Ultimately, though, a Rossini opera succeeds on the quality of the music performance. John Tessier takes the title role and his lighter tenor, with that very distinctive and pleasing colour, is ideally suited to the part. He can also act, too, with considerable energy. If, as was announced before the performance, he had been ill during the week but had decided to do the performance anyway, it certainly didn’t show. Those who go to the performances on Tuesday (April 9) and Friday (April 12) are in for a treat.
The Edmonton Journal, Mark Morris, April 7, 2019
Supporting roles sung by soprano Sasha Djihanian and tenor John Tessier were first rate.
Vancouver Sun, David Gordon Duke, October 21, 2018
John Tessier as Camille and Sasha Djihanian as Valencienne find an authentic sweetness in their playful duets about love.
The Georgia Straight, Janet Smith, October 21, 2018
Perhaps the most interesting interpretation of the evening — and some of the best singing — came from John Tessier as Don Ottavio. His lyrical tenor is light and graceful, setting him apart from the heavier voices of most of the rest of the cast.
Edmonton Journal, Mark Morris, April 15, 2018
John Tessier is the production’s Count Almaviva, and has, perhaps, the most difficult role in purely vocal terms. It needs a true Rossini tenor — a voice that naturally has both altitude and a certain strength, not to mention considerable facility in rapid passage work. Such singers are scarce, but Edmonton-based Tessier is such a singer. Sailing through the vocal challenges with ease, Tessier gives an exceptionally fine account of the music, notably in his opening aria, where his attractive lyric tenor is particularly well featured. Dramatically, he also provides many laughs, especially as a mincing Don Alonzo in the aria scene in the second act, his “air piano” hysterically funny.
Calgary Herald, Kenneth Delong, November 20, 2017
Tessier offers a truly virtuosic Almaviva in terms of both comedic acting and vocal quality. Tessier's voice soared well into the melismatic stratosphere in each of his character's big moments; you're left to wonder if there is a note Tessier can't hit with security, richness and ease. As a comedic actor, Tessier is certainly on par with the other principals. His turns as a drunken soldier and as a joyous, peaceful substitute voice teacher show off the tenor's comedic and acting range. He truly shines in his interactions with Hill, McGillivray, and especially Braun.The two offer a number of hilarious moments as a scheming duo in this production.
Scmopera, Oliver Munar November 20, 2017
Internationally renowned for his soaring tenor voice, Edmonton-born John Tessier in the title role ( Werther ) can only be described as a Canadian treasure. Last appearing onstage as Tonio in Manitoba Opera's 2012 production of Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment, he spun every lyrical phrase like fine gold, first heard during his opening aria O Nature, pleine de grâce, performed with utter ease and capped by ringing high notes. His show stoppers: Lorsque l’enfant revient d’un voyage, in which Werther first contemplates suicide, and later, goose-bump inducing delivery of Pourquoi me reveiller elicited well-deserved, spontaneous applause with cries of bravo for the charismatic singer.
Winnipeg Free Press, Holly Harris, May 1, 2017
There is something very special about his tenor voice: there is a colour, a kind of tiny musical accent, to his sound that is entirely his. John Vickers and Jussi Björling had something similar, with the result that their voices are instantly recognizable. His tenor is also attractively lyrical, and his performance here was a pleasure to listen to, both in terms of interpreting the piece, and for the sheer pleasure of listening to lovely singing.
Mark Morris, Edmonton Classical Music, April 1st , 2017
Tessier’s effortless tenor is just right as the Prince, suggesting an underlying innocence that makes perfect sense when he falls for the servant girl.
Mark Morris, Edmonton Journal, February 5th, 2017
The most refined singing is by tenor John Tessier, as the French military attaché Camille de Rosillon who is in love with the ambassador’s wife Valencienne (soprano Chelsea Basler).
Lloyd Schwartz, The Artery, May 3rd, 2016
Stand outs in the cast included Chelsea Basler’s sweet-voiced Alencienne and John Tessier’s ardent Camille.
Boston Sunday Globe, By Jeremy Eichler, May 1 2016
As Leicester, Elizabeth’s favorite who is secretly in love with her rival Mary, tenor John Tessier gave a beautifully finished and vocally elegant performance of what must be one of the most hapless roles in opera.
