive refinement with great strength, are extremely rare for a dramatic tenor. You don’t want to lose that! I can’t think of a single, valid reason why you should not, or could not, be a leading dramatic tenor in every important world theatre. I see absolutely no reason to not concur wholeheartedly with Teresa (Stratas) about every single observation she has made about you. You are everything that she claimed you were.”

Edgar Vincent, Artists Representative and Publicist 

“Congratulations Mr. Short, you gave an excellent performance as Don Jose: very realistic, dramatic, honest and moving. I’ve seldom seen a tenor so convincing or believable as an actor. You gave a great deal of yourself in a very intense and intriguing characterization, both incredibly strong and subtle: you were spectacular onstage. Your sound and technical approach are equally unusual. You remind me a little of Ramon Vinay, perhaps James McCracken, because your sound is remarkably baritonal, dark and full, and also your onstage temperament is similarly impetuous and passionate. You seem to favor that naturally for you also reminded me somewhat of Leonard Warren and Cornell MacNeil, even George London, in sound. Your high-notes were very impressive and large, but I think you could take them more easily. You did sing with a very wide dynamic range and sustained freely. Your legato was excellent, very Italianate. Your Otello would undoubtedly be very impressive and an ideal role for your voice, acting and personality. It is extremely rare to see and hear an American with such a unique sound and effective personal style. I found your ‘total performance’ approach very fascinating and refreshing. Congratulations for making such a successful European debut.”

Leyla Gencer, Soprano (on the occasion of an emergency, ‘save the performance’ debut in Istanbul)

“Mr. Short, I’m not exactly certain what I should say to you. Your dramatic tenor arias from Fanciulla, Pagliacci, Otello, Carmen and Die Walkure were excellent: everything was there stylistically; your high-notes were clear, ringing and quite exciting, your sound even and beautiful. After the first few phrases I was already determined to make you sing everything on your list just to see if you could actually get through all 5 arias and sustain the high tenor tessitura. I was very surprised that you seemed to have no trouble with it at all. But I do honestly wonder if you are not truly a Verdi Baritone. Leonard Warren could sing high notes with any dramatic tenor around, so could MacNeil, Milnes, and a few others as well. Also, your sound color is so rich, deep, round and lush in quality, your middle, lower middle and bottom ranges so unusually strong, in fact stronger than most high baritones I can recall, and seemingly as strong as even your upper middle range, that I kept thinking of Leonard Warren, Verdi Baritone, Italian dramatic baritone. Clearly, you have all the notes high AND low to go both ways and that is necessary for the heavy tenor repertory, and you DO have a ringing top. You would probably be a very exciting and impressive Siegmund, Tristan, Tannhauser, Samson, Jose, Otello, Canio, Radames, etc. But I just hear the size, warmth and timbre of your voice as being perfect for the big Verdi Baritone repertory, simply ideal for Rigoletto for example. Call it a hunch, or even a bias! In any case, you DO appear to have a phenomenal vocal endowment, a very unique instrument in range, size and quality: you certainly have no trouble filling a large auditorium in ANY part of your range! I enjoyed your rather impressive performance and I wish you the best of luck, whatever you decide.”

Thomas Stewart, Heldenbaritone

“I didn’t know there was any tenor like you around these days. You really do have an exceptional instrument, but I think your singing, more specifically, your sound, will create a lot of controversy and interest, good and bad. Your sound is SO unique and unusual that not everyone is going to know what to make of it and your career path could be difficult, because the opera business isn’t fair. Usually unusual voices like yours have a hard time getting going, becoming recognized and accepted. Once they do, or rather, if they do, it can then become a ‘calling card’ of course. Your voice, for instance, is remarkably strong AND beautiful, and rich as well as distinctive, very dramatic and baritonal. But because of its heft and coloration you are going to HAVE to stay almost exclusively with dramatic roles: and that’s a damned risky way to develop my friend. At least you ARE the real thing, not another overblown spinto or a pushed-up baritone. It’s a good thing you have such an excellent legato line: it will come in handy, believe me. Don’t let people try and talk you into being a spinto tenor just because your high notes are good and you have a warm tone quality and can sing smoothly, because you are NOT a spinto tenor: you are a true, heavy dramatic tenor, an authentic ‘tenore di forza,’ perhaps even a schweren-heldentenor. You have an excellent stage presence and make interesting choices stylistically. Good luck.”

