Baritone

Simon Keenlyside

Simon is one of the world’s most sought after and charismatic singers, noted for his versatility and highly charged performances on stage.

© Robert Workman

Introduction

Simon’s 2016/17 plans include Don Giovanni at the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera and Bilbao Opera; Count Almaviva at Teatro alla Scala Milan; the roles of Macbeth and Golaud (Pelleas et Mélisande) at the Vienna State Opera; as well as Adès’ Totentanz with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and RTE National Symphony Orchestra under the composer’s baton. In recital, he will appear in Barcelona, Zurich and London with Malcolm Martineau; in the United States with Emanuel Ax; and in Prague and Munich with his jazz band programme – Blue skies – Songlines to American Music.

His extensive discography includes Des Knaben Wunderhorn under Rattle, the title role in Don Giovanni under Abbado, Carmina Burana under Thielemann, Marcello under Chailly, the title role in Billy Budd under Hickox, Il Conte Almaviva under Jacobs and Papageno under Mackerras.  He has recorded a disc of operetta arias and duets with Angelika Kirchschlager, a disc of Brahms Lieder and Schumann’s Dichterliebe with Malcolm Martineau, a disc of solo arias for Sony BMG (Gramophone Award for Best Recital), a Songs of War disc, also with Malcolm Martineau, (2012 Solo Vocal Gramophone Award), and a disc of classic Broadway and Hollywood musical numbers – Something’s Gotta Give – with David Charles Abell and the BBC Concert Orchestra for Chandos Records.


Performance Schedule

  • 19:00 18 Jun 2017 Wiener Staatsoper, VIENNA More info  

    DEBUSSY ‘Pelléas et Mélisande’

    Conductor: Alain Altinoglu 
    Director: Marco Arturo Marelli

    Pelléas: Benjamin Bruns
    Mélisande: Olga Bezsmertna 
    Golaud: SIMON KEENLYSIDE
    Arkel: Franz-Josef Selig
    Geneviève: Bernarda Fink

  • 19:00 20 Jun 2017 Wiener Staatsoper, VIENNA More info  

    DEBUSSY ‘Pelléas et Mélisande’

    Conductor: Alain Altinoglu 
    Director: Marco Arturo Marelli

    Pelléas: Benjamin Bruns
    Mélisande: Olga Bezsmertna 
    Golaud: SIMON KEENLYSIDE
    Arkel: Franz-Josef Selig
    Geneviève: Bernarda Fink

  • 19:00 24 Jun 2017 Wiener Staatsoper, VIENNA More info  

    DEBUSSY ‘Pelléas et Mélisande’

    Conductor: Alain Altinoglu 
    Director: Marco Arturo Marelli

    Pelléas: Benjamin Bruns
    Mélisande: Olga Bezsmertna 
    Golaud: SIMON KEENLYSIDE
    Arkel: Franz-Josef Selig
    Geneviève: Bernarda Fink

  • 19:00 27 Jun 2017 Wiener Staatsoper, VIENNA More info  

    DEBUSSY ‘Pelléas et Mélisande’

    Conductor: Alain Altinoglu 
    Director: Marco Arturo Marelli

    Pelléas: Benjamin Bruns
    Mélisande: Olga Bezsmertna 
    Golaud: SIMON KEENLYSIDE
    Arkel: Franz-Josef Selig
    Geneviève: Bernarda Fink

  • 19:00 30 Jun 2017 Wiener Staatsoper, VIENNA More info  

    DEBUSSY ‘Pelléas et Mélisande’

    Conductor: Alain Altinoglu 
    Director: Marco Arturo Marelli

    Pelléas: Benjamin Bruns
    Mélisande: Olga Bezsmertna 
    Golaud: SIMON KEENLYSIDE
    Arkel: Franz-Josef Selig
    Geneviève: Bernarda Fink

  • 19:30 05 Jul 2017 Wigmore Hall, LONDON More info  

    V. WILLIAMS
    Five Mystical Songs
    – Easter
    – I got me flowers
    – Love bade me welcome
    – The call
    – Antiphon

    FINZI
    Fear no more the heat o the sun

    SIBELIUS
    Romeo (op.61/4)
    Evening (op.17/6)
    Echo (op.72/4)
    Black Roses (op.36/1)
    Im Feld ein Mädchen singt (op.50/5)
    Die stille Stadt (op.50/5)

    ***INTERVAL***

    POULENC
    Chansons Gaillardes
    – La Maîtresse volage
    – Chanson à boire
    – Madrigal
    – Invocations aux Parques
    – L’Offrande
    – La Belle jeunesse
    – Sérénade

