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Simon Keenlyside

Baritone

Biography

British baritone Simon Keenlyside made his Royal Opera debut in 1990 as Ping (Turandot) and since 1994 has performed with The Royal Opera nearly every Season, in roles including Oreste (Iphigénie en Tauride), Don Giovanni, Papageno (), Macbeth (including on tour with The Royal Opera to Japan), Giorgio Germont (La traviata), Posa (Don Carlo), Valentin (Faust), Wozzeck, Rigoletto, Tonio (Pagliacci) and Ford (Falstaff). He created the roles of Prospero (The Tempest) and Winston Smith (1984) for The Royal Opera. In the 2018/19 Season he returns to sing Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro). In the 2019/20 Season he returns as Giorgio Germont.

Keenlyside began his singing career as a chorister at St John’s College, Cambridge. A keen ecologist, he returned to Cambridge to read Zoology as a choral scholar, and went on to study singing with John Cameron at the Royal Northern College of Music. He sings with the world’s leading opera houses and has particularly close associations with Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin. Along with aforementioned roles, his repertory has included Figaro (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Renato (Un ballo in maschera), Thomas’s Hamlet, Pelléas and Golaud (Pelléas et Mélisande) and Billy Budd. A lover of German Lieder, Keenlyside also performs widely in recital, including regular appearances at London’s Wigmore Hall.

Keenlyside’s discography includes CDs of opera, operetta duets, Lieder by Schubert, Strauss, Brahms and Schumann, French and English song, American musical theatre numbers and a disc of opera arias, Tales of Opera. He was appointed a CBE in 2003 and received a knighthood in 2018.