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Kyle Ketelsen

About this Artist

American bass-baritone KYLE KETELSEN (Escamillo) is in regular demand by the world’s leading opera companies and orchestras for his vibrant and handsome stage presence and his distinctive vocalism. Highlights of his 2009/10 season include his return to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to perform his renowned Figaro, as well as Mephistopheles in Gounod’s Faust, both conducted by Sir Andrew Davis; his role debut as Nick Shadow in Covent Garden’s Robert Lepage production of The Rake’s Progress, conducted by Ingo Metzmacher; and his debut at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as Leporello in a new Dmitri Chernyakov production of Don Giovanni, conducted by Louis Langrée.

Ketelsen began the 2008/09 season at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden as Leporello in Don Giovanni conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, which was followed by a return to the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona in the title role of Le nozze di Figaro. Other opera engagements included Faust with the Minnesota Opera and his debut at De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam in Carmen. Concert engagements included appearances with the Philharmonia Orchestra in Stravinsky’s Oedipus rex under Esa-Pekka Salonen, his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella under the baton of Pierre Boulez, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in Berlioz’ The Damnation of Faust under David Zinman, and Verdi’s Requiem with the Madison Symphony.

In the 2007/08 season, Ketelsen returned to Covent Garden, where he performed Escamillo in Carmen. He sang Leporello for his debuts at LA 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.

Ketelsen has garnered great critical acclaim for his portrayals with the major American theaters as well as theaters around the world. He made his Covent Garden debut as the Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte under Mackerras, and returned later that season as Henrik in a new production by David Pountney of Carl Nielsen’s Maskerade, 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; Escamillio in Carmen with the San Francisco Opera; the title role of Don Giovanni for his debut with the Minnesota Opera; Figaro for his New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and Opera Pacific debuts; the role of Leporello with Royal Opera, 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, the Villains in Les contes d’Hoffmann and Abimelech in Samson et Dalila. He has also sung Colline in La bohème with Opera Pacific, Michigan Opera Theater, and in St. Louis. Other repertoire includes Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Ferrando in Il trovatore.

In concert, Kyle Ketelsen has collaborated with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Berlioz’ Lélio, Falla’s El retablo del maese Pedro, and Kaija Saariaho’s Cinq reflets de L’Amour de Loin. He made debuts with the St. Louis Symphony in Messiah under David Robertson and with the Seattle Symphony in Mozart’s Requiem under Itzhak Perlman. Among others, he has performed with the Orchestre National de France, the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Pasadena Symphony, the Pacific Symphony, the Richmond Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, 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, Brahms’ Deutsches Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Fauré’s Requiem, Dvo?rák’s Te Deum, the Bach St. Matthew and St. John Passions, and the Mozart C-minor Mass. Among the newest additions to his concert repertoire is Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, which he performed in Madison under John DeMain, and Haydn’s Harmoniemesse, which he performed under Franz Welser-Möst in Cleveland.

Ketelsen has won First Prize in international vocal competitions given by many organizations, 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 a native of Clinton, Iowa. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa, where he studied with Albert Gammon, and pursued graduate studies at Indiana University, where he studied with Giorgio Tozzi. He currently resides in Wisconsin with his wife and children.