SIMON KEENLYSIDE was born in London. He made his operatic debut at the Hamburg State Opera as Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro). He appears in all the world’s great opera houses and has a particularly close association with the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and the Bavarian and Vienna State Opera houses, where his roles include Prospero (The Tempest), Posa (Don Carlo), Germont Père (La Traviata), Papageno (The Magic Flute), Count Almaviva, and the title roles in Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, Pelléas et Mélisande, Wozzeck, Billy Budd, Hamlet, Macbeth, and Rigoletto. He won the 2006 Olivier Award for outstanding achievement in opera. In 2007 he was given the ECHO Klassik award for male Singer of the Year, and in 2011, he was honored with Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year Award.
Simon enjoys extensive concert work and has sung under the baton of many of the world’s leading conductors, appearing with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the City of Birmingham Symphony, the London Symphony, the Philharmonia, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Czech, Vienna, and Berlin philharmonic orchestras.
A renowned recitalist, Simon Keenlyside appears regularly in the world’s major recital venues. He has recorded a disc of Schumann Lieder with Graham Johnson and four recital discs with Malcolm Martineau, of Schubert, Strauss, Brahms, and most recently, an English song disc, Songs of War, which won the Solo Vocal Award at the 2012 Gramophone Awards.
He has also recorded Britten’s War Requiem with the London Symphony Orchestra under Noseda, Mendelssoh’s Elijah under McCreesh, Des Knaben Wunderhorn under Rattle, the title role in Macbeth under Gardner, the title role in Don Giovanni under Abbado, Carmina Burana under Thielemann, Marcello in La bohème under Chailly, the title role in Billy Budd under Hickox, Papageno in The Magic Flute under Mackerras, Count Almaviva in the Grammy-winning Le nozze di Figaro under Jacobs, and Prospero in Adès’ The Tempest, which won the Best Opera Recording (Grammy Awards 2014) and Music DVD Recording of the Year (Echo Klassik Awards 2014).
Simon’s operatic plans this season include Don Giovanni at the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, and Bilbao Opera; Count Almaviva at Teatro alla Scala Milan; and the roles of Macbeth and Golaud (Pelleas et Mélisande) at the Vienna State Opera. On the concert platform he will perform Adès’ Totentanz with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and RTE National Symphony Orchestra under the composer’s baton. In recital he will appear in Barcelona, Zurich, and London with Malcolm Martineau; in the United States with Emanuel Ax; and in Prague and Munich with his jazz band program – Blue skies – Songlines to American Music.
Simon Keenlyside was made a CBE in 2003.