Ryan McKinny, bass-baritone

One of the finest singers of his generation

American bass-baritone Ryan McKinny is “one of the finest singers of his generation” (Opera News) and has become known for his “powerful presence” (The Independent) and a “voice that drips with gold” (Opera News). McKinny has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, Dutch National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Washington National Opera, English National Opera, Teatro Colòn in Buenos Aires, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Houston Grand Opera, to name a few. He has performed roles such as the title character in Don Giovanni, Kurwenal and Melot in Tristan und Isolde, Count Almaviva and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Escamillo in Carmen, Billy Bigelow in Carousel and the title role in Rigoletto, among many others. On the concert stage, McKinny sang the world premiere of Shostakovich’s uncompleted opera Orango with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which he reprised with the London Philharmonia. He has also been heard with the San Francisco Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and at the Aspen Music Festival.

While a student at The Juilliard School, McKinny made his Carnegie Hall debut in Handel’s Messiah with the Musica Sacra Orchestra. He was the first recipient of the Birgit Nilsson Prize for singing Wagner at the Operalia Competition held at Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Kirsten Flagstad/George London Award from the George London Foundation. McKinny also represented the U.S. in the 2007 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, where he was a finalist in the Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize. He was a Grand Finalist in the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and is featured in the film The Audition, released by Decca on DVD.

Kathleen Kelly, pianist and conductor

For this engagement, McKinny will perform with pianist and conductor Kathleen Kelly. Kelly’s repertoire and projects are wide-ranging and diverse. From Mozart to commissioned works by her peers, she is both deeply experienced in the classical vocal canon and engaged in new creation. The 2021–22 season finds her on recital stages in Washington, D.C., Lawrence, Louisville and Cincinnati; on the podium leading a world-premiere opera in Charlottesville; judging competitions in Lexington and New York City; and immersed in teaching residencies in Wichita, Fort Worth, Washington, D.C. and Houston. Most notably, Kelly was featured alongside co-librettist and soprano Jennifer Cresswell in the filmed opera Interstate, composed by Kamala Sankaram and produced by Minnesota Opera and Helio Arts.

The program will include works by Robert and Clara Schumann, Claude Debussy, Poldowski, Mathilde von Kralik, Gustav Mahler, Florence Price, Kurt Weill, Jacob Collier and Rhiannon Giddens.

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