PC: Dario Acosta

“Inspired casting of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Rigoletto created a scintillating evening at the Civic Opera House, with Quinn Kelsey embracing the title role both musically and dramatically – a Verdi baritone of the
first rank.”

Rigoletto at Lyric Opera of Chicago;
James L. Zychowicz,
Seen and Heard International, October 11, 2017

World Management

Hawaiian Baritone Quinn Kelsey, the 2015 Metropolitan Opera’s Beverly Sills Award recipient, is in high demand for the Verdi, Puccini and French repertoires in houses such as the Metropolitan and San Francisco Operas, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Opernhaus Zürich.


This season, Mr. Kelsey returns to four important houses in new productions: the Metropolitan Opera for the title-role in Rigoletto, the Opernhaus Zürich for the Count di Luna in Il Trovatore, the Sächsische Staatsoper in Dresden for Amonasro in Aida and the Santa Fe Opera as the title-role in Falstaff.  He will also be heard in Zürich in Rigoletto and at the Metropolitan Opera as Marcello in La Bohème.  Future projects include returns to the Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Paris Opera, the Opernhaus Zürich and the Canadian Opera Company as well as a debut with the Teatro Real, Madrid.

Last season Quinn Kelsey returned to the Opernhaus Zürich for a series of concerts of arias and ensembles by Verdi.  He made debuts with Opera Philadelphia and the Cincinnati Opera for his role debut as Scarpia in Tosca and the Palm Beach Opera as Marcello in La Bohème.  He sang his first Tonio in a filmed version of I Pagliacci with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.


Prior to that Quinn Kelsey returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for a new role, Miller in Luisa Miller, before reprising Germont in La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera and joining the company as Marcello in Act I of La Bohème for their New Year’s Eve Gala.  He made his Los Angeles Opera debut with a new role: Nottingham in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux


Previously, Quinn Kelsey returned to the Metropolitan Opera for his celebrated Germont in the new production of La Traviata, along with Amonasro in Aida.  He also returned to Zurich for the title-role in Rigoletto and to Hawaii for more performances as Germont. He made debuts in Dallas as Ford in Falstaff and in Spain at the Peralada festival as Germont. 


Prior to that Mr. Kelsey returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for the title role in Rigoletto, the Metropolitan Opera for Peter in Hansel and Gretel, Count di Luna in Il Trovatore, and Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Opernhaus Zürich for Germont in La Traviata, and made his debut with Washington National Opera as Posa in Don Carlo.  In concert, Mr. Kelsey sang the Baritone Solo in Mahler’s Symphony no. 8 with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Thomas Søndergård at the Proms.


The previous season, Mr. Kelsey returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to sing Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, for Count di Luna in Il Trovatore, Oper Frankfurt for the title role in a new production of Rigoletto, and the San Francisco Opera for further performances of Rigoletto. He ended the season with his debut at the Chorégies d’Orange Festival singing Amonasro in Aida and with his Australian debut as Athanaël in Thaïs with the Melbourne Symphony and Sir Andrew Davis.


Earlier, Mr. Kelsey’s 2015-2016 season began with his return to Toronto as Germont in La Traviata, followed by performances of Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Oper Frankfurt, Marcello in La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera and the title-role in Rigoletto with Opernhaus Zürich.  He also made two important house debuts: first as Germont in La Traviata at the Royal Opera House, then in the title role of Rigoletto in a new Claus Guth production at the Opéra National de Paris.  Mr. Kelsey was also heard in solo recital at London’s Wigmore Hall and in Frankfurt. 


Quinn Kelsey has performed major roles at many of the most prestigious opera houses, including the title role in Rigoletto (Opernhaus Zürich, Canadian Opera Company, Santa Fe Opera, English National Opera, Norwegian National Opera), the Count di Luna in Il Trovatore (Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Staatsoper Dresden) Germont in La Traviata (Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Opernhaus Zürich, Seoul Arts Center), Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor (Lyric Opera of Chicago, Oper Frankfurt, Deutsche Oper Berlin), Amonasro in Aida (Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Vancouver Opera, Bregenz Festival and in concert with Hawaii Opera Theatre), Marcello in La Bohème (Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera), the Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen (Lyric Opera of Chicago, Saito Kinen Festival, Teatro Comunale in Florence), and Sharpless in Madadma Butterfly (San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater). His complete repertoire is wide-ranging, however, and has included roles such as Valentin in Faust (Opera Grand Rapids), the title role in Falstaff (Saito Kinen Festival), the Messenger Spirit in Die Frau ohne Schatten (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Paolo in Simon Boccanegra (Lyric Opera of Chicago, Teatro dell’Opera in Rome), Ezio in Attila (San Francisco Opera), Guy de Montfort in Les Vêpres Siciliennes (Oper Frankfurt), Sancho Pança in Massenet’s Don Quichotte (Canadian Opera Company), and Athanaël in Thaïs (Edinburgh Festival).


In concert, Mr. Kelsey has performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the San Francisco Symphony, Nashville Symphony, and Milwaukee Symphony, Faure’s Requiem with the San Diego Symphony, Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater with the Grand Park Music Festival, and numerous works with major orchestral and choral organizations throughout Hawaii, including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Duruflé’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Fauré’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Rutter’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Thompson’s Peaceable Kingdom, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Creation, and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria. In recital, he has been heard in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, at Wigmore Hall on the Rosenblatt Recital series, with Oper Frankfurt, at the Kennedy Center under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation and on their “On Wings of Song” Series in New York City, at the Cerritos Center in Los Angeles in the Jose Iturbi Recital Series, with the Lyric Opera and the Harris Theatre in Chicago, and with Performance Santa Fe.


Quinn Kelsey won a Richard Tucker Foundation Career Grant (after winning a Sarah Tucker Study Grant) and was a finalist of the 2004 Placido Domingo Operalia Competition. He was a member of the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, now known as the Ryan Center, for three years. In 2003 Quinn Kelsey won a Scholarship from the Solti Foundation of Chicago. Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mr. Kelsey received his Bachelor’s of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Hawaii at Manoa under John W. Mount.