Sir Simon Keenlyside

Sir Simon Keenlyside is one of the world’s most sought after and charismatic singers, noted for his versatility and highly charged performances on stage.

© Robert Workman


Revered British baritone Simon Keenlyside received a Knighthood in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours. Awarded the title of Austrian Kammersänger by the Wiener Staatsoper in 2017, his many other accolades include Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year, the ECHO Klassik Male Singer of the Year Award and an Olivier Award for outstanding achievement in Opera.

Simon began his 2020/21 season with Wozzeck at the Bayerische Staatsoper and he will return to Munich later in the season for appearances as Macbeth, Amfortas Parsifal and Père Germont La Traviata. Other season highlights will include Don Carlo at the Opernhaus Zurich, concert performances with the Bayerische Rundfunk Munich under Franz Welser-Möst and Brahms Requiem under Zubin Mehta at the Teatro alla Scala Milan.

From The Green Room


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    Brahms Requiem

    Label: Clasart Classic

    Release Date: 20 Jan 17

    The Cleveland Orchestra
    Conductor: Franz Welser-Möst

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    Something's gotta give

    Label: Chandos Records

    Release Date: 07 Nov 14

    Baritone: Simon Keenlyside
    Vocalist: Scarlett Strallen
    Conductor: David Charles Abell
    BBC Concert Orchestra

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    Verdi 'Macbeth'

    Label: Chandos Records

    Release Date: 31 Mar 14

    Macbeth: Simon Keenlyside

    Lady Macbeth: Latonia Moore

    Banquo: Brindley Sherratt

    Macduff: Gwyn Hughes Jones

    Malcolm: Ben Johnson

    Conductor: Edward Gardner
    English National Opera Orchestra

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    Tchaikovsky 'Eugene Onegin'

    Label: Opus Arte

    Release Date: 04 Sep 13

    Conductor: Robert Ticciati

    Director: Kasper Holten
    Tatyana: Krassimira Stoyanova
    Eugene Onegin: Simon Keenlyside
    Olga: Elena Maximova
    Lensky: Pavol Breslik
    Prince Gremin: Peter Rose
    Madame Larina: Diana Montague

    Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House


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    Adès 'The Tempest'

    Label: Deutsche Grammophon

    Release Date: 16 Aug 13

    Best Opera Recording (2014 Grammy Awards)
    Music DVD Recording of the Year (2014 Echo Klassik Awards)

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    Britten 'War Requiem'

    Label: LSO Live

    Release Date: 08 May 12

    Soprano: Sabina Cvilak

    Baritone: Simon Keenlyside
    Tenor: Ian Bostridge
    Conductor: Gianandrea Noseda
    London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

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    Mendelssohn 'Elijah'

    Label: Winged Lion Records

    Release Date: 28 Aug 12

    Simon Keenlyside sings the title role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah under Paul McCreesh with the Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir and Gabrieli Consort Players

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    Verdi 'Macbeth'

    Label: Opus Arte

    Release Date: 31 Jan 12

    Conductor: Antonio Pappano

    Director: Philippa Lloyd

    Macbeth: Simon Keenlyside
    Banquo: Raymond Aceto
    Lady Macbeth: Liudmyla Monastyrska
    Lady-in-Waiting: Elisabeth Meister
    Servant to Macbeth: Nigel Cliffe
    Duncan: Ian Lindsay
    Malcolm: Steven Ebel
    Macduff: Dimitri Pittas
    Fleance: Will Richardson

    Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House
    Recorded live at The Royal Opera House, 13 June, 2011

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    Songs of War

    Label: Sony Classical

    Release Date: 07 Nov 11

    This English song disc received the 2012 Solo Vocal Gramophone Award
    Baritone: Simon Keenlyside
    Piano: Malcolm Martineau

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    Dein ist mein ganzes herz

    Label: Sony Classical

    Release Date: 17 Aug 11

    An operetta disc with Simon Keenlyside and Angelika Kirchschlager.

