Biography

About the bass-baritone and his career and life so far ...

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 sang with conviction and conveyed a whole range of conflicting emotions— anger, frustration, anguish, bewilderment, and tenderness...

Ithica Times

In the 2018-2019 season, Ryan McKinny makes two important role debuts: the title role in Don Giovanni at Houston Grand Opera and Wotan in Das Rheingold at Opéra de Montréal. He returns to the Dutch National Opera for the European premiere of John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West in a production by Peter Sellars, the same role in which he made his San Francisco Opera debut last season. He will also sing Leonard Bernstein’s SongFest with Marin Alsop and the Juilliard Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, the title role in Der fliegende Holländer with Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He returns to the Bayreuth Festival in the summer of 2019 to reprise his acclaimed performances of Amfortas in Parsifal.

On the concert stage, Mr. McKinny 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 which was reprised in London with the London Philharmonia (available on Deutsche Grammophon). He also performed Richard Nixon in John Adams’ Nixon in China with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by the composer. With Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, he performed Arias and Barcarolles with Isabel Leonard, as well as Mass with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel, both to celebrate the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein. He has been heard with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andris Nelsons at Tanglewood as Donner in Das Rheingold; Cleveland Orchestra and National Symphony in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9; Rossini’s Stabat Mater at the Grant Park Music Festival; Britten’s War Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”) and Wotan’s Abschied from Act 3 of Die Walküre at the Aspen Music Festival with Robert Spano. He has 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.

“Ryan McKinny is a discovery as Amfortas. His intensity and vocal luminosity are superb.”

Hessische Niedersächsische Allgemein

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. 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.

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.