Nick Shadow in The Rake's Progress


"First and foremost, the Royal Opera House's Rake boasts an A-list cast that is as fine as can currently be assembled. Of especial interest to me was young bass Kyle Ketelsen's role debut as Nick Shadow. He definitely did not disappoint. Mr. Ketelsen always offers a consistent, rich, and suave tonal delivery and he is possessed of one of the most secure techniques of any voice heard before the public today.

"His is a sizable instrument which can easily ring out in the house one minute, and scale back to a hushed, intense sotto voce the next. He bought his usual intelligence and superb musicianship to bear in what has to be considered a major role assumption in his growing repertoire (and reputation). As wonderful as is his vocalizing, Kyle also scores big - make that waaaaaay big - as an actor. In fact, I would be hard pressed to think of any male singer active that is his equal for stage presence, character delineation, vocal color, uninhibited movement, and dramatic understanding. The card scene could have served as Masters Class in theatrical nuance.

"Repeated performances and even more experience will only deepen his already commendable interpretation. You heard it from me: Kyle Ketelsen will be the Nick Shadow of choice for future productions. I am not alone, the entire audience roared its approval with a vociferous ovation."

          - James Sohre, - Rake's Progress


"The best performance is Ketelsen's Nick: dangerously attractive, he sings with sinister beauty and manages to be entirely credible, despite (the director's) intransigence."

          - Tim Ashley, Guardian (London) - Rake's Progress


"Kyle Ketelsen brings a suitably baleful black tone and Mephistophelean persona to the role of Nick Shadow."

          - Barry Millington, Evening Standard (London) - Rake's Progress


"Kyle Ketelsen brings a wonderful, devilish malevolence to his role as Nick Shadow, with his thin, angular features fitting his role perfectly."

          - William Harston, Express (London) - Rake's Progress


"But, as ever, the devil gets the best tunes and it is Kyle Ketelsen as Tom's diabolical nemesis Nick Shadow who wins the evening's honours with his satisfyingly deep-grained voice and theatrical flair. A must-see."

          - Warwick Thompson, Metro (London) - Rake's Progress


"At the core of the work is the partnership between Kyle Ketelsen’s sinister Nick Shadow and Toby Spence’s gloriously wide-eyed Tom Rakewell. Ketelsen’s Nick – part cinematic auteur, part Mephistopheles – was well judged, never quite slipping into the pantomime that lurks just at the edge of Stravinsky’s piece. His vocal performance was convincing, rich-toned and technically secure."

          - Alexandra Coghlan, Oxford Times - Rake's Progress


"The boys, Tom and Nick, were splendidly served by, again, light-voiced Toby Spence and Kyle Ketelsen, the heavy-weight of the evening. Spence successfully conveyed the quasi-adolescent enthusiasm-cum-boredom of his character: Tom goes from being hyper-excited to being frustrated (“I wish I were happy”, he says after taking a line of cocaine and before bursting into laughter at the prospect of marrying Baba) and his voice reflected it. Ketelsen’s character is far less complex: he’s the devil and as the devil he sounded. He reminded me, once again, that he is one of the best baritones around and that he’s as good an actor as he is a singer. I look forward to his next night."

          - Enrique Sacao, - Rake's Progress


"Kyle Ketelsen is brilliant as the devil Nick Shadow. Like Toby Spence, he delivers vocally, dramatically and musically; his portrayal is menacing and fully credible as the devil."

          - Agnes Kory, - Rake's Progress


"But it is Kyle Ketelsen's devil of a Nick Shadow that steals the show. Standing cleanly, moving deftly, and gesturing with a strong air of menace, his firm bass-baritone voice booms to great effect, and his diction is the strongest of the evening."

          - Sam Smith, - Rake's Progress


"The poet's verses are never clumsy. 'Many insist/I do not exist/At times I wish I didn't,' sings the bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as the leering, menacing, hollow-eyed devil Nick Shadow. His top volume remains rich and his diction is the clearest of any on stage."

          - Rick Jones, New Statesman (London) - Rake's Progress


"Ketelsen was, as ever, a joy to hear from the moment he first opened his mouth, with smooth chocolate tones ringing out effortlessly. His take on the Nick Shadow character was less blatantly sinister than many, elegant in manner and only ramping up the full demonic element at the end, with a huge 'I burn, I freeze!'."

          - Carla Finesilver, - Rake's Progress


"Kyle Ketelsen is a manipulating devil-figure and makes a continuing good (!) impression as the oleaginous manipulator, quite sinister at times."

          - Colin Anderson, - Rake's Progress


"As the devil Nick Shadow, Kyle Ketelsen mesmerises with his dark tone and his menacing presence."

          - George Hall, - Rake's Progress


"The onstage taker of souls though, Nick Shadow, is magnificently sung by the American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen (a name that could spring from Auden's Paul Bunyan). He has a glorious tone and sings with impeccable clarity."

          - Mark Valencia, - Rake's Progress



The Messiah


"More imposing a presence, however, was young bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen, whose beautiful instrument rose to meet the many challenges - both expressive and technical - contained in Handel's demanding score. Whether through his numerous displays of virtuoso showmanship or in his ability to intelligently render the composer's particular brand of forceful lyricism, Ketelsen, in his NAC debut, proved that his is a voice to follow."

          - Christopher Moore, The Globe and Mail (Ottawa) - Messiah


"The overall standout in the quartet was bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen, who sang with a rich, dark tone, rock-solid grasp of the music and a brilliant delivery that featured clean, accurate coloratura.  He was well-partnered in “The Trumpet Shall Sound” by assistant principal trumpet Thomas Drake."

          - Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Messiah


"...bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen's declamatory style was made even better through the rich sonority of his voice."