    MAHLER
    Verlorne Muh
    Ablösung im Sommer
    Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht?
    Das Irdische Leben
    Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt
    Der Tamboursg’sell
    Revelge

    Baritone: SIMON KEENLYSIDE
    Piano: MALCOLM MARTINEAU

  • 20:00 18 Jul 2017 Prinzregententheater, MUNICH More info  

    “Blue skies. Songlines to American Music”

    Isn’t it a lovely day? (Irving Berlin, 1935)

    Countess from Chicago (Kalman, 1928. Number 17c.”tanz”) – Band alone

    Lichtreklamen (Kalman “Countess from Chicago”, 1st verse only)

    16b. “Tanz” (Kalman “Countess from Chicago”) – Band alone

    Johnny Johnson’s Song (Kurt Weill, “Johnny Johnson”, 1936)

    Countess from Chicago (Kalman “1 tanz”) – Band alone

    Cowboy Song (Kalman “Arizona Lady”, 1954. Page 41. 1st verse only.)
    Song of the bigshot (Weill “Happy End”, 1929)
    Lonely House (Weill “Street Scene”, 1946)
    Soliloquy (Rogers & Hammerstein “Carousel”, 1945)
    Call me up some rainy afternoon (Berlin, 1910)
    How long has this been going on? (Gershwin, 1927)
    Let’s begin (Kern, 1933)

    ***INTERVAL***

    Lush Life (Billy Strayhorn, 1933-38)
    Stardust (Hoagy Carmichael, 1927-28)

    Mood Indigo (Ellington, 1930) – Band alone

    Our love is here to stay (Gershwin, 1938)
    On the street where you live (Lerner/Loewe “My Fair Lady”)
    What is this thing called love? (Cole Porter, 1929)
    The Girl next door (Martin/Blane “Meet me in St Louis”, 1944)
    Skylark (Carmichael/Mercer, 1941)
    So in love (Cole Porter, 1948)

    Do Nothin’ till You Hear from Me (Ellington, 1940) – Band alone

    She didn’t say yes (Kern/Harbach “The Cat and the Fiddle”, 1931)

    Baritone: SIMON KEENLYSIDE
    Piano: Matthew Regan
    Drums: Mike Smith
    Double bass: Richard Pryce
    Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax: Howard McGill
    Trombone: Gordon Campbell

  • 20:00 18 Aug 2017 Koussevitzky Music Shed, TANGLEWOOD More info  

    BARITONE: SIMON KEENLYSIDE

    CONDUCTOR: DAVID AFKHAM
    Boston Symphony Orchestra

Performance Schedule

  • 19:00 18 Jun 2017
    Wiener Staatsoper, VIENNA

    DEBUSSY ‘Pelléas et Mélisande’

    Conductor: Alain Altinoglu 
    Director: Marco Arturo Marelli

    Pelléas: Benjamin Bruns
    Mélisande: Olga Bezsmertna 
    Golaud: SIMON KEENLYSIDE
    Arkel: Franz-Josef Selig
    Geneviève: Bernarda Fink

  • 19:00 20 Jun 2017
    Wiener Staatsoper, VIENNA

    DEBUSSY ‘Pelléas et Mélisande’

    Conductor: Alain Altinoglu 
    Director: Marco Arturo Marelli

    Pelléas: Benjamin Bruns
    Mélisande: Olga Bezsmertna 
    Golaud: SIMON KEENLYSIDE
    Arkel: Franz-Josef Selig
    Geneviève: Bernarda Fink

  • 19:00 24 Jun 2017
    Wiener Staatsoper, VIENNA

    DEBUSSY ‘Pelléas et Mélisande’

    Conductor: Alain Altinoglu 
    Director: Marco Arturo Marelli

    Pelléas: Benjamin Bruns
    Mélisande: Olga Bezsmertna 
    Golaud: SIMON KEENLYSIDE
    Arkel: Franz-Josef Selig
    Geneviève: Bernarda Fink

  • 19:00 27 Jun 2017
    Wiener Staatsoper, VIENNA

    DEBUSSY ‘Pelléas et Mélisande’

    Conductor: Alain Altinoglu 
    Director: Marco Arturo Marelli

    Pelléas: Benjamin Bruns
    Mélisande: Olga Bezsmertna 
    Golaud: SIMON KEENLYSIDE
    Arkel: Franz-Josef Selig
    Geneviève: Bernarda Fink

  • 19:00 30 Jun 2017
    Wiener Staatsoper, VIENNA

    DEBUSSY ‘Pelléas et Mélisande’

