John Elam


Opera Institute

Dr. John Elam has worked at opera houses and served on music staffs all over the country, including San Francisco Opera, Michigan Opera, Opera Memphis, Baltimore Concert Opera, Opera Delaware, and Austin Opera.  Recent performances and engagements include Everest at Austin Opera, along with recitals of Wolf’s complete Italienisches Liederbuch and Schubert’s song cycle Die Winterreise.  After spending a summer at the Merola Opera Program, Dr. Elam was awarded the prestigious Adler Fellowship with San Francisco Opera.  During his time there, he served on music staff for La Traviata, Pagliacci, and the West Coast premiere of Jake Heggie’s It’s a Wonderful Life.  He has served as assistant conductor and chorus master for productions of La Traviata, Hansel und Gretel, Eugene Onegin, La Cenerentola, Ravel’s L’heure Espagnol, Philip Glass’s Hydrogen Jukebox, and Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsberg.  He has also been the official pianist for Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions in the Detroit and Memphis districts.

In demand as a chamber musician, Dr. Elam has performed in the United States, Canada, and Europe.  He made his Kennedy Center debut in 2012 and has performed at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, Bass Performance Hall, Meyerson Symphony Center, Michigan Opera House, and Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor.

Dr. Elam received his MM and DMA in collaborative piano at the University of Michigan, as a student of Martin Katz. He received his BM and MM degrees in solo piano performance from Baylor University.