“Bass-baritone Ryan McKinny brings charm and virility to the role of Figaro. Seen last season in the dual roles of Donner and Gunther in the epic RING CYCLE at WNO, McKinny here shows off his comic chops and his shining voice as the Count's wily valet. McKinny's "Se vuol ballare" and "Non piu andrai" were just about perfect. His aria in the latter part of the opera, when Figaro is convinced his Susanna has cuckolded him with the Count, "Aprite un po'quegli occhi," was magnificent.”
Jeffrey Walker, Broadway World
“McKinny livens up his manservant with a fair bit of silliness and jumping about and also gives him some leading-man gravitas with his luxuriant bass-baritone.”
Kate Wingfield, Metro Weekly
“Ryan McKinny had the strongest vocal outing as Figaro, matched by the best comic timing.“ Charles T. Downey, Washington Classical Review
"Ryan McKinny’s Figaro navigates quick thinking in comically compromising situations, duets with his love Susanna, and his rage-filled aria about unfaithful women, his resonant bass-baritone carrying us through Mozart’s timeless work.”
Julia Hurley, DC Metro Theater Arts
“McKinny and Oropesa are well matched as Figaro and Susanna, the charming valet and maid to the Count and Countess of Almaviva. Their comedic timing is impeccable. McKinny’s Figaro is athletic. His signature move is leaping over furniture. A formidable bass-baritone…”
Jennifer Minichon, MD Theatre Guide
“Ryan McKinny as Figaro managed to wield both a beautiful voice and a relaxed, conversational style.”
Opera Teen, Huffington Post
"...a daring performance by the American bass-baritone Ryan McKinny..."
Anthony Tommasini, NY Times
"Bei den Sängern fällt vor allem der wunderbar volle Schmelz von Ryan McKinny als Amfortas auf"
"Of the singers, especially striking was the wonderful full luster of Ryan McKinny as Amfortas."
Lucas Wiegelmann, die Welt
"American baritone Ryan McKinny as a noble and agonised Amfortas"
"this was a cast of distinction, helping Bayreuth to recover its reputation for musical and artistic supremacy."
Mark Ronan, the Telegraph
"Eine Entdeckung ist Ryan McKinny als Amfortas. Grandios seine Intensität und stimmliche Leuchtkraft.”
“Ryan McKinny is a discovery as Amfortas. His intensity and vocal luminosity are superb."
Werner Fritsch, Hessiche Niedersächsische Allgemein
"Ryan McKinny singt den Amfortas mit geschmeidigem Bariton, ebenfalls großartig.”
"Ryan McKinny sings the Amfortas with supple baritone, likewise magnificent."
Julia Gaß, Ruhr Nachrichten
"Gralskönig Amfortas, dem Ryan McKinny mächtige und expressive vokale Statur verleiht, leidet unendlich unter der Abendmahlszeremonie”
"Ryan McKinny gives powerful and expressive vocal stature to the Grail King, Amfortas, who suffers endlessly under the sacrament ceremony."
Wolfgang Behrens, Nachtrkritik
"Sehr beeindruckte dabei die schauspielerische Leistung des halbnackten wie gekreuzigt auftretenden Ryan McKinny als Amfortas Dabei begeisterte er vor allem auch musikalisch mit nobel geführter Stimme zwischen ohne Vibrato lang gehaltenen mächtigen „Erbarmen“ – Rufen und verhaltenem p bei Legato-Bögen bis hin zum tiefen c bei „heiliges Werk“"
"Very impressive as well was the acting achievement of the half naked as if crucified Ryan McKinny as Amfortas. He was also especially thrilling musically with a nobly guided voice between a long held, no vibrato, powerful “Erbarmen” cry and a restrained piano legato arc through the low c of “heliges Werk”"
Sigi Brockmann, Der neue Merker
"Ryan McKinny ist als Gralskönig Amfortas bestens besetzt, erst zum Ende hin entfaltete seine Stimme volle Kraft, was zum Charakter der Rolle hervorragend passt.”
"Ryan McKinny is ideally cast as Grail King Amfortas, only towards the end did he unfold the full force of his voice, which fit brilliantly with the nature of the role."
