“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, handsome stage presence and his distinctive vocalism. Mr. Ketelsen opens the 2014–2015 season as Leporello in a new production of Don Giovanni at Lyric Opera of Chicago, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis and directed by Robert Falls. Other operatic highlights of Mr. Ketelsen’s upcoming season include his return to Canadian Opera Company as Leporello in Don Giovanni and Cadmus in the company’s production of Semele at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, as well as performances of his acclaimed Escamillo in Carmen with the Minnesota Opera under the baton of Michael Christie and at the Chorégies d'Orange festival in France. Mr. Ketelsen’s symphonic engagements include Mozart’s Requiem with Pinchas Zukerman and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Ketelsen’s 2013–2014 season featured his house debuts with Opernhaus Zurich as Méphistophélès in a new production of Faust and Staatsoper Berlin as the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as his return to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Basilio in a new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia. Mr. Ketelsen reprised two signature roles with the Bayerische Staatsoper as Escamillo and Leporello, the latter conducted by Louis Langrée, and highlights of his concert work include Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and Handel’s Messiah with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Highlights of Mr. Ketelsen’s recent seasons include his role debut as Enrico VIII in Minnesota Opera’s production of Anna Bolena; his return to the Metropolitan Opera in Billy Budd as Mr. Flint and Richard Eyre’s production of Carmen as Escamillo; performances of his celebrated Leporello in Don Giovanni at the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Teatro Real in Madrid and at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence; Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Don Fernando in Fidelio at Houston Grand Opera; and the title role in Le nozze di Figaro at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence. Recent 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 and 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 in Le nozze di 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 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 St. 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 Symphony No. 9, Berlioz’s Lélio, de Falla's El retablo del Maese Pedro, 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, which was released on compact disc in 2010, and Berlioz’s Lélio conducted by Riccardo Muti in both Chicago and at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Ketelsen has performed with the St. 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 Symphony No. 8 in Madison under John DeMain and Haydn’s Harmoniemesse under Franz Welser-Möst in Cleveland.
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.