Richard Cassilly, Heldentenor

“I’ve sung with or heard John Short on at least 6 occasions and I unreservedly endorse him as being one of the very best dramatic tenors and singing-actors in the world today, famous or not. John has an enormous, beautiful and exciting sound that is tailor-made for the most intense and demanding roles in his repertory. In addition, he is tall, handsome and very heroic in appearance and has a noble presence onstage. John sings and acts with tremendous intensity, warmth and artistic integrity: he has a drive, a ‘fire in the belly’ combined with truly thoughtful artistry that make every line of music he sings interesting, fascinating, even startling. John is one hell of a good actor and always performs with great drive and realism: everything he does onstage is motivated, authentic and explodes with creativity AND spontaneity. The strength and vulnerability he brings to his singing and acting is quite unique among all current dramatic-type tenors in my opinion: I don’t know of another American dramatic tenor on the scene today who is more remarkable. Though he has a voice clearly geared and designed for bigger theatres like the Metropolitan, I believe that the NYCO missed a huge opportunity to contract him immediately when I recommended John to them recently, because he is exactly what City Opera used to be all about: singing and acting fused into equal parts. John is a warm, thoughtful, gracious man of dignity, compassion and sensitivity. He is a delightful, witty and fun colleague to collaborate with and I enjoy sharing the stage with him. I truly believe that John Short has what it takes to soon become one of the most important singing-actors of his generation.”

Frances Ginsberg, Soprano

“Well what do you know? I think we’ve found a real, live dramatic tenor folks. Not only that, but a real one who is tall and good looking, has stage presence, makes a beautiful sound not just a strong one, and is actually musical to boot.” 

Henry Holt, Maestro

“Now I know who that beautiful tenor voice I keep hearing behind me in the chorus belongs to! Now there’s a sound!”

John Alexander, Tenor

“You’re the real deal: an authentic powerhouse, heaven-thundering dramatic tenor. Your voice, presence and talent, your ‘package’ if you will, is every bit in the class of McCracken and Vickers. Plus you’re well over 6-foot tall (laughter)! Thrilling from top to bottom! You have a wonderful voice, very unique, just beautiful. Fantastic singing and very original interpretations.” 

Robert Bass, Maestro

“Some people have a 1 in a million talent. John has a 1 in 500 million talent.”

Steven Crawford, Maestro

“I’ve done Pagliacci as stage director or stage manager with Del Monaco, Corelli, Bergonzi, Tucker, Domingo, McCracken Vickers, Cassilly, Giacomini, Mauro, and a few others as the Canio. I can’t honestly say that you are the best one I’ve ever heard – yet – but I can say unequivocally, without doubt or hesitation, that you are the best Canio I’ve ever seen; the best actor. The scene leading up to ‘Vesti la giubba’ to the end of Act I and the entire ‘commedia’ thru to the final curtain was one of the most thrilling, realistic, heartbreaking and terrifying things I’ve ever witnessed in any theatre anywhere. It was an honor to direct you as Canio.”

Franco Gentilesca, Stage Director/Manager

“This is a true dramatic tenor, a schweren-heldentenor. I’ve never heard another tenor who reminded me more of Ramon Vinay in sound and expression. You’ve excellent artistry and stage presence.”

Herta Glaz, Mezzo-Soprano

“You are a genuine dramatic tenor: Otello, Canio, Samson, the heavy Italian, French and German rep is what you’re best suited for, the big heroic roles. You are very fortunate that your voice also has a very beautiful, lush and sexy quality, it’s romantic, sensuous and warm, not just strong and powerful, and that you’re tall and good-looking, very handsome… I don’t know of anyone else in your category who’s a match for you right now, here or in Europe.” 

