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Kyle Ketelsen (Bass-Baritone)

Born: Clinton, Iowa, USA

The American bass-baritone, Kyle Ketelsen, earned his Bachelor of Music degree in May 1995 from the University of Iowa where he studied with Albert Gammon (1991-1995), and did his Master of Music degree in May 1999 from Indiana University where he studied with Giorgio Tozzi (1995-2000). Since 2008 he studies with Scott McCoy. He has won First Prize in several international vocal competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation (Career Grant), the George London Foundation, the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, the Sullivan Foundation, Opera Index, the MacAllister Awards, Fort Worth Opera, National Opera Association, Connecticut Opera and the Liederkranz Foundation.

Kyle Ketelsen is in regular demand by the world's leading opera companies and orchestras for his vibrant and handsome stage presence and his distinctive vocalism. He has garnered great critical acclaim for his portrayals with the major American theaters, as well as theaters around the world. He made is Covent Garden debut as the Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte under Charles Mackerras, where he then returned later that season as Henrik in Carl Nielsen’s Maskerade in a new production by David Pountney, and a debut with Teatro Carlo Felico in Genoa as Figaro. His Lyric Opera of Chicago debut was as Masetto in a new production of Don Giovanni conducted by Christoph Eschenbach and directed by Peter Stein with a cast including Bryn Terfel, Karita Mattila and Susan Graham. In recent seasons, he made his debut with the Metropolitan Opera as Angelotti in Tosca, he sang the title role of Don Giovanni for his debut with the Minnesota Opera, W.A. Mozart’s Figaro for his New York City Opera debut as well as at Opera Pacific, the role of Leporello with Glimmerglass Opera and Michigan Opera Theater, Escamillo in Carmen with Washington National Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Michigan Opera Theater, the Teatro Real, Madrid and Orlando Opera, and his debut performances of Gounod's Mephistopheles in Faust with Michigan Opera Theater. Other roles in Washington include Oroveso in Norma , the Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte and the Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Abimelech in Samson et Dalila. He has also sung Colline in La Boheme with Opera Pacific, Michigan Opera Theater and in St. Louis. Other repertoire includes Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Ferrando in Il Trovatore.

Following his return to the Royal Opera, Covent Garden as Figaro under Sir Colin Davis, Kyle Ketelsen began the 2006-2007 season with the opening night of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra singing de Falla's El Retablo del Maese Pedro under Esa-Pekka Salonen. He sang under Sir Colin Davis again in his debut with the Orchestre National de France in Berlioz's Romeo et Juliette. He toured Europe under Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra in a W.A. Mozart anniversary year program. This was followed by his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra in Haydn's Harmoniemesse conducted by Franz Welser-Möst. Later in the season, he made his San Francisco Opera debut as Escamillo in Carmen and returned to the Royal Opera as Zoroastro in George Frideric Handel's Orlando under Sir Charles Mackerras and as Leporello in Don Giovanni under Ivor Bolton. He also brought his renowned Figaro to Boston for his debut at Boston Lyric Opera under Stephen Lord. In the 2007-2008 season, he returned to Covent Garden where he performed Escamillo in Carmen. He sang Leporello in Don Giovanni for his debuts at Los Angeles Opera and the Gran Teatre del Liceu. He also sang the four villains in a new production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann for his debut at the Hamburg State Opera, and Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor at Madison Opera.

Kyle Ketelsen began the 2008-2009 season at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden as Leporello in Don Giovanni conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, followed by a return to the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona in the title role in Le Nozze di Figaro. Other opera engagements this season include Faust with the Minnesota Opera, and his debut at De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam in Carmen conducted by Mariss Jansons. Concert engagements include appearances with the Philharmonia Orchestra in Igor Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex under Esa-Pekka Salonen, his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in I. Stravinsky’s Pulcinella under the baton of Pierre Boulez, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra in Berlioz’ The Damnation of Faust under David Zinman, and Verdi’s Requiem with the Madison Symphony.

In concert, Kyle Ketelsen has collaborated with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in L.v. Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Berlioz’s Lélio and Kaija Saariaho’s Cinq reflets au l’Amour de loin. He made debuts with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra in Messiah under David Robertson and with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in W.A. Mozart’s Requiem under Itzhak Perlman. Among others, he has performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and numerous other organizations throughout the Midwest. He made his Carnegie Hall debut with Haydn's Creation with the Oratorio Society of New York and repeated this work with Music of the Baroque in Chicago. His concert repertoire also includes the Verdi Requiem, Johannes Brahms Deutsches Requiem, G.F. Handel Messiah, Gabriel Fauré Requiem, Dvorák Te Deum, the J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) and St. John Passion (BWV 245) and the W.A. Mozart's C-Minor Mass. Among the newest additions to his concert repertoire is Gustav Mahler's Eighth Symphony in Madison under John DeMain.

Kyle Ketelsen currently resides in Wisconsin with his wife and children.

“Far and away the most commanding performance was that of bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as Leporello. He has a naturally beautiful, superbly trained voice, rich and clear at the low end, smooth and flexible in the middle range and effortless at the top. Good as his sound was, his acting was better. Ketelsen fully realized the role. He was rewarded at the curtain-call by an uninhibited outburst of cheering and a standing ovation." - Jess Anderson, Opera News

Source: Kyle Ketelsen Website (August 2008)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron(May 2010)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Vance George


BWV 245

Links to other Sites

Bass-Baritone Kyle Ketelsen (Official Website)
Kyle Ketelsen - Bass-Baritone (IMG Artists)

Biographies of Performers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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Last update: Saturday, August 19, 2017 14:25