Florian Zinnecker, Nordbayerische-Kurier
"... the singer’s comfort in the role’s music was absolute, and McKinny traversed the full range of his part without an iota of stress not required by the drama. ... Brenna and McKinny sang ‘Treue trink’ ich dem Freund!’ thrillingly, their voices combining like lightning and thunder ... Providing soaring accounts of ‘Brünnhild’, die hehrste Frau, bring’ ich euch her zum Rhein’ and ‘Gegrüßt sei, teurer Held; gegrüßt, holde Schwester,’ McKinny confirmed how markedly a superlative Gunther can increase enjoyment of a performance of Götterdämmerung... The invigorating masculinity that McKinny brought to ‘O Schmach! O Schande! Wehe mir, dem jammervollsten Manne!’ transcended the self-pity that renders many Gunthers spineless snivelers, further refining the baritone’s interpretation of the much-maligned role.” -Joseph Newsome, Voix des Arts
"...he showed off an expressive, musical baritone, and clearly delineated Gunther’s transition from proud, spineless cad to a man consumed by self-loathing and in far over his head." -Alex Baker, Parterre Box
"Ryan McKinny's Amfortas was simply irresistible in his heart-breaking plea as the human Grail at the heart of this insightful and moving production.” -Agustín Blanco-Bazán, Opera News
"Ryan McKinny war ein beeindruckender Amfortas, der seine besten Momente im Finale des 3. Aufzugs hatte. Er stellte das Leiden der Figur äußerst überzeugend dar und ließ einen ausdrucksfähigen Bariton hören.” -Klaus Billand, Der neue Merker
"El estadounidense Ryan McKinny compone un Amfortas torturado por su dolor y pecado, un personaje en extremo debilitado por la herida que no sana y que espera la muerte como alivio. McKinny da con cada matiz de este rol, y expresa muy bien la desfalleciente impronta del personaje. Escénicamente brinda con gran calidad la desesperación de Amfortas y vocalmente apoya en todo momento la torturada desolación que lo agobia. Es una excelente entrega para este papel referencial de la producción wagneriana.” - José Luis Arredondo, Toda la cultura
"Bass-baritone Ryan McKinny, in his house debut, infused Jochanaan with sonorous resonance, the gravitas of his delivery confirming his character’s sense of self-certainty.” -James M. Keller, Santa Fe New Mexican
"Ryan McKinny has all the goods for a first tier Jochanaan, namely a meaty, forceful bass-baritone that has powerful point and burnished quality in every register and volume. Mr. McKinny found all the heft necessary for the big statements, and other times sang with sensitivity, understanding, and ever-present beauty of tone. It is a pity that the costume design had him all buttoned down as he is an attractive man, yet there was no opportunity to display the primal physical appeal that fuels Salome’s carnal instincts. Still, Ryan brought an oversize presence to the role and true star power to the evening.” -James Sohre, Opera Today
"Intended or not, McKinny’s Count Almaviva evokes the type of buff, bare-chested swagger and imperious self-importance associated with Vladimir Putin. And with his strong voice and robust authority, that’s just how McKinny plays him. He is a man that sees himself in total control of his world with little regard for those that he hurts, including his wife. His defeat at the hands of his servants, and his wife, is a sweet victory." - Jim Farber, LA Daily News
"Ryan McKinny, however, never falls short in the acting department (apparent also in his portrayal of Stanley in Streetcar Named Desire seen here in 2014). He is all the arrogant, entitled count – handsome, sensual, and duplicitous – which made his comic sequences all the funnier. Nor did his singing disappoint with his pleasing, lyrical baritone." Jane Rosenberg, International Review of Music
"Upstairs at Downton we had Ryan McKinny as a Count Almaviva who, after playing Act I like a louche playboy out for a stroll, brought a real imposing menace to his confrontation with the Countess in her bed chamber. He was particularly fine in his Act III showcase with an elegant line and clear articulation in the passagework at the end of the aria which always seems to take so many baritones by surprise. I can’t fail to mention his final,”Contessa perdono” was delivered with such shattering simplicity it could have moved a stone to tears." - Patrick Mack, Parterre Box
"Audiences despise Billy's character, but baritone Ryan McKinny's portrayal, while making no attempt to justify his offenses, reveals the protagonist's humanity through his confusion and uncertainty. McKinny's resonant voice, especially effective on "Soliloquy," gives credibility to his job as the sometimes harsh, sometimes beguiling barker, enticing workers to spend their meager salaries to buy a few minutes of fantasy." -Syracuse Post-Standard
"His performance of the iconic soliloquy is a towering achievement of control and nuance." -Arts in LA
"McKinny sang with conviction and conveyed a whole range of conflicting emotions— anger, frustration, anguish, bewilderment, and tenderness. Billy may want to be a better person but can never right the wrongs of his life. One feels great sympathy for him." -Ithica Times
"With his rugged good looks as well as unanticipated dancing ability, McKinny is a triple threat." - Syracuse New Times
