Ryan Speedo Green
Praised by Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times for his “robust voice” and Anne Midgette of the Washington Post as an artist “fully ready for a big career,” Bass-Baritone Ryan Speedo Green is quickly establishing himself as an artist of international demand at the world’s leading opera houses. The 2018 – 2019 season sees Mr. Green return to the Metropolitan Opera to sing The King in Aida, conducted by Nicola Luisotti, which will be broadcast to theaters around the world as part of the Met’s Live in HD program. Mr. Green also returns to the Wiener Staatsoper as a member of the ensemble with roles including Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Der Einarmige in Die Frau ohne Schatten, and Lodovico in Otello, among others.
Orchestral engagements for the 2018 – 2019 season include Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 conducted by Marin Alsop at the Ravinia Festival, a debut with the Mostly Mozart Festival singing Mozart’s Requiem with Louis Langrée for the closing night of the festival, and a debut with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for Haydn’s Seven Last Words with the Orion String Quartet. Mr. Green will be presented in recital at the Terrace Theatre at the Kennedy Center as winner of the 2018 – 2019 Marian Anderson Vocal Award from Washington National Opera, and also appears in recital with Dayton Opera at the Schuster Performing Arts Center.
The 2017 – 2018 season saw Mr. Green return to the Metropolitan Opera for his role debut as Oroe in Semiramide, conducted by Maurizio Benini and broadcast as part of the Met’s Live in HD program. Mr. Green also returned to the Wiener Staatsoper as an ensemble member with roles including Fasolt in Das Rheingold, Sparafcuile in Rigoletto, Titurel in Parsifal, Pistola in Falstaff, the King in Aida, Schmidt in Andrea Chénier, Dottore in La Traviata, and Peneios in Daphne, among others.
In the fall of 2016, Little, Brown published Sing for Your Life, by New York Times journalist Daniel Bergner. The book tells the story of Mr. Green’s personal and artistic journey: from a trailer park in southeastern Virginia and from time spent in Virginia’s juvenile facility of last resort to the Met stage. The New York Times Book Review called the book “one of the most inspiring stories I’ve come across in a long time,” and the Washington Post called it a “vital, compelling, and highly recommended book.” Sing for your Life has been honored with a number of recognitions including the New York Times bestseller and editor’s choice, a Washington Post Notable Book, and a Publishers Weekly Book of the Year.
Highlights of Mr. Green’s performances at the Metropolitan Opera include Colline in the iconic Zeffirelli production of La Boheme, which the New York Times labeled Mr. Green “the real showstopper,” and the New York Observer marked this performance as his “breakthrough as a star.” Additional highlights include Rambo in the premier of The Death of Klinghoffer conducted by David Robertson, the Second Knight in a new production of Parsifal which was broadcast as part of the Met’s Live in HD program, the Bonze in Madama Butterfly, and the Jailer in Tosca. Additional operatic engagements include Ferrando in Il Trovatore with Opera de Lille’s traveling production, Third King in Die Liebe der Danae with the Salzburg Festival, his house and role debut as Osmin in the James Robinson production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Houston Grand Opera, as well as his house and role debut as Escamillo in Carmen with Opera San Antonio.
At the Wiener Staatsoper, Mr. Green has been seen as Sparafucile in a new production of Rigoletto, Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Varlam in Boris Godunov, Angelotti in Tosca, Timur in a new production of Turandot, Fouquier Tinville in Andrea Chénier, the Monk in Don Carlo, the Pope in Lady Macbeth of Mzensk, and the King in Aida.
Orchestral appearances include his debut with the LA Philharmonic singing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony conducted by Gustavo Dudamel at the Hollywood Bowl, a return to Tanglewood for Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with Bramwell Tovey conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra, his debut with the Brevard Music Festival singing Verdi’s Requiem, Strauss’s Daphne with the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by music director Franz Welser-Möst, his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Second Soldier in Salome under the baton of Andris Nelsons, a debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra singing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the bass solo in Verdi’s Requiem with Hartford Chorale, Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the Virginia Symphony, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Florida Symphony and Norwalk Symphony Orchestras. Mr. Green was also a featured soloist in a celebration of song honoring Carlisle Floyd’s 85th Birthday with the Florida State University Department of Music, conducted by the composer.
Recital engagements include his debut at the Ravinia Festival with pianist Adam Nielsen and a recital and residency at the Torggler Summer Vocal Institute at Christopher Newport University in his native Virginia.
Honors and awards include National Grand Finals winner of the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a 2014 George London Foundation Award, a 2014 Annenberg grant recipient, a 2014 Gerda Lissner Foundation First Prize winner, both the Richard and Sara Tucker Grants from the Richard Tucker Foundation, and a finalist in the Palm Beach Opera Competition.
A native of Suffolk, Virginia, Mr. Green received a Master of Music degree from Florida State University, a Bachelor of Music degree from the Hartt School of Music, and was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
But this performance will be remembered, I think, as the night of bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green’s breakthrough as a star. His full and distinctive voice made even the tiniest lines sound important, and his final act “Coat Aria” felt like the climax of the whole opera. I predict this artist, already mightily impressive, will soon be so essential he’ll be anchoring a Gesamtkunstwerk of his very own.
“Ryan Speedo Green, a scene-stealing bass-baritone with a robust voice, was excellent as Osmin, the overseer of the pasha’s palace.”
“The bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green, with his husky physique and robust voice, makes a menacing figure as the hijacker nicknamed Rambo.”
Bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green is both the opera’s standout star and least likable character as Osmin, Pasha Selim’s overseer and harem guard. From his first major aria—where he hog-ties Pedrillo and sings about how he’ll mangle, strangle, rip and tear him apart—he was a fantasy of sonorous, rumbling tone and accuracy. Green has mastered the trick of Mozart, who remains hands down the most adroit opera composer ever—you have to make something really difficult to sing effortlessly.
“But the real showstopper was Mr. Green, immensely touching in his aria lamenting the loss of his overcoat, which he is about to sell for the communal good. He also showed athleticism in a mock swordfight with Mr. Pogossov on the set’s angular Parisian rooftops.”
“The excellent quartet of soloists was most notable for bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green…whose voice exudes charisma in ways that even the best bass soloist can’t always manage in the heroic call-to-arms of the final movement. Green’s burnished, unforced sound and projection of words were all of a piece.”
“Ryan Speedo Green stands almost six-foot-five and weighs 300 pounds and wears size 17 shoes, and on a Sunday afternoon in March he was running in place and doing jumping jacks as he waited in the wings of the Metropolitan Opera…”
“Ryan Speedo Green, who sang Don Profondo with a warm mien and sound, seems fully ready for a big career.”
“Bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green filled out the role of Don Profondo with a warm, beefy tone that he molded with great nuance; the patter of “Medaglie incomparabili” breezed by with delectable shifts of accent for each nationality referenced in the text.”
“Bass Ryan Speedo Green sang the role of Don Basilio with entrancing stage presence. His towering frame, vocal sonority and perfect comic timing made the “slander” aria one of the evening’s standouts.”
“In the cameo part of the Mandarin, Ryan Speedo Green made a promising debut. The youthful bass-baritone — who was less than a year old when this production premiered in 1987 — boasted a full, smoky voice and towering stage presence.”
“Debuting in the small role of the Mandarin, bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green impressed with his strong delivery and commanding stage presence.”
“The Commendatore was sung with imposing gravity by the bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green.”
“Ryan Speedo Green, a bass-baritone who recently won the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions, offered an imposing portrayal of the Commendatore.”
“In this tale of a serial seducer sent to hell for his sins, one singer stood literally head and shoulders above the rest: 6-foot-5 bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green. As the vengeful Commendatore, the 24-year-old revealed a voice as mighty as a cannon — and the magnetic presence of a superstar.”
“Ryan Speedo Green was a magnificently sonorous Sarastro, resplendent in graying dreadlocks and flowing robe.”