Carol Vaness, Soprano

“Do you realize how good of an actor you are? You are a truly great actor.”

Frank Corsaro, Stage director

“I’ve never directed or seen any man on a stage that is as virile as you are.”

Deborah Karner, Stage Director

“John Short has the best voice of his kind around in the world today since Melchior and Vinay. He is a true schweren-heldentenor, of which there has been only a handful in history. And it’s a damned beautiful sound too!” 

Patricia Sage, Soprano & Director of the Wagner Theatre Program

 

“Look John, your voice is like a gigantic oak tree trunk, massive, strong, resonant and wide all the way up and down. It’s incredibly virile, sexy and beautiful. I don’t know of one so-called heldentenor in Europe who has a voice in your league. You are, or would be, in your own category over there.”

Adrienne Dugger, Soprano

“I can’t think of one tenor on the scene in Europe that I’ve heard, or heard of, who has a voice like yours, who is of your caliber, or has a quality like yours. You could and should, be singing things like Otello, Canio, Samson and the like, plus the big Wagner, all over the bloody world.”

Bruno Caproni, Baritone

“You are one of the few guys around now days that has ANY business singing Otello and the roles that go with it. Maybe the only American I know of right now, the rest are just pretenders. You remind me of Jimmy McCracken, Vickers, Ramon Vinay and even Del Monaco and Giacomini, a little bit, but your timbre is very much your own and  distinctive. Rich, dark, baritonal, big and fat, but also beautiful. It’s a bit too baritonal for my taste, because you really do sound at times as if you’d also sound great as Rigoletto, Iago, Di Luna or Scarpia for example. But it does ring out and shine very well, and you do seem to have all the high notes for that repertory securely in hand. You have a very exciting, powerful stage presence and personal style; it’s very dramatic and dynamic. Excellent Italian style and diction. Go and conquer!”

Enrico Di Giuseppe, Tenor

“Real dramatic tenors don’t grow on trees, and you are one of the few of them. It’s interesting to me that your sound is sort of like a soup of many of the best ones I’ve heard, yet is distinctively your own, as is your personal style. I’m very much taken with the way you carry yourself onstage, the easy energy and command. That is a rare quality in a tenor no matter how good or big the voice. I think the sound is a notch too dark and baritonal, even for an Otello tenor, but you seemed to have no trouble through the high Bb’s, so just be yourself and good luck. You have a great, special talent!” 

Frank Guarrera, Baritone

“The thrilling discovery of the event was the colossal booming heroic tenor of John L. Short, from the state of Oregon. Mr. Short’s voice is not only massive in volume and size, but also quite beautiful in timbre. His selections from Otello, Carmen and Siegfried were outstanding and extremely exciting. High notes were ringing and surprisingly retained the full quality of the voices rich, baritonal hue. I would be very intrigued to hear him venture forth into Siegmund, Tristan and Samson. His appearance and bearing is also heroic: tall and strongly built, not heavy. His singing style was idiomatic, wisely favoring more Italianate vowel sounds, musical, and put forth with a distinctly dramatic fervor. I can well imagine Mr. Short soon being a force to be reckoned with on the international scene. Indeed, Mr. Short received 3 out of the 4 highest judges’ scores awarded in the entire history of the Richard Tauber International Vocal Competition for Tenors. One of my fellow judges was so overcome with emotion by the sheer sound of Mr. Short’s commanding tenor from the opening lines of Otello’s “Niun mi tema!” that he wept uncontrollably throughout the audition: and it wasn’t until several minutes after Mr. Short had left the auditorium that he was able to regain his composure. Since the adjudicator in question has been attending performances at The Metropolitan Opera regularly since the early 1940’s, one must take seriously Mr. Short’s rare capacity to overwhelm and move a listener profoundly.”

Nigel Douglas, Tenor & Author of “Legendary Voices” (from a press release for American Landmark Festivals)

“John Short is the most heroic of heldentenors. He is an outstanding singing-actor of rare passion and vulnerability, as well as titanic strength and awesome power. His voice has exceptional beauty and richness. In addition, as you can see, he is tall, handsome and has a commanding presence upon the stage. For me personally, the rarest of all his many fine qualities as a performer is the honesty and individuality of his interpretations. I am aware of no current dramatic tenor who is his equal… I am stating this publicly: John Short has received the 3 highest scores in the entire history of the Richard Tauber International Voice Competition for Tenors. That includes Europe and the United States… John is also a great pleasure to collaborate and make music with, as well as share a drink, a story and a good laugh.”…

Francis Heilbut, Maestro, Concert Pianist, Impressario & Director of American Landmark festivals

“I don’t know of any other current North American tenor who can match John Short in sheer vocal quality, heft, size or intensity of expression and passionate musicality. He is a wonderful actor and a fine, affable and considerate colleague as well. John showed enormous growth during our rehearsal and performance process. He worked very hard with his opportunity and delivered a very memorable performance and character as Don Jose. Have no doubt that although he is a true dramatic tenor in every way, his sound is also remarkably, even extremely, beautiful and warm at his best. His Don Jose with me was tender, thrilling, vulnerable, very strong and quite frighteningly intense at the end of the opera; a dangerous, wounded animal that was tragic and movingly human. John works very hard at his craft to make himself a better musician and artist. I look forward to his Otello, Canio, Samson, Siegmund and Tristan, iconic heroic roles which I believe will suit him perfectly, vocally and dramatically.”

Timothy Lindberg, Maestro

“You have a great instrument: a world-class dramatic tenor, or heldentenor voice. It is unusually beautiful and grand, very masculine and virile, even extremely so. You remind me of a combination of James McCracken and Leonard Warren, either of which could have sung as a Verdi Baritone or dramatic tenor in range, weight, size and color of voice: I hope you realize what a great compliment that is.”

Ellen Faull, Soprano and Voice Teacher  

“That may very well have been the best acted Cavaradossi I’ve ever seen! John, you have a magnificent dramatic tenor voice and stage presence. Your ovation for “E lucevan le stelle” went on for at least 5 minutes. I just can’t believe this was your first Tosca performance. Bravo John! Bravo!”

Patrick Tavernia, Met Stage Director

“For my money you are the best male actor in this opera house right now (San Francisco Opera), and I wouldn’t hesitate to put you onstage. I love your voice: its warmth, power and incredibly masculine quality is totally unique in my experience, and you may actually be the best actor for a dramatic tenor that I’ve ever seen! You’re also a sweetheart to work with, very easy, and I appreciate that as well. I sincerely hope you get to have the great career your great talent deserves.”

Roman Terleckyj, Stage Director

“You are an authentic, heavy heldentenor, with a very big, very beautiful voice, that is very special and unusual. You have a very great responsibility. You must try to be patient for many people who hear you will have no idea what to do with you. It helps that you are tall and good-looking and act very well.”

Matthias Kuntzsch, Maestro

"John Short is a major, world-class talent: a tall, handsome dramatic tenor with a powerful and remarkably beautiful voice, who also has superior musical and dramatic instincts. John is an extremely intuitive and fine actor, moves very well and takes direction easily. In addition, he is a very intelligent and personable young man.”

Frans Boerlage, Stage Director

“I am very happy to recommend dramatic tenor John Short. John is very pleasant and affable to work with, respectful, sincere and courteous. He is very serious and dedicated to becoming a very fine musician, and I believe he has the talent and intelligence to accomplish that goal at the highest level. His voice is very unusual: powerful and dramatic, but also possesses a rich, noble quality and quite remarkable beauty of tone as well as all the notes required in range. He is musically responsive and takes suggestions extremely well. John may be an authentic heldentenor, a very rare thing indeed. I’ve enjoyed working with John very much.”

