Sunday, March 6, 2011

The amazing artistry of Simon Keenlyside -- Macbeth Coming to Theaters

Jennifer Larmore & Simon Keenlyside in the Met's Hamlet
There are certain singers on this site who have what can only be described as fanatical followers. Nathan Gunn, Mariusz Kwiecien, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Simon Keenlyside easily have the most rabid and devoted fans. Compared to the others, we probably don't post enough of Keenlyside, especially since he is not only one of the greatest opera singers in the world, but one of the best actors around on any stage. Oh yeah, and he's also a certifiable barihunk!

 Keenlyside can bring any role to life and his upcoming schedule will show off his wide range of repertory. In April, he will be performing Pelleas et Mellisande in Paris and London, followed by Verdi's Macbeth at Covent Garden and then the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro at Salzburg. Fans of Keenlyside will be able to view his Macbeth at theaters around the world in June. Visit the Opus Arte Cinema website for screenings in your area.
Simon Keenlyside singing "Ô vin, dissipe la tristesse"
 We've always felt that Keenlyside singing "Ô vin, dissipe la tristesse" is one of the greatest baritone moments captured on video. This is a four minute master class in how to sing French opera beautifully and make it exciting all at once. Following that is the confrontation between Hamlet and his mother Gertrude (sung here by Jennifer Larmore), in one of the most powerful scenes in all of French opera. Once again, few baritones in history have ever sung this better than Keenlyside.

Here is a sampling of Keenlyside's upcoming roles and some of his best singing in the French repertory:

To get a different sampling of his amazing French style, here he is singing Poulenc's "Hotel."

Here he is singing "Pietà, rispetto, amore" from Verdi's "Macbeth."

Here he is singing"Hai gia vinta la causa" from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. We would challenge anyone to show us a singer who can bring this role to life more than Keenlyside.


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  1. Simon is the best actor on opera stage I know.
    Great voice and looks too, and seems to be so nice and modest.
    I would love to see his Macbeth but as I am afraid, i wont even be able to listen to the performance:)
    But: how can you say in one sentence GUnn and Kwiecien with Keenlyside and Hvorostovsky? They are in other class:), Keenlyside and Hvorostovsky are real opera superstars (as much as I like Kwiecien too).

  2. Met him at the Met's Guild interview that Brian Kellow conducted. Got to ask him a question about both the good and bad in performing in a house as large as the Met. He replied in this house you need all the help you can get from the set and costume designers but he loved singing there. Thoughtful with a sly sense of humor and utterly gorgeous.