John Keenan

March 20th, 2015 by admin

Since conducting major works at the Metropolitan Opera, Kirov Opera, and with L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande conductor John Keenan is in demand by many prestigious orchestras and opera companies around the world. Known for a varied and extensive repertoire, he has especially excelled as an important conductor in the works of Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, and Mozart. Most recently he conducted Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Metropolitan Opera to great acclaim, and is the only American to have conducted Wagner at the famed Kirov Opera.

He made his Metropolitan Opera debut at 26 years old, conducting Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and became one of the youngest to conduct there. The production, directed by Franco Zeffi relli, had a cast that included Thomas Hampson, Karita Mattila, Paul Plishka and Cheryl Studer. He was immediately reengaged to conduct Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with Kiri Te Kanawa, Frederica von Stade, Dawn Upshaw, Thomas Hampson, and Ferrucio Furlanetto.

Maestro Keenan spends each summer in Bayreuth, Germany, at Wagner’s Bayreuth Festival. He will be fl ying to Watseka from Germany this summer for Sugar Creek Symphony & Song’s production of La traviata.

After making an acclaimed debut conducting Verdi’s Aïda at the Kirov Opera in St. Petersburg, Russia, he was invited to return to conduct Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer and a gala production of Verdi’s Otello. He has also conducted Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier with the New Zealand Symphony, La bohème for Santa Fe Opera, Falstaff at Spoleto Festival USA, L’elisir d’amore with Washington and Los Angeles Operas, Carmen and Così fan tutte with Vancouver Opera, and Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte for the Wolf Trap Festival. A frequent guest conductor with Minnesota Opera, he made his debut there conducting La traviata and returned to conduct Tosca, Otello, Norma, Rigoletto, and Carmen.