    Conductor: Alain Altinoglu 
    Director: Marco Arturo Marelli

    Pelléas: Benjamin Bruns
    Mélisande: Olga Bezsmertna 
    Golaud: SIMON KEENLYSIDE
    Arkel: Franz-Josef Selig
    Geneviève: Bernarda Fink

  • 19:30 05 Jul 2017
    Wigmore Hall, LONDON

    V. WILLIAMS
    Five Mystical Songs
    – Easter
    – I got me flowers
    – Love bade me welcome
    – The call
    – Antiphon

    FINZI
    Fear no more the heat o the sun

    SIBELIUS
    Romeo (op.61/4)
    Evening (op.17/6)
    Echo (op.72/4)
    Black Roses (op.36/1)
    Im Feld ein Mädchen singt (op.50/5)
    Die stille Stadt (op.50/5)

    ***INTERVAL***

    POULENC
    Chansons Gaillardes
    – La Maîtresse volage
    – Chanson à boire
    – Madrigal
    – Invocations aux Parques
    – L’Offrande
    – La Belle jeunesse
    – Sérénade

    MAHLER
    Verlorne Muh
    Ablösung im Sommer
    Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht?
    Das Irdische Leben
    Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt
    Der Tamboursg’sell
    Revelge

    Baritone: SIMON KEENLYSIDE
    Piano: MALCOLM MARTINEAU

  • 20:00 18 Jul 2017
    Prinzregententheater, MUNICH

    “Blue skies. Songlines to American Music”

    Isn’t it a lovely day? (Irving Berlin, 1935)

    Countess from Chicago (Kalman, 1928. Number 17c.”tanz”) – Band alone

    Lichtreklamen (Kalman “Countess from Chicago”, 1st verse only)

    16b. “Tanz” (Kalman “Countess from Chicago”) – Band alone

    Johnny Johnson’s Song (Kurt Weill, “Johnny Johnson”, 1936)

    Countess from Chicago (Kalman “1 tanz”) – Band alone

    Cowboy Song (Kalman “Arizona Lady”, 1954. Page 41. 1st verse only.)
    Song of the bigshot (Weill “Happy End”, 1929)
    Lonely House (Weill “Street Scene”, 1946)
    Soliloquy (Rogers & Hammerstein “Carousel”, 1945)
    Call me up some rainy afternoon (Berlin, 1910)
    How long has this been going on? (Gershwin, 1927)
    Let’s begin (Kern, 1933)

    ***INTERVAL***

    Lush Life (Billy Strayhorn, 1933-38)
    Stardust (Hoagy Carmichael, 1927-28)

    Mood Indigo (Ellington, 1930) – Band alone

    Our love is here to stay (Gershwin, 1938)
    On the street where you live (Lerner/Loewe “My Fair Lady”)
    What is this thing called love? (Cole Porter, 1929)
    The Girl next door (Martin/Blane “Meet me in St Louis”, 1944)
    Skylark (Carmichael/Mercer, 1941)
    So in love (Cole Porter, 1948)

    Do Nothin’ till You Hear from Me (Ellington, 1940) – Band alone

    She didn’t say yes (Kern/Harbach “The Cat and the Fiddle”, 1931)

    Baritone: SIMON KEENLYSIDE
    Piano: Matthew Regan
    Drums: Mike Smith
    Double bass: Richard Pryce
    Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax: Howard McGill
    Trombone: Gordon Campbell

  • 20:00 18 Aug 2017
    Koussevitzky Music Shed, TANGLEWOOD

    BARITONE: SIMON KEENLYSIDE

    CONDUCTOR: DAVID AFKHAM
    Boston Symphony Orchestra

From The Green Room

Discography

  • 27 Sep 16 Mozart Don Giovanni
    Metropolitan Opera
    More info  

    “He is now back in New York starring in a revival of Michael Grandage’s production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” and he seemed in fine shape, vocally and physically. His voice rang out cleanly and clearly, and he showed good stamina in a portrayal long on physical exertion.”
    James R. Oestreich, The New York Times, 28 September 2016 

    “The best news is that the much-loved British baritone Simon Keenlyside…was back, lithe and physically deft, in the title role, which he first sang with Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 1993…his mercurial charm, wit and musicianship won out.”
    Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 2 October 2016 

  • 15 Jul 16 Giuseppe Verdi La Traviata
    National Theater Munich
    More info  

    “Simon Keenlyside has been a regular as Giorgio Germont in this production. Mr Keenlyside…has always been a strong singer and an excellent artist who gives meaning to everything he sings. He was a convincing Germont.”
    Jose M. Irurzun, Seen and Heard