          - Jim Wilson, Richmond Times-Dispatch - Messiah


"Bass baritone Kyle Ketelsen has a large voice that is also very flexible. He is thrilling in the vocal fireworks of "The Trumpet Shall Sound." 
          - William Randall Beard, St. Paul Pioneer Press - Messiah


"Kyle Ketelsen, an impressive young bass, delivered a stirring "The trumpet shall sound."
          - Michael Anthony, Minneapolis Star Tribune - Messiah



Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor


"Ironically, in an opera generally thought of as a soprano–tenor vehicle, the most luxurious sheer vocalism here was fielded by the lower-voiced males — Quinn Kelsey's Enrico and particularly Kyle Ketelsen's sonorous Raimondo. Ketelsen's bass-baritone wove pure vocal velvet, and his characterization was interesting: rather than the usual grey-bearded ideologue, this Raimondo was a vibrant, young counselor who sympathized with the lovers' plight but also understood political realities."

          - Mark Thomas Ketterson - Opera News - Lucia di Lammermoor


"I really liked bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen, a local favorite, who nobly sang and acted the conflicted clergyman Raimondo."

          - John W. Barker, Isthmus (Madison) - Lucia di Lammermoor


"All the performances are strong, especially Ketelsen, whose magnificent timbre brings authority and warmth to his clergyman role."

"Breault and Ketelsen are veteran Madison Opera performers of which we can never hear enough."

          - Michael Muckian, Capital Times (Madison) - Lucia di Lammermoor


" Bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen has consistently been a reliable performer in Madison Opera performancees and was as robust in voice as ever as the clergyman to the Ashton family, a voice of reason."

          - John Aehl, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison) - Lucia di Lammermoor



Villains in Les Contes d'Hoffmann


"Bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen proved a very competent and appealing performer in the multiple roles of Lindorf, Coppelius, and Dr. Miracle.  His Miracle was a brilliant bit of delivery.  Not only did he engage us with his strong singing ability but also with his theatrical rendering of the evil Miracle.  Despite his character's evil intent, you just couldn't help but be mesmerized by his total presentation."

          - John Shulson, WHRO Radio (Washington D.C.) - Les Contes d'Hoffmann


"Bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen, as Lindorf, Coppelius, and Dr. Miracle, provided a perfect combination of singing and acting skills. His voice is deep and resonant and his laugh, as Miracle, defined evil. In fact, his Miracle was riveting, Ketelsen's every movement seemingly perfectly timed to the music. As Miracle picked up a violin toward the close of Act III, and proceeded to play with devilish fervor, Ketelsen’s fake fingering was even coordinated with the running violin passages coming from the pit, adding flair and realism to the moment. And, when he ended by smashing the violin into pieces, it simply capped off the impression."

          - John C. Shulson, - Les Contes d'Hoffmann


"Kyle Ketelsen played the manipulating villain as well as the undoers in the other two stories. To each, he offered a vibrant bass-baritone, one suffused with a high degree of emotional persuasiveness. Ketelsen is a talent. He knows how to use voice and body language to focus attention. Better yet, what he does with voice and body at all times built dramatic tension; he did not engage in fussy, detracting stage business; all was purposeful."

          - Peter Jacobi, Bloomington Herald-Times - The Tales of Hoffmann



Zoroastro in Orlando


" Kyle Ketelsen scored a remarkable hit as Zoroastro: I have taken an interest in the career of this young American bass-baritone since being mightily impressed with his Speaker in 2004, and he does not disappoint:  a real Handelian basso, he caught just the right note of portentousness in his opening aria, and he presided over Act 3, both vocally and dramatically, with unaffected skill."

          - Melanie Eskenazi - Seen and Heard International - Orlando


" and bass baritone Kyle Ketelsen as a golden-toned Zoroastro completed a strong cast."

          - Fiona Maddocks - Evening Standard (London) - Orlando


" the bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen was excellent as Zoroastro. "

          - Richard Morrison - London Times - Orlando


"For the presiding wisdom of Zoroastro there is Kyle Ketelsen, who produces some of the most convincing low notes to have been heard for years in diesen heil'gen Hallen."

          - Michael Tanner - - Orlando


"Kyle Ketelsen, another natural stage animal, lends welcome substance to Zoroastro."

          - Andrew Clark - Financial Times (London) - Orlando


"Ketelsen sang cleanly, with focused tones and no hint of an aspirate."

          - John T. Hughes - - Orlando


" There's also a stronger cast, with Kyle Ketelsen bringing some gravitas to the magician Zoroastro."

          - George Hall - The Independent (London) - Orlando


" Of the other four singers, all of high quality, Kyle Ketelsen (Zoroastro) particularly impressed with his rich and even bass."

          - Agnes Kory - - Orlando


" Kyle Ketelsen was an authoritative Zoroastro"

          - Matthew Rye - The Telegraph (London) - Orlando


" The vocally rich and dramatically confident Kyle Ketelsen is as convincing as the director’s prosaic view of Zoroastro allows."

          - Edward Bhesania - - Orlando



BBC Proms


"The riveting performance was dominated by Keenlyside's sexy, aristocratic Count and Kyle Ketelsen's superlative, big-voiced Figaro.  That the latter can more than stand up to a star of Keenlyside's international renown shows his calibre, which indicates a star in the making."

          - Dominic McHugh - - BBC Proms


“The Scottish Chamber Orchestra offered consolation with some sparkling playing and, out of the eight singers who appeared in the solos and ensembles, there were two who could make the drama catch fire in the most dampening circumstances:  the baritones Simon Keenlyside and Kyle Ketelsen, who made Mozart's music seem as alive now as on the day it was written.”

Richard Fairman  - The Financial Times - BBC Proms



Escamillo in Carmen


" The evening's most impressive debut, though, came from American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as Escamillo, the swaggering toreador who succeeds Don José in Carmen's affections.  He dispatched the famous Toreador Song with ample tone, even in the treacherous low phrases that so often fade into inaudibility, and he brought a measure of romantic ardor to the final scene with Carmen."

          - Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle - Carmen


"The swaggering bullfighter Escamillo is a good fit for baritone Kyle Ketelsen, whose grainy, darkly handsome voice is comfortable throughout the wide range of the "Toreador Song."  He cuts a youthful (very nearly collegiate) figure onstage, and captures Escamillo's rock-star-size ego deftly by singing most of the role straight out past the footlights as if preening in some unseen mirror."

          - Joe Banno, Washington Post - Carmen


"Supporting players also stole the show in CarmenKyle Ketelsen was an exciting, sexy Escamillo."

          - Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal - Carmen


"...Kyle Ketelsen is robust and convincing as he muscles out anyone who stands between him and Carmen. His dominant presence makes it easy to see how Don Jose can be so easily pushed into the background."

          - T.L. Ponick, Washington Times - Carmen


"Kyle Ketelsen’s Escamillo was assured and confident, with plenty of vocal glamour."

          - Judith Malafronte, Opera News - Carmen


Bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen was very convincing as the toreador Escamillo.  In addition to sexy good looks, his smooth voice bloomed effortlessly on the big notes."

          - Wayne R. Anderson, MGW Magazine - Carmen


"Baritone Kyle Ketelsen was the arrogantly assured bullfighter EscamilloMr. Ketelsen brought us the essence of the character by cutting a handsome, young and swaggering figure.  His voice was strong, smooth and focused bringing a deft interpretation to the 'Toreador Song'."

          - S.D., Ópera Actual (Spain) - Carmen


"Even Kyle Ketelsen, who plays Escamillo, the preening bullfighter who finally steals Carmen from José, avoids overreaching.  This is particularly difficult to pull off while strutting around in a suit of lights or turning out a tavern by bragging about how chicks dig matadors."

          - Lew Prince, Riverfront Times (St. Louis) - Carmen


"The redeeming graces of this Carmen were...and the completely magnificent voice of Kyle Ketelsen as EscamilloKetelsen looked the part, too, chillingly macho and utterly comfortable onstage."

          - Paul Horseley, Kansas City Star - Carmen


"Kyle Ketelsen's Escamillo had the proper swagger, bolstered by good looks, good moves and a big, dark bass-baritone voice; no wonder Carmen fell for him."

          - Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Carmen


"As Escamillo, Kyle Ketelsen sang elegantly and presented a sufficiently dashing matador."

          - Olivia Stapp, San Francisco Classical Voice - Carmen


"Kyle Ketelsen is impressive as Escamillo, the smoldering toreador.  His powerful voice is a good match for Larmore and Armiliato."

          - Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, VA) - Carmen


"her chemistry with Kyle Ketelsen’s dashing Escamillio is palpable. For his part, Ketelsen brings a strong baritone and just the right amount of swagger to the part. He completely dominates the stage during the familiar “Toreador” song in Act II.

          - Chuck Lavazzi, KDHX Radio (St. Louis) - Carmen


"...the superbly sung Toreador's Song of baritone Kyle Ketelsen..."

          - Ronald G. Precup, Intermission - Carmen


"Kyle Ketelsen is much more watchable and handsomely projects his macho in the Toreador Song.  He has a wonderful clear and clean bass-baritone with nary a scraping of his lower tones."

          - Bob Anthony, Free-lance Arts Critic, Review 4U - Carmen


"From the minute he charges the stage, Kyle Ketelsen makes Escamillo his own.  It is an immense pleasure to hear him sing his solo in Act Two.  As an actor, he molds the Toreador into something larger.  His towering voice and cocky swagger bring a breath of life to Escamillo, who is arguably the most important character in Carmen."

          - Rob Levy, - Carmen


"The Toreador played almost like a matinee idol by bass-baritone, Kyle Ketelsen, is the final fling for Carmen and he is charming as a Valentino."

          - Rich Massabny, Arlington Weekly News - Channel 33 - Carmen


"Kyle Ketelsen is an attractive Escamillo, his bass-baritone boiling with testosterone."

          - Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News - Carmen


"There was plenty of suavity, in voice and action, from bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen's Escamillo."

          - Tim Smith, Opera News & Baltimore Sun - Carmen


"Kyle Ketelsen...dispatched a role (Escamillo) notorious for its vocal challenges - its extremes of high and low - with unfailingly healthy, masculine tone."

          - Steven Brown, Orlando Sentinel - Carmen


"Kyle Ketelsen was appropriately dashing as the toreador Escamillo, singing with suppleness."

          - Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press - Carmen


"KyleKetelsen had perfect Spanish macho as the Toreador and a fine voice to match."

          - Bob Anthony, Free-lance Arts Critic, Review 4U - Carmen


"Abetted by a precisely focused, cultivated bass-baritone voice, Kyle Ketelsen brought all the dignity and respect due the matador Escamillo. When singing the famous "Toreador Song", his presence dominated the stage."

          - Andrew L. Flanagan, Kettering-Oakwood Times - Carmen


"Young bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen sets hearts throbbing and feet tapping with his "Toreador Song" and his macho stage presence."

          - Burt Saidel, The Oakwood Register - Carmen



Henrik in Maskarade


"Full-blooded singing... from an energetic cast dominated by Brindley Sherratt’s perpetually indignant father and Kyle Ketelsen’s hyperactive manservant."

          - Richard Morrison, London Times - Maskarade


"The vocal star, however, was American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen, stealing the show as Henrik, Leander's servant.  He was imposing in the brief role of the Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte earlier in the year.  Here at last was a part large enough for his talents, and he was well-rounded dramatically as well as making sure every word was perfectly articulated."

          - Dominic McHugh, - Maskarade


"All this is brought off with gusto by the cast - even if the servant classes out-perform their masters, especially Ketelsen's Henrik"

          - Tom Service, The Guardian (London) - Maskarade


"Kyle Ketelsen is crisp, spry and personable in the Harlequin role of Henrik, making his master Leander...seem a touch stolid in comparison."

          - Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph (London) - Maskarade


"There is a terrifically charismatic performance from the American Kyle Ketelsen as the manservant Henrik."

          - Edward Seckerson, The Independent (London) - Maskarade


"...notwithstanding Herculean efforts by the performers. American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen (Henrik) was full of so much energetic comic business that he seemed to be plugged into the national grid."

          - Bloomberg News ( - Maskarade


"Kyle Ketelsen as Henrik threatens to steal the show throughout, not least because of his lovely voice but also because of the pleasure he gives as an actor with a well-tuned sense for comedy."

          - A.C. Grayling, Online Review London - Maskarade


"Performance-wise Kyle Ketelsen was most impressive, his insightful baritone finding its way with ease around the text."

          - Evan Dickerson, Seen and Heard International - Maskarade


"leads Gail Pearson (Pernille), Kyle Ketelsen (Henrik), Emma Bell (Leonora), and Michael Schade (Leander) sing their under-written roles more sweetly than they deserve to be sung."

          - Anna Picard, The Independent (London) - Maskarade


"The whole cast provides excellent performances, in particular Kyle Ketelsen as Henrik."

          - Barbara Diana, Giornale della - Maskarade


"Jeronimus...and Kyle Ketelsen's capricious portrayal of the worldly-wise Henrik were the undoubted stars."

          - Richard Whitehouse, Classical - Maskarade


"Ketelsen is quite a find and was entrancing as the Figaro like servant, reminding me of a young Thomas Hampson; I do hope we can hear more of him."

          - Robert Hugill, Music & Vision - Maskarade



Méphistophélès in Faust


"As for the malevolent tempter, Mephistopheles oozes with the diabolical charm of a charismatic con man from Hell. Inhabiting the role, Kyle Ketelsen glides across the stage with sadistic and malicious intent, never more alive than when smilingly predicting the death of loved ones or corrupting the virtues of young maidens. Ketelsen’s voice conveys a disdain for humanity in magnetic voice, infusing his librettos with irresistible contempt for the world."

          - Brad Richason, Twin Cities Performance Art Examiner (Minneapolis) - Faust


"But the designated scene-stealer is Mephistopheles, and bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen is a graceful ringleader for the well-paced festivities, one with a powerful voice and the kind of smoothness, charisma and spookiness that inspires simultaneous attraction and aversion. More than anyone else on stage, he must engage the audience in the concept of opera as dance, and he does so while diabolically directing eight members of Varone's New York-based troupe."

          - Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press (St. Paul) - Faust


"This devil dominates every scene.  And happily, he has at his disposal an actor-singer with the strength to embody that evil — bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen (the impressive Don Giovanni for this company in 2006). This Mephistopheles was no jaunty boulevardier with a flower in his lapel. This was a sinister force of nature, humorless, confident of his powers and unstoppable. Ketelsen dominated every scene he was in, and his singing was equally impressive — robust, incisive and rich in tone."

          - Michael Anthony, (Minneapolis) - Faust


"Kyle Ketelsen, a formidable actor, captured Méphistophèlés's jaunty elegance; though not a dancer, he held his own amid the gyrations of Varone's trained bodies."

          - Larry Fuchsberg, Opera News - Faust


"Mr. Ketelsen discovered a far greater wealth of nuance in Gounod's alarmingly charming devil, and whatever price was paid in glitterati dazzle was amply compensated with an imaginatively conceptualized performance that ultimately rendered the production more effective by its presence. Ketelsen brought the physicality of a master dancer to the role, and captured its sardonic humor and dangerously sadistic allure as few have done. Some may ignore his performance given its juxtaposition with that of a more celebrated colleague; one suspects however, that if Ketelsen possessed some exotic French or Slavic name that nobody could pronounce, such comparisons would be entirely off the table. "

          - Mark Thomas Ketterson, - Faust


"Thankfully the opera has a very distinctive villain in Mephistopheles, played by Kyle Ketelsen. He devilishly outshines Faust and Marguerite. Ketelsen is slimy, crafty, and draws the audience’s attention whenever he is on stage. At one point a staircase moves smoothly about the stage, carrying Mephistopheles and making it appear as if everything on stage is under his control."

          - Rebecca Mitchell, Daily Planet (Minneapolis) - Faust


"The company’s new Méphistophélès, making his role debut with MOT, was young American bass Kyle Ketelsen.  A gifted singing actor on track for a fine international career after being well-tested in journeyman roles by various companies, Ketelsen has a handsome voice — two even octaves of hefty sound, with a clear tonal edge — and a superb sense of drama that informs both his singing and acting.  His communication with the audience is palpable."

          - John Koopman, Opera News - Faust


"Kyle Ketelsen's Méphistophélès was full of oily charm -- we're all in trouble if the devil is this smooth -- and he sang with focused strength and suppleness."

          - Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press - Faust


"But this opera's success depends heavily on the voice and panache of Méphistophélès, and in bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen, MOT has the poised, maleficent, vocally resplendent puppeteer needed to sell the play. This Méphistophélès indeed managed everything, starting with his own darkly vibrant music. Ketelsen, singing the role for the first time, strode and slinked about the stage with practiced assurance."

          - Lawrence B. Johnson, Detroit News - Faust



Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro


"Lyric's mounting found one of its most effective protagonists yet in bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen - no mean accomplishment, given that he follows the likes of Ramey, Terfel and D'Arcangelo in this production. Ketelsen's sonorous "Non piu andrai" was delightfully rendered, and he fielded the wily major-domo's emotional hurtles with ease. (He has great legs, too.)"