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    Gounod 'Faust'

    Label: Warner Classic

    Release Date: 07 Sep 10

    Conductor: Antonio Pappano

    Director: David McVicar

    Marguerite: Angela Gheorghiu

    Faust: Roberto Alagna

    Mephistopeles: Bryn Terfel

    Valentin: Simon Keenlyside

    Siebel: Sophie Koch

    Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House

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    Verdi 'Don Carlo'

    Label: EMI Classics

    Release Date: 13 Sep 10

    Conductor: Antonio Pappano

    Director: Nicholas Hytner

    Don Carlo: Rolando Villazón
    Elisabetta di Valois: Marina Poplavskaya
    Rodrigo: Simon Keenlyside
    Philip II: Ferruccio Furlanetto
    Princess Eboli: Sonia Ganassi
    Tebaldo: Pumeza Matshikiza
    Conte di Lerma: Nikola Matišic
    Grand Inquisitor: Eric Halfvarson

    Orchestra & Chorus of the Royal Opera House


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    Adès 'The Tempest'

    Label: Emi Classics

    Release Date: 01 Dec 09

    Prospero: Simon Keenlyside

    Miranda: Kate Royal

    Ariel: Cyndia Sieden

    Ferdinand: Toby Spence

    Alonso: Philip Langridge

    Conductor: Thomas Adès

    Chorus and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

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    Schumann & Brahms Lieder

    Label: Sony Classical

    Release Date: 01 Apr 09

    Baritone: Simon Keenlyside
    Piano: Malcolm Martineau

    A disc of Schumann and Brahms Lieder

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    Schubert, Wolf, Faure & Ravel

    Label: Wigmore Hall Live

    Release Date: 26 Oct 08

    Baritone: Simon Keenlyside
    Piano: Malcolm Martineau

    A disc of Schubert, Wolf, Faure and Ravel

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    Tales of Opera

    Label: Sony BMG

    Release Date: 01 Dec 07

    Baritone: Simon Keenlyside
    Conductor: Ulf Schirmer
    Münchner Rundfunkorchester

    A disc of opera arias by Rossini, Massenet, Verdi, Bellini, Mozart and Wagner.

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    Monteverdi 'L'Orfeo'

    Label: Harmonia Munid

    Release Date: 09 Jan 07

    Conductor: Rene Jacobs
    Director: Trisha Brown
    Orfeo: Simon Keenlyside
    Euridice, Musica Echo: Junanita Lascarro
    Messagiera: Junita Lascarro
    Prosperina: Martina Dike
    Speranza, Pastore: Stephen Wallace
    Plutone: Tomas Tomassom
    Caronte, Pastore: Paul Gerimon
    Apollo: Mauro Ultzeri
    Ninfa: Anne Cambier
    Orchestra and Chorus de la Monnaie

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    Strauss Favourtie Lieder

    Label: Emi classics

    Release Date: 01 Mar 04

    Baritone: Simon Keenlyside

    Piano: Malcolm Martineau

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    Schubert Favourite Lieder

    Label: Emi Classics

    Release Date: 01 Sep 03

    Baritone: Simon Keenlyside

    Piano: Malcolm Martineau

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    The English songs series Vol 3: Vaughan Williams

    Label: Collins Classics

    Release Date: 18 Feb 03

    Counter-Tenor: Anthony Rolfe Costanzo

    Baritone: Simon Keenlyside

    Piano: Graham Johnson

    The Duke Quartet

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    Mahler 'Eight lieder from Des Knaben Wunderhorn'

    Label: Emi Classics

    Release Date: 05 Oct 98

    Conductor: Simon Rattle

    Baritone: Simon Keenlyside

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    17 Dec 19 VERDI La traviata
    Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

    “Simon Keenlyside’s Giorgio Germont was perfectly judged: stiffly patrician, whose rigid movements suggested coldness and indifference. Much of this was exemplified in the clipped articulation and icy flourishes of Act two’s “Un di quando le veneri.” If Keenlyside’s voice has become darker and more gravelly it has lost none of its power in the spectacular declamatory coloratura at the climax of his “Di Provenza.” There, his tough lyricism became a weapon to beat his son with… His acting in the climactic scene of the opera was a masterclass in the economical expression of regret and the slow realization that he has destroyed his son’s life and their relationship.”

    Benjamin Poore, Opera Wire, 25 December 2019

    “Simon Keenlyside is one of the great Germont pères… Here, Keenlyside was implacable father in the second act, commanding both vocally and in presence.”

    Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International, 19 December 2019

    “Simon Keenlyside was, as ever, an intelligently vocalised and enunciated Germont père”

    Alexander Campbell, Classical Source, 21 December 2019

    “Giorgio Germont è Simon Keenlyside, baritono con un bel percorso alle spalle, sfoggia ancora una bella voce e soprattutto una peculiare intelligenza musicale, bel fraseggio e una grande intensità interpretativa; ben delineato il personaggio, di cui viene sottolineata l’austerità, la compostezza, ma anche il lato umano con le sue fragilità, i dubbi e i cedimenti.”

    (Translated) “Giorgio Germont is Simon Keenlyside, a baritone with quite a career already behind him, who still demonstrates a beautiful voice and above all a particular musical intelligence, lovely phrasing and great intensity of interpretation; his character is well-defined, highlighting his austerity, control, but also the more human side with his frailties, doubts and concessions.”

    Barbara Catellani, Opera Click, 07 January 2020

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    15 Nov 19 DEBUSSY Pelléas et Mélisande
    Hamburgische Staatsoper

    “C’est avec un grand plaisir que l’on retrouve Simon Keenlyside. A près de 60 ans et après des années de crise vocale, il revient en scène depuis quelques saisons et campe ici un Golaud aussi luxueux vocalement que son français est appliqué.”

    (Translated) “It is with great pleasure that we see Simon Keenlyside again. At nearly 60 years of age and after years of vocal crisis, he returned to the stage several seasons ago and here portrays a Golaud who is as vocally luxurious as his French is meticulous.”

    Yannick Boussaert, Forum Opera, 17 November 2019

    “Pour ce personnage le plus dramatique de l’œuvre, Simon Keenlyside revient en termes de jeu d’acteur à son plus haut niveau. Il développe un homme torturé, empli de tourments dès son écart dans la forêt, jusque devant Mélisande en croix sur son lit de mort à la scène finale… son chant trouve toujours le même impact, renforcé par un jeu d’une rare violence lorsqu’il cherche à savoir et comprendre, que cela soit d’Yniold, de Pelléas ou de Mélisande.”
    (Translated) “For this character, the most dramatic of the work, Simon Keenlyside is back at his highest level of performance. He develops a tortured man, full of torment from his opening in the forest right up to standing before Mélisande laid on her deathbed in the final scene… his singing still produces the same impact, strengthened by a performance of erratic violence while he seeks to discover and understand, whether this be Yniold, Pelléas or Mélisande.”
    Vincent Guillemin, ResMusica, 25 November 2019

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    29 Jun 19 Mozart Le nozze di Figaro
    Royal Opera House Covent Garden

    “…it was in the third act when she was onstage with Simon Keenlyside that we heard her at her absolute finest. And of our Count…Keenlyside was on form. Magisterial in both acting and in vocal terms – beauty of sound, diction, characterisation – this was Keenlyside, always a fine singer, at the very top of his game.”

    Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International, 01 July 2019

    ” Simon Keenlyside’s Count acts everyone else off the stage, and can still sing most people off it, too. To hear…such baritone[s] in this opera is luxury indeed.”

    Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 02 July 2019

    “Simon Keenlyside stood out as an exceptionally fine Almaviva. Quite apart from his usual strong and expressive voice, he has developed a wicked laugh to add to his portrayal of the villainous Count.”

    Express, 07 July 2019

    “Sir Simon Keenlyside cut a suitably aristocratic figure in Almaviva’s brocade housecoat and inhabited the conflicted Count with greater clarity than anyone else I’ve seen in this production. His interpretation favoured the shoulder with the devil on it… but it always felt psychologically truthful and even his baleful “Hai già vinta la causa” allowed for a grain of sympathy.”

    Mark Valencia, Bachtrack, 02 July 2019

    “Simon Keenlyside is a Count of long experience and very skilful at expressing the minutiae of the role’s splenetic entitlement, compromised authority and rampant eroticism; his voice is powerful, agile and finely coloured.”