  • 02 Jul 16 Lionel Bart Oliver - role of Fagin
    Grange Park Opera
    More info  

    “The big draw in terms of operatic terms was Simon Keenlyside…. his acting…was the chief pleasure…. In dialogue scenes he proved himself a versatile comic actor, with a sharp sense of timing and an excellent command of detail….  the [Simon’s] portrait felt complex and rounded.”
    Warwick Thompson, OPERA, August 2016

    “…he reviewed the situation and picked a pocket or two with style, wit and crisp enunciation, as well as some nicely underplayed characterisation.”
    Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 3 June 2016 

    “As Fagin…he sounded in excellent form… Always a resourceful actor, Keenlyside made Fagin into a complex, at least partially sympathetic figure, making every word tell and putting each of his numbers over effectively, as well as joining skilfully in the busy ensemble routines; his was the finest performance onstage and quite properly the centerpiece of the show.”
    George Hall, Opera News, August 2016

  • 22 Oct 14 Schubert 'Winterreise' with Emanuel Ax
    Wigmore Hall
    More info  

    “– a poignant and powerful Winterreise
    …with the baritone drawing discreetly on his great actorly abilities, occasionally pacing the platform, looking up to the heavens and, finally and most theatrically of all, stepping forward to the front of the stage for a motionless delivery of the bleakest of bleak final songs… Keenlyside was magnificently and even frighteningly authoritative, while the dramatic urgency of Numbness, On the River and The Inn was grippingly delivered… there was a thought-out artistic purpose at each twist and turn; it is hard to recall a more numbed conclusion than the one these artists achieved as the organ-grinder’s tune died on the edge of the void.”
    4**** Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 23 October 2014 

    “He declaimed Wilhelm Müller’s poetry with the fluidity of speech. His German is excellent, his diction is pristine, his eye for detail acute. Armed with his dark, handsome baritone, he unveiled multiple layers of meaning in every song, every stanza and, occasionally, in a single line.”
    Hannah Nepil, Financial Times, 23 October 2014

    “Is there such a thing as ‘the’ Winterreise? Of course not, since it is true of all masterpieces that they lend themselves to a variety of interpretations whilst still retaining their individuality; however, Simon Keenlyside and Emanuel Ax come as close as any performers today to capturing the sense of Schubert’s work as the journey of an angry, despairing soul.”
    Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH, 22 October 2014

  • 12 Sep 14 Verdi Rigoletto
    Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
    More info  

    “The Royal Opera’s latest revival of David McVicar’s production of Rigoletto primarily forms a vehicle for Simon Keenlyside, who plays Verdi’s tragic jester in a startling performance that is as much about physicality as it is about singing. Whirling around on crutches in the opening scene, he reminds us of Antony Sher’s Richard III. His gestures are obscene, and few Rigolettos have quite so forcefully brought home the fact that the loathing with which he satirises the Mantuan court is genuine rather than assumed.”
    Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 16 September 2014

    “The reason to go is Simon Keenlyside, singing the title role for the first time at the Royal Opera. Still where others flail, agile where some might stagger, Keenlyside can act anyone else off the stage. For once you sympathise with Hugo’s hunchback.”
    Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, 21 September 2014

    “The British baritone Simon Keenlyside is quite superb in the title role, adding a gravelly tone to his usual immaculate voice to bring an earthy grittiness to the part that fits the troubled nature of Rigoletto excellently.”
    William Hartston, Express, 16 September 2014

    “…as Rigoletto, Simon Keenlyside…sings with great warmth and authority.”
    Michael Church, The Independent, 15 September 2014

    “…in Simon Keenlyside, singing Rigoletto for the first time at Covent Garden following an acclaimed Welsh National Opera run in 2010, revival director Leah Hausman has a protagonist quite unlike the old-school Italians usually associated with the role. Keenlyside’s voice is in fine fettle…and his physical volatility chimes perfectly with the production’s edgy look and feel…Keenlyside gives it his all.”
    David Gutman, The Stage, 15 September 2014

  • 19 May 14 Verdi Macbeth
    Orchestra of the English National Opera/Gardner (Chandos CD)
    More info  

    “Simon Keenlyside explores the title role in depth, offering a huge variety of expression and fulfilling the potential of Verdi’s notes to reveal minute nuances of character and situation: his nervous usurper of the Scottish throne is an extremely powerful portrayal.”
    George Hall, BBC Music Magazine, June 2014

  • 04 Apr 14 Gounod Faust
    Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
    More info  

    “…while Simon Keenlyside is a magnificent Valentin, combining anger with self-righteousness: his death scene is chilling.”
    George Hall, The Guardian, 7 April 2014