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Datum objave: 09.10.2017

Ryan McKinny's ripped Stanley Kowalski at L.A. Opera


Ryan McKinny's ripped Stanley Kowalski at L.A. Opera

The Los Angeles Opera has been marketing their upcoming performance of André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire around mega-star Renée Fleming as Blanche DuBois. Fleming, who is a major exponent of American opera, and for whom the role was written when the opera premiered at the San Francisco Opera in 1998, certainly deserves to be the star attraction.

We, of course, were curious to see if the long tradition of casting a gym-toned barihunk as Stanley Kowalski was being upheld. The original Stanley was the Rod Gilfry in his vocal and physical prime. The role has subsequently been sung by a veritable Who's Who of barihunks, including Teddy Tahu Rhodes, David Adam Moore and Philip Cutlip. The L.A. Opera didn't disappoint, as they cast Ryan McKinny in the role, who like a bottle of 1982 Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion just gets better and better with age.

McKinny became a household name in the world of opera after performing the Dutchman in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer at the Glimmerglass Festival under the direction of Francesca Zambello. Not only was McKinny's Dutchman vocally stunning, but it was the sexiest portrayal of that role in operatic history. The photos on our site went viral and almost doubled the traffic to our site.

In addition to Fleming and McKinny, the all-star cast also includes  Stacey Tappan as Stella and Anthony Dean Griffey as Mitch. Performances are on Sunday, May 18th at 5 PM and May 21 and 24 at 7:30 PM. Tickets for all three performances are available online.

You can read an interview with Ryan McKinny on the LA Opera blog.


Ryan McKinny made his LA Opera debut in 2008 as Montano in Otello, with subsequent appearances as the Servant in The Broken Jug, Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata and Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville and Leone in Tamerlano. After his May 2014 performances as Stanley Kowalski to Renée Fleming’s Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, he will return to LA Opera in the 2014/15 season as Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro.

Engagements for the 2013/14 season include returns to Houston Grand Opera for his role debut in the title role of Rigoletto and to the Metropolitan Opera as Theseus in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream under James Conlon. Additionally, he is seen as Escamillo in Carmen and Donner in Das Rheingold, both at Houston Grand Opera. Concert appearances for the season include Britten’s War Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop, as well as recitals at Wolf Trap and Arizona Opera. Future seasons will see him at the Metropolitan Opera, Bayreuth Festival, Santa Fe Opera, LA Opera, Washington National Opera, Canadian Opera Company, English National Opera, Houston Grand Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin. For more information, please visit


American bass-baritone Ryan McKinny is "one of the finest singers of his generation"  (Opera News) and has become known for his "powerful presence"  (The Independent)  and a "voice that drips with gold"  (Opera News).

In the 2015 - 2016 season, Ryan McKinny makes his Bayreuth Festival debut as Amfortas in a new production of Parsifal under Andris Nelsons, a role he also sang for his debut at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. He also debuts at the Washington National Opera as Donner and Gunther in Der Ring des Nibelungen. Earlier this season he returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Biterolf in Tannhäuser under James Levine which was broadcast around the world in HD, and returned to the Hamburg Opera for his first European performances of Der fliegende Holländer.

Ryan McKinny began last season in a return to the Metropolitan Opera as the Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte and Kothner in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under James Levine. He also returned to the Los Angeles Opera for his role debut as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as his debut at Hawaii Opera Theatre in Francesca Zambello’s production of Der fliegende Holländer. Mr. McKinny made his Santa Fe Opera debut in the summer of 2015 as Jochanaan in a new production of Salome conducted by David Robertson.

In recent seasons, Mr. McKinny made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Lieutenant Ratcliffe in Billy Budd. He made a major role debut as Kurwenal in Christof Loy’s production of Tristan und Isolde and as the title role in Rigoletto at Houston Grand Opera, his role debut as Jochanaan in Salome at New Orleans Opera, Stanley Kowalski to Renée Fleming’s Blanche DuBois in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire at Los Angeles Opera, Nathanael in the world premiere Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini’s Der Sandmann in a production by Christof Loy at Theater Basel, and the Canadian Opera Company as Melot in Peter Sellars’s production of Tristan und Isolde under Johannes Debus. Mr. McKinny sang his first production of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer as the Dutchman in a new Francesca Zambello production at the Glimmerglass Festival to sensational audience and critical acclaim.