    Peter Reid, Classical Source, 29 June 2019

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    25 Jun 19 Schumann 'Dichterliebe' Emanuel Ax, piano
    Wigmore Hall

    “In Dichterliebe…Ax and Simon Keenlyside made a dream partnership, the singer vivid in his word-painting, whether outgoing or confiding, and Ax, for all that the piano was placed at an oblique angle with its lid on the shortest stick, illuminated the piano-writing with superfine touch and impressionistic colours. Singing from memory, Keenlyside was amazing, so deeply involved, creating an opera.”
    Colin Anderson, Classical Source, 26 June 2019

    “The singer is never less than passionate, and delivered Heine’s pained texts with a rare intensity. His voice is maturing elegantly…gaining character and burnish, ideal for Schumann’s lingering lines.”
    Gavin Dixon, The Arts Desk, 26 June 2019

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    23 May 19 Sibelius songs Cleveland Orchestra / Franz Welser-Möst
    Severance Hall, Cleveland

    “British baritone Simon Keenlyside made the most of his recent visit to Severance Hall, offering an impassioned odyssey through Schubert’s Winterreise with pianist Natalia Katyukova on May 19 in Reinberger Chamber Hall, and bringing revelatory performances of eight Sibelius songs to his guest appearance with Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra on Thursday evening, May 23…The audience rewarded the baritone with a huge ovation and several callbacks.”
    Daniel Hathaway, Cleveland Classical, 29 May 2019

    “Many fine solo instrumentalists and vocalists appear on the stage of Severance Hall with The Cleveland Orchestra, but occasionally there is one who stands above the usual excellence. Such was the case on Thursday when English baritone Sir Simon Keenlyside sang eight rarely performed songs by Jean Sibelius in orchestral arrangements – mostly by others – from the original voice and piano.
    His voice was full and rich, with brilliant high notes above the staff, soaring effortlessly over sometimes dense orchestrations.”
    Timothy Robson, BachTrack, 25 May 2019

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    19 May 19 Schubert "Winterreise" Natalia Katyukova, piano
    Reinberger Chamber Hall, Cleveland

    “CLEVELAND, Ohio – A word for what transpired Sunday night at Severance Hall doesn’t exist.
    “Recital” doesn’t cut it. Neither does “concert.” That’s because baritone Simon Keenlyside didn’t just perform Schubert’s “Winterreise.” He inhabited it.
    Wielding a voice of seemingly infinite color and the talents of a seasoned actor, the British singer held Reinberger Chamber Hall in the palm of his hand for 75 whole minutes with the tale of a dejected lover on the brink of self-destruction.
    … On a small stage with nothing but a piano, the singer made clear up close why he’s one of the leading lights in opera today.”
    Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer, 20 May 2019

    “Keenlyside didn’t just sing or perform, he lived the score. In a remarkably shrewd presentation, it came across as completely guileless, though it must have been carefully prepared. The singer paced the stage, yet never resorted to a fake acting-out of the text. There was no scenery representing the sights he sang about, yet one felt that Keenlyside was really seeing those things. He charted a course just shy of wildness…. Keenlyside was in excellent voice, running the range from coldly quiet to loudly storming. He pushed his voice hard enough to portray the narrator’s anguish, yet never quite past control…When Keenlyside reached ‘Das Wirtshaus’ (‘The Tavern’), the devastation was so complete, the listener could feel without question that the song about the traveler continued on, but the narrator had clearly entered a state of mind from which he would never return — devastatingly prophetic for both Wilhelm Müller and Franz Schubert, both of whom died young. The final ‘Der Leiermann’ (‘The Hurdy-Gurdy Man’) rightly teetered on the brink, leaving a frightening silence at the end.”
    Mark Sebastian Jordan, Seen & Heard International, 23 May 2019

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    05 May 19 Wolfram 'Tannhäuser'
    Deutsche Oper Berlin

    “Keenlyside estuvo soberbio desde todo punto de vista y puede decirse que la función se justificaba por este Wolfram tierno, apesadumbrado, por momentos airado, consciente de que su amor no correspondido sería el mejor para Elisabeth, pero incapaz -como suele suceder- de demostrarlo con alguna probabilidad de éxito. Su canción a la estrella vespertina fue, por supuesto, magnífica, pero todas sus intervenciones lo fueron. Y, como siempre, su actuación fue la de un señor de la escena.”
    Jorge Binaghi,, 22 May 2019

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    25 Nov 18 US recital tour Malcolm Martineau, piano

    “Keenlyside possesses one of the most ravishing baritone voices you are likely to hear anywhere in the world today…”
    Bernard Jacobson, Seen & Heard International, 21 December 2018

    “Keenlyside exhibited a lovely poise throughout, always finding telling communication and expressive variety, while Martineau’s combination of alertness and refinement could not help but add to the magic…With vast dramatic experience in opera, the baritone is vivid in detailing and a consummate storyteller too. Then there is the range and strength of his voice, featuring a beautifully burnished middle – variously smooth or expanding out with a passionate incisiveness – which can transform into a telling falsetto as easily as a low sotto voce. ”
    Geoffrey Newman, Seen & Heard International, 3 December 2018

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    03 Oct 18 Rigoletto Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg
    Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Paris

    “La distribution est dominée Par Simon Keenlyside, en grande forme vocale, qui s’empare du rôle-titre avec une fougue et une conviction qui laissent pantois. Sur la scène, le baryton anglais se déplace en claudiquant pour mieux créer l’illusion de la difformité de son personnage… sur le plan vocal il livre une interprétation d’une rare intensité dramatique avec un sens du phrasé et une intelligence du texte qui n’est pas sans rappeler celle d’un Fischer-Dieskau.”

    (Translated)“The cast is dominated by Simon Keenlyside, on great vocal form, who takes the title role with a passion and conviction that leave you speechless. On the stage, the English baritone moves in limp to better create the illusion of the deformity of his character… On the vocal side.. he delivers an interpretation of a rare dramatic intensity with a sense of phrasing and an understanding of the text that is not unlike that of a Fischer-Dieskau.”

    Christian Peter, Forum Opera, 3 October 2018

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    07 Jul 18 Verdi Falstaff
    Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

    “Simon Keenlyside’s Ford is also wonderfully sung”

    ★★★★ Barry Millington, Evening Standard Arts, 09 July 2018

    “Simon Keenlyside has fun with Ford’s bluster, and sings his jealousy monologue expertly.”

    Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 08 July 2018

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    01 Jun 18 Mozart Don Giovanni
    Grand Théâtre de Genève

    “Depuis trente ans qu’il interprète le rôle sur toutes les plus grandes scènes internationales, Sir Simon Keenlyside continue d’être, à bientôt soixante ans, le plus enthousiasmant des Don Giovanni : un Don athlétique, facétieux et désabusé à la fois… Son charisme se double d’un aplomb vocal saisissant, le baryton britannique conférant une vibrante intensité à chacune de ses phrases… L’effet est toujours calculé au plus juste, laissant l’auditeur imaginer ce que pourrait être un véritable accès de colère ou une déclaration d’amour brûlante de passion. Pareille maîtrise du pianissimo complice et de l’appoggiature friponne caractérise la supériorité souveraine de Keenlyside sur tous ses rivaux actuels.”

    “After thirty years interpreting the role on all the biggest international stages, Sir Simon Keenlyside, almost sixty years old, remains the most thrilling Don Giovanni: an athletic Don, facetious and disillusioned at the same time… His charisma doubles up as gripping vocal self-confidence, the British baritone lending a vibrant intensity to each of his phrases… The effect is always calculated as precisely as possible, leaving the listener to imagine what could be a genuine fit of anger or declaration of love burning with passion. His mastery of both a conniving pianissimo and a mischievous appogiatura characterises Keenlyside’s supreme superiority over all his current rivals.”

    Emmanuel Andrieu, Opera Online, 15 June 2018

    “Portée par un extraordinaire Simon Keenlyside dans le rôle-titre, la production du Grand Théâtre séduit.

    Le baryton… a été renversant et dévastateur dans le rôle-titre, tant sur le versant vocal que dans l’incarnation habitée du collectionneur de conquêtes…Dans les mouvements sur les planches…on reconnaît le génie de sa personification…Servi par une voix puissante et claire et par une diction parfaite”

    “Carried by an extraordinary Simon Keenlyside in the title-role, the Grand Théâtre production seduces.

    The baritone… was astounding and devastating in the title-role, as much on the vocal side as in the accustomed embodiment of the collector of conquests… In his movements across the boards…you can see the genius behind his characterisation… Possessor of a powerful and clear voice and perfect diction”

    Rocco Zacheo, Tribune de Genève, 02 June 2018

    “Si la scénographie est relativement statique, elle permet de mettre l’accent tout naturellement sur ce Don Giovanni superbement incarné par Simon Keenlyside, époustouflant. Dès les premiers instants, son visage blême, sa voix impérieuse, son physique impressionnant, animal, en font un prédateur de première catégorie. Le choix du metteur en scène est d’explorer cette animalité, et Simon Keenlyside s’y donne à cœur joie, offrant un Don Giovanni vocalement superlatif, scéniquement investi, qui se rit de la morale”