Stefan Minde, Maestro

“Your voice reminds me of Lauritz Melchior at times: very baritonal, rich, ringing and remarkably virile. Fortunately for you and your listeners, your sound is also quite warm and beautiful, has a ‘handsome face’ and is not just extremely resonant and powerful. I’m very impressed with your involvement with the words and the genuine intensity of your passion. Your dramatic instincts are excellent, your movements and appearance commanding, even imposing. Yet surprisingly you can convey great tenderness, even true vulnerability, very easily. That is quite rare. You seem absolutely born for the stage and have the potential and intelligence to not just be a very fine actor, but an extraordinary actor. You would do well to study Shakespeare and perhaps explore performing in the legitimate theatre as well as opera and musical theatre. I can’t remember the last time, if ever, that I’ve said that to an operatic tenor before! You are a very interesting, even fascinating stage creature Mr. Short.”

Ghita Hager, Stage Director 

“Having been a colleague of John’s for over 15 years, I have never heard a voice of this size and quality since the days of Vickers and Del Monaco. His sense of style, passion, dedication and awareness of his craft is rarely to be found in his contemporaries.”

Michael McCall, Tenor, Composer & Conductor

“John Short has been our amazing colleague for more than 20 years, ever since we all met at Portland State University, along with his truly lovely and talented wife, the lyric-coloratura soprano, Michelle McFadden. John has always been generous and warm just like his singing. He possesses one of the most beautiful dramatic tenor voices of our time with a technique that is as solid as they come. His voice is filled with a golden shimmer, electrifying excitement and deep baritonal warmth that just keeps going up for an easily accessible top. Filled with vocal power, he is extremely well-suited to the repertoire he has perfected. What has always impressed us about John is that he is a student of opera in the truest sense of that word. Rarely have we come across anyone who has approached his craft with such well thought out intentions. He is a highly intense and effective actor and a true artist.”

Patricia Mortier, Mezzo & Professor of Voice; Steven Mortier, Baritone & Professor of Voice

“I have known John Short for many years. I have sung with him and seen him perform in several different operas and in various concert venues. From the first time we performed together in Pagliacci, I was deeply impressed by his warm sound, beautiful legato and the interpretation of the character. He is also a gentleman who is very nice to work with. It is very enjoyable singing with him. He dedicates himself to the art of singing and works diligently. He is a very good actor too, which makes the drama very believable. Even after long study, he still practices everyday and has made tremendous improvements on an already impressive gift. Not long ago, I went to a concert featuring him. His voice had become unbelievably developed. His musicality has matured as well. I never met anyone as passionate as he. John is a real artist. I sincerely wish him great success.”

