At the beginning of the COVID quarantine, we artists were all in a bit of shock from most of our gigs suddenly having to be canceled. To make use of this jarring burst of free time, I decided to record some performances of opera scenes featuring all bass or low baritone parts, playing each role myself, starting with the statue scene from Don Giovanni and the Sparafucile duet from Rigoletto. Enjoy!

There are some opportunities to see John in an ensemble context coming up (perhaps not a surprise as we near December):

Messiah with the BSO: 12/7-8 at the Meyerhoff

Messiah with Handel Choir: 12/14 at Grace United Methodist Church, 12/15 at St. Mark Church

Old St. Paul’s Church Christmas Concert: 12/15

Amadeus live scoring with the BSO: 1/3-5, at the Meyerhoff and at Strathmore on 1/4

Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil with Handel Choir: 3/7 at the Baltimore Basilica

Watch this space for more musical goings-on!

As the young season has progressed, so has the list of things you’ll be able to see me in!

October 17/20: my BSO acting debut, as the Farmhand in Hindemith’s Sancta Susanna. Thursday evening at the Meyerhoff, Sunday afternoon at Strathmore. Tickets and more info here.

November 1-2: I’ll be the bass soloist in Bach’s Magnificat and Mendelssohn’s Psalm 115 with the Friday Morning Music Club. Performances are at 8 PM at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in DC. More info here.

March 7, 8, 14, 15: the world premiere of Frances Pollock and Robert Misbin’s new opera Briscula the Magician, in which I will perform the role of Man from the City, with Bel Cantanti. Performances are at the Randolph Road Theater in Silver Spring. Tickets and more info at belcantanti.com.

April 11, 12, 16-19: a new version, orchestrated for circus ensemble, of Verdi’s Rigoletto with IN Series, in which I will sing Sparafucile. Performances are at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in DC. Tickets and more info here.

John has been the professional bass for Handel Choir of Baltimore this season, and he will be featured in their upcoming final major concert, Lux aeterna, performing the aria “Hier ist das rechte Osterlamm” as part of Bach’s Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4. Other works on the program include two works by Sir John Tavener and a new work by Tawnie Olson.

The performance is Sunday, April 28, 4 PM at Church of the Redeemer on North Charles Street in Baltimore.

“All eight singers have their moments to shine throughout. The octet is so good that I feel obligated to name each of them individually: Brian Arreola (tenor), Peter Burroughs (tenor), Anamer Castrello (mezzo), Natalie Conte (soprano), Teresa Ferrara (soprano), Bryan Jackson (bass), Elizabeth Mondragon (mezzo), and John T.K. Scherch (bass). Harmonies remain tight for the entirety and while the boisterous Requiem’s score can feel overwhelming in the intimate Source Theater, it is the kind of overwhelming feeling that wraps you in the intricacies of Verdi’s work. It’s a surprisingly welcome sensation.”

Read more: The In Series’s VIVA VERDI is an Indescribable Emotional Multitude

VivaVerdiVerdi’s name* became the battle-cry of an entire revolution. Verdi and Shakespeare come together in this season-opener, a unique imagining of the Bard’s King Lear, alongside the composer’s towering Requiem. Heart-stopping melodies and breathtaking choruses reveal Verdi at the moment of his death, weighing fragments of his life, telling the story of the opera Lear which he never finished, and exploring the universal pains and joys of the aging process. Acclaimed conductor/composer/pianist Paul Leavitt and eight opera singers distill this music to its fiery spiritual core. Steven Scott Mazzola directs this world-premiere piece written by In Series Artistic Director Timothy Nelson. With designs by Jonathan Dahm Robertson (Scenic), Marianne Meadows (Lighting), and Maria Bissex (Costumes).

Starring Helen Hayes Award Winner, Nanna Ingvarsson as Verdi/Lear.

The Ensemble includes:
Teresa Ferrara
Natalie Conte
Anamer Castrello
Elizabeth Mondragon
Peter Burroughs
Brian Arreola
John T.K. Scherch
Bryan Jackson

Sung in Latin & English with English dialogue.

VENUE
Source Theatre
1835 14th Street NW – Washington DC 20009
U Street-Cardozo Metro (Green line)
Street & Garage parking available
http://www.sourcedc.org

TICKETS
General: $45
Seniors (65+): $40
Young Professional: $25
Students: $20

If you’ve tuned in lately to a non-symphony or Met broadcast and you’ve heard a voice you didn’t recognize, it is likely that you heard me. I’m John T.K. Scherch, the new guy, the freshman, or whichever other nickname(s) my colleagues or our dear listeners decide to give me. I also understand I’m the first new voice on the air in 20 years. However you’d like to refer to it, I’m ecstatic to be part of this radio station. If you question this due to my lack of exclamation points, you and my partner can have a conversation about how I’m not fazed by anything. It just hasn’t fazed me yet.

I got my start in radio at WWVU-FM, or as everyone refers to it, U92, the college radio station at West Virginia University and the national college radio station of the year for the past two years running (as of 2017). I directed the heavy metal program for three years and the classical program for two years, which I’m particularly proud of as I brought the show out of its previous hangover time slot into weekend primetime and got the WVU School of Music to allow us to broadcast student recitals.

Read more…

I appear in Bel Cantanti’s production of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sadko, in its second U.S. performance and first in the original Russian.

Sunday, March 18, at 3:00pm
Friday, March 23, at 7:30pm
Sunday, March 25, at 3:00pm
Randolph Rd. Theater (4010 Randolph Rd. Silver Spring, MD)

Tickets are sold online through http://www.eventbrite.com and at the door.
Information: (240)230-7372 or tickets@belcantanti.com
Go to Eventbrite Adult: $40, Senior: $35, Student: $15. Groups of 10 and more: $30.