Manager: Damon Bristo
Management Territory: Worldwide
“During Friday's opening performance, Ryan McKinny's deep, resonant tones and bursts of power made Rigoletto's inner darkness hit home without theatrical gimmicks. Despite being a bass-baritone, McKinny reinforced Rigoletto's fury by singing the notes, unwritten by Verdi, that high baritones usually add; their punch got the message across. When Rigoletto faced tormenting courtiers, McKinny's acid-tinged delivery demonstrated how words were Rigoletto's weapon of choice. But when Rigoletto was with Gilda, McKinny sang with a breadth and sonorousness that revealed the loving side Rigoletto kept hidden from the world.” Steven Brown, Houston Chronicle, January 26, 2014 - Title role in 'Rigoletto' at Houston Grand Opera
“Ryan McKinny has served notice that he is poised to be the Heldenbariton of choice...” James Sohre, Opera Today, August 13, 2013 - The Dutchman in 'Der fliegende Holländer' at the Glimmerglass Festival
“However, the production boasted an excellent Dutchman, Ryan McKinny, whose rich bass-baritone and imposing presence brought unusually human, sexy and even pitiable depths to this cursed ship's captain who is endlessly seeking a woman to redeem him.” Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal, August 14, 2013 - The Dutchman in 'Der fliegende Holländer' at the Glimmerglass Festival
American bass-baritone Ryan McKinny has been praised for his “elegant and articulate” vocalism (OC Register), as well as a powerful voice that “drips with gold.” (Opera News)
In the 2013 – 2014 season, Ryan McKinny returns to Houston Grand Opera for his role debut as the title role in Verdi’s Rigoletto and to the Metropolitan Opera as Theseus in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream under James Conlon. He will also be seen as Escamillo in Carmen and Donner in Das Rheingold, both at Houston Grand Opera. In concert . . . , he will be heard in Britten’s War Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop, as well as in recital at Wolf Trap and Arizona Opera. Mr. McKinny will return to Los Angeles Opera as Stanley Kowalski to Renée Fleming’s Blanche DuBois in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire. Future seasons will see him at the Metropolitan Opera, Bayreuth Festival, Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Washington National Opera, Canadian Opera Company, English National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Mr. McKinny made a major role debut as Kurwenal in Christof Loy’s production of Tristan und Isolde alongside Ben Heppner and Nina Stemme at Houston Grand Opera in the 2012 – 2013 season. He also debuted at Theater Basel as Nathanael in the world premiere Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini’s Der Sandmann in a production by Christof Loy, the Canadian Opera Company as Melot in Peter Sellars’s production of Tristan und Isolde under Johannes Debus, and Palm Beach Opera as Jochanaan in Salome. Mr. McKinny sang his first production of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer as the Dutchman in a new Francesca Zambello production at the Glimmerglass Festival to sensational audience and critical acclaim. On the concert stage, he reprised his role of the Entertainer in Shostakovich’s Orango with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the London Philharmonia.
In recent seasons, Mr. McKinny made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Lieutenant Ratcliffe in Billy Budd, his role debut as Jochanaan in Salome at New Orleans Opera and was also a member of the ensemble at the Deutsche Oper Berlin where his roles included Peter in Hänsel und Gretel, Escamillo in Carmen, Un Frate in a new production of Don Carlo under Donald Runnicles, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and as bass soloist in a staged version of Verdi’s Messa da requiem. Mr. McKinny debuted at the English National Opera as Tiridate in David Alden’s production of Radamisto to great acclaim. He also debuted at Semperoper Dresden and Hamburg State Opera as Escamillo in Carmen, and Deutsche Oper am Rhein for his role debut as Amfortas in Parsifal. He was seen at Houston Grand Opera as the Herald in Lohengrin conducted by Patrick Summers, then at Los Angeles Opera in two new roles: Leone in Handel’s Tamerlano with Plácido Domingo and Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia. In the spring of 2010, Mr. McKinny made his European operatic debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Escamillo in Carmen, as well as Hercules in Peter Konwitschny’s new production of Alceste for Oper Leipzig.
On the concert stage, Mr. McKinny recently sang the world premiere of Shostakovich’s uncompleted opera Orango under Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic with stage direction by Peter Sellars. He has also been heard with the Cleveland Orchestra and National Symphony in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9; Rossini’s Stabat Mater at the Grant Park Music Festival; Monterone in Rigoletto and Zuniga in Carmen with the LA Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel at the Hollywood Bowl; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”) at the Aspen Music Festival with Robert Spano. He has also performed the bass-baritone roles in Oedipus Rex for his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas and the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen in his final concerts as music director with staging by Peter Sellars. Mr. McKinny was heard in a special recital of Schubert’s Die Winterreise during the Sydney Festival, which was broadcast on ABC, Australia’s public radio and has been heard at the Aspen Music Festival for a recital recreated on a program originally performed by Jerome Hines in June 1949.
An alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Mr. McKinny has performed a number of roles on the mainstage, including Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Ramfis in Aida, Peter in Hänsel und Gretel, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Zuniga in Carmen, Don Pedro in Béatrice et Bénédict, Theseus in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Sam in Un ballo in maschera, Flint in Billy Budd, and Pietro in Simon Boccanegra. At the Wolf Trap Opera Company, Mr. McKinny has sung Barone di Kelbar in Verdi’s Un giorno di regno, Le Gouverneur in Rossini’s Le comte Ory and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro.
While a student at the Juilliard School, Mr. McKinny made his Carnegie Hall debut in Handel’s Messiah with the Musica Sacra Orchestra. At the Aspen Music Festival, he sang his first performance of Winterreise accompanied on the piano by Richard Bado. He has also been heard as soloist in the Mozart, Brahms, and Fauré Requiems as well as Vaughan Williams’s Dona nobis pacem. Additionally, he sang the world premiere of Henrik Strindberg’s I Thought Someone Came By at New York’s Alice Tully Hall.
Mr. McKinny was the first recipient of the Birgit Nilsson Prize for singing Wagner at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition held at Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Kirsten Flagstad/George London Award from the George London Foundation. He also represented the United States 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
(Updated February 2014)