Hui Cheng, Soprano & Voice Teacher

“I have known John for many years and worked with him in several operas, concerts, galas, etc, including Otello, Carmen and Pagliacci. I have also been an audience member and witnessed his performing on numerous occasions. John has always had the highest artistic and professional standards. As a colleague, John comes to the first rehearsal prepared and ready to work as an artist. Supportive and encouraging, John gives his all to make the performances the best possible for all involved. John is always willing to make extra rehearsals and spend time with fellow singers to work out the details carefully. Understanding the music and the drama are also part of John’s gift, which he shares freely and openly with his colleagues. As an actor, John literally BECOMES the character onstage. Impressive in stature, physically tall and imposing: Mr. Short is spellbinding on the stage as an actor. His Otello, Don Jose or Canio become more than intense and believable: they become totally REAL. I held my breath fearing that his Otello really did strangle Desdemona: worried that his Don Jose had really stabbed Carmen: was frantic that his Canio really had killed Nedda and Silvio in front of hundreds of people. It’s almost impossible to take your eyes off him onstage, but close your eyes and his voice alone acts out the part. The beauty and colors in his voice carry a steady stream of passion. Seldom in my life have I been lifted from my seat and transported into the spirit of the music and drama as I have been when John Short is singing and acting. As a singer, John’s voice possesses a dramatic vocal quality that is rarely heard on today’s stage. He has a dark baritonal timbre with a ringing top that can only be described as dramatic, heroic and thrilling. This is a remarkably masculine voice: rich, full, exciting and beautiful. The baritonal resonance rounds out his characters in a way that is needed not only for Otello, but for Don Jose, Canio, Samson, Siegmund, just to name a few. There is a commitment to the passion and emotion of the music that drives his voice to a level that reminds one of the days when dramatic tenors were actually dramatic. His Otello has the physical and vocal presence of an authentic Otello, a warrior general commanding armies: powerful, regal and passionate. His baritonal, full dramatic voice fills out the role, giving his Otello, among others, a stage presence that is nothing short of AWESOME. Mr. Short’s vocal production is secure and powerful. He uses his voice as a true artist: changing colors and phrasing to create a vocal line that is truly musical, dramatic and alive. Singing next to John is always a tremendous thrill for me. John makes me believe; in myself, in the characters, in the moment and in what we are doing and trying to do as artists. I am simply forced to give the best performance I can give. It is thrilling to give oneself over to the music and the drama. In working with John, there is no other way. Here is a dramatic tenor that gives everything he has in the preparation so that the performance is indeed, real - and therefore the audience can fully believe in what they are seeing and hearing also.”

Alessandro Magno, Baritone (an international soloist, Mr. Magno also has extensive experience as chorister with the Met & CLO)

“I would like to start off by saying that I am honored to recommend dramatic tenor John L. Short. As a singer and voice teacher I have had the opportunity to work with and listen to many singers. As soon as I heard Mr. Short sing, I knew that I was listening to a rare and unique voice. As an actor Mr. Short cares deeply about each character that he undertakes and his voice colors the lyrics with profound intention. His voice triggers honest emotions from those that are lucky to experience the journey of his performances. Mr. Short’s voice can fill ANY major opera house and quite frankly I am surprised that his voice has not yet been fully discovered. Mr. Short has a rare gift that needs to be presented to the world’s stages. I believe that everyone should experience the power and sheer beauty of this elegant and talented singer. It is an emotional experience that will not soon be forgotten.”

Serafina Martino, Mezzo & Voice teacher

“John is a passionate singer and makes music with great intensity and feeling. Several knowledgeable people who have heard him have said they believe him to be a genuine heroic tenor, with which assessment I am inclined to agree. The timbre and strength of his sound seems to be naturally suited to several Wagnerian and the more dramatic Verdi roles. His natural gifts, both vocal and dramatic, as well as his personality, tend to indicate this direction. In addition, John is most pleasing to be with, and a very agreeable person.”

David Holkeboer, Coach/Accompanist NYC

“Collaborating with Mr. Short has been a source of great personal pride and satisfaction. His capacity for work and concentration in both rehearsal and performance is truly exemplary. I have not encountered a more diligent student of the vocal art. Mr. Short possesses a remarkable dramatic tenor voice infused with a keen musical understanding. He exhibits a powerful stage presence permeated by his vocal and dramatic gifts. I unreservedly endorse Mr. John Short knowing fully well he will be an asset to any organization.”

Anthony Petrizzo, Maestro

“I first met John Short while I was playing piano for a New Jersey State Opera production of Lucia di Lammermoor. Subsequent private sessions exposed me to the full range of his rather startling voice, and I asked John if he would participate in the inaugural concert given at Merkin Hall by a new group called the Hugo Wolf Society. Wolf’s songs are well known if not notorious for their musical and interpretive difficulties, and John justified my choice in spades by the seriousness with which he undertook the challenge. For quite apart from the bronzen splendors of his singing, John has the soul of an artist, as well as a mind like a sponge: he soaks up information avidly, tirelessly striving to match the composer’s vision. John Short truly has ‘something to say’, and I am firmly convinced he will emerge as an important singer and artist.”

