American baritone John Chest, winner of the prestigious 2010 Stella Maris International Vocal Competition and the Arleen Auger Prize in the 2012 Hertogenbosch International Vocal Competition, is on the verge of a major operatic career.

Chest has held apprenticeships with the Santa Fe Opera and the Chicago Opera Theatre, and took part in the prestigious Merola Opera Programme. He is a recent graduate of the Opera Studio at the Bayerische Staatsoper, where he sang over eighty performances including Fiorello Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Schaunard La Bohème, Lovec Rusalka, Petrucci Lucrezia Borgia, Carmen with Jonas Kaufmann, La Bohème with Anja Harteros, and Lucrezia Borgia with Edita Gruberova. Other past roles include Dandini La Cenerentola, Guglielmo Così fan tutte and Il Conte Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro. Equally passionate about art song, Chest is a frequent recitalist and last season also saw his first performance of Die Schöne Müllerin.

Highlights of the 2011/12 season included Chest’s role debut as Ned Keene in a new production of Peter Grimes at the Norwegian Opera, Il Conte Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro for the Nationale Reisopera and, at the end of the season, Nardo La finta giardiniera at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. Engagements this season include Masetto Don Giovanni in Bari, a recital at the Wigmore Hall and revivals of La finta giardiniera in Morocco and in Luxembourg. In the 2013/14 season he will take up a Fest contract with Deutsche Oper Berlin, the highlight of which will be his debut in the title role of Billy Budd in a new production by David Alden.

Chest holds a master’s degree in music from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, where he studied with David Holloway.