By Melinda Bargreen, The Seattle Times, February 29, 2016
“As Leicester, Tessier sang ardently, holding his own against the two fiery divas.”
James Bash, Facts and Arts, March 17, 2016
“I have been an admirer of John Tessier’s French repertory roles, especially his Gerald [Luna, Tessier and Bilgili in Stylishly Sung “Lakme” – Opera de Montreal, September 24, 2013]. I found his performance as Roberto, the Earl of Leicester, to be effective. Tessier’s pleasing tenor vibrato adds a hint of exoticism to the complex role of Leicester.”
Wiliams, Opera Warhorses, February 27, 2016
“As Leicester, Elizabeth’s favorite who is secretly in love with her rival Mary, tenor John Tessier gave a beautifully finished and vocally elegant performance of what must be one of the most hapless roles in opera.”
Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times, February 29, 2016
Fellow Canadian John Tessier’s high, almost haute-contre tenor is ideal for Nadir’s Act 1 romance – combining an easy legato with a finely modulated voix mixte, this was by far the best performance I’ve heard of this killer aria. Tessier shows a strong command of the style, and his crystalline French was the finest in the cast. Additionally, his impetuous physicality also lent a nice degree of realism to the role."
Kevin W. Ng, Bachtrack, Oct 17, 2015
"John Tessier embodied a physically and vocally brilliant Count Almaviva."
Florian Krenstetter, Kronen Zeitung Jan 10, 2015
"John Tessier was her unhappy lover lord Arturo Talbot, and is one of the rare representatives of this tenor field. He has a bright full tenor and managed the difficult arias and heights very well and as a lover was a convincing figure."
Silvia Herdlicka, Der Neue Merker, February 28, 2015
"Meanwhile lots of stage business involved undressing and dressing Don Ramiro (John Tessier) as he sang a magnificent aria that included several wonderful high notes."
Rosemary Collier, Middle C, Classical Music Review Wellington, NZ, May 10, 2015
"In the role of Don Ramiro, John Tessier is completely convincing, with a lovely tenor voice that manages the very high notes required in the role with ease."
Michael Gilchrist, May 10, 2015
"And the prince, Canadian John Tessier, also looks the part and sings extremely well."
John Button, Dominion Post, May 11, 2015
"John Tessier, as a dashing Don Ramiro, is a fine exponent of this style, hitting the many top Cs and cascading arpeggios with consummate skill."
Penny Dodd, New Zealand Theatre Review, May 31 2015.
"John Tessier uses his lovely fluid voice, with bright elegance and lovely phrasing ideally, his tone and easy flexibility in his runs were beautifully managed."
Garth Wilshere, New Zealand Opera News. May 2015
"John Tessier’s dual role of the Young Sailor and Shepherd was also a surprise highlight, executing both parts with a clarion-clear timbre and beautiful, lighter-than-air effortlessness."
Maxim Boon, Limelight Magazine, June 22, 2015.
"John Tessier gave the unaccompanied sailor's song at the start lonely eloquence."
Peter McCallum, The Sydney Morning Herald, June 21, 2015. Herald
"Tessier’s lyrical, soaring tenor was an excellent match for the delicacy and purity of McKay’s Leila."
Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times, Oct 19, 2015
“Tessier has the lyric style, and above all the range, required for the part - he cleanly hit the incredible F above high C that Bellini demands of Arturo in the final act, and elsewhere plucked other high vocal fruit with ease. And he can fence credibly, had bedroom chemistry with Coburn, and is certainly easy on the eyes - you could see why a girl would go mad for him.”
Thomas Garvey, The Hub Review, May 6, 2014
“The reunion of Coburn and Tessier (lauded for their part in BLO‘s “Barber of Seville” two seasons ago) was a stroke of genius, as they have obvious chemistry together and again prove their virtuosity, especially in Arturo’s paean to his prospective bride, “a te, o cara, amor talora”, as well as his troubadour song, “corre a valle, corre a morte”…The entire opera can be a breathtaking (almost literally) endurance contest for the singers… Not only is their sound lovely, but their diction is estimable; one needn’t be multilingual to appreciate the beauty of the Italian language.”