Mark Cogley, Coach/Accompanist/Maestro NYC

I have performed a great number of leading roles of the standard (and not so standard) baritone repertoire for most of the principal musical organizations in the United Sates, Canada and South America. In addition, I have performed with Netherlands Opera, Scottish Opera, Teatro alla Scala, The Vienna Sate opera, etc. Please forgive my having included a short biography of myself. I assumed you might not know the many specifics of my own career; and I wanted you to know that I feel that I have, therefore, a good vantage point for my strong opinion regarding the talents of a quite unusual tenor, John Short… When you listen to him I would not be too surprised if you would agree that you are listening to a very special communicator! My own opinion of the singing and the theatre of a John Short performance is that it is on a level that I, most sadly, almost never witness elsewhere. I feel that John Short must be encouraged in order to treat the opera/theatre-going world to an experience far beyond what they would be likely to expect! I have known John for many years. In that time I have witnessed his impressive growth with regard to his possession of an absolutely world-class dramatic tenor voice, superior musical skills and instincts, and his ability to tastefully perform and penetrate the core of the character of the role in question. John Short’s stage presence and his ability as an actor is such that when called upon to do so, he can easily dominate the scene. I have directed him in a production of Bizet’s Carmen. Rarely have I witnessed a Don Jose as Three-dimensional, as exciting, and at the same time sung with such a range of dynamics. I am equally impressed with John’s ability to handle the role of Enzo in La Gioconda; and although I have only heard and seen his excerpts of the title role of Otello, I can easily guess the role will be an enormously fitting one for his talents. I have coached John Short in repertoire, and I have been available to him for career suggestions; and as a result of my total observations, I can honestly say that John Short is a worthy artist… In addition, John is a grand human being!”

Chester Ludgin, Baritone

“I believe that John Short is a rare thing indeed - a genuine dramatic tenor. Vocally, he is the possessor of a large, round, dark tenor voice of impressive strength with a baritonal quality that is utterly his own and has unique warmth for one of his voice type. His voice has great beauty and is equally at home in the dramatic and heroic roles of the French, German and Italian repertoire. He is a very musical singer, not content to merely copy what others have done: he always tries to find a way to make the music he sings his own. His acting ability and stage presence are absolutely exceptional. John has tremendous energy and an almost driven intensity – an authentic “fire in the gut” - and he always gives 100% in performance. At several performances of ONY’s production of Carmen, several audience members, many of them regular straight theater-goers, commented on John’s remarkable theatrical presence, intensity and the powerful conviction and realism be brought to his Don Jose. His sense of style and languages are as carefully prepared as his characterizations. John is extremely pleasing to work with and is a most agreeable and sensitive person. John has major career potential. He has a wonderful, unique talent, seriousness of purpose and loves the music and words dearly. This, I think, is a fine combination.”

Judith Fredricks, Mezzo-Soprano/Stage Director/Artistic Director

“It is my great pleasure to recommend dramatic tenor John Short. I have known John for several years and prepared him as Don Jose, Enzo Grimaldo, Radames, Manrico and Turiddu as well as worked on Florestan, Samson, Andrea Chenier and Otello with him. Not only is he a remarkably thoughtful and considerate young man, and a gracious, warm colleague, but he also possesses one of the rarest - and finest - vocal instruments it has ever been my pleasure to work with and experience. His powerful voice has an extraordinarily rich, baritonal timbre, but still retains a squillante shine, and is gorgeous in color. Interpretively, John is intensely involved in his characterizations, and brings enormous passion, realism and musicality to his music-making. He works tirelessly to improve himself and his quite original interpretations: the way he emphasizes phrases and words can keep one up nights! I’ve been working with this music for over 60 years, and he has such a distinctive way of thinking about and feeling the music and shaping it, that the results can be breathtaking. It can seem sometimes like the music was written just for him: he makes it his own, but always with great respect for the composer. Onstage he is thrilling, simply overwhelming. John gives performances of great strength, insight, majesty, integrity, and intense beauty. John is VERY artistic, vulnerable and just damned sexy - and tall, with big, broad shoulders! - in every role he performs. I can’t think of another tenor I’ve worked with in the last 25 years or so who is his equal in the dramatic tenor repertory. He often reminds me of my dear friend Ramon Vinay, who I believe would have adored and related very strongly to John’s sound, singing and acting. From time to time, the young Cornell MacNeil comes to my mind also. I cannot recommend him more highly: both in terms of his talent, his dedication, his character and his sincere and winning personality!”

