“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
American bass-baritone 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. Mr. Ketelsen’s 2013–2014 season was highlighted by a house debut with Zurich Opera as Méphistophélès in a new production of Faust. He also returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Basilio in a new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia. Mr. Ketelsen reprises two signature roles with the Bayerische Staatsoper as Escamillo in Carmen and Leporello in Don Giovanni, the latter conducted by Louis Langrée. Concert work includes Rossini’s Stabat mater with the Mostly Mozart Festival conducted by Gianandrea Noseda.
The 2012–2013 season marked a role debut as Enrico VIII in Minnesota Opera’s production of Anna Bolena, as well as a return to the Metropolitan Opera in Richard Eyre’s production of Carmen as Escamillo. Later in the season he repeated his celebrated Leporello in three different productions of Don Giovanni at Houston Grand Opera, Teatro Real in Madrid, and at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence.
Highlights of Mr. Ketelsen’s previous season include Leporello in Don Giovanni and Mr. Flint in Billy Budd at the Metropolitan Opera, Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Don Fernando in Fidelio at Houston Grand Opera, and the title role of Le nozze di Figaro at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. Concert appearances include Brahms’ Deutsches Requiem with the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, Beethoven’s Fidelio with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, Rossini’s Moïse et Pharaon with the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall, as well as Teatro Comunale di Bologna’s Japanese tour as Escamillo in Carmen.
Mr. Ketelsen made his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Masetto in Don Giovanni conducted by Christoph Eschenbach and continued his career there singing the title role of Figaro, and Méphistophélès in Faust, both conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. His trademark role of Escamillo has been seen at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Bayrische Staatsoper, and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. At the Royal Opera House Covent Garden he made his role debut as Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress and debuted at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as Leporello in a new production of Don Giovanni. He joined the Canadian Opera Company in a role debut as Alidoro in La Cenerentola. Ever in demand, Mr. Ketelsen has performed at many of the world’s leading opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Minnesota Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu, New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Pacific, Royal Opera House, Glimmerglass Festival, Michigan Opera Theatre, De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, Hamburg State Opera, Madison Opera, Washington National Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Teatro Carlo Felice, and Teatro Real in Madrid.
In concert, Mr. Ketelsen 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. In addition, he has collaborated with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Berlioz’s Lélio, de Falla's El Retablo del Maese Pedro, and Kaija Saariaho’s Cinq reflets au l’amour de loin, and with the Philharmonia Orchestra in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex. With the Chicago Symphony Orchestra he has sung Stravinsky’s Pulcinella under the baton of Pierre Boulez and Berlioz’s Lélio conducted by Riccardo Muti in both Chicago and at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Ketelsen has performed with the Saint Louis Symphony in Handel’s Messiah, the Seattle Symphony in Mozart’s Requiem under Itzhak Perlman, as well as the Orchestre National de France, the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Pasadena Symphony, the Pacific Symphony, Richmond Symphony, and Indianapolis Symphony. Among the newest additions to his concert repertoire is Mahler's Eighth Symphony in Madison under John DeMain and Haydn’s Harmoniemesse under Franz Welser-Möst in Cleveland. He was also featured in recital with Elizabeth Futral.
Mr. Ketelsen has won First Prize in several international vocal competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, 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.