ROHM’s traditional year-end concert takes the Muscat audience on a journey into the wonderful world of Broadway with the British baritone, Simon Keenlyside, one of the world’s most sought-after and charismatic singers. The music is performed by PKF- Prague Philharmonia under the baton of the renowned British American conductor, Charles David Abell, an authoritative interpreter of musicals.
Keenlyside grew up with music in a household where both his father and grandfather were violinists. The sounds he heard as he went to sleep were those of Mozart, Hayden and Schubert. When Simon was eight years old, he was enrolled in a boarding school for child choristers in the Choir of St John’s College in Cambridge, through which he had the life-changing experience of performing as a choir soloist touring the world as far as America in the West and Japan and Australia in the East.
Later, in high school, Simon spent his holidays serving as a warden with the Royal Society for Protection of Birds and came to know the songs of most European birds. Simon completed a degree in Zoology at the University of Cambridge and then returned to St John’s College as a choral scholar.
He strengthened his education at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music where he enrolled in singing. He took master classes after graduating and also advanced his education at the Salzburg Mozarteum.
Keenlyside made his first appearance in a major operatic role in 1987 as Lescaut in Manon Lescaut at the Royal Northern College of Music to critical acclaim. His professional debut as a baritone came in 1988, at the Hamburg State Opera as Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro. The following year Keenlyside joined the roster of Scottish Opera, where he stayed until 1994, performing among other roles Marcello in La Bohème, Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Papageno in the The Magic Flute and Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore.
During this period Keenlyside made major debut performances at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Paris Opera and the Sydney Opera House. In 1996, he made his debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Keenleyside’s discography includes opera and operetta duets, as well as lieder and songs by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Richard Strauss and Vaughan Williams.
Noted for his versatility and highly charged performances on stage, Keenlyside will enchant the audience with famous songs from musicals such as My Fair Lady, The King and I, Carousel and Oklahoma! Speaking of the future in a recent interview Keenlyside said, “I’ll never get tired of the stand-and-sing roles like Germont in Traviata and Posa in Don Carlos – parts where you really have to act with your voice and pin the audience to their seats with inflexion, nuance and colour”. ROHM’s 2016 year end gala promises to be an exciting one.
The Royal Opera House Muscat presents A Broadway Gala with Simon Keenlyside on Saturday December 31, 2016 at 6.30 pm.
For information and booking, consult the ROHM website - www.rohmuscat.org.om