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 2016–2017 season sees Mr. Green’s return to the Metropolitan Opera as Colline in the iconic Zeffirelli production of La Boheme, as well as his house and role debut as Osmin in the James Robinson production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Houston Grand Opera. Mr. Green also returns to the Wiener Staatsoper for his third season as an ensemble member with roles including Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Timur in Turandot. Additional engagements include his role and house debut as Escamillo in Carmen with Opera San Antonio.
Concert work in the 2016–2017 season includes Mr. Green’s 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, and Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Santa Cruz Symphony, conducted by music director Daniel Stewart.. Recital engagements include his debut at the Ravinia Festival and a recital and residency at the Torggler Summer Vocal Institute at Christopher Newport University in his native Virginia.
The 2017–2018 season will see Mr. Green return to the Metropolitan Opera to sing Oroe in the John Copley production of Semiramide, as well as a return to the Wiener Staatsoper for roles including Fasolt in Das Rheingold, Pistola in Falstaff, 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.
Mr. Green made his Met stage debut as a Lindemann Young Artist, singing the Mandarin in Turandot, with additional appearances including Rambo in the premier of The Death of Klinghoffer conducted by David Robertson, the Second Knight in a new production of Parsifal, 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, and Commendatore in Don Giovanni at The Juilliard School.
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 Mtsensk, Angelotti in Tosca, and the King in Aida.
Orchestral appearances include 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.
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.