    “If the scenography was a little static, it did allow for the emphasis to fall naturally on this breathtaking Don Giovanni, portrayed magnificently by Simon Keenlyside. From the very first moments, his pallid face, commanding voice and imposing, animalistic physique made him a predator of the highest order. The director chose to explore this animality and Simon Keenlyside had a field day, presenting a vocally exceptional, theatrically invested Don Giovanni who laughs in the face of morality”

    ★★★★ Thomas Muller, Bachtrack, 04 June 2018

    “Simon Keenlyside promène son Don Giovanni avec constance depuis des années, son timbre chaleureux, coloré, son style impeccable, son phrasé modèle sont des guaranties… La voix a toujours ses qualités, la présence est toujours forte… Grand artiste.”

    “Simon Keenlyside has been treading the boards as Don Giovanni consistently for years. His warm, colourful timbre, impeccable style and model phrasing are guarantees… His voice still retains its qualities, his presence is still strong. A real artist.”

    Guy Cherqui, Wanderer, 22 June 2018

    “Le baryton irlandais pousse le rôle-titre à ses limites dans un jeu décomplexé et électrique. Sa voix? Elle conserve une prestance et une projection magnifiquement maîtrisée… Simon Keenlyside a tout pour camper le rôle.”

    “The Irish baritone pushes the title-role to its limits in an uninhibited, electric performance. His voice retains presence and a magnificently mastered projection… Simon Keenlyside has everything to embody the role.”

    Sylvie Bonier, Le Temps, 04 June 2018

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    03 May 18 Verdi Rigoletto
    Deutsche Oper Berlin

    “Simon Keenlyside est à présent revenu à son plus haut niveau et si l’incarnation du personnage fascine toujours autant, le chanteur passionne également lorsqu’il ouvre la bouche, notamment dans les moments graves, dont l’air Cortigiani, vil razza dannata et son touchant finale.”

    “Simon Keenlyside is now back at his highest level, and if his embodiment of the character still captivates just as much, the singer is equally enthralling as soon as he opens his mouth, notably in lower moments such as in the Cortigiani, vil razza dannata air and in his moving finale.”

    Vincent Guillemin, ResMusica, 15 May 2018

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    02 Dec 17 Leoncavallo Pagliacci
    Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

    “The outstanding performance here, however, was that of another Covent Garden absentee – Simon Keenlyside, returning after a three-year absence due to throat illness as the scheming Tonio and happily proving that his voice remains splendidly vigorous as well as acting the vicious lecherous misfit with Dickensian relish.”
    ★★★★ Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 03 December 2017

    “Simon Keenlyside’s voice is on the smooth side for the hunchbacked ruffian that is Tonio, but he put in so much energy and sounded so good that it’s hard to complain.”
    ★★★★★ David Karlin, Bach Track, 03 December 2017

    “Simon Keenlyside excels as creepy, lago-like Tonio.”
    ★★★★ Richard Morrison, The Times, 04 December 2017

    “…and the unlovely Tonio, superbly sung with repugnant, tight anger and a convincing, rubbery physicality by Simon Keenlyside.”
    ★★★★ Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, 10 December 2017

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    27 Sep 16 Mozart Don Giovanni
    Metropolitan Opera

    “He is now back in New York starring in a revival of Michael Grandage’s production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” and he seemed in fine shape, vocally and physically. His voice rang out cleanly and clearly, and he showed good stamina in a portrayal long on physical exertion.”
    James R. Oestreich, The New York Times, 28 September 2016 

    “The best news is that the much-loved British baritone Simon Keenlyside…was back, lithe and physically deft, in the title role, which he first sang with Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 1993…his mercurial charm, wit and musicianship won out.”
    Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 2 October 2016 

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    15 Jul 16 Giuseppe Verdi La Traviata
    National Theater Munich

    “Simon Keenlyside has been a regular as Giorgio Germont in this production. Mr Keenlyside…has always been a strong singer and an excellent artist who gives meaning to everything he sings. He was a convincing Germont.”
    Jose M. Irurzun, Seen and Heard

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    02 Jul 16 Lionel Bart Oliver - role of Fagin
    Grange Park Opera

