Acclaimed bass-baritone Ryan McKinny (photo courtesy of Mr. McKinny).
Bass-Baritone Ryan McKinny to Step Into Title Role of Don Giovanni at Lyric Opera After Davide Luciano Suffers Injury
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Lyric Opera of Chicago announced recently that American bass-baritone Ryan McKinny will portray the title role of Mozart’s Don Giovanni through December 8. Unfortunately, Davide Luciano has suffered a torn muscle requiring several weeks of rehabilitation at home in Italy, which will prevent him from singing in what would have been his Lyric debut. Lucas Meacham has been in the title role for the month of November.
Ryan McKinny made his Lyric debut earlier this month in Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally’s Dead Man Walking as Joseph De Rocher to rave reviews. Musical America said, "McKinny’s De Rocher is equally multi-layered…. His deep voice rattles the heavens in a chilling outburst of bone-shaking fear and towering outrage." The acclaimed American bass-baritone sang his first Don Giovanni at Houston Grand Opera last season. He has also recently performed Wotan/Das Rheingold at L’Opéra de Montréal, Amfortas/Parsifal at Bayreuth Festival, and John Adams/Girls of the Golden West at Dutch National Opera. McKinny has been featured at the Metropolitan Opera (Tannhӓuser, The Magic Flute, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Billy Budd); LA Opera (The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, A Streetcar Named Desire, Handel’s Tamerlano); The Santa Fe Opera (Doctor Atomic, Salome); Washington National Opera (Ring cycle, The Marriage of Figaro); and The Glimmerglass Festival (The Flying Dutchman, Carousel). Successes abroad encompass works of Handel (Radamisto, London), Gluck (Alceste, Leipzig), Wagner (The Flying Dutchman, Hamburg; Tristan und Isolde, Berlin), Strauss (Arabella, Wiesbaden) and Bizet (Carmen, Hamburg, Dresden). McKinny has been heard with the major orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, and Boston, among others.
The Chicago Tribune called McKinny’s portrayal of De Rocher on Lyric’s stage "an acting tour de force buttressed by a warmly inviting voice." Chicago Classical Review called McKinny’s a "knockout Lyric Opera debut" and added that "the American singer didn’t set a shackled foot wrong."
Born in California, Ryan McKinny studied music at the Juilliard School. He was the first recipient of Birgit Nilsson Prize for singing Wagner at the Operalia Competition held at Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Kirsten Flagstad/George London Award from the George London Foundation. He also represented the United States in the 2007 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, where he was a finalist in the Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize. He was a Grand Finalist in the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and is featured in the film The Audition released by Decca on DVD.