Jack Crib, South Shore Critic, May 5, 2014
“Tessier owned the coloratura, absolutely nailing Bellini’s orbiting melodic lines as they passed far up into the stratosphere, including the incredibly high line in “Credeasi, misera.””
Joseph E. Morgan, The Boston Music Intelligencer, May 4, 2014
“John Tessier portrays a callow, sweet-voiced Arthur.”
Jeffrey Gantz, The Boston Globe, May 4, 2014
“Few tenor roles have such a bounty of memorable melodies as Gerald. John Tessier possesses the leggiero lyric tenor voice for which this an ideal part. I had been convinced of Tessier’s artistry as Laertes in the Ambroise Thomas 1868 opera loosely based on the Bard’s play [see Michael Chioldi, Micaela Oeste Enrich Washington National Opera’s Theatrically Absorbing “Hamlet” – May 22, 2010.] For Gerald, his youthful appearance helps create a believable portrait of an innocent, adolescent British officer, as does his possession of a vocal technique that with seeming effortlessness exudes the passion of youthful love.”
By Williams, Opera Warhorses, September 24, 2013
“…a valiant performance from tenor John Tessier in the treacherous Song of the Roasted Swan.”
Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun, June 7, 2013
“…the terrific performance(s) of Mr. Tessier, who sang vividly in the descriptive mode (of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion)…”
James Oestrieich, New York Times, April 2, 2013
“Just as impressive were the soloists. John Tessier brought a sweet, pure and engaging tenor voice to the demanding role of the Evangelist, singing the many recitatives that narrate the Gospel story simply yet fervently.”
Lewis M. Smoley, classicalsource.com, March 28, 2013
“John Tessier’s suave tenor warmed up Tamino nicely.”
Elisa Poole, The Globe and Mail, March, 11, 2013
“This was an outstanding performance. John Tessier had no difficulty with the high-flying role of Fenton, his singing as sweet as the role is romantic.”
Kenneth Delong, The Calgary Herald, February 4, 2013
“Le Jason de John Tessier est lui aussi formidable.”
François Lesueur , Compte Rendus , December 10, 2012
"Tessier sang his part of an ardent lover, beset with a heavy burden of frustrations, ambiguities, and pains, with exceptional beauty of tone, as a classic lyric tenor with a substantial instrument, and fine insight into Gomez’ character as a constant, honorable nobleman, cast into ambiguity and ultimate rejection."
New York Arts, Michael Miller Aug 28th 2012
"Tessier has a lovely, limpid voice that carries extremely well. With its warm timbre, he seems to float to the highest notes, as in the famous aria Ah mes amis, in which he reeled off a whopping nine high Cs, completely free of strain."
Winnipeg Free Press, April 23 2012, Gwenda Nemerofsky
"John Tessier, who recently sang in Mendelssohn's Lobgesang with the Boston Symphony deployed a robust and well-controlled tenor as Almavia"
The Boston Globe Monday March 12, 2012, Jeremy Eichler
"John Tessier set the bar high with his flexible forward tenor...he handles Rossini's runs with unostentatious ease, so the demanding coloratura sounds seamlessly part of a whole. More over he sings expressively and imbues honesty..."
Boston Classical Review, March 10, 2012, Angelo Mao
"Mr. Tessier was strong in that work’s title aria (Bach Cantata BWV 163) and elsewhere."
New York Times Dec 8, 2011 James R. Oestreich
"Tessier's nuanced performance as the narrator was equally memorable....
Catherine Reese Newton, Salt Lake City Tribune, November 18, 2011
“John Tessier's Steersman, for example, sang only a brief ballad, but the quality was astonishingly good.”
Jon Massey, Wharf.co.uk, October 24, 2011
"Also returning is John Tessier's Steersman, whose legato makes a jewel of his love song, glittering like the Dutchman's treasures..."
The Arts Desk, Alexandra Coghlan , October 19, 2011
"John Tessier's Steersman, for example, sang only a brief ballad, but the quality was astonishingly good."
Wharf.co.uk, By Jon Massey, October 24, 2011
“John Tessier, who played the Steersman in 2009…makes the most of his light, supple tenor instrument…his is an engaging performance.”
