Tenor John Wesley Wright is known for his artistic and soulful interpretations of music from baroque to Broadway. Holding degrees from Maryville College and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, his diversity as an artist has afforded him, among other things, a nationally televised concert for the Belgian Royal Family as well as tours as a soloist and with professional ensembles throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan.
With a host of opera and oratorio roles, art songs, spirituals, and cabaret music in his repertoire, Wright is a member of the internationally acclaimed American Spiritual Ensemble. His rendition of “Here’s One” is highlighted in the PBS documentary, The Spirituals: Featuring the American Spiritual Ensemble, released in 2007. This past season Wright was guest soloist for the Dayton Bach Society (Evangelist, St. Mathew Passion); Messiah Festival of the Arts in Lindsborg, Kansas (Messiah, St. Matthew Passion); and recently returned from Lucerne, Switzerland where he was guest artist with the Matthäuskantorei for a program entitled “Black and White Spirituals”. Wright made his Baltimore and Baltimore Choral Arts Society debuts this season in Bach’s B Minor Mass.
Having worked with such conductors as Nicolas McGegan, Ton Koopman, and Robert Page, many of Wright’s concert career experiences have been under the baton of Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. With Gittleman and the DPO, he has sung the title roles of Bach’s Passions, Britten’s War Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, and Einhorn’s Voices of Light. In May of 2011, Wright returned to Ohio and triumphed in the role of the Celebrant in Bernstein’s Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers, reviews praising his “mastery of the oratorio genre” and “impressive acting range and voice”.
John Wesley Wright is the gold medalist and top prizewinner of the American Traditions Vocal Competition 2000, and has claimed top prizes from the National Federation of Music Clubs, Metropolitan Opera National Council, and the International Schubert Competition (Vienna, Austria).
A native of Rome, Georgia, Wright is coordinator of the voice and opera workshop programs at Salisbury University (Salisbury, Maryland) and co-director of the Broadway program at the Maryland Summer Center of the Arts. He is an active clinician, consultant and leader of workshops on voice production, song interpretation, and African American song tradition.
Upcoming events for Mr. Wright include the role of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables (Community Players of Salisbury, Nov 1-3, 2013); soloist for “A Spiritual Messiah” (Nov 17, 2013, Salisbury University), the completion of the Doctorate in Musical Arts from Cincinnati (Dec 2013), and a tour of France and southern United States with the American Spiritual Ensemble (Jan/Feb 2014).