© Robert Workman
© Robert Workman

Sir Simon Keenlyside

– World management –

Renowned British baritone Simon Keenlyside was born in London and honed his vocal skills at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Since his debut at the Staatsoper Hamburg, where he portrayed Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Keenlyside has graced the stages of leading opera houses across the globe. His close affiliations include the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and the Bavarian and Vienna State Operas.


His extensive repertoire encompasses a diverse array of roles, showcasing his versatility and artistry. From Prospero in The Tempest to Posa in Don Carlo, Giorgio Germont in La Traviata, and Papageno in The Magic Flute. Keenlyside has demonstrated his mastery of characters like Amfortas in Parsifal, Wolfram in Tannhäuser, and Golaud in Pelléas et Mélisande. Notable among his portrayals are the title roles in Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, Wozzeck, Billy Budd, Hamlet, Macbeth, and Rigoletto.


Recent highlights in his illustrious career include compelling performances as Rigoletto and Macbeth at the Royal Opera House, Iago in Verdi’s Otello at the Grange Park Opera, and Balstrode in Peter Grimes at Paris National Opera. He sang Golaud at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and at the Liceu in Barcelona, Count Almaviva at the Teatro alla Scala Milan, Ford in Falstaff at the Salzburg Festival, Macbeth and Rigoletto at the Vienna State Opera, Amfortas at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Iago, Macbeth, Giorgio Germont as well as Amfortas at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.


Beyond the operatic realm, Simon Keenlyside is highly sought after as a recitalist, captivating audiences with his renditions of Lieder and songs. His recitals have resonated in renowned venues such as Wigmore Hall, the Palace of the Arts in Valencia, La Monnaie, Konzerthaus Vienna, and Zurich Opera House. In the 2023/24 season, audiences can anticipate his enthralling recitals at the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, Opernhaus Zurich, Grand Théâtre de Genève, and Grange Park Opera.


A frequent guest on the concert stage, Keenlyside collaborates with leading conductors and performs with esteemed orchestras, including the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, City of Birmingham Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra. He has graced the stages of the Czech, Vienna, and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras.


Simon Keenlyside’s discography is a testament to his musical prowess, featuring recordings of Schumann Lieder with Graham Johnson, four recital discs with Malcolm Martineau showcasing Schubert, Strauss, Brahms Lieder, and a collection of English songs titled Songs of War, which earned the Solo Vocal Award at the 2012 Gramophone Awards. His vocal-symphonic recordings include Britten’s War Requiem with the London Symphony Orchestra under Gianandrea Noseda, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Paul McCreesh, and Des Knaben Wunderhorn with Sir Simon Rattle, as well as Carmina Burana with Christian Thielemann. Opera enthusiasts can enjoy his recordings of the title roles in Macbeth (conducted by Edward Gardner), Don Giovanni (Claudio Abbado), and Billy Budd (Richard Hickox), as well as Marcello in La Bohème (Riccardo Chailly), Papageno in The Magic Flute (Charles Mackerras), Count Almaviva in the Grammy award-winning Le Nozze di Figaro under René Jacobs and Prospero in Adès’ The Tempest, which won the 2013 Grammy Awards‘ Best Opera Recording and the Echo Klassik Award 2014 (Music DVD Recording of the Year).


Sir Simon’s contributions to the world of music have garnered prestigious honors. He was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2003, and in June 2018, Queen Elizabeth II bestowed a knighthood upon him. In 2017, he received the title of Austrian Kammersänger at the Vienna State Opera. The accolades continue, with a 2006 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera and the 2007 ECHO Klassik award for Male Singer of the Year.

November 2023 – For the most recent biography please contact Luis Aliaga