Leila Edwards, Coach & Accompanist (to many of the greatest stars in opera from the 40s thru the 80s, including Bjoerling, Merrill, Vinay, MacNeil, Baum, Milnes, Ludgin, Nelli, Milanov and Lanza, among many other distinguished singers)

“It is with great enthusiasm that I recommend John Short. As a voice teacher I can say with certainty that he possesses the integrity and the vocal, musical and theatrical gifts to have a very fine career as a dramatic tenor. John’s devotion and commitment to being an expressive, technically aware singer have been tireless and impressively consistent. I feel that John Short is a very deserving singer.” 

Arthur Levy, Voice Teacher NYC

“Mr. Short possesses a very large heroic tenor voice of extreme quality and unusual timbre. He is also the first winner of the James McCracken Award for American Tenors. I feel that he won this award because of the fact that his voice is such a rare instrument. His musicianship and exceptional sensitivity give his performances an extremely professional edge which is often difficult to find with heroic tenors.” 

David Jones, Voice Teacher NYC

“I would like to recommend Mr. John Short, the first winner of the James McCracken Memorial Award for American Tenors. Mr. Short has an utterly distinctive, brilliant tenor voice. He is also very musical, takes directions well, and moves and looks well on stage. He has a fine character – intelligent, trustworthy, serious and very agreeable to be with. I firmly believe he has the potential to have an absolutely first-class career.”

Sandra Warfield-McCracken, Mezzo-Soprano & Author      

“As the program continued, I found myself wondering when the last time I’d experienced a heroic tenor of this quality, grandeur and power was. The names that kept coming to mind were Jon Vickers and James McCracken. Well, it seems that North America has finally produced another one potentially on that level, and his name is John L. Short, from a place called Tillamook, Oregon; and his is a timely, stunning discovery. Actually, I found Short’s timbre more rich and beautiful than either of those two legendary singing-actors, and while he has the massive theatrical vocal impact of those tenor titans, at least in a somewhat smaller hall, his manner onstage is much more elegant. He appears to be taller, slender thru the waist by comparison, though husky through the chest and shoulders as any real heroic tenor is expected to be, and more athletic in appearance and action. His voice was voluminous and ringing, full and round, his technique smooth for such a large, hefty sound. That sound is distinctive, dark and quite baritonal at times, though the vibrant top range freely matches the resonance of the middle and low. His personal style was very individual, but idiomatic in French, German and Italian. I was particularly impressed with the excerpts from Samson et Dalila, Otello, Pagliacci and Die Walkure. Short’s take on Max’s extended scene from Von Weber’s rarely performed Der Freischutz, “Durch die Walder”, may be the most intensely exciting performance of that grueling aria I’ve ever experienced, even on record. Here Short revealed a keen intelligence, artistically thoughtful, multi-faceted portrayal; yet still sang and acted with great spontaneity, enormous vitality and vivid expressiveness. Without benefit of any set or costume, Short created a genuine theatrical environment for a brave man being set upon by unseen sinister forces more believable than any so-called dramatic tenor that I’ve seen in many years on a NYC stage, if not decades. Why Mr. Short is not a leading star in every major international opera house in the world is a mystery to me: but I felt the thrill of genuine discovery upon experiencing his all heart, go for broke performance style last Saturday, and I am very grateful for that.”

Bill Zakariasen, Tenor & Critic (press release from The Westsider)