Mr. McKinny debuted at the English National Opera as Tiridate in David Alden’s production of Radamisto to great acclaim. He also debuted at Semperoper Dresden and Hamburg State Opera as Escamillo in Carmen, and Deutsche Oper am Rhein for his role debut as Amfortas in Parsifal. He was seen at Houston Grand Opera as the Herald in Lohengrin conducted by Patrick Summers, then at Los Angeles Opera in two new roles: Leone in Handel’s Tamerlano with Plácido Domingo and Don Basilio in Il barbiere di Siviglia. He was member of the ensemble at the Deutsche Oper Berlin where his roles included Peter in Hänsel und Gretel, Escamillo in Carmen, Un Frate in a new production of Don Carlo under Donald Runnicles, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and as bass soloist in a staged version of Verdi’s Messa da requiem. In the spring of 2010, Mr. McKinny made his European operatic debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin as Escamillo in Carmen, as well as Hercules in Peter Konwitschny’s new production of Alceste for Oper Leipzig.

On the concert stage, Mr. McKinny sang the world premiere of Shostakovich’s uncompleted opera Orango under Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic with stage direction by Peter Sellars which was reprised in London with the London Philharmonia. He has also been heard with the Cleveland Orchestra and National Symphony in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9; Rossini’s Stabat Mater at the Grant Park Music Festival; Monterone in Rigoletto and Zuniga in Carmen with the LA Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel at the Hollywood Bowl; Britten’s War Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop ; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”) at the Aspen Music Festival with Robert Spano. He has also performed the bass-baritone roles in Oedipus Rex for his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas and the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen in his final concerts as music director with staging by Peter Sellars. Mr. McKinny was heard in a special recital of Schubert’s Die Winterreise during the Sydney Festival, which was broadcast on ABC, Australia’s public radio and has been heard at the Aspen Music Festival for a recital recreated on a program originally performed by Jerome Hines in June 1949.

An alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Mr. McKinny has performed a number of roles on the mainstage, including Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Ramfis in Aida, Peter in Hänsel und Gretel, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Zuniga in Carmen, Don Pedro in Béatrice et Bénédict, Theseus in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Sam in Un ballo in maschera, Flint in Billy Budd, and Pietro in Simon Boccanegra. At the Wolf Trap Opera Company, Mr. McKinny has sung Barone di Kelbar in Verdi’s Un giorno di regno, Le Gouverneur in Rossini’s Le comte Ory and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro.

While a student at the Juilliard School, Mr. McKinny made his Carnegie Hall debut in Handel’s Messiah with the Musica Sacra Orchestra. At the Aspen Music Festival, he sang his first performance of Winterreise accompanied on the piano by Richard Bado. He has also been heard as soloist in the Mozart, Brahms, and Fauré Requiems as well as Vaughan Williams’s Dona nobis pacem. Additionally, he sang the world premiere of Henrik Strindberg’s I Thought Someone Came By at New York’s Alice Tully Hall.

Mr. McKinny was the first recipient of the Birgit Nilsson Prize for singing Wagner at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition held at Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Kirsten Flagstad/George London Award from the George London Foundation. He also represented the United States in the 2007 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, where he was a finalist in the Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize. He was a Grand Finalist in the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and is featured in the film The Audition released by Decca on DVD.

(Updated October 2015)


Ryan McKinny made his LA Opera debut in 2008 as Montano in Otello, and has also appeared as the Servant in The Broken Jug, Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata, Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville and Leone in Tamerlano. (He'll also be back next season as Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro.) This month, you can see him as Stanley Kowalski to Renée Fleming’s Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.

We sat down with Ryan to talk about how he prepared for the iconic role of Stanley Kowalski and what he does when he's not on stage.

How did the opportunity to sing Stanley Kowalski in come up?

I have worked with our conductor Patrick Summers many times and he has been a great mentor to me in my career. Also, the folks at LA Opera and I have been looking for a way to get me back for a few years now, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I have never worked with Renée before, and I am just so excited! She is truly the singular star of the opera world. 

Had you seen the 1951 film?  Did you watch (or rewatch) it after accepting the role of Stanley, or is that something that you have consciously avoided?

