Hailed by Opera News as “the very picture of youthful optimism and potential,” John Kaneklides’ “tenor voice cuts through all others with its richness and warmth” (Broadway World). Son of a music teacher, the North Carolina-born singer grew up performing throughout the Charlotte area. After five years in finance, he decided to return to his musical roots and pursue a professional singing career. In the 2017-18 season Mr. Kaneklides reprised three of his now-signature roles, Alfredo in La traviata, the title role in Les contes d’Hoffmann, and Rodolfo in La bohème. He also joined Gulfshore Opera as a Professional Artist-In-Residence where he was featured as The Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, Camille in The Merry Widow, and the title role in Faust in concerts throughout the region. For his debut in Les contes d’Hoffmann with St. Petersburg Opera, The Tampa Bay Times said, “[he] makes for a mesmerizing lead as the poet Hoffmann, equipped with matinee idol looks and an electric sound that continues to surprise.”
This season he also premiered a new English translation of the operatic classic The Tales of Hoffmann, performing the tile role
with Skylight Music Theatre. Critics hailed his performance as “breathtakingly sublime” (Broadway World) and proclaimed, “his warm tenor fills the theater with both the giddiness of new love and its tragic loss, desperation and despair” (On Milwaukee). Known for his English language interpretation of opera and new works, he created the double role of The Guide turned Narciso Borgia in the world première of Harold Blumenfeld’s Borgia Infami with Winter Opera St. Louis. His performance was lauded as “remarkably strong and clear…no need to glance at the supertitles when this man is singing.” John Kaneklides has portrayed Laurie in Mark Adamo’s Little Women, Micah in Carlisle Floyd’s Slow Dusk, and Villers, Duke of Buckingham in the New York première of Floyd’s newest work, Prince of Players. His performances were “totally convincing and [he] delivered a fine aria in which every word, enunciated in a plummy English accent, was understandable” (Voce Di Meche). Equally comfortable in operetta and musical theatre, he has performed roles ranging from Gilbert & Sullivan’s Ralph Rackstraw in H.M.S. Pinafore and Nanki-Poo in The Mikado to Henrik in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music and Lt. Joseph Cable in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. Broadway World exclaimed,
“John Kaneklides is sensation, one of the best interpretations of the part [of Lt. Cable] I have ever seen. Tall and good-looking…Kaneklides makes us care for Cable and undertand his plight… whenever he sings, his glorious voice makes the audience melt.”
His other repertoire includes Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Jeník in The Bartered Bride, Nemorino in L’elisire d’amore, Fenton in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Cassio in Otello, Pong in Turandot, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, and tenor soloist in oratorio standards such as Mendelssohn’s’ Elijah and Handel’s Messiah. Additionally, he was recently the tenor soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana with The Florida Orchestra.
Mr. Kaneklides has participated in the young artist programs of Bel Canto at Caramoor and Opera North. He is an award-winner, receiving honors from several prestigious vocal competitions, such as The International Liederkranz Foundation Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Arkansas & South Carolina District, The Orpheus National Competition, The Opera Guild of Charlotte Competition, and The Nico Castel International Master Singer Competition.