          - Mark Thomas Ketterson, Opera News - Le Nozze di Figaro


"Ketelsen, playing a good guy this time following his devilish turn as Mephistopheles in Gounod's "Faust" earlier in the season, brought a firm yet flexible bass-baritone to Figaro's two arias, "Se vuol ballare" and "Aprite un po' quegli occhi," in which the Count's manservant railed against the perfidy of women.

Since the comic drama turns on the extended battle of wits between Figaro and the Count - who has mounted an assault on the virtue of Figaro's intended, Susanna - the American "barihunk's" ability to create a virile, likable hero in both voice and manner, while keeping the recitatives crackling, was very much to the point."

          - John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune - Le Nozze di Figaro


" Bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen makes a dashing Figaro who is not the usual glib hothead; Ketelsen not only sings the role with aplomb, but brings depth to an often one-dimensional character."

          - Dennis Polkow, - Le Nozze di Figaro


"Likewise, Kyle Ketelsen cut a fine figure as Figaro, a role which this bass-baritone has sung internationally, and which rang true from the opening of the opera. Ketelsen's deep voice stands out from some of the other baritones who take up Figaro, and it sounds out strongly during the ensembles, which require Figaro's distinctive lines to be clearly audible. In solo passages, especially "Non piu andrai," Ketelsen was even and persuasive, as his voice has a pleasant consistency. More than that, his acting helped to carry off the fine climax in the fourth act, as he faces up to Susanna and the Countess's deception."

          - James L. Zychowicz, Seen and Heard International - Le Nozze di Figaro


"Kyle Ketelsen was an unforgettable Figaro.  So powerfully realized was his playing that one felt that this big-hearted, warm and lovable guy was someone one knew well.  Intelligent, sharp, totally present, with just the right mix of bravado and charm, Ketelsen performed like an athlete in peak form.  He is the kind of artist for whom singing and acting meet seamlessly, in spontaneous and inspired conception.  Even when he was just watching and listening, Ketelsen told us everything he was feeling; when he began to sing, it was pure magic."

          - Wayman Chin, Opera News - Le Nozze di Figaro


"Kyle Ketelsen boasts a trumpeting bass-baritone, which he used to full effect in his signature arias, 'Non più andrai' and 'Aprite un po'quegli occhi.' "

          - Roberto Herrscher, Opera News - Le Nozze di Figaro


" Ketelsen owns the role of Figaro, singing with confidence and aplomb."

          - Keith Powers, Herald (Boston) - Le Nozze di Figaro


"American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen is a vigorous and athletic Figaro whose inviting voice comes off best in his many scenes with others."

          - Andrew Patner, Chciago Sun Times - Le Nozze di Figaro


" Kyle Ketelsen was a charismatic Figaro, inhabiting the role with a resonant bass-baritone that was gracefully wielded."

          - Jeremy Eichler, Globe (Boston) - Le Nozze di Figaro


"Kyle Ketelsen created a virile Figaro, and sang with power and consistency.  His voice leans towards the bass end of the spectrum. It is large, focused, and easily audible from the all areas of the house.  His diction was also quite good, as was his comic timing."

          - Ed Tapper, Edge (Boston) - Le Nozze di Figaro


" Kyle Ketelsen’s Figaro is a loveable scamp, singing with gusto and swagger."

          - Neil Fisher, London Times - Le Nozze di Figaro


"Every one of the main players is excellent.  The young American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen is the liveliest and most human of Figaros."

          - George Hall, - Le Nozze di Figaro


"Kyle Ketelsen was an excellent Figaro, full of life and charm.  His voice has a very natural, unforced quality, and his precision was ideal for Mozart."

          - Dominic McHugh, - Le Nozze di Figaro


"Kyle Ketelsen is good at suggesting the revolutionary ardour that runs through Figaro’s veins, while still managing to seem a happy-go-lucky fellow, and his youthful bass-baritone promises much for the future."

          - Richard Fairman, Financial Times - Le Nozze di Figaro


"Both Kyle Ketelsen, a strong bass-baritone, and Brett Polegato...have garnered considerable attention with various recordings and appearances...Mr. Ketelsen, singing Figaro, showed an impressive, rich voice, immediately striking and sustained...these are fine points for someone with a very good voice."

          - Anne Midgette, New York Times - Le Nozze di Figaro


"Great interest centered on the Figaro, Kyle Ketelsen, a bass-baritone making his company debut with these performances.  He boasts a handsome face and an athletic stage presence.  He brought a broad sense of humor and robust, well-rounded sound to the part."

          - William V. Madison, Opera News - Le Nozze di Figaro


"...featuring the spirited Kyle Ketelsen in his company debut as Figaro...on top of the work's rhythms and polished enough in matters of phrasing to lead.  He was a source of sympathy as well as comedy as the servant whose Count of a master seeks to bed his fiancé, Susanna."

          - Adam Baer, New York Sun - Le Nozze di Figaro


"Kyle Ketelsen, who played Don Giovanni (Leporello) two years ago for the company, was a powerfully masculine Figaro, full of bravado and guile and singing with a graceful ease."

          - John Farrell, (Los Angeles) - Le Nozze di Figaro


"An excellent Kyle Ketelsen, tireless Figaro, ironic to just the right point, ready to be aggitated among the auditorium seats by the enchantresses and "mariti scimuniti."

          - Barbara Catellani - Il Giornale di Genova (Genoa) - Le Nozze di Figaro


"The two leads are a delight and make it worthwhile for even the connoisseur to see this 'Figaro.'  Kyle Ketelsen, who has been giving a series of strong and stronger performances here in recent seasons, sings Figaro with just the right swagger, the right insecurity, the right timing.  His voice is deep and agile – the notes pop out – and he phrases the part as if he's speaking it, with the inflection, the tone and the attitude. He's physically nimble too, and gambols about the stage."

          - Timothy Mangan - Orange County Register (CA) - Le Nozze di Figaro


"Orange County favorite Kyle Ketelsen returns as an exuberantly full-voiced Figaro.  Possessed of a smoothly insinuating tone, he deftly manages to thwart his master’s schemes with his fiancée, Susanna."

