British baritone is ordered ‘complete vocal rest’

British baritone is ordered ‘complete vocal rest’


norman lebrecht

April 21, 2015

The Vienna Opera has announced that Simon Keenlyside is out of its Rigoletto revival in June. He is replaced by Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Paolo Rumets.

Keenlyside, 55, was forced to withdraw on the opening night of Pierre Audi’s production last December and has scarcely been heard since.

Vienna said he had been prescribed ‘a period of complete vocal conservation’ by his doctors.

We wish Simon a swift and full recovery.



  • Una says:

    Let’s hope Simon recovers soon. He is a fine singer and someone I have known for many years since students days, even though I’m a few years older than him. His Dad used to play tennis with the soprano, Heather Harper! And also let’s hope this is a wake-up call for the ‘back-seat singers’ and agents and critics and the so-called ‘experts’ over the internet who scrutinise every note a singer makes, and that they can be a little more generous towards those out there in the profession who are sensitive human beings, and are actually doing the job witht their God-given talent and hard work. Simon is no whimp, and such a lovely man, so this announcement comes with great sadness and loss, and for him also the loss of income as a free-lance singer this is going to entail for him and his family.

  • David says:

    Mr. Keenlyside is an exceptionally fine singer, with his rare combination of intelligence and a kind of stylishness which is “old-fashioned” in the best sense, i.e. that of Schlusnus, van Dam, his fellow-countryman Sir Thomas Allen, and other “noble” baritones of the earlier part of the previous century. Mr. Keenlyside’s lieder performances are a joy, wonderfully free of the greasy “interventionist” style of some of his more aggressively-marketed contemporaries. He has always been a selfless proponent of the music that he sings. Let us all hope that his recovery will be prompt and complete.
    Incidentally, there at least one Verdi role that I would love to hear him in: Montfort, in Les Vêpres Siciliennes. The combination of psychological torment and beautiful lyrical lines would suit this beloved singer to perfection. Fingers crossed….