I had seen the film many years ago, and over the last six months have rewatched it several times. I don’t shy away from learning from other people’s work. The character of Stanley in the opera is written quite differently than the one in the play, so there is not a lot of danger of “copying,” but watching Brando’s approach and the choices he makes is inspiring.

Was this a role that had been on your radar as something you might want to do?

I first saw this opera on PBS when it premiered in San Francisco with Renée as Blanche and the great Rod Gilfry as Stanley. I was in college at the time and I never dreamed I would get to sing Stanley, much less with Renée Fleming and in my hometown of Los Angeles! It truly is a dream come true.

Do you have a dream role that you hope to sing someday?

I have already sung several dream roles: the title roles in The Flying Dutchman and in Rigoletto, for example. I still haven’t ever sung Don Giovanni which I’d love to do. Someday, if my voice develops in the right way, I would love to be able to sing Wotan and Hans Sachs.

What do you like to do when you’re not rehearsing or performing?

I love spending time with my family. I am incredibly grateful that they are able to travel with me most of the time. We homeschool our kids so we can travel together and I take on some of the teaching responsibilities so that keeps me pretty busy. Other than that, I love baseball. 

When you’re not listening to opera, what’s your music of choice?

Currently my favorite playlist contains Heartless Bastards, The White Stripes, Rupa & the April Fishes, and Adele. But I love all kinds of music: bluegrass, jazz, hip-hop, pretty much anything done really well.

What is your favorite thing to do while you are in Los Angeles?

Seeing friends and family, the beach, Disneyland, Dodger games, eating at In-N-Out. Sorry, I can’t pick just one. Oh, and also, singing.



Ryan McKinny - Die Frist ist um - La Scala - Operalia

Ryan McKinny's sexy (but controversial) Amfortas

Bass-barihunk Ryan McKinny recently made his role debut as Amfortas in Wagner's Parsifal at the Bayreuth Festival. We'll reserve commentary about the costumes and production (which was set in the Islamic world), as we don't do reviews, but these pictures will give you a sense of it. News reports say that the production was booed on opening night and security was heightened.

Rather that set the piece in Montsalvat, the castle of the knights of the Holy Grail, director Uwe Eric Laufenberg, reset the production in a bomb-outed church in the Middle East. Ryan McKinny shared  his own thoughts about the opera on Slipped Disc, which you can read in its entirety HERE. We were particularly struck by these words:

"I frequently feel distressed that this art form is too often reserved for the wealthy and powerful. But in this case, I think the wealthy and powerful are maybe the ones that need to hear this music the most...I hope this music reaches us. I hope we can feel compassion for our own suffering, for Amfortas’ suffering, for the suffering of the world. And through that compassion, gain some understanding."

Tickets for Parsifal are available online and the production runs through August 28th. McKinny returns to the United States from September 22-October 2 to perform the title role in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at the Washington National Opera. He then returns to the role of Amfortas with the Dutch National Opera from December 6-29. It will be directed by Pierre Audi.

Ryan McKinny reprises sexy Stanley Kowalski at HOT

The Hawai‘i Opera Theatre (HOT) opened Andre Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire tonight, which will also be performed on January 29, and 31st at the NBC Concert Hall in downtown Honolulu. The cast is led be barihunk Ryan McKinny in the role of Stanley Kowalski, which was made famous by Marlon Brando in the 1951 movie version. McKinny performed the role with the Los Angeles Opera to great acclaim in 2014.

He'll be joined by soprano Jill Gardner  as Blanche DuBois and Victoria Livengood as Eunice Hubbell. Tickets are available online.

The production will be directed by Brad Dalton who mounted the London premiere of the opera with the composer.  He also directed the piece at Carnegie Hall, Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The production comes from New Orleans where the story takes place. Mark Morash will conduct.

Next up for McKinny is another American opera classic, John Adams' Nixon in China with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on March 3 and 5. He then returns to his specialty as a Wagnerian, singing Gunther in Götterdammerung at the Houston Grand Opera and Amfortas in Parsifal at the Bayreuth Festival.

Rising Voices: Ryan McKinny

Ryan McKinny - Radamisto - From the Hands of Those I Slaughter

Behind the Music: Ryan McKinny

Ryan McKinny sings "An die ferne Geliebte"

New Orleans Opera - Salome

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