The American tenor, Michael Kelly, is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. He earned his master's degree at The Juilliard School of Music in New York in 2007. He won first place in the Jessie Kneisel Lieder Competition in 2004, and was a prize winner in the Oratorio Society of New York's Lyndon Woodside Solo Competition in 2009.
Captivating audiences with exquisite musicality, commanding stage presence and a voice of arresting beauty, American tenor Michael Kelly is quickly establishing himself as one of his generation's finest artists. A consummate recitalist and art song specialist, his profoundly insightful interpretations and mastery of the intricacies of language have earned him comparison to such icons of song repertoire as Anthony Rolfe-Johnson and Gérard Souzay.
While earning his master's degree at The Juilliard School, Michael Kelly was heard in J.S. Bach's Cantata BWV 4 and The Dmitri Shostakovich Yiddish Folk poems, both in Alice Tully Hall, as well as numerous art song recitals. His appearances with the Juilliard Opera Theater include Idamante in Idomeneo and Sattirino in Cavalli's La Calisto. He created the dual roles of Bartender and Radio Singer in the world premier of Lowell Liebermann's Miss Lonelyhearts with the Juilliard Opera Center.
Other past performances include his Chicago Opera Theater debut in 2007 as Anfinomo in Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria under the baton of Jane Glover, recitals with Festival d'Aix en Provence, a concert of Mozart arias in Bastia, Corsica, and a recital at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, as part of the Redon exhibition. Michael Kelly was also a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center where he sang the role of Don Ottavio in a concert staging of Don Giovanni with James Levine.
In 2007-2008 Michael Kelly was a member of the renowned Internationales Opernstudio at Opernhaus Zürich, where he sang Ferrando in Così Fan Tutte and Aeneas in Cavalli's La Didone. He was also featured in several recitals including Liederabends on the stage of Opernhaus Zürich and at the Wagner Museum in Lucerne. He made his European debut in July of 2008 with Opernhaus Zürich as Heraldo in George Frideric Handel's Rinaldo under the baton of William Christie. Following his debut, Kelly was presented in recital with celebrated pianist Pietro De Maria at the Ernen Musikdorff festival. Equally at home on the operatic and concert stages, Kelly's 2008-2009 season included his debut with Mercury Baroque as Artémidore in Lully's Armide, and performances as tenor soloist in G.F. Handel's Messiah throughout Switzerland with 90 Stimmen.
The 2009-2010 season brough Michael Kelly to the prestigious Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival where his performances encompassed the varied styles of composers ranging from L.v. Beethoven to Musto. He won second prize in the Liederkranz Foundation Lieder/Art Song Competition and was a semi-finalist in the Wigmore Hall Song Competition. Subsequent 2009-2010 engagements include Benjamin Britten's Canticle I on the 3rd annual Concert for Peace in Houston, Texas, tenor soloist in Purcell's Ode to St. Cecilia on the Sacred Music in a Sacred Space concert series in NY, the role of Stevie in a reading of Michael Dellaira's new opera The Secret Agent with the Center for Contemporary Opera, guest artist with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for their lecture series with Bruce Adolphe, Schubert's Winterreise and a featured recital at the Rothko Chapel in Houston.