American baritone, John. E. Orduña is quickly gaining recognition as a singing actor of great versatility, impressing with a voice “rich and powerful top to bottom” (Peninsula Reviews) in a repertoire that spans the sacred oratorios of Bach and Handel to comic roles by Prokofiev and Verdi.

Mr. Orduña commenced 2014 with North Carolina Opera, debuting as Schaunard in La Bohème. Following a hometown debut with Opera Omaha as Dancaïre in Carmen in November 2013, he premiered the role of the Donkey in Jeanine Tesori and J.D. McClatchy’s holiday opera, The Lion, the Unicorn and Me, for his Washington National Opera debut. Of his performance, The Baltimore Sun wrote, "John Orduña shines in this role, using his warm baritone to communicate humor and tenderness in equal measure." Directed by Francesca Zambello, this acclaimed production marked his first principal role with a major company.

Summer of 2013 saw Mr. Orduña in the Glimmerglass Festival's Young Artists Program. As a member of the company, he covered the role of La Rocca in the English-language production of Verdi’s first comedy, A King for a Day, directed by Christian Räth and conducted by Joseph Colaneri. He debuted with Sarasota Opera as a studio artist for their Winter 2013 season, covering the role of Slim in Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men and performing scenes from Verdi’s Falstaff.

With the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Mr. Orduña has performed the bass and baritone solos in Bach’s Mass in A Major and Händel’s Messiah. He has also appeared as a soloist with the Richmond Orchestra in Carmina Burana, Ensemble Monterey Chamber Orchestra in Britten’s War Requiem, and the Cincinnati May Festival in Bach's St. Matthew Passion.

Mr. Orduña holds a Bachelor’s of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, a Master’s of Music from Florida State University and a Performers Diploma from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

- Steven Jude Tietjen (operaturgy.com) Download Bio


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  • Schaunard, "La Bohème", North Carolina Opera, 2014
  • Donkey, "The Lion, the Unicorn and Me", Washington National Opera, 2013
  • Dancaïre, "Carmen", Opera Omaha, 2013
  • La Rocca (cover), "King For a Day", Glimmerglass Festival, 2013
  • Slim (cover), "Of Mice and Men", Sarasota Opera, 2013
  • Figaro, "Il Barbiere di Siviglia", Indiana University Opera Theater, 2010
  • Il Re (cover), "Ariodante", The Princeton Festival, 2010
  • Mercutio, "Romeo et Juliette", Indiana University Opera Theater, 2009
  • Pantalone, "The Love for Three Oranges", Indiana University Opera Theater, 2008
  • Pooh-Bah, "The Mikado", Florida State Opera, 2008
  • Marcello, "La Bohème", Florida State Opera, 2007

Partial Roles

  • Ford, "Falstaff", Sarasota Opera Concert Series, 2013
  • Rodrigo, "Don Carlo", Indiana University Scenes Program, 2011
  • Hamlet, "Hamlet", Indiana University Scenes Program, 2011
  • Mr. Kopfner, "The Consul", Indiana University Scenes Program, 2011

Concert and Oratorio

  • "B Minor Mass" (Bach) (upcoming), Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, 2014
  • "War Requiem" (Britten), Ensemble Monterey Chamber Orchestra, 2013
  • "Mass in A" (Bach), Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, 2012
  • "Messiah" (Händel), Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, 2012
  • "Carmina Burana" (Orff), Richmond Symphony Orchestra, 2011
  • "St. Matthew Passion" (Bach), Cincinnati May Festival, 2010

Suggested Repertoire

  • Belcore, L’Elisir d’amore
  • Ford, Falstaff
  • Sid, Albert Herring
  • John Proctor, The Crucible
  • Belshazzar’s Fest (Walton)
  • Ein Deutsches Requiem (Brahms)

Awards and Recognition

  • Upper Midwest Regional Finalist Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, 2012
  • 3rd Place Award Leontyne Price Emerging Artists Competition, 2004

Education and Training

  • The Glimmerglass Festival, Young Artist, 2013
  • Sarasota Opera, Studio Artist, 2013
  • Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Performer’s Diploma, 2010
  • Florida State University College of Music, M.M. Performance, 2008
  • Oberlin Conservatory of Music, B.M. Performance, 2006


  • Robert Harrison
  • Stanford Olsen
  • Lorraine Manz
  • Richard Miller


  • Davis Hart
  • Richard Cordova
  • Michael Heaston
  • Carol Vaness


  • Douglas Fisher
  • Robert Porco
  • Victor Derenzi
  • Hal France


  • Matthew Lata
  • Francesca Zambello
  • Lillian Groag
  • Nicholas Muni

Orduña…flattered ones’s ears both in rotund and robust usage and when it shifted into caressing falsetto.

Peter Jacobi
Bloomington Herald Times
IU JSoM Carmina Burana
April 2012


Orduña’s voice was rich and powerful from top to bottom…ideally suited for the many challenges posed by such a complex score and demanding vocal part.

Peter Tuff
Peninsula Reviews
Ensemble Monterey Chamber Orchestra Britten War Requiem
April 2013


Baritone John Orduña as the donkey is endearing, and that voice leads me to believe that this young singer has a very promising career ahead of him.

Elliot Lanes
Maryland Theater Guide
Washington National Opera The Lion, the Unicorn and Me
December 2013


John Orduña shines in this role, using his warm baritone to communicate humor and tenderness in equal measure.

Tim Smith
The Baltimore Sun
Washington National Opera The Lion, the Unicorn and Me
December 2013


Orduña’s voice is a thing of glory in and of itself, but I appreciated that he seemed to authentically connect emotionally with the music and not simply use it as a platform to show off his impeccable technique and nothing more.

Jennifer Perry
Broadway World
Washington National Opera The Lion, the Unicorn and Me
December 2013


John Orduña’s account of Schaunard was genuinely funny. His high spirits were infectious and the warm glow of his voice shone in every scene in which he appeared.

Joseph Newsome
North Carolina Opera La Boheme
January 2014


With his warm, supple baritone and winning characterization, John Orduna was a stand-out as the Donkey.

Tim Smith
Opera News

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