Bio

Critically acclaimed baritone and actor John Payonk has appeared in over 100 roles in opera, operetta and musical theater and theater throughout the U.S & abroad during his nearly three decades on the stage. John has sung such varied roles as Germont in La Traviata, Scarpia in Tosca, Tonio & Canio in I Pagliacci, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Bartolo in The Barber of Seville, Frank in Die Fledermaus, Tony in The Most Happy Fella, Old Deuteronomy in Cats, Captain E.J. Smith in Titanic, Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, Professor Callahan in Legally Blonde The Musical and the title roles in Rigoletto, Don Pasquale, Gianni Schicci and Falstaff. John’s performances have been enjoyed from the stages of The Hall of Composers in St. Petersburg, Russia with the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Goodspeed Opera House, Light Opera Works, Chicago Opera Theater, Pamiro Opera, Fargo-Morehead Civic Opera, L’Opera Piccola, Chamber Opera Chicago, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Virginia Musical Theater, Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park, Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse, Theater at The Center, Derby Dinner Playhouse, Carousel Dinner Theater and many others. His performance of Tevye in Light Opera Works’ production of Fiddler on the Roof earned John the prestigious After Dark Award for Outstanding Performance in a Lead Role. Of his performance, Chris Jones of The Chicago Tribune remarked “Payonk’s Tevye is superbly sung, richly textured and highly satisfying”.