John Burt Polhamus is a native San Diegan Lyric/Kavalier baritone. Born in 1963, John trained in the studio of Robert H. Farris, and has performed internationally in opera, musical theater and recital, spending ten years living in London, England, ranging as far afield as Tokoyo, Japan. After a lengthy professional career, in 2009 John completed his Bachellor of Music degree at San Diego State University, where he also studied with Jane Westbrook and Pauline Tweed.
John has had a wide ranging repertoire, encompassing operatic roles such as "Marcello" in La Boheme, "Silvio" in Pagliacci, and "Guglielmo" in Cosi fan tutti; roles in Gilbert and Sullivan, including work with the D'oyly Carte opera company in London; and soloist work in Oratorio including both bass roles in Haydn's "Creation", Handel's "Messiah", the Bach "B minor Mass", Handel's "Theodora", and the Bach "St. John Passion."
John has specialized for some time in early music, especially Gregorian Chant, and he continues to direct the Chorus Breviaii San Diego chant schola. John is also in his first season as the conductor of the La Jolla Renaissance Singers.
John is a passionate San Diegan, and particularly seeks to build up the musical community in his native city. He has been honored to perform with most of the major arts institutions in San Diego during the past thirty years, including the San Diego Symphony, the San Diego Opera, Orchestra Nova, The San Diego Gilbert and Sullivan Repertory Company, Pro Musica San Diego, the Bach Collegium San Diego, the San Diego Civic Light Opera Association, and for many of the fine church choirs which bless our city. For these experiences and associations, he remains ever grateful.