    “The big draw in terms of operatic terms was Simon Keenlyside…. his acting…was the chief pleasure…. In dialogue scenes he proved himself a versatile comic actor, with a sharp sense of timing and an excellent command of detail….  the [Simon’s] portrait felt complex and rounded.”
    Warwick Thompson, OPERA, August 2016

    “…he reviewed the situation and picked a pocket or two with style, wit and crisp enunciation, as well as some nicely underplayed characterisation.”
    Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 3 June 2016 

    “As Fagin…he sounded in excellent form… Always a resourceful actor, Keenlyside made Fagin into a complex, at least partially sympathetic figure, making every word tell and putting each of his numbers over effectively, as well as joining skilfully in the busy ensemble routines; his was the finest performance onstage and quite properly the centerpiece of the show.”
    George Hall, Opera News, August 2016

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    22 Oct 14 Schubert 'Winterreise' with Emanuel Ax
    Wigmore Hall

    “– a poignant and powerful Winterreise
    …with the baritone drawing discreetly on his great actorly abilities, occasionally pacing the platform, looking up to the heavens and, finally and most theatrically of all, stepping forward to the front of the stage for a motionless delivery of the bleakest of bleak final songs… Keenlyside was magnificently and even frighteningly authoritative, while the dramatic urgency of Numbness, On the River and The Inn was grippingly delivered… there was a thought-out artistic purpose at each twist and turn; it is hard to recall a more numbed conclusion than the one these artists achieved as the organ-grinder’s tune died on the edge of the void.”
    4**** Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 23 October 2014 

    “He declaimed Wilhelm Müller’s poetry with the fluidity of speech. His German is excellent, his diction is pristine, his eye for detail acute. Armed with his dark, handsome baritone, he unveiled multiple layers of meaning in every song, every stanza and, occasionally, in a single line.”
    Hannah Nepil, Financial Times, 23 October 2014

    “Is there such a thing as ‘the’ Winterreise? Of course not, since it is true of all masterpieces that they lend themselves to a variety of interpretations whilst still retaining their individuality; however, Simon Keenlyside and Emanuel Ax come as close as any performers today to capturing the sense of Schubert’s work as the journey of an angry, despairing soul.”
    Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH, 22 October 2014

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    12 Sep 14 Verdi Rigoletto
    Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

    “The Royal Opera’s latest revival of David McVicar’s production of Rigoletto primarily forms a vehicle for Simon Keenlyside, who plays Verdi’s tragic jester in a startling performance that is as much about physicality as it is about singing. Whirling around on crutches in the opening scene, he reminds us of Antony Sher’s Richard III. His gestures are obscene, and few Rigolettos have quite so forcefully brought home the fact that the loathing with which he satirises the Mantuan court is genuine rather than assumed.”
    Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 16 September 2014

    “The reason to go is Simon Keenlyside, singing the title role for the first time at the Royal Opera. Still where others flail, agile where some might stagger, Keenlyside can act anyone else off the stage. For once you sympathise with Hugo’s hunchback.”
    Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, 21 September 2014

    “The British baritone Simon Keenlyside is quite superb in the title role, adding a gravelly tone to his usual immaculate voice to bring an earthy grittiness to the part that fits the troubled nature of Rigoletto excellently.”
    William Hartston, Express, 16 September 2014

    “…as Rigoletto, Simon Keenlyside…sings with great warmth and authority.”
    Michael Church, The Independent, 15 September 2014

    “…in Simon Keenlyside, singing Rigoletto for the first time at Covent Garden following an acclaimed Welsh National Opera run in 2010, revival director Leah Hausman has a protagonist quite unlike the old-school Italians usually associated with the role. Keenlyside’s voice is in fine fettle…and his physical volatility chimes perfectly with the production’s edgy look and feel…Keenlyside gives it his all.”
    David Gutman, The Stage, 15 September 2014

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    19 May 14 Verdi Macbeth
    Orchestra of the English National Opera/Gardner (Chandos CD)

    “Simon Keenlyside explores the title role in depth, offering a huge variety of expression and fulfilling the potential of Verdi’s notes to reveal minute nuances of character and situation: his nervous usurper of the Scottish throne is an extremely powerful portrayal.”
    George Hall, BBC Music Magazine, June 2014

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    04 Apr 14 Gounod Faust
    Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

    “…while Simon Keenlyside is a magnificent Valentin, combining anger with self-righteousness: his death scene is chilling.”
    George Hall, The Guardian, 7 April 2014