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)

Mr. McKinny will make 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 will also debut 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 Jiří Bělohlávek, and Palm Beach Opera as Jochanaan in Salome.  In the summer of 2013, Mr. McKinny will sing his first production of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer as the Dutchman in a new Francesca Zambello production at the Glimmerglass Festival.  On the concert stage, he will reprise the role of the Entertainer in Shostakovich’s Orango with the London Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen. Future seasons will see him at the Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, English National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Deutsche Oper Berlin.

In the 2011 – 2012 season, Mr. McKinny made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Lieutenant Ratcliffe in Billy Budd.  Other highlights included his role debut as Jochanaan in Salome at New Orleans Opera and a return to Oper Leipzig as Hercules in Alceste.  He 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, bass soloist in a staged version of Verdi’s Messa da requiem, and Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia.  On the concert stage, Mr. McKinny returned to the Los Angeles Philharmonic to sing the lead role of The Entertainer in the world premiere of Shostakovich’s uncompleted opera Orango under Esa-Pekka Salonen with stage direction by Peter Sellars.  He also debuted with the Cleveland Orchestra in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under Jahja Ling, was bass soloist in Rossini’s Stabat Mater at the Grant Park Music Festival, Monterone in concert performances of Rigoletto with the LA Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel, and bass soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 at the Aspen Music Festival with Robert Spano.

Recently, 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, Deutsche Oper am Rhein for his role debut as Amfortas in Parsifal, and returned to Oper Leipzig for the revival of Gluck’s Alceste.  Mr. McKinny 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.  He also performed the bass-baritone roles in Oedipus Rex for his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas and with the Sydney Festival in Sydney, Australia under the direction of 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. 

In previous seasons, Ryan McKinny sang the roles of Creon, Tiresias, and the Messenger in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in his final concerts as music director and staged by Peter Sellars.  He also made his debut with Utah Symphony & Opera as Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro and returned to the Aspen Music Festival for a recital recreated on a program originally performed by Jerome Hines in June 1949.  He debuted at Los Angeles Opera as Montano in Otello and Ein Bedentier in Ullmann’s Der zerbrochene Krug, both under the baton of James Conlon.  In concert, he was heard as bass-baritone soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the National Symphony Orchestra and Zuniga in a concert performance of Carmen with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. 

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 Auditions and is featured in the film The Audition released by Decca on DVD.

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“Ryan McKinny lights up the stage for a few moments of sheer virtuosity.” -Variety