          - Michael Van Duzer - - Le Nozze di Figaro


" Kyle Ketelsen has a bounce in his step and snap, crackle and pop in his voice.  He catches the anger at his master’s superiority and relish es his own schemes."

          - Gene Warech - Laguna Beach Independent - Le Nozze di Figaro  


"Ketelsen and Banion, in particular, deserve high praise for the zest and honesty they gave their portrayals."

          - Peter Jacobi, Bloomington Herald-Times - The Marriage of Figaro


"Kyle Ketelsen is an altogether engaging Figaro."

          - George Walker, WFIU Radio, Bloomington, IN - The Marriage of Figaro



Leporello in Don Giovanni


"Far and away the most commanding performance was that of bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as Leporello.  He has a naturally beautiful, superbly trained voice, rich and clear at the low end, smooth and flexible in the middle range and effortless at the top.  Good as his sound was, his acting was better.  Ketelsen fully realized the role.  He was rewarded at the curtain-call by an uninhibited outburst of cheering and a standing ovation."

          - Jess Anderson, Opera News - Don Giovanni


"...Ketelsen, whose voice & presence dominated from the very first scene..."

"Only the antics of the enabling valet Leporello came close to saving the performance..."

"Ketelsen as Leporello is so much better, all around, vocally & dramatically..."

"As for performances, Ketelsen was head & shoulders above the others, vocally & dramatically."

          - - Don Giovanni


"Bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen made a triumphant LAO debut of his own as Leporello, displaying a robust, warm and wondrously flexible voice, along with an engaging physical stage presence."

          - Carl Byron, Opera News - Don Giovanni


"...Kyle Ketelsen’s young, handsome and infinitely insinuating Leporello made one wish that he and his master had swapped roles in Act 2, not merely cloaks."

          - Alan Rich, Los Angeles Weekly - Don Giovanni


" As Leporello, the Don's much-abused man Friday, bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen delivers his own star-turn. Trelinski presents him as a bald-headed harlequin -- in marked contrast to the fuchsia-clad Don. But with excellent diction and resonant tone -- to say nothing of superb comic timing and limber movements -- Ketelsen, in his company debut, proves nobody's fool. An account of the famous Catalog Aria, for example, is as memorable for his terpsichorean antics as for his perfect patter-song delivery."

          - David Marmelstein, Los Angeles Daily News - Don Giovanni


"The appealing and hardy-voiced bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen was an endearing Leporello."

          - Anthony Tommasini, New York Times - Don Giovanni


" He’s (Giovanni) surrounded by a strong cast.  Kyle Ketelsen seconds him admirably as a lowlife Leporello and their duo-scenes are impeccable."

          - - Don Giovanni


" Kyle Ketelsen, as abused servant/fool Leporello, delivers his role with fine humor. His accounting of his master's 2,065 conquests, in "Madamina! Il catalogo e questo," is a highlight of the first act."

          - Madeleine Shaner, Hollywood Reporter - Don Giovanni


" W ith his superb comic timing he was the perfect foil, neatly bringing out their symbiotic relationship (Leporello and Giovanni)."

          - Intermezzo - Don Giovanni


" Kyle Ketelsen also managed to overcome the oddities of the production and make something interesting of his character, Leporello.  His Italianate sound and excellent linguistic skills helped him to mould a persuasive interpretation. And both his voice and bearing were far more elegant than those of (Giovanni)."

          - Dominic McHugh, - Don Giovanni


"Leading the cast around Giovanni, as his ill-used but resilient servant Leporello, is (bass-) baritone Kyle Ketelsen, who combines a gorgeous voice with wry wit."

          - Lawrence B. Johnson, Detroit News - Don Giovanni


"He and Kyle Ketelsen, who portrayed Giovanni's sidekick Leporello, were as good together as Martin & Lewis, Batman & Robin.  Ketelsen was magnificent..."

          - Bill Rice, Schenectady Gazette - Don Giovanni


"The two redeeming performances come from baritone Kyle Ketelsen as Leporello and...who both have lush, robust voices."

          - Paula Citron, Classical 96.3 FM (Toronto) - Don Giovanni


"high honors belong to Stella Zambalis' Donna Elvira and above all to Kyle Ketelsen's LeporelloKetelsen is a superlative Leporello, singing with deep, rounded color and seemingly effortless dynamics, his Italian diction as secure at whatever velocity the words fly.  The relationship of servant to master and master to servant, in disguise and out of disguise, lies at the core of this opera.  Ketelsen and Garvin are an apt pair, appreciating how to tease the unspoken trust that binds them: class warfare as comic betrayal."

          - Andrew Adler, Louisville Courier-Journal - Don Giovanni


"Quilico...drove the performance but was greatly aided by the deft comedic gifts and keen singing of bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as the suffering servant Leporello. Ketelsen's 'catalog aria' was a highlight."

          - Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press - Don Giovanni


"As Leporello...Kyle Ketelsen not only had the resonance and power of an excellent bass-baritone voice, he also pressed on with the insolence this character should have, even while vacillating between comic accomplice in the Don's schemes and embarrassingly craven behavior.  Ketelsen has a fine, broad, comic talent.  The "catalog" patter song, enumerating Don Giovanni's many, many seductions, had great pace and was flawlessly done."

          - John Aehl, Wisconsin State Journal - Don Giovanni


"...Kyle Ketelsen, as Leporello, is nearly equally gratifying.  Ketelsen's burnished sonority and leonine strength of tone serve to redress the balance between Don Giovanni and his servant, making them seem equal cohorts in their crimes against morality."

          - Chuck Klaus, Syracuse Post-Standard - Don Giovanni


"Also terrific was Kyle Ketelsen who has a powerful yet remarkably nimble bass-baritone voice.  As Leporello he seemed to be everywhere on stage, never settled in his allegiance but always ready with a quick and dry remark."