“Bass-baritone Ryan McKinny was a sonorous Escamillo, bringing Bizet much the same vocal heft he contributed to "Das Rheingold" as Donner, the god of thunder.” -Steven Brown, Houston Chronicle, April 28, 2014
“Houston favorite Ryan McKinny is astounding as the confident, handsome, and altogether glamorous toreador Escamillo. His polished and luxurious bass-baritone voice perfectly commands our attention during "Toreador Song: Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre." With an appealing but conceited air, he delivers sterling performances during ‘Finale: Holà holà José!" and "Les voici, voici la quadrille ... Si tu m'aimes, Carmen.’ ” -David Clark, Broadway World, April 27, 2014
“Ryan McKinny, who played Rigoletto, is one of the finest singers of his generation. The dark but burnished resonance of his bass-baritone made each iteration of the curse motif ("Quel vecchio maledivami!") something to savor, and the high-ranging parts added an intensity and crucial vulnerability to the role.” -Gregory Barnett, Opera News, May 2014
“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
“Ryan McKinny’s handsome features were skewed into a physically emaciated, lopsided Rigoletto. His voice, however, was healthy and eased through the role’s demands. His singing in German and English repertoire at HGO has given us an appreciation of his growing vocal stature, but in smaller roles. Like Alexyuk’s turn in the spotlight, McKinny made the most out of his, and the duo made a touching father-daughter pairing.” -ConcertoNet, January 24, 2014
“He fully inhabits his take on character that he creates and is he believable every second. Even at this nascent place in his career, his resonant voice and nuanced expression gives us a fully formed and unique interpretation of the role. How he will sing it 10 years from now is eagerly anticipated. As an actor, he does the some of the best work of anyone working within the static staging.” -Gregory Sullivan Issacs, Theater Jones, January 30, 2014
“Taking on the role of Rigoletto for the first time, Ryan McKinny is the absolute best part of this production. He deftly uses his powerful and deeply resonating bass-baritone instrument to sing with fervor and unrestrained emotionality. Every note released from his body held the attention of the audience and his rendition of "Cortigiani, vil razza dannata" in Act II left the audience breathless. Moreover, his performance was nuanced, allowing the audience to see how deeply he cares for his daughter, how others perceive her, and his desire to right every wrongdoing she suffers.” -David Clarke, Broadway World, February 9, 2014
"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 seaman of the title may have been cursed to wander the seas for eternity until finding a woman willing to pledge fidelity. But in Ryan McKinny, a lithe, handsome bass-baritone outfitted by the costume designer Erik Teague in a leather jacket worn open to expose a full-chest tattoo, Ms. Zambello offered a Dutchman who seemed unusually close in age and bearing to Senta, the virtuous young woman whose love could provide his salvation. The lustrous soprano Melody Moore played Senta with a reckless passion that matched Mr. McKinny’s brooding intensity, their interactions suffusing the goings-on with an unmistakable erotic charge." -Steve Smith, New York Times, July 22, 2013
"Of course one must begin by discussing the Dutchman himself, sung by Barihunk Ryan McKinny. Not only were his singing and characterization beautiful and nuanced, but his stage presence was electric. His duet with Senta was spellbinding, and one could feel the pain when he believes Senta has betrayed him. And what a bit of bad-boy eye candy he is in costume! " -David Browning, Huffington Post, July 18, 2013
"Only age 32, McKinny displayed a large, mellifluous voice, suggesting an important future career in the dramatic baritone roles of Wagner and Verdi... Zambello’s direction permitted him to develop, instead of a remote ghost figure, a more human character, who connects empathetically with Senta." -Opera Warhorses, July 19, 2013
"Ryan McKinny took easy and quiet command of the stage. His characterization had the confidence that conveys despair. He was frightening, yet you longed to help him. His pursuit of the captain’s daughter—the woman he hopes will save him from his otherwise endless torment—effectively mixed desperation with aggressiveness." -B.A. Nilsson, MetroLand, July 10, 2013
"It doesn’t hurt that McKinny’s rich and resonant voice is matched by a powerful physique and his bare chest is covered with a huge tattoo of the Dutchman’s mystical vessel… When McKinny and Moore clash, vocal and sexual sparks fly" -David Sheward, TheaterLife, July 9, 2013
"The stranger is the Dutchman, Ryan McKinny, whose rich baritone conveys every nuance of the Dutchman's lost, lonely, plagued soul." -Linda Loomis, The Post-Standard, July 15, 2013
"Ryan McKinny's Dutchman in particular seemed to burn like a lonely lighthouse with pained internal conflict (just as he should)... his presence was riveting; I doubt I'll see a more compelling take on the part" -The Hub Review, July 19, 2013
“World-class” is an encomium often used indiscriminately by promoters and publicists but in light of Glimmerglass Festival’s triumphant Der Fliegende Holländer the press office has my full encouragement to use the phrase loud and often.
