| Broadway World

Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde at Houston Grand Opera

“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, Broadway World

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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