John (Ioannis, Philippos) Modinos

Soloist, Baritone
He was born in Omodos, Cyprus, 26/05/1927. He studied violin and piano with Solon Michaelides and Byzantine music with K. Panagides. Initially, he directed choirs and sang in Orthodox churches. In 1948 he went to America to study voice at the Manhattan School of Music. In 1956, after winning a competition, he made his debut at the New York City Central Opera as Morales in Carmen, thereafter appearing in La traviata in 1957 alongside Beverly Sills. In 1961, he was awarded in the competitions "The American Opera Auditions" (USA) and Vercelli Concours (Italy). This recognitions were followed by successful performances in American opera houses. He was distinguished in Europe, performing leading baritone roles in productions in Milan (Il Barbiere di Siviglia]), Florence (Tosca), Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Munich, Prague, Brno, London, Basel, Geneva and the Glyndebourne Festival. During the years 1963-1973 he was a member of the Zurich Opera. He sang leading roles in several productions alongside prominent opera singers. He interpreted mostly dramatic roles of Italian operas, but also works by Wagner and composers of the 20th century. A key to his successful career was his interpretation of the title role in the opera Rigoletto. During the three-year period 1976-1979 he taught soloists at the University of Bremen. In Greece , he first performed in operas at the Athens Festival: Nausicaa by Peggy Glanville-Hicks (1961), Constantine Palaeologos [Konstantinos Palaiologos] by Kalomoiris and Nabucco (1962). Between 1961 and 1983 he interpreted regularly at the Greek National Opera performing leading baritone roles in the operas: Pagliacci, Rigoletto, Simon Boccanegra, Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Les pêcheurs de perles, La traviata, Il trovatore, Tannhäuser, etc. During 1980-1982 he was artistic director of the Greek National Opera.