The cause for celebration begins with an uncommonly fine cast, surely among the top tier of today’s Dutchman interpreters. As the title character, Ryan McKinny has served notice that he is poised to be the Heldenbariton of choice for the punishing requirements of the demanding role. Mr. McKinny boasts a solid, even instrument that rolls forth with a hint of darkness and substantial weight. The inherent gravitas in the tone did not keep him from hurling out important dramatic declamations with a bright laser beam intensity and welcome purity of line. But, Ryan could also reel in the volume and ravish us with sotto voce phrasing that was warm, lyrical, and bewitching.
His traversal of “Die Frist ist um” was a mini-drama-within-a-drama, varied, well-shaped, empathetic and undeniably moving. I have never been quite so involved with the doomed man’s plight, or more involved with his journey. The handsome Mr. McKinny is also blessed with a personal charisma and stage magnetism that characterize the greatest performers. Mark my words, you will hear much much more in very short order about this exciting singer." -James Sohre, Opera Today, August 13, 2013
“The only singer who has an extended part is the Entertainer, a kind of carny barker, performed with charismatic gusto by baritone Ryan McKinny in impressive rat-a-tat Russian.” -Huntley Dent, New York Arts, May 16, 2013
“The very solid cast of 11 soloists was dominated by the charismatic Ryan McKinny as The Entertainer…” -Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International, May 18, 2013
“From among the singers, Ryan McKinny was an Entertainer of tangible malevolence…” -Richard Whitehouse, The Classical Source, May 17, 2013
“…a brilliantly performed one, with Ryan McKinny as the slick Entertainer introducing Richard Angas's depressed man-ape to the gawping audience…” -Andrew Clements, The Guardian, May 17, 2013
“The main role of The Entertainer was sung expertly by the American bass-baritone Ryan McKinny (who also performed the part at the Los Angeles premiere).” -Christian Hoskins, MusicOMH, May 18, 2013
“Ryan McKinny's bass-baritone instrument is put to marvelous use as Kurwenal. His efficacious and potent instrument showcases Kurwenal's bravery and admirable loyalty. Alluring in the first and second acts, Ryan McKinny's characterization and vocal performance as Kurwenal is ingeniously dexterous in the third act. His command of his instrument, the power he can put behind his voice, and his perceptive faithfulness to both Tristan and Isolde thoroughly engages the audience and serves to make Kurwenal's death the most tragic in the production.” -David Clarke, BroadwayWorld, April 22, 2013
“As the protagonists' friends, Brangäne and Kurwenal, Claudia Mahnke and Ryan McKinny sang with a dynamism that enabled them to add their own impact to the story. The bite of McKinny's voice especially suited Loy's staging, which has Kurwenal treating Isolde as if Tristan were worthier than she - intensifying Isolde's fury.” -Steven Brown, Houston Chronicle, April 22, 2013
“Baritone Ryan McKinny could not have sung Kurwenal any better. As Tristan's trusted aide-de-camp with unbounded loyalty, McKinny, with handsome stage presence to spare and voice to die for, was positively riveting. (Anyone who can tie a bowtie while also maneuvering through Wagner is above reproach!)” -D.L. Groover, Houston Press, April 20, 2013
“The surprise of the evening was Ryan McKinny's Kurwenal. He has certainly graduated from his bit part in 2009's Lohengrin, developing a voice much better suited for Wagner than for Britten. It is a joy to see such growth in his singing and acting and to hear him in larger roles.” -Marcus Karl Maroney, ContertoNet, April 18, 2013
“The rest of the cast, as already mentioned, is top-notch…Ryan McKinny a movie-star like Kurwenal with a commanding technique…” -Theodore Bale, CultureMap, April 21, 2013
“Ryan McKinny's dusky, vibrant bass-baritone captured each of the diverse phases of Kurwenal's trajectory as Tristan's comrade-in-arms, from swaggering to conflicted and finally to grieving.” -Opera News, August 2013