On October 14, Chicago Philharmonic presented Aria Masterpieces with Bass-Baritone Ryan Speedo Green.
Ryan Speedo Green performing with Chicago Philharmonic at the Harris Theater. Photography by Anne Ryan.
On October 14, 2023, Chicago Philharmonic was thrilled to commence its 34th Symphonic Season with none other than rising opera star, Ryan Speedo Green.
Bass-Baritone Ryan Speedo Green has quickly established himself as an artist of international demand at the world’s leading opera houses. Consistently mesmerizes audiences and critics alike with his powerful bass-baritone voice and compelling stage presence. Green’s remarkable journey from challenging beginnings to the world’s most prestigious opera houses is a testament to his extraordinary talent and dedication. Green continues to stand tall as an opera star on a meteoric rise; captivating listeners all over with the rich depth of his voice and we were delighted to have him join us on the Harris Theater stage as our Fall Guest Artist for the October 14 concert “Aria Masterpieces”.
From his first moment onward, Ryan Speedo Green’s booming bass was simply a revelation…it grabs you and holds your attention with its richness and size.”
— Opera Wire
REHEARSAL DAY 1: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2023
LOCATION: ATHENAEUM CENTER FOR THOUGHT & CULTURE
First day of rehearsals at the Athenaeum Center for Thought & Culture.
On the first day of rehearsals, Green Ryan Speedo Green brought an undeniable aura of anticipation to the room. As we dove into rehearsing the concert program, it quickly became clear that Green’s artistry extended far beyond mere vocal prowess—it embodied a profound commitment to narrative expression through music.
The following rehearsal clip is of bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green performing Wagner’s Wie oft in Meeres tiefsten Schlund from The Flying Dutchman. Check it out!
OCTOBER 12 CONTINUED…
Speedo meets with Emerging Artists from the Ryan Opera Center.
In a memorable and enriching visit, Speedo later stopped by the Ryan Opera Center after rehearsal to engage in an insightful and candid conversation with the aspiring professionals of ROC. Green’s visit provided a unique opportunity for each artist to glean invaluable wisdom from a seasoned performer. As the eager participants posed questions about life-work balance, the intricacies of performing, and strategies to jumpstart their careers, Green, with his wealth of experience, offered thoughtful and practical insights.
His presence not only created an open dialogue about the challenges and triumphs of opera but also served as a source of inspiration for the aspiring talents, fostering a sense of camaraderie and shared passion. Green’s generosity in sharing his knowledge and personal journey left an inspirational mark on these budding professionals, guiding them toward a more nuanced understanding of the art form and the pathways to success in the demanding world of opera.
OCTOBER 12 CONTINUED…
In a heartwarming display of community engagement, Green then devoted his evening to inspiring and engaging with the youngsters of the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago in Little Village. There he spoke about his passion for opera, answered adorable questions, and captivated this eager audience by reading the book “Opera Cat” by Tessa Weaver. In “Opera Cat”, a star develops laryngitis, and her caroling cat, Alma, comes to the rescue! In order to perform without the audience knowing a feline is “Figaroing,” the cat hides in Madame SoSo’s spire of curls. The young audience was charmed not only by the thrilling narrative but also by Green’s engaging storytelling. All the teachers applauded Speedo’s fun and sing-songy interpretation of “Opera Cat”, even going as far as mentioning that this was “One of his most riveting performances yet!”
Speedo went the extra mile and taught the kids opera manners and even a few words in German. In return, they sent him off with a popular German opera phrase, bidding him farewell and good luck on his Saturday night performance, collectively shouting “toi, toi, toi!”
REHEARSAL DAY 2: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2023
LOCATION: ATHENAEUM CENTER FOR THOUGHT & CULTURE
Friday, October 13 completed our rehearsals at the stunning Athenaeum Center for Thought & Culture. Our early morning rehearsal was no problem for Ryan Speedo Green as he easily sang through La Calunnias from Rossini’s renowned opera, The Barber of Seville(Il Barbiere di Siviglia). “La Calunnias”, which the title loosely translates to “rumors”, is an aria sung by the character Don Basilio, who uses this aria to sing about the power of slander and gossip.
The “calunnias” are true, high Gs at 9:00am do exist 🤫 Come see me sing high (and low) Gs tomorrow in Chicago with the Chicago Philharmonic at 7:30pm at Harris Theater.” — Speedo on Instagram (@speedogreen)
PERFORMANCE DAY: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2023
LOCATION: HARRIS THEATRE FOR MUSIC AND DANCE
Chicago Arts and Music Project (CAMP) performs as a part of NEXT! program.
Our concert evening began in the foyer where we were serenaded by a select chamber group from Chicago Arts and Music Project! This special performance was a part NEXT! community engagement program. Chicago Phil’s NEXT! allows emerging musicians the opportunity to be heard by Chicago Philharmonic patrons, musicians, and conductors. What a pleasure it was to see the next generation of musicians and music lovers before the inimitable Ryan Speedo Green took to the stage.
THE EVENING’S PROGRAM INCLUDED:
- Rossini La scala di seta Overture
- Rossini Il Barbiere di Siviglia: “La calunnia”
- Puccini Crisantemi
- Puccini La Bohème: “Vecchia zimarra senti”
- Verdi Macbeth: “Studia il passo, O mio figlio”
- Kodály Dances of Galánta
- Jessie Montgomery Starburst
- Blanchard Fire Shut Up in my Bones: “Peculiar Grace”
- Blanchard Champion: “What Makes a Man a Man”
- Wagner Overture to Rienzi
- Wagner Flying Dutchman: “Wie oft in Meeres tiefsten Schlund”
The concert seamlessly blended classic overtures like Wagner’s “Rienzi: Overture” with aria masterpieces, creating a diverse and rich musical experience. Green’s interpretations of arias from operas like Terrance Blanchard’s “Champion” and Puccini’s “La Boheme” were described as adept and deeply evocative, capturing the emotional essence of each character. Under the masterful direction of Artistic Director & Principal Conductor Scott Speck, the Chicago Philharmonic provided a stellar backdrop to Green’s chosen repertoire.
It was an evening of masterful playing from the orchestra and thrilling interpretations of aria masterpieces from bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green.” — Kathy Hey, Third Coast Review
The program’s inclusion of pieces like Zoltán Kodály’s “Dances of Galánta” and Gioachino Rossini’s “La Scala di Seta Overture” further enriched the program, demonstrating the orchestra’s versatility and the collaborative synergy between the Philharmonic and the exceptional talent of Ryan Speedo Green.
Green possesses a velvety bass-baritone voice that is beautifully defined and easily climbs beyond the baritone range with dulcet tenor notes.” — Kathy Hey, Third Coast Review
Speedo and Principal Conductor Scott Speck. Photography by Anne Ryan.
Overall, the Aria Masterpieces concert was a triumphant celebration of classical music, leaving the audience with a deep appreciation for the Chicago Philharmonic’s commitment to innovation and the extraordinary vocal artistry of Ryan Speedo Green. As Ryan Speedo Green stands tall on the stages of prestigious venues worldwide, he serves as an inspiration to aspiring artists and a source of joy for audiences who have the privilege of experiencing his remarkable talent.
Concert Snippet of Wagner’s Wie oft in Meeres tiefsten Schlund from The Flying Dutchman: