Morrell was born in New York City. At the age of 8, his family moved to Estepona in southern Spain to run the Iberia International School. His mother, an actress/singer who had performed the role of the reporter in the original run of Damn Yankees on Broadway, was the head of the school's music program and his first teacher.
Jon Morrell started studying voice at an early age, and made his first stage appearance as Beppino in Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci. It was not until later that his voice developed into a heldentenor, first under the guidance of the American Wagnerian Soprano Roberta Knie, and later with the teacher Bill Schuman. Morrell made his professional debut as Siegmund in Die Walkure with the Ithaca Opera.
The diagnosis of his son with autism led to a hiatus from performing in opera, and
Morrell became a stay at home dad to help raise his family. His return to opera was
in 2009 as Otello/Gedick in the world premiere of Carlo Pedini's opera Jago at the
Teatro degli Avvaloranti in Citta Della Pieve, learning the complex and demanding
role in just 10 days. This led to other important role debuts: The title Role of
Peter Grimes with One World Symphony (USA), Siegmund in Die Walkure with Fulham Opera
(UK) and Tristan with the Northern Wagner Orchestra (UK). Morrell's debut with St.
Petersburg Opera (USA) earned him critical acclaim for his portrayal of Samson in
The United Kingdom
Morrell is a member of the Concordia Foundation in London, which gave him his first professional performances in the UK. Under their auspices, Morrell performed in Handel's Messiah at St. Paul's, and as Candide in excerpts from Bernstein's Candide at Queen Elizabeth Hall, under conductor Rebecca Miller. He has since been heard in Schubert's Winterreise at St John's Smith Square, and again in Oxford with acclaimed conductor Anthony Negus accompanying; the Woodhouse Cops Festival in Surrey, and soloist for Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder. Morrell has performed Siegmund in Die Walkure and the title roles of Parsifal and Otello with Fulham opera, and Tristan with the Northern Wagner Orchestra.
In recent years Morrell has been widely praised by critics, not only for his voice but for the intensity and artistry he brings to his roles.
(Ode for St Cecelia' day -
'To top it all was the magnificent signing of tenor Jon Morrell...Morrell brought dramatic thrust and sheer lyric point to his singing. Dynamite to 'The Trumpets Loud Clangor' and excitement to 'Sharp Violins Proclaim'. His is the only way to sing Handel, but rare these days.'
Jon Morrell is a splendid tenor of brilliant voice and impressive art. He brought brilliant coloratura to 'Crude Furie' from Handel's Serse, and sweeping expression to 'Pastorello d'un povero armento' from Rodelinda.
'As Samson, the imposing Jon Morrell manages the difficult trick of conveying both strength and vulnerability; whether fighting his attraction to Dalila or when blinded and shackled in defeat, his powerful tenor is laced with pain.'
—Creative Loafing Tampa
'The tenor's powerful part in the third act follows an enthralling Act 2. Morrell was in good voice, big and full with admirably clear French...The tenor saved his best for last, with a powerful, perfectly pitched Vois ma misere ("See my misery") in Act 3 when Samson was shorn of his mane, blinded and shackled.'
—Tampa Bay Times