Friday, April 11, 2014

Ryan McKinny returns to Los Angeles as Stanley Kowalski

Ryan McKinny
If there was any doubt left that Ryan McKinny has emerged as a major talent it was erased with the announcement that he'll sing Stanley Kowalski opposite megastar Renée Fleming in Andrè Previn's Streetcar Named Desire at the Los Angeles Opera. It also cements his budding reputation as a major barihunk, adding the notoriously sexy Stanley to his growing list of barihunk roles that includes Hercules, Escamillo and Jochanaan.

McKinny truly emerged last summer as the Dutchman in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer at the Glimmerglass Festival under the direction of Francesca Zambello. McKinny's Dutchman was the sexiest portrayal of that role in operatic history and it worked masterfully. Regular readers know that we consider Zambello the "Queen Mother" of barihunks for her early and enthusiastic concept of casting baritones as not just villains and angry fathers, but as genuine sex symbols.

Ryan McKinny as the Dutchman
Streetcar Named Desire is being performed in a semi-staged concert production under the baton of Patrick Summers. The cast also includes the riveting tenor Anthony Dean Griffey as Blanche’s guileless suitor Mitch and the wonderful soprano Stacey Tappan as Stella. Performances are on May 18, 21 and 24 and tickets are available online.

It's nice to see Ryan McKinny return to the LA Opera, as it's the company that provided him many opportunities early in his career. He debuted there in 2008 as Montano in Verdis's Otello, and subsequently appeared as the Servant in Ullmann's The Broken Jug, Dr. Grenvil in Verdi's La Traviata, Don Basilio in Rossini's Barber of Seville and Leone in Handel's Tamerlano.

He can currently be seen in two productions at the Houston Grand Opera. He's currenlty singing Donner in Wagner's Das Rheingold, also conducted by Patrick Summers, which runs from April 11-26 and then he switches to Escamillo in Bizet's  Carmen from April-May 10. McKinny is a former participant with the Houston Grand Opera Studio. (We should also mention that you don't want to miss Stefan Margita as Loge in Rheingold. His is the definitive performance!).

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