Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson


  • B.S. in Music, Southern Nazarene University - emphases in piano and voice
  • M.M. in Voice Performance, University of Oklahoma
  • D.M.A. in Vocal Arts, University of Southern California secondary fields - music history, voice science, church & choral music


Teaching areas:
voice, diction, music history

Courses taught:
Applied Voice, Diction, Music History, Introduction to Music

Musical Involvements:
Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions
- District winner 2001
OperaWorks Summer Intensive Program
- Participant 2001
Carmel Concert Series Vocal Competition
- Finalist 2001
Most Outstanding D. M. A. Vocal Arts Graduate
- U. S. C. 2000
Léni Fé Bland Performance Grant 1999
Nunzio Crisci Opera Competition
- Most Outstanding Male Singer

About the Artist:

John Craig Johnson, baritone, has been praised internationally by Opera News as a distinguished voice of "solid technical facility and impressive, rich, singing."  He has performed forty operatic roles on stage, and the Los Angeles Times has called him “a very appealing bass” and a singer that “handled roles with honor and conviction.” He has sung principal roles with Los Angeles Opera (in the world premier of Nathan Wang’s On Gold Mountain in the inaugural Voices of California project), Long Beach Opera, Orange County Opera, Opera de Tijuana, and the San Bernardino, Bakersfield, and Palisades Symphonies.  He has been heralded as "the star of the evening . . . deliciously comic and richly sung" by the Pasadena Star for his Papageno in Die Zauberflöte. 

Mr. Johnson’s extensive concert and recital performances include live radio broadcasts as the bass soloist for the Angeles Master Chorale’s St. John Passion by J. S. Bach; Karl Nielsen’s Sinfonia espansiva with USC Symphony; and “Sundays Live” performances of Brahms’s Liebeslieder Waltzes and Beethoven Lieder at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  He was the bass soloist for Los Angeles Bach Festival’s Matthäus-Passion and has appeared throughout southern California as the soloist in Carmina burana, Messiah, Fauré’s Requiem, Vaughan-Williams’s Dona nobis pacem and Fantasia on Christmas Carols, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Mr. Johnson has given recitals at the Wilshire-Ebell Theater, Zipper Hall at the Colburn School, and the Crystal Cathedral, where he served as bass soloist for seven years.

He is the recipient of many awards and holds a doctorate in vocal arts from the University of Southern California where he was honored as the outstanding DMA vocal arts graduate of the year. Mr. Johnson is an alumnus of OperaWorks and continues to sing with the organization in special events.  Several of his voice students have also completed the OperaWorks summer intensive training.  At the National Classical Singer Convention, he has collaborated with OperaWorks’ founder and director, Ann Baltz, in an opera improvisation workshop.

Mr. Johnson maintains a very active role as a voice teacher and promoter of young singers. He has taught at the University of Southern California, Azusa Pacific University, Mt. San Antonio College, and La Sierra University, where he served as Director of Vocal Studies.  At Point Loma Nazarene University he teaches voice, diction (English, Italian, German, and French) and is the faculty adviser for Point Loma Opera Theatre and the Point Loma Musical Theater Club.   He teaches voice students who are pursuing or currently engaged in professional careers singing opera, pop, rock, and musical theater. His students are frequent winners of competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Since 2005, his students have garnered eight of the nine awards given to undergraduate students by the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, San Diego as well two first place prizes.  His students are engaged as professional singers on the local, regional, national, and international levels. He resides in San Diego with his wife Tami, and their three children.

A partial roster of Dr. Johnson’s students includes:

Bryan Bangerter, tenor (pop, indie, rock) - Website
Randall Bills, tenor  - Website
Abdiel Gonzalez, baritone - Website
Amanda Hall, soprano - Website
Elisa Jordan, soprano - Website
Cameron Lewis, tenor (pop, indie) - Website
Calen Lucas, baritone (rock) - Website
Jovani McCleary, baritone (musical theater) - Website
Jordan Miller, tenor (musical theater/opera) - Website
Alexandra Rodrick, mezzo-soprano - Website
Christian Sanders, tenor - Website
Nicholas Shelton, bass - Website
Francesca Sola, soprano - Website
Natalie Wachen, mezzo-soprano (musical theater) - Website
Cara Bell, soprano
Vlad Bgatov, baritone
Dolly Brafford, mezzo-soprano
Bethany Brautigam, soprano
Sam Bravo, baritone
Katie Bunker, mezzo-soprano
Leandro Coelho, tenor
Phil Dannels, baritone
Megan DeBoard, mezzo-soprano
Nathan Hatley, tenor
Jackie Hayes, contralto
Cora Herkules, mezzo-soprano
Josh Hong, bass
Christen Horne, soprano
Jaycob Hunter, tenor
Charlie Kim, tenor
Matthew Long, tenor
Jamie Mellert, mezzo-soprano
Jeremy Morada, baritone
Jarel Paguio, baritone
Kendall Richardson Lucas, soprano
Brendan McClenahan, tenor
Vanessa Nelson, mezzo-soprano
Kathryn O’Gorman, mezzo-soprano
Rosa Ramirez, soprano
Kelsy Richardson, soprano
Erik Rubalcava, baritone
Tyler Sanders, tenor
Jaimie Jean Shaw, mezz-soprano
Kimberly Sogioka, mezzo-soprano
Austin Thompson, bass-baritone
Genie Tjahjadi, mezzo-soprano -
Megan Vail, soprano - 
Steven Vail, tenor
Anthony Whitson-Martini, baritone - Website
Karin Wilcox, mezzo-soprano

Performance Reviews:

“A distinguished voice that stood out for its solid technical facility, Craig Johnson (an Archer) offered impressive, rich bass tones.”
Opera News  Vol  64, No 4 - Robert Pragg on Long Beach Opera’s production of Charpentier’s The Imaginary Invalid

"The star of the evening, certainly by the audience’s account, was John Craig Johnson whose Papageno was deliciously comic and richly sung.” 
Pasadena Star, Oct 22, 1999 -  John Farrell on Pasadena Lyric Opera’s production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte

“Craig Johnson revealed a very appealing bass.”
Los Angeles Times, March 21, 2000 -  John Henken on L.A. Bach Festival’s St. Matthew Passion

“John Craig Johnson . . . handled small roles with honor and conviction.”
Los Angeles Times, June 10, 2000 -  John Henken on LA Opera’s production of Nathan Wang’s On Gold Mountain

“Fine work from bass Craig Johnson wove in and out of the chorus.  Johnson’s triumphant second movement statement ‘God Is Not Dead’ came across with reassuring vocal depth and texture.”
Riverside Press-Enterprise -  Sherli Leonard on Riverside Master Chorale’s West Coast premiere of Michael Cox’s Deo Gratias