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Biography

Baritone Michael Kelly is an accomplished artist whose insightful interpretations, silken voice, and expressive use of language have garnered him comparison to such icons of song repertoire as Matthias Goerne and Gérard Souzay.

 

As the 2011 winner of the Joy in Singing competition, he made his Merkin Concert Hall debut with a wide-ranging program that included works by Schubert, Poulenc, Bolcom, and Weill as well as a new cycle commissioned for the occasion: Love Remained by Ben Moore, based on texts by Harvey Milk and others. 


Mr. Kelly’s recent concert appearances have included a solo recital at the Saint Louis Art Museum New York’s Trinity Church, St Ignatius in Thomson’s Four Saints in Three Acts and Satie’s Socrate with the Mark Morris Dance Group,Schubert’s Winterreise in Houston, a concert of Tchaikovsky songs at New York’s Symphony Space with Ensemble for the Romantic Century, and several European recitals including Liederabends on the stage of Opernhaus Zürich and at the Wagner Museum in Lucerne. Upcoming engagements include Monteverdi’s Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda with Gotham Chamber Opera, Carmina Burana with the Kansas City Symphony led by Nicholas McGegan, and Nielsen’s 3rd Symphony with the Cleveland Orchestra led by Herbert Blomstedt. 

 

The qualities Mr. Kelly brings to the concert stage are matched in his opera performances. He recently appeared to great acclaim in John Corigliano’s Ghosts of Versailles at the Aspen Opera Theatre Center; at the Boston Early Music Festival as Coridon in Acis and Galatea and in Charpentier’s Orphée, and as Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the Festival de Musica Barocca de San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. He made his European debut with Opernhaus Zürich in Handel’s Rinaldo under the baton of William Christie. He played Artémidore in Lully’s Armide with Mercury Baroque, and Aeneas in Cavalli’s La Didone with the renownedInternationales Opernstudio at Opernhaus Zürich, where he also sang in Così Fan Tutte. He has created roles in the premieres of two operas, Miss Lonelyhearts by Lowell Lieberman and The Secret Agent by Michael Dellaira. During his training at The Juilliard School, where he earned a master’s degree, he performed with the Juilliard Opera Theater as Idamante in Idomeneo and Sattirino in Cavalli’s La Calisto

 

Mr. Kelly’s wide-ranging musical curiosity led him to co-found SongFusion, an ensemble dedicated to collaboration between singers and instrumentalists, dancers, actors, and visual artists. Highlights of the group’s debut season, which comprised five concerts, included a celebration of Franz Liszt’s bicentennial, States of Mind; a collaboration with artist Kevork Mourad, a portrait of the composer Libby Larsen, and a tribute to composer Lee Hoiby.

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