Ryan Speedo Green
Life and career
Green was born in Suffolk, Virginia and grew up in low-income housing and a trailer park. He was sent to juvenile detention at the age of 12 after he threatened to stab his mother and brother.
Green was awarded the Bachelor of Music degree at the Hartt School of Music, and the Master of Music at Florida State University. He won several singing competitions. In March 2011 he was one of the five winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Following an article by David Bergner in The New York Times about Green and his win in that competition, HarperCollins expressed interest in publishing his biography. It was published in October 2016 with the title Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family. In 2014 he received the George London Foundation Award, won first prize of the Gerda Lissner Foundation, was a finalist in Palm Beach Opera's singing competition, and graduated from the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
Green sang the Commendatore in Don Giovanni at the Juilliard School in New York and at Opera Colorado in Denver where he was Resident Artist in 2010/11. There, he also sang Colline in La bohème and Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola. In 2012 he sang Colline for Central City Opera. In 2014 he sang Zuniga in Carmen for the Wolf Trap Opera Company in Vienna, Virginia.
He gave his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2012/13 as Mandarin in Puccini's Turandot, followed Parsifal as Grail Knight. The following season at the Met saw him as Bonze in Madama Butterfly and as Jailer in Tosca. In 2014/15 he sang Rambo in The Death of Klinghoffer at the Met. Green returned to the Met in 2016 as Colline.
In 2014 Green became a member of the Vienna State Opera. His roles there included Angelotti in Tosca, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Basilio in The Barber of Seville, Jew in Salome, Fouquier-Tinville in Andrea Chénier, Monk in Don Carlos, Titurel in Parsifal, and the King in Aida, Timur in Turandot, and Varlaam in Boris Godunov.
In concerts, Green has sung in Handel's Messiah, in Mozart's Requiem and Coronation Mass, in Verdi's Messa da Requiem. He sang several times in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, first in 2014 with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
- "Sing for Your Life" by Daniel Bergner, The New York Times Magazine, 19 May 2011
- "Opera Colorado singer Ryan Speedo Green wins Met finals" by Kyle MacMillian, The Denver Post, 25 March 2011
- "TheGrio's 100: Ryan Speedo Green, allowed opera to change the course of his life" by Keosha Johnson, The Grio, 27 February 2012
- "Ryan Speedo Green", WNYC
- "A Singer's Journey: From Solitary Confinement to the Met Opera" by Michael Cooper, The New York Times, 30 September 2016
- La bohème, review by Bob Bows, coloradodrama.com
- "Wolf Trap Opera's Carmen could use a little more of the original's edginess" by Tom Huizenga, The Washington Post, 27 July 2014
- "Tovey lifts the orchestra, and Beethoven" by David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1 July 2014