Artist Of The Week: Quinn Kelsey To Light Up The Stage As ‘Rigoletto’

By Francisco Salazar

This week San Francisco Opera’s summer season begins, offering three favorites from the repertoire with intriguing casts. But it is Quinn Kelsey who has the honor of opening the season and bringing one of his most acclaimed roles to the house.

As “Rigoletto” the Hawaiian baritone has brought his portrayal to Paris, Hawaii, London, Zurich, Santa Fe, and, most recently, Frankfurt. It is a role he has dominated and that has essentially become his signature and the one for which he is most in demand. Critics have lauded him for his work and stated, “[It’s] not just the size of his voice or the finish of his technique, although both are impressive. It’s his heart … You hear the pain behind the anger; the man’s vulnerability is evident in every phrase.” They have also stated, ” It was a knockout performance, and he is clearly at the height of what will surely be a long and storied vocal career.” Kelsey will be joined by Nino Machaidze as his Gilda and Pene Pati as the Duke.

In the past few years, Kelsey has become the go-to Verdi baritone for his dynamic acting and his musicality. He has also become the ideal Verdi baritone for numerous houses, singing in such works as “Attila,” “I Vespri Siciliani,” “La Traviata,” “Il Trovatore,” “Falstaff,” and “Simon Boccanegra.”

He is a favorite of the San Francisco Opera, where he formed part of the young artist program and debuted in 2008 as Marcello in Puccini’s “La Bohème.” Since then he has performed Ezio in “Attila” and Germont in “La Traviata.”

After “Rigoletto,” he will continue his rise to fame as Amonasro in “Aida” in Orange and will also sing in Massenet’s “Thaïs” in Melbourne. He also returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Peter in Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel,” the Conte di Luna in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” and Enrico in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor.”

San Francisco audiences are in for a treat and this is one performance you cannot miss!


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