Winner of the Birgit Nilsson prize at the 2016 Operalia competition, tenor Brenton Ryan is hailed by Opera News for his “remarkable tonal suavity and refined phrasing,” and is quickly establishing himself as a singer of great vocal diversity and dramatic depth. The 2017-18 season sees Mr. Ryan’s return to the Metropolitan Opera as ‘Spoletta’ in a new production of Tosca directed by Sir David McVicar, conducted by James Levine, which will be broadcast to theatres around the world as part of the Met’s Live in HD program. Mr. Ryan also makes his house debut with Opera Philadelphia as ‘Monostatos’ in the Barrie Kosky production of Die Zauberflöte, and his house debut with Santa Fe Opera singing the role of ‘Dancing Master’ in Ariadne auf Naxos, and covering the role of ‘Goro’ in Madama Butterfly. Additional engagements include his house debut with Dallas Opera singing both ‘Gastone’ in La Traviata and ‘Florian’ in Der ring des Polykrates, as well as a return to LA Opera singing ‘John Wormley’ in a concert performance of Matthew Aucoin’s The Crossing.
Last season Mr. Ryan made his house debut with San Francisco Opera as ‘Janek’ in Oliver Tambosi’s production of The Makropulos Case, as well as his house debut with San Diego Opera as ‘Gastone’ in La Traviata. Mr. Ryan also returned to LA Opera as a guest artist singing ‘Pedrillo’ in the James Robinson production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, conducted by James Conlon. Additional engagements include his house debut with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis singing the roles of ‘Titorelli’, ‘Flogger’, and ‘Student’ in the US premiere of The Trial by Philip Glass, based on the Franz Kafka novel. Orchestral engagements included Mozart’s Requiem with the Omaha Symphony, and a return to his alma mater, DePaul University, for Christmas at DePaul.
Highlights of previous seasons include Mr. Ryan’s house and role debut at the Metropolitan Opera as ‘Pedrillo’ in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, conducted by James Levine in his final appearance as Music Director, and his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as ‘Der Narr’ in Wozzeck conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Mr. Ryan sang ‘Henrik’ in A Little Night Music with Houston Grand Opera, and ‘Male Chorus’ in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia in a return to Wolf Trap Opera. Mr. Ryan made his company debut at LA Opera as ‘Gastone’ in La Traviata alongside Placido Domingo, conducted by Conlon, and sang ‘Spirit’/‘Sailor’ Dido and Aeneas, ‘Léon’ in The Ghosts of Versailles, and ‘Kyros’ in Hercules vs. Vampires as a Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist.
Additional operatic engagements include ‘Cavaliere Belfiore’ in Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims, and ‘Bardolfo’ in Verdi’s Falstaff as a Filene Young Artist at Wolf Trap Opera Company, ‘Tony’ in West Side Story, and ‘Léon’ in The Ghosts of Versailles at the Aspen Music Festival and School, ‘Mosca’ in John Musto’s Volpone, ‘Nerone’ in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, ‘Nanki-Poo’ in Sullivan’s Mikado, ‘Captain Macheath’ in The Beggar’s Opera, and the ‘Prince’ in Susa’s Transformations.
Mr. Ryan’s concert appearances include semi-staged performances of Wozzeck and Ravel’s L’heure Espagnole, both with the Houston Symphony under Hans Graf, his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, Beethoven’s Sympohony No. 9 with both the Lexington Philharmonic and Rice University, and Elijah at DePaul University. Recital work includes his debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and concerts with the New York Festival of Song at both Caramoor and Merkin Hall in New York City. Mr. Ryan is a 2012 alum of the Music Academy of the West.
A graduate of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, Mr. Ryan also holds a Bachelor of Music degree from DePaul University. He is featured in the film In Our Nature, starring John Slattery, Zach Gilford, Gabrielle Union, and Jena Malone, singing a selection from Pagliacci.