Praised as “expressive and dynamic” and “vocally splendid”, American baritone Michael Kelly continues to distinguish himself as a consummate artist, sought-after for his riveting interpretations of recital, concert and operatic repertoire. Most recently, Mr. Kelly made his Parisian debut as Sergeant Lombardi in the French premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s PASSION at the Théâtre du Châtelet, in a critically acclaimed production staged by award-winning actress / director Fanny Ardant and starring Natalie Dessay. Recent engagements include the role of Edward Kynaston in Carlisle Floyd’s THE PRINCE OF PLAYERS with the Little Opera Theatre of New York, Count Gil IL SEGRETO DI SUSANNA with The Orchestra Now at Carnegie Hall, and Figaro IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA with Indianapolis Opera. Upcoming engagements include Papageno THE MAGIC FLUTE for Opera Fairbanks and the Soldier in a revival of Matt Aucoin’s THE CROSSING at BAM.
Mr. Kelly has appeared in recitals at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, in Houston Texas, and at the National Opera Center and taken part in world premieres by Matthew Aucoin and Mohammed Fairouz. Recent engagements include Fauré Requiem, Mozart Coronation Mass, Orff Carmina Burana, and Schumann Der Rose Pilgerfahrt with the Houston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada. An avid and passionate recital and chamber music interpreter, he can be found on soon-to-be released recordings of Del Tredici’s A Field Manual, and a live recording of Fairouz’s Zabur for Naxos Records. Other engagements include Handel’s Israel in Egypt with Berkshire Choral Festival, the twentieth anniversary production of Kimper’s PATIENCE AND SARAH, and the New York premier of Zabur at Carnegie Hall.
Captivating audiences with his “exquisitely self-effacing” artistry, Mr. Kelly is a versatile and innovative vocalist, having performed with The Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Cathedral Choral Society, Mostly Mozart Festival, Opernhaus Zurich, Chicago Opera Theater, Gotham Chamber Opera, Mark Morris Dance Group, Ars Lyrica, and Mercury Orchestra. His repertoire ranges from the baroque to modern, leading him to collaborate with some of today’s most exciting composers, many of whose work he has premiered, including Tom Cipullo, David Del Tredici, Mohammed Fairouz, Ricky Ian Gordon, Libby Larsen, Lowell Lieberman, Ben Moore, Reinaldo Moya, John Musto, and David Sisco. He made his European debut with Opernhaus Zürich in Handel’s RINALDO with William Christie and has performed in opera, chamber and symphonic works under the batons of such conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Michael Christie, Andreas Delfs, Jane Glover, Benton Hess, James Levine, Anne Manson, Nicholas McGegan, Steven Osgood, Leonard Slatkin, and Stephen Stubbs. Michael has collaborated in recital with celebrated pianists Martin Katz, Kathleen Kelly, Malcolm Martineau, Spencer Myer, Jonathan Ware and Brian Zeger. Other operatic roles include the Soldier in Matthew Aucoin’s THE CROSSING at the A.R.T Schubert Theatre, Boston, Coridon ACIS AND GALATEA and Myrtil/Tantale LE DESCENTE D’ORPHÉE/LA COURONNE DE FLEURS for the Boston Early Music Festival, the Narrator IL COMBATTIMENTO DI TANCREDI E CLORINDA for Gotham Chamber Opera, St Ignatius FOUR SAINTS IN THREE ACTS for the Mark Morris Dance Group, Aeneas DIDO AND AENEAS for Festival San Miguel de Allende, Almaviva THE GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES for the Aspen Music Festival and Aeneas LA DIDONE for Opernhaus Zürich.
Mr. Kelly has won prizes in several prominent competitions, including first prizes in 2013’s Poulenc Competition and 2011’s Joy in Singing. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Juilliard, and was a member of the Opernstudio at Opernhaus Zurich. Michael is also co-artistic director with Kathleen Kelly of SongFusion, a song recital series based in Manhattan.