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 2019 – 2020 season sees Mr. Green’s fourth consecutive season at the Metropolitan Opera, making his role debut as Jake in James Robinson’s new production of the Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and a return to the Wiener Staatsoper for roles including Ferrando in Trovatore, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Banquo in Macbeth. Orchestral engagements include the bass soloist in a gala performance of Verdi’s Requiem with the Tanglewood Music Festival conducted by Andris Nelsons, and a return to the Ravinia Festival for Mahler’s Symphony No 8 conducted by Marin Alsop. Mr. Green will also be presented in recital with soprano Latonia Moore by the George London Foundation at the Morgan Library in New York, accompanied by Ken Noda.
The 2018 – 2019 season saw Mr. Green return to the Metropolitan Opera to sing the King in Aida, conducted by Nicola Luisotti and broadcast to theaters around the world as part of the Met’s Live in HD program, and for a reprise of Colline in La bohème. Mr. Green also returned to the Wiener Staatsoper as a member of the ensemble with roles including Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Der Einarmige in Die Frau ohne Schatten, and Lodovico in Otello, among others.
Orchestral engagements for the 2018 – 2019 season included Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 conducted by Marin Alsop at the Ravinia Festival, a debut with the Mostly Mozart Festival singing Mozart’s Requiem with Louis Langrée for the closing night of the festival, and a debut with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for Bach’s Ich habe genug with the Orion String Quartet. Mr. Green was also presented in recital at the Terrace Theatre at the Kennedy Center as winner of the Marian Anderson Vocal Award from Washington National Opera, and in recital with Dayton Opera at the Schuster Performing Arts Center.
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.
Highlights of Mr. Green’s performances at the Metropolitan Opera include Colline in the iconic Zeffirelli production of La bohème, which the New York Times labeled Mr. Green “the real showstopper,” and the New York Observer marked this performance as his “breakthrough as a star.” Additional highlights include Oroe in Semiramide, Rambo in the premier of The Death of Klinghoffer conducted by David Robertson, the Second Knight in a new production of Parsifal which was broadcast as part of the Met’s Live in HD program, 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, his house and role debut as Osmin in the James Robinson production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Houston Grand Opera, as well as his house and role debut as Escamillo in Carmen with Opera San Antonio.
At the Wiener Staatsoper, Mr. Green has been seen as Sparafucile in a new production of Rigoletto, Fasolt in Das Rheingold, Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Varlaam in Boris Godunov, Angelotti in Tosca, Timur in a new production of Turandot, Peneios in Daphne, Fouquier-Tinville in Andrea Chénier, the Monk in Don Carlo, the Pope in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, and the King in Aida.
Orchestral appearances include his 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, Strauss’s Daphne with the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by music director Franz Welser-Möst, his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as the 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.
Recital engagements include his debut at the Ravinia Festival with pianist Adam Nielsen and a recital and residency at the Torggler Summer Vocal Institute at Christopher Newport University in his native Virginia.
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.
“Green is a man with a story, but he’s much more than that. He is a highly gifted and innovative artist who weaves together various aspects of the very different worlds in which he exists, to bring new dimensions and fresh beauty to both.” - Gina Dalfonzo
“And Ryan Speedo Green’s great golden bass made the King’s few lines for once sound like the utterances of a true monarch, not only authoritative but downright magnetic.” - James Jorden
"From his first moment onward, Ryan Speedo Green’s booming bass was simply a revelation. It’s a coarser sound, but it grabs you and holds your attention with its richness and size. Oroe is perhaps not a massive assignment, but he is slowly establishing his presence at the Met and will no doubt be a major star in years to come." - David Salazar
"Presiding over the whole drama, at beginning and end and at key moments along the way, was the imposing physical and vocal presence of bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green as the high priest Oroe." - David Wright
"Tovey had full command of the large performing forces, and Green was a booming narrator, issuing commandments like a prophet. If the chorus, spread out across the back of the Shed stage, wasn't always together, it hardly mattered, so fearful was the impact." - Andrew L Pincus
"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." - Sydney Boyd
"The appearance of bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green as the toreador was a special treat for the San Antonio audience. Green recently became the hottest new arrival to the opera world thanks to a book, “Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music and Family” by Daniel Bergner, which covers his Green’s troubled youth, some of it in detention because of a violent relationship with his abusive parents. Despite that, Green is achieving wild success in opera. His “Toreador Song” was delivered with anthem-like ardor and plenty of vibrato." - David Hendricks
“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." - James Jorden
EXCERPT: "In his review in The New York Times, James R. Oestreich called Mr. Green “the real showstopper” and described his big moment — a fourth-act ode to a beloved overcoat he plans to pawn to help his friends — as “immensely touching.” - Michael Cooper
"Ryan Speedo Green en-captured an impressive Ferrando, the vigor of which includes his clever management of the grupetti in his first aria." -Christophe Rizoud
"The bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green, with his husky physique and robust voice, makes a menacing figure as the hijacker nicknamed Rambo." -Anthony Tommasini
"Captivating sounds came in smaller roles too, chiefly the Zuniga of Ryan Speedo Green. Once a juvenile delinquent, Green fell for opera at age 14 after seeing a Met production of “Carmen.” Now his career is rising. As the cocky lieutenant, Green used his cavernous bass voice with style and intelligence." - Tom Huizenga
“The excellent quartet of soloists was most notable for bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green…whose voice exudes charisma in ways that even the best bass soloist can’t always manage in the heroic call-to-arms of the final movement. Green’s burnished, unforced sound and projection of words were all of a piece.” -David Patrick Stearns
“Ryan Speedo Green, a scene-stealing bass-baritone with a robust voice, was excellent as Osmin, the overseer of the pasha’s palace.” -Anthony Tommasini
“Bass Ryan Speedo Green sang the role of Don Basilio with entrancing stage presence. His towering frame, vocal sonority and perfect comic timing made the “slander” aria one of the evening’s standouts.” -Robert Coleman
“In this tale of a serial seducer sent to hell for his sins, one singer stood literally head and shoulders above the rest: 6-foot-5 bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green. As the vengeful Commendatore, the 24-year-old revealed a voice as mighty as a cannon — and the magnetic presence of a superstar.” -James Jorden