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 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.
A renowned recitalist Simon appears regularly in the world’s major recital venues. He 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.
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’s operatic plans this season include his first Tonio Pagliacci and Ford Falstaff at the Royal Opera House; Golaud and Count Almaviva at the Vienna State Opera; as well as the title roles of Macbeth in Munich, Rigoletto at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Don Giovanni in Geneva. On the concert platform, he will perform Adès’ Totentanz with the Czech Philharmonic and the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin under the composer’s baton. In recital, he will appear in London, Paris, Vienna, Graz, Brussels and New York with Malcolm Martineau. He will be joined by a small piece jazz band for his programme Blue skies - Songlines to American Music at the Vienna Konzerthaus.
Simon was made a CBE in 2003. 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.