Sam Smith, Music OHM, October 20, 2011
“Also returning is John Tessier’s Steersman, whose legato makes a jewel of his love song, glittering like the Dutchman’s treasures against the matter-of-fact Daland.”
Alexandra Coghlan, The Arts Desk, October 19, 2011
“There's touching tenderness in tenor John Tessier's solos.”
Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press, September 26, 2011
“…it’s hard to mistake the swaggering bravado tenor John Tessier lends to his portrayal of Ferrando…”
Brad Richason, Examiner.com, September 25, 2011
"John Tessier's glowing Ferrando..."
Star Tribune, Larry Fuchsberg, Sept 26, 2011
“Each of these voices was large and powerful, perhaps none more so than the Canadian tenor John Tessier. Tessier’s voice is one of those lyric tenors with a cutting, thrilling vocal edge that makes it stand out immediately on stage. His Ah, mes amis, quel jour de fête, from Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment, showed a voice that had no difficulty at all hitting the aria’s legendary nine high C’s, even to the point that he was able to sing the first eight at mezzo-forte, with a sense of plenty of muscle to spare. His second appearance, also in music by Donizetti – Una furtiva lagrima, from L’Elisir d’Amore – demonstrated that he can sing with full-blooded warmth as well, spinning out rich lines of song with apparent ease and textual sensitivity. The audience loved this performance.”
Greg Stepanich, Palm Beach Arts Paper, March 13, 2011
John Tessier is an impressive Tito, effortlessly conveying a sincere desire to rise above conventional behavior.
Review Vancouver, Elizabeth Patterson, Feb 10, 2011
John Tessier’s tenor was gentle and mellifluous, and he brought self-questioning depth to a character that can be one-note. He also effortlessly manoeuvred the pummelling arpeggios during the emotional aria when he must decide whether to throw Sesto to the “wild beasts” at the amphitheatre.
Georgia Straight, Janet Smith February 7, 2011
"As Ramiro, John Tessier sang with lyric finesse and, in "Si, ritrovarla io giuro" a ringing top."
Lawrence Fuchsberg, Opera News, January 2011
Varone’s cast was excellent, starting with Canadian tenor John Tessier’s ardent, handsome Prince. Tessier’s light, agile voice, with its effortless top register, was the perfect sound for this role
Minnesota Post, By Michael Anthony | Published Mon, Nov 1 2010
John Tessier (Don Ramiro) had such honesty and simplicity in both his stage presence and his vocal ability. Tessier is certainly put to the test in his aria, “Si, ritrovarla io giuro.” As he sings of his love for this mystery woman, the prince’s valet entourage lifts him up to be undressed and re-dressed into his proper attire. This is all done, of course, as Tessier executes one flawless coloratura line after another, followed by crystal clear high C’s. Truly one of Varone’s more daring staging ideas, but Tessier made the whole ordeal seam like simple child’s play.
Opera Today, Sarah Luebke Nov 7 2010
Internationally renowned tenor, John Tessier, consistently projects stirring passion as he pines for his mysterious inamorata. Tessier’s duets with Constantinescu define romantic longing, as does his Act 2 aria, Si, ritrovarla io guiro.
Examiner.com, By Brad Richardson Nov 1, 2010
"The supporting cast was excellent, with special mention due to the keenly lyrical Narraboth of John Tessier."
Stephen J. Mudge, Opera News, October 2010
Il serait toute-fois injuste d’oublier le remarquable Narraboth du tenor John Tessier.
La Lettre du Musicien, September 2010
…et surtout l’excellent tenor canadien John Tessier, chant Naraboth comme s’il s’agissait de bel canto.
LE QUOTIDIEN DU MEDECIN – 13 SEPTEMBRE 2010 – OLIVIER BRUNEL
…du Narraboth tout de douce lumiére et de belcantism de John Tessier.
ALTAMUSICA – AOUT 2010 – YANNICK MILLON
“John Tessier's light, bright tenor served him eloquently as Laertes.”
Tim Smith, Opera News, August, 2010
“Canadian tenor John Tessier (debut),as Ottavio, was the singer with the best style and breath control.”
