Artist Spotlight: John Riesen

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
Classical tenor John Riesen recorded "Christmas at Home" with his wife Gillian Riesen and their friend pianist Neill Campbell.

A weekly feature showcasing local artists

Name: John Riesen

Sound: Classical tenor

On Stage: Local theater fans may have seen Riesen last season in the Michigan Opera Theater's production of "Sweeny Todd." He has upcoming roles with in "H.M.S. Pinafore" with the Pensacola Opera and "Pirates of Penzance" with the Utah Opera. He's also expected to make his Carnegie Hall debut as tenor soloist in "Messiah" with Musica Sacra in 2021. 

Home for the holidays: While spending most of the year at home in Metro Detroit due to the pandemic, Riesen made the most of it by recording a Christmas album with his wife, fellow performer Gillian Riesen. Joined by pianist Neill Campbell, they've recorded and released "Christmas at Home," a collection of classics in the style of Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, and Michael Bublé, kicking off with "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." Listen to "Christmas at Home" on Spotify (where they had 20,000 streams in the first two weeks), Apple Music, or via Risen's website at

Melody Baetens