          - Joseph Dalton, Albany Times Union - Don Giovanni


"Kyle Ketelsen’s Leporello was also vocally satisfying.  His fresh characterization incorporated dashes of practical wisdom and courageous honesty, making him the Don’s moral superior in addition to being his frustrated sidekick."

          - John Guinn, Guinn Thoughts - Don Giovanni


"Outstanding in the Sunday matinee were the resonant Leporello of Kyle Ketelsen and..."

          - Olin Chism, Dallas Morning News - Don Giovanni


"...Kyle Ketelsen's resourceful, well-sung Leporello."

          - Daniel Cariaga, Los Angeles Times - Don Giovanni


"This leaves Kyle Ketelsen's Leporello with the lion's share of audience sympathy. Ketelsen sings and acts authoritatively, creating a fully rounded character who is all-too-aware of his master's failings."

          - Michael Van Duzer, - Don Giovanni


"Kyle Ketelsen’s resonant Leporello was superbly done."

          - David Shengold, - Don Giovanni


"Kyle Ketelsen as Leporello displayed agile phrasing and burnished sound.  He sang a little too beautifully for the part, we thought."

          - Timothy Mangan, Orange County Register - Don Giovanni


"Kyle Ketelsen, a finalist in the "Operalia 2000" competition, offered the most consistent performance as Leporello, the Don's side-kick and sometimes loyal servant.  Ketelsen displayed an impressive baritone voice and an acting ability that in the hands of a more focused director could be honed to full effect."

          - Jim Farber, Daily Breeze (Torrence, CA) - Don Giovanni


"bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen revealed a burnished voice and knack for comedy."

          - John Pitcher, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle - Don Giovanni


"...Leporello (an extremely funny Kyle Ketelsen)..."

          - Michael Muckian, Capital Times (Madison) - Don Giovanni


"(Bass-) Baritone Kyle Ketelsen deserved the unrestrained cheers that greeted his bows.  He has not only enormous flexibility with a superbly trained and naturally beautiful large voice, but he also showed impressive range and nimble subtlety in a role that is very taxing.  These were commanding, awesome performances."

          - Jess Anderson, Madison Isthmus - Don Giovanni



Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte


"Vocally, the most fluent, expressive and commanding singing came from the relatively minor character of the Speaker, sung by bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen.  He was an impressive Oroveso in Bellini's "Norma" two years ago, and his career -- in that exciting stage when a singer keeps adding new and more demanding roles to his résumé -- is growing spectacularly.  He overshadowed the singer playing Sarastro, who is, presumably, the Speaker's boss."

          - Philip Kennicott, Washington Post - DieZauberflöte


"...and an outstanding young American bass, Kyle Ketelsen, who promises much in the role of the Speaker."

          - Hugh Canning, London Times - DieZauberflöte


"Now we come to the singers who should have exchanged roles - the Sarastro...and the Speaker of Kyle Ketelsen.  Both are good singers with the full range but Ketelsen has the stronger voice and would have made a more imposing and grander-sounding Sarastro."

          - Bill Russell, WFOS-FM (Washington D.C.) - DieZauberflöte


"Kyle Ketelsen delivered the Speaker's lines with a ripe, glowing bass-baritone."

          - Tim Smith, Opera News - Die Zauberflöte


"A very fine performance, and it was not the evening’s only one, since the American baritone Kyle Ketelsen made a notable debut as the Speaker:  it is this role which the other great Papageno of our day, Matthias Goerne, considers to be the most interesting in the work, and Ketelsen gave it the authority and grandeur which it needs, and his voice is beautiful, evenly focussed throughout the range and with a fine, burnished tone."

          - Melanie Eskenazi, Seen and Heard International - DieZauberflöte



Abimelech in Samson et Dalila


"The smaller but important roles of Abimelech (Kyle Ketelsen) and the Old Hebrew (Gregory Reinhart) were beautifully done."

          - Washington Times - Samson et Dalila


"The men around her were all quite strong, especially young bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen, who was an imposing presence in Act I."

          - Charles T. Downey, ionarts - Samson et Dalila


"Fine, thoughtful singing from Kyle Ketelsen as Abimelech."

          - Tim Page, Washington Post - Samson et Dalila


"Bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen was vocally excellent as Abimelech, whose contributions to the singing excellence were cut short due to his character’s death early in the action."

          - John C. Shulson, - Samson et Dalila


Colline in La Bohème


"Kyle Ketelsen (memorable as Leporello in last season’s Don Giovanni) sang Colline with such richness and self-possession that he threatened to steal the show."

          - Michael Van Duzer, - La Bohème


"...Ketelsen's dark, gorgeous voice and sardonic persona made Colline a standout."

          - Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post Dispatch - La Bohème


"Kyle Ketelsen made a sonorous Colline."

          - John Allison, Opera, September, 2001 - La Bohème


"As the most introspective of the four friends,Colline is seldom memorable, but Ketelsen’s huge, richly sonorous voice was impressive indeed, coupled with excellent acting.  He is surely destined for a great career."

          - Jess Anderson, Madison Isthmus - La Bohème


"Rounding out the core sextet were Kyle Ketelsen's eloquent Colline and..."

          - Lawrence B. Johnson, Detroit News - La Bohème



Oroveso in Norma


"Too bad there isn't more in the score for the Druid leader Oroveso to sing.  This character can become a windy bore in the wrong hands.  But bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen makes such a splendidly smooth, weighty, oracular sound in the role, and he phrases with such intelligence, that were it not for (Hasmik) Papian, he'd walk away with the show."

          - Joe Banno, Washington City Paper - Norma


"As Norma's father, Oroveso, Kyle Ketelsen filled the hall with his rock-solid, gorgeously nuanced bass-baritone."

          - Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun - Norma


"In the smaller role of Oroveso, young American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen demonstrated a supple smoothness of tone and was surprisingly convincing as the warlike yet compassionate ancient Druid."

          - Washington Times - Norma


"Bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as Norma's father Oroveso was a more convincing character, though in a lesser capacity.  His forthright manner and measured tone exerted a calming influence amid all the angst and tension."

          - Charles McCardell, American Record Guide - Norma


" As Oroveso, Kyle Ketelsen produced a rock-solid, gorgeously shaded bass-baritone; his really was the voice of authority."

          - Tim Smith, Opera News - Norma


" Kyle Ketelsen most convincingly played the father of Norma with delightfully soothing tones which is most unusual but pleasantly avuncular for bass roles."

          - Bob Anthony, Free-lance Arts Critic, Review 4U - Norma


"Belying his youth, bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen made an impressive Oroveso.  The voice is beautiful:  firm, smooth and dark enough in timbre for the portrayal of a much older man...he mastered his character's paternal anguish and frustration, something many of his more experienced counterparts never manage."

          - Stephen Wigler, - Norma


"Far more interesting, and impressive, is the young bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen, who brought convincing grandeur and unaffected style to the role of Oroveso."

          - Philip Kennicott, Washington Post - Norma


"Norma's father, Oroveso, is wonderfully sung by bass baritone Kyle Ketelsen, who acts this rather stock role with a nice reserve, avoiding too much of the grand gesturing that can turn the role of an 'elder' into a hideous cliché."

          - Kate Wingfield, Metro Weekly (Washington DC) - Norma


"and the most impressive American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen as Oroveso."

          - John C. Shulson, - Norma


"Kyle Ketelsen as Oroveso, Norma's father, inhabited the role with refined dignity and rich sound.  We must watch for him."

          - Vera Tilson, The Georgetowner (Washington D.C.) - Norma


"A surprise I'll admit was Kyle Ketelsen's Oroveso.  The surprise was that he's billed as a "bass-baritone" and Oroveso calls for a bass like Christoff or Ghiaurov, to name two fine ones of the past.  Mr. Ketelsen's dark tones and bass-centered sound showed he was in their class and gave a splendid high priest."

          - Harold Sokolsky, The Operaphile - Norma


"Kyle Ketelsen was an authoritative, convincing Oroveso who sang with a rock solid technique and a supple legato.  Here was a warlike Druid who could also show compassion."

          - Maria Nockin, Opera Japonica - Norma



Masetto in Don Giovanni


"Kyle Ketelsen brought firm, flexible vocalism to the good-hearted bumpkin, Masetto."

          - John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune - Don Giovanni


"Isabel Bayrakdarian and Kyle Ketelsen were a winning pair as the peasant lovers Zerlina and MasettoKetelsen's Masetto was savvy and quick-witted, though helpless against the Don's machinations."

          - Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Sun-Times - Don Giovanni



The Creation


"To Kyle Ketelsen, singing the archangel Raphael as well as Adam in the third section, fell the lion's share of the arias and recitatives.  Just two nights earlier we heard his winning Masetto in Lyric Opera's "Don Giovanni."  Here he got to display a more serious side of his artistry, and he did so with a firm, resonant bass-baritone that invested Raphael's utterances with grave dignity."

          - John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune - The Creation


"On Saturday at the Civic Opera House, Ketelsen opened a run as the long-suffering Masetto in Lyric's splendid new production of Mozart's "Don Giovanni.'' The depth of his rich, powerful voice was a charming foil for Zerlina's perky soprano in Mozart's comic tragedy.  But he assumed an aura of ringing command Monday in the role of Raphael, the narrator who sets the stage for descriptions of God's handiwork in 'The Creation.'"

In a lengthy recitative describing the creation of the animals, he and the orchestra vied to outdo each other's imagery.  The violins' slow, stalking strokes conjured the gait of powerful lions, while a delicate flute evoked surprisingly fastidious cattle.  The sepulchral growl of Ketelsen's lowest bass note topped them all, however, prompting the audience to giggle at its imitation of a truly ghastly, creepy, crawly worm."

          - Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Sun-Times - The Creation



Don Giovanni in Don Giovanni


"Kyle Ketelsen, a young American bass-baritone with a sizzling career start, sang exceedingly well and was a torrent of personality in the title role.  His Don really just didn't give a damn about anything.  He reveled in the role and broke through the constraints of some very unlikely costuming (top hat, spats - even a monocle!) to totally inhabit his character."

          - John Koopman, Opera News - Don Giovanni


"We get all of this from Kyle Ketelsen in what is a really interesting, non-standard characterization that suggests, moreover, that this particular Don wouldn't have scored with those 1,003 women without his retainer Leporello's help.  And, throughout, Ketelsen sings suavely and intelligently, both in the flurry of the Champaign Aria and sweet nuances of the Serenade."

          - Michael Anthony, Minneapolis Star Tribune - Don Giovanni


"Saturday's opening-night tandem of Kyle Ketelsen and Patrick Carfizzi was a guilty pleasure to watch and a joy to listen to as they scurried about."

          - Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press - Don Giovanni


"Kyle Ketelsen's resonant bass-baritone gave full measure to the music of the Don, and as a portrayer of the licentious hero, he proved believable, supplying appropriate dosages of the wily, the smooth, and the swashbuckling. Here is a young talent with potential."

          - Peter Jacobi, Bloomington Herald-Times - Don Giovanni



Friar Laurence in Roméo et Juliette


" Baritones Malcolm MacKenzie, as Mercutio, and Kyle Ketelsen, as Friar Laurence, both familiar to local audiences, have an almost flawless veneer to their voices.  Each gave a marvelous performance, balancing the higher ranges of their counterparts with a polished timbre that almost glistened."

          - Michael Muckian, Capital Times - Roