Acclaim| Houstonia Magazine
Don Giovanni debut in Houston
“Bass-baritone Ryan McKinny makes his role debut as the title character, and he’s magnetic. We first see Don Giovanni as he’s running out of the bedroom behind Donna Anna, shirt unbuttoned and hair disheveled, and he’s tall, lithe, and dangerously charismatic. When he flashes his rakish smile, it’s lethal, and it certainly doesn’t take much imagination to see why all those women (2,065 in total) couldn’t resist him. At moments, we almost begin to root for him; it’s where the disturbing ambiguity of this opera lies, that his allure and his privilege allows him to do whatever he wants to do. One of the most gorgeous musical moments is his aria to Elvira’s maid, “Deh vieni alla finestra.” McKinny cuts a languid figure, lying beneath her window disguised as his servant Leporello, and his serenade is so meltingly beautiful, so luminous, that we forget how insincere the whole thing really is.”
“McKinny looks the part, for sure. Handsome and lithe, he’s devilishly attractive. It’s easy to see how seduction is Giovanni’s second-nature. He sings the role very well […] McKinny’s “Serenade” to Elvira’s maid, with its simple mandolin accompaniment, is sublime. Sly and relaxed, he sprawls against the wall and spins out Mozart’s effortless melody. It’s love in music. He could out-woo Orpheus“
“In the “Champagne” Aria and Giovanni’s final confrontation with fate, McKinny displayed the kind of sonorous darkness of tones he employed as the thunder-god Donner in Wagner’s Das Rheingold in 2014.
More often, though, his singing was light, animated and even sardonic. Giovanni’s banter with Leporello–planning escapades and mocking his detractors–took on a mocking edge. But when the womanizer went into seduction mode, as in the duet with young Zerlina or the Serenade, McKinny’s singing turned as graceful and delicate as if Giovanni were innocence personified.
Giovanni’s malaise came through, too in McKinny’s portrayal. When Giovanni told Leporello that women were as necessary to him as food, McKinny delivered the words in hollow half-tones that exuded weariness.”
Texas Classical Review