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Simon Keenlyside

Simon Keenlyside was born in London.  He made his operatic debut at the Hamburg State Opera as Count Almaviva Le Nozze di Figaro. Simon appears in all the world’s great opera houses and has a particularly close association with the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and the Bavarian and Vienna State Opera houses where his roles include Prospero The Tempest, Posa Don Carlo, Germont Père La Traviata, Papageno The Magic Flute, Count Almaviva and the title roles in Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, Pelléas et Mélisande, Wozzeck, Billy Budd, Hamlet, Macbeth and Rigoletto.

Simon’s 19/20 season includes a return to the Vienna State Opera for Posa Don Carlo, Ford Falstaff and Giorgio Germont La Traviata; the Bavarian State Opera for Rigoletto, Amfortas Parsifal and Germont; the Royal Opera House for Germont; the Hamburg State Opera for Golaud; the Deutsche Oper Berlin for Amfortas; and Bratislava for Posa. Simon will appear in concert with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding, the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst, the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien under Alexander Joel, and the Orchestre de Paris under Daniele Rustioni.   

A renowned recitalist Simon appears regularly in the world’s major recital venues, this season in partnership with Thomas Adès for Schubert’s Winterreise at the Vienna State Opera; with Malcolm Martineau at the Wigmore Hall and Opera de Lille; and with Caroline Dowdle at the Palau de les Arts Valencia and Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid.  Simon has recorded a disc of Schumann Lieder with Graham Johnson and four recital discs with Malcolm Martineau, of Schubert, Strauss, Brahms, and most recently, an English song disc, Songs of War which won the Solo Vocal Award at the 2012 Gramophone Awards.

Simon enjoys extensive concert work and has sung under the baton of many of the worlds’ leading conductors, appearing with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the City of Birmingham, London Symphony, Philharmonia and Cleveland Orchestras, and the Czech, Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras.  He has also recorded Britten’s War Requiem with the London Symphony Orchestra under Noseda, Mendelssohn’s Elijah under McCreesh, Des Knaben Wunderhorn under Rattle, the title role in Macbeth under Gardner, the title role in Don Giovanni under Abbado, Carmina Burana under Thielemann, Marcello La Bohème under Chailly, the title role in Billy Budd under Hickox, Papageno The Magic Flute under Mackerras, Count Almaviva in the Grammy 

award-winning Le Nozze di Figaro under Jacobs, and Prospero in Adès’ The Tempest which won the Best Opera Recording (Grammy Awards 2014) and Music DVD Recording of the Year (Echo Klassik Awards 2014).

Simon was made a CBE in 2003 and received a knighthood in the June 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours.   In 2017, he was awarded the title of Austrian Kammersänger at the Vienna State Opera. He won the 2006 Olivier Award for outstanding achievement in Opera. In 2007, he was given the ECHO Klassik award for male Singer of the Year, and in 2011, he was honoured with Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year Award.

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