Pablo Bardin, Buenos Aires Herald, July 21, 2010
"Tessier is one of the most wonderful Mozart singers have been heard in a long time for the accuracy of his accents, the expression of his low voice and His two big arias ("Dalla sua pace" and "Il mio tesoro") could not have been better sung, but Tessier was also correct in characterizing the character.” (Translated from Spanish)
Federico Monjeau , Clarin, July 15, 2010
“In addition to the four main roles, Thomas gave some lovely music to Laertes. Although it is a small part, John Tessier performs it admirably.”
Barbara Mackay, The Washington Examiner, May 23, 2010
"John Tessier, as a lovelorn grease monkey Nemorino......Delivers a very winning performance."
John Allison, The Sunday Telegraph, Feb 22 2010.
"John Tessier is touchingly sincere as Nemorino and rather less of a nerd than is usually played. Once his confidence is boosted by the quack's alcholic brew he develops a James Dean swagger."
Clare Colvin, Sunday Express, Feb 21st 2010
"John Tessier fields a clean lyric tenor in his personification of mechanic Nemorino, eating his heart out for the best looking gal in town, and rises to a superb account of his big aria to crown a genuinely touching perfromnace."
George Hall, The Stage, Feb 18th, 2010
"Tessier's subtle evolution from average Joe to strutting James Dean is delightfully done and he imbues his Act II romanza with touching dignity."
Neil Fisher, The Times, Feb 15th, 2010
"The best singing comes from John Tessier's Nemorino: instead of milking the music for emotion, he goes for sweetness and sincereity."
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, Feb 15th, 2010
"But it probably wouldn't work so well without Tessier.....he sings exquisitely and has the rare ability to rouse laughter and tears simultaneously."
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, Feb 16th, 2010
" Tenor John Tessier ... more beautiful and effective singing, with his light lyrical tenderness, would be hard to imagine."
Jim Love, Times Argus, Nov 13th 2009
" John Tessier hat den für Oratorian gerade richtigen schlanken, ausdrucksstarken Tenor..."
Johannes Zink, Kölner Rundschau, Dec 14th 2009
"...und John Tessier (tenor) verbanden allesamt lyrische Grundtönung mit geschmeidiger Beweglichkeit der Koloraturen."
Stefan Rütter, Kölner Stadtanzelger, Dec 14th 2009
"John Tessier radiates elegance as the good-hearted prince, Don Ramiro"
Brenda Tremblay, Rochester City Newspaper, August 14, 2009
“Tenor John Tessier ... more beautiful and effective singing, with his light and lyrical tenderness, would be hard to imagine.”
Jim Lowe, Times Argus, November 13, 2009
"John Tessier radiates elegance as the good-hearted prince, Don Ramiro"
Brenda Tremblay, Rochester City Newspaper, August 14, 2009
"Tenor John Tessier lent power and vocal beauty to the role of Don Ramiro, summoning his servants ("si, ritrovarla io giuro") to search for Angelina in Act 2 with two ringing high Cs."
Stephen G. Landesman, Ithaca Journal July 24 2009.
"Tenor John Tessier as the prince had a light, flexible voice, which he delivered even at the top of his range with accuracy and aplomb."
Geraldine Freeman, Daily Gazette July 19 2009
"John Tessier sings brightly as the dozy Steersman"
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, March 1 2009
" John Tessier is an affecting Steersman."
Neil Fisher, Times Online, Feb 23rd 2009
"John Tessier made a good job of the small role of the Steerman."
Mark Berry, Seen and Heard UK Opera Review, Feb 23rd 2009
"John Tessier is a spritely Steersman."
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, Feb 24th, 2009
"...and John Tessier, a crisp fresh toned Steersman, the supporting cast are first rate."
Andrew Clements, The Guardian, Feb 25, 2009
"The prince was sung with a youthful vitality and ardour by John Tessier."
Richard Todd, The Ottawa Citizen, September, 14, 2009
"Tessier has an international reputation as the perfect light lyric tenor. He has beautiful clarity of tone and hits seemingly effortless high notes, and over the years he has grown into a terrific actor to boot."
Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail, August 11, 2009
“John Tessier, as Don Ramiro, possesses a charming lyric tenor whose clarity of focus remained intact throughout the afternoon. Using a fluid and seamless legato to great advantage, Tessier captivated the audience as he sailed effortlessly from pitch to pitch, even up to the high Cs in his signature second-act aria, 'Si, ritrovarla io guiro'.”
David Abrams, MusicalCriticism.com, August 6, 2009
“The gifted lyric tenor John Tessier also managed to convey the decency of Don Ramiro in his heartfelt performance, despite the surrounding antics.”
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, August 4, 2009
"Her Lindoro, John Tessier was Terrific. A canadian tenor not heard before in this country, he brought to the role a voice that is bright, but flexible and with welcome security aloft. In Rossini he sounded more like Flórez than Alva or Kraus. Let us hope he is re-engaged before he becomes too important. - Russ McDonald, Opera, December 2008
“On the plus side, however, we have Garry Magee's Figaro and John Tessier's Almaviva. Oozing infinite charm and sly wit... Tessier, meanwhile, presents us a man who is more alive in his various disguises than as himself, and underscores the central point of Miller's hard-edged staging - that Rosina is falling for the image, not the man, and that the marital hell of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro is already beckoning beyond the final curtain.”
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, September 24, 2008
“The Canadian John Tessier hasn't sung in this country before but he proves to be that rare beast, a tenor who can make Rossini's punishing high notes sound graceful. He, too, makes English sound as musical as Italian and he's not afraid to act”
Nick Kimberly, Evening Standard, September 23, 2008
“She is matched by the Almaviva of Canadian tenor John Tessier, making an auspicious UK debut: a true Rossini tenor who can act.”
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, September 23, 2008
“More obviously auspicious is Canadian John Tessier's British debut as Count Almaviva - his effortlessly searing high tenor is thrillingly virile, and his words are delivered with laser-cut edges.”
Edward Bhesania, The Stage, September 23, 2008
“Tenor John Tessier, who with his honeyed voice hits high Cs effortlessly, was a compelling Tebaldo-not the pervasive menace of Shakespeare's play, but a man who sincerely loves Giulietta, firmly placing him in the grasp of the tragedy that unfolds. Tessier's performance anticipated a terrific Romeo-Tebaldo duet, "Ella é morta, sciagurato," with both agonizing over the supposed death of Giulietta, each man pleading with the other to kill him.”
Wayne Myers, Oneida Dispatch, August 13, 2008
“Tessier is the real surprise here, performing magnificently. He is better known as an accomplished Rossini/Mozart singer, but his elegant legato and easy reach to the money notes point to a new career. Tessier has always had a beautiful clarity of tone, but the bel canto repertoire adds burnish to the colour of his voice. The result is a voice that is darker, deeper and more powerful.”
Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail, August 12, 2008
“As her handsome lover Lindoro, lyric tenor John Tessier looked the part and sang very prettily, his tone free and warm and equal from bottom to (substantial) top.”
Elissa Poole, The Globe and Mail, February 1, 2008
“She was ably matched John Tessier, surely one of the most accomplished and winning tenor di grazia around. He obviously downs bel canto ornamentation for breakfast.”
J.H. Stape, Review Vancouver, January, 2008
“... John Tessier’s clear, clean tenor. Tessier’s tone and articulation was almost bell-like — pure and accurate.”
[John Corigliano’s Dylan Thomas Trilogy]
Jonathan A. Neufeld, The Tennessean, November 30, 2007
“Tessier's tone and articulation was almost bell-like - pure and accurate.”
[John Corigliano’s Dylan Thomas Trilogy]
Jonathan A. Neufeld, The Tennessean, November 30, 2007
“Showing a handsome tenor voice, John Tessier took over the role of Donna Anna's hapless fiance Ottavio.”
Daniel Ginsberg, The Washington Post, November 10, 2007
“[T]enor John Tessier effortlessly floated through the soaring lines of Obadiah's signature aria, 'If with all your hearts.'”
Michael Cameron, The Chicago Tribune, June 18, 2007
“The evening's hands-down best singing and best performances in the Morrison tradition came…from John Tessier in a hair-raising rendition of Donizetti's Una Furtiva Lagrima. [He] brought the house down.”
Ken Winters, Toronto Globe & Mail, October 23, 2006
“John Tessier's Nemorino is particularly distinguished, his bright, open, unblemished tenor just as appealing as his boyishly wide-eyed good nature.”
Peter G. Davis, New York Magazine, October 23, 2006
“John Tessier downplayed Nemorino's bumpkin qualities to welcome effect, and since (according to the supertitles) the love potion is not Bordeaux wine but Robitussin, we were spared the usual tiresome scenes of drunkenness. More importantly, Mr. Tessier offered an arresting, shapely account of 'Una furtiva lagrima'."
“Nemorino's role consists of the 175-year-old hit 'Una furtiva lagrima' and a lot of tenorial dressing. John Tessier sang it in a clear, confident voice, shot through with an appealing vein of vulnerability. More important, he inflated the character with personality until it wobbled from one dimension into three, like a Thanksgiving parade balloon. He earned his second-act aria that way, preparing the audience for the character's moment of genuine melancholy.”
Justin Davidson, New York Newsday, October 9, 2006
“...Donizetti's perennial comedy 'L'Elisir d'Amore,' has an even better known tenor aria, 'Una furtiva lagrima,' which John Tessier sang with sweet tone and smooth phrasing.”
George Loomis, The New York Sun, September 11, 2006
“...The lyric tenor John Tessier won the evening's biggest ovation for his ardent singing of the popular aria 'Una furtiva lagrima' from Donizetti's 'Elisir d’Amore.'”
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, September 9, 2006
“...technical resources were impressive, as were those of John Tessier as Count Almaviva. Tessier's clarion sonority and exacting technique, as well as vocal strength throughout his vast range, impressed. He even displayed a zesty comic spirit during his character's masquerade as a music teacher.”
Chuck Claus, The Syracuse Post-Standard, July 10, 2006
“...Tessier is fearless, going for his beautiful money notes with zest. Musically, the two run away with the production, and they can also act up a storm.”
Paul Citron, Globe and Mail, July 8, 2006
“John Tessier's supple, bright voice made one wish the generically labeled Tenor part [in Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion] had more to do.”
Roy C. Dicks, The News & Observer, April 1, 2006
“Tenor John Tessier, in the lacklustre role of Anna’s would-be paramour, gently polishes “Il mio tesoro” into a glistening jewel...”
Janet Smith, Straight.com, March 9, 2006
“...while the heartfelt lyricism of John Tessier's Ottavio nearly obliterated that character's usual wimpiness.”
Elissa Poole, The Globe and Mail, March 7, 2006
“Tenor John Tessier brought sparkling qualities to the roles of Ariel and Father Ecstaticus.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 14, 2006
“Tenor John Tessier sang out with bright timbre, flowing line, endless breath and exemplary diction.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 17, 2005
“Among the other soloists, tenor John Tessier displayed a big but refined voice in the opening 'Comfort ye' and 'Every valley' ...”
The Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 8, 2005
“Tessier just seems to get better and better. His light lyric tenor is crystal clear, and he goes for his high notes aggressively, taking them full throttle and managing to inject manly drama into a vocal type that is usually relegated to beautiful, but insipid singing.”
The Globe and Mail, August 8, 2005
“Still young, and just starting a recording career, Tessier is clearly on his way to joining the elite of Canada's tenors. A lyric tenor of the purest type, Tessier has a radiant top register and an expressive way with an aria. He is also a highly successful singer of art songs, a repertoire he could well cultivate even more.”
Calgary Herald, May 2005
“John Tessier sings Fernando with an emphatic, ringing presence.”
Vancouver Sun, 2005
“Tenor John Tessier is a strong and sure performer with a knack for intimate delivery, even at full lungpower.”
The Vancouver Courier, 2005
“John Tessier...has gone on to grace stages around the opera world, for good reason. His "Un'aura amorosa" was greeted with cries of 'bravo'-his voice is lyric, sweet, delicious to listen to.”
The Boards, 2005
“A tenor in the light, French tradition, Tessier has just the right voice for this exceptionally high-lying part (Gerald in Delibes' Lakmé)...Vocally sensitive and eloquent in the role, Tessier is a young tenor to watch, his appearance in recital later this year an already sold-out event.”
Calgary Herald, October 23, 2004
“The performances are marvelous...Tenor John Tessier brings a hearty, masculine sound to his portrayal of Imeneo.”
“The talented Tessier has always had the perfect light, bright, crystalline tenor for early music, and has built a well-deserved career performing the mostly bland roles that are the curse of this vocal fact. In Imeneo he is a singer transformed...and Tessier is sexy as the swaggering and insensitive eponymous hero...Tessier practically steals the show.”
“The performance was musically flawless. Imeneo, normally a baritone, was sung here by tenor John Tessier. His higher options in the da capo sections of his arias made his resolve clear, and he handled his coloratura well and with authority.”
“After making an amusing but aptly en travesty entrance in a skirt, tenor John Tessier sang Imeneo’s vigorous recitative and aria (”Paventar non degg’io’) with brilliant phrasing.”
The Ithaca Journal, July 21, 2004
“Tenor John Tessier sang with easy projection, innate dignity and a sure command of coloratura”
The Washington Post, December 22, 2003
“John Tessier was outstanding as Agenore, making his C-minor aria the dramatically crucial moment it should be.”
Musical America, George Loomis, August 14 2003
“The role of Orlando’s comic sidekick, Pasquale, is a feast, and John Tessier attacked it with a fork in each hand. From his opening “yes and no” aria, through a patter-song travelogue (shades of Leporello), to the tour-de-force “Hear my singing!” Tessier demonstrated appealing comic sense and quicksilver vocalism. His big Act III scene, as a French music teacher cracking francophone jokes in mistranslations and spoofing various musical techniques, was masterful.”
Opera News, December 2002
“But let‘s not overlook the tenor: John Tessier...very nearly stopped the show with his nine high Cs in ‘Ah! Mes amis’. He has a unique ability to sing his vocal cords-snapping stuff with a mellifluousness, and the laid-back effortlessness of ordinary speech.”
Georgia Straight, November 28, 2002
“Of course, all she‘s thinking of, aside from her army buddies, is Tonio, the Bavarian nobody who saved her from falling off an Alp. He’s played by tenor John Tessier, and what a find he is. He’s as charming as Futral’s Marie and they make a terrific pair. His tour de force aria, Pur mon ame, with its infamous sequence of nine high Cs was tireless, accurate and full of fun, like a guy at a fair. His head voice was beautifully poised and he sounded French, claret-like in his tone.”
Sun Classical Music Critic, November 27, 2002
“Speaking of anatomy, the youth and beauty of the leads is one of the show’s strongest assets. Futral and lyric tenor John Tesier (pure tone, tidy technique and impressive power are perfectly matched. Good to look at and easy to listen to, they are a better reason to stay seated than Donizetti’s tedious score.”
Vancouver Courier, November 27, 2002
“Tessier sang rings around everyone with his beautiful, effortless, lyric voice and wonderful diction. He also showed a hysterically funny side as the inept squire.”
Globe and Mail, August 5, 2002
“A lighter-voiced tenor, John Tessier, in his City Opera debut of Acis’ friend, Damon, lent his music a special buoyancy, not least in the aria, ‘Would you gain the tender creature?’”
Opera News, July 2001
“ ...Canadian John Tessier as shepherd Damon, making a very auspicious company debut. The press called his performance ‘proud’(Newsday), ‘winning’ (NY Times), and ‘elegantly sung’ (New York). Parterre Box said Tessier, ‘offered the most consistently stylish singing, well-controlled and sweet.’ Indeed, he sang with remarkable ardor and beauty, producing a breathtakingly steady, clean line.”
La Scena Musicale, March 27, 2001
“John Tessier’s Almaviva was stylishly sung and...first rate.”
Winnipeg Free Press, April 20, 2001
“ His (John Tessier’s) aria was beautifully phrased and also accompanied by some fine ornamentation. His pronunciation of the text was the clearest of all the principals.”
Ithaca Journal, August 1, 2000
“As Damon, Canadian tenor John Tessier earned high marks for tasteful baroque vocal style, spinning out long lines of gracefully produced sound.”
Times Union, July 31, 2000
“Particular kudos go to sweet-voiced John Tessier as Don Ottavio, who ably completed the exceedingly difficult, Il mio tesoro intanto (Speak to me, my lady), a tightly spaced aria that usually leaves tenors gasping for breath midway through.”
North County Times, October, 1999