|Year of Birth:||1921|
|Year of Death:||2008|
John van Kesteren (May 4, 1921 in The Hague – July 11, 2008 in Jupiter, Florida) was a Dutch operatic tenor.
Van Kesteren first worked as an electronic telex specialist for the Dutch Telegraph Company PTT. His very first appearance as a non-professional singer was in 1942 with an operetta company in Apeldoorn in the French operetta The Bells of Corneville. During World War II he appeared in five French and German operettas. From 1946 on he studied at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague with the bass Willem Ravelli. He went on to study with Prof. Dr. Lothar Wallerstein of the Vienna State Opera.
He made his operatic debut in 1947 in Scheveningen, the Netherlands with the ensemble of Vienna State Opera as the Italian singer in Der Rosenkavalier, a production with Anni Konetzni, Fritz Krenn and Hilde Güden. In 1949, he got another unique chance when world-famous conductor Erich Kleiber asked him to audition for the roles of the young sailor and Melot in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, in a production by the Wagner Society in Amsterdam, once again, directed by Lothar Wallerstein. His partners were Kirsten Flagstad, Max Lorenz and Hans Hotter. In 1947, his concert career started in Switzerland in Beethoven's Missa Solemnis under the direction of Charles Münch.
After completing his studies with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and Vera Schwarz in Salzburg, Van Kesteren was invited in 1954 to Berlin's Komische Oper to sing Nurreddin in Cornelius's The Barber of Baghdad under the direction of Walter Felsenstein and to sing the title role in the first performance in Germany of Rossini's Le comte Ory under the direction of Carl Ebert at the Stadtische Oper in 1956. In 1959 he moved to Munich at the invitation of both the German National Theatre and the Theater am Gartnerplaz, where he remained for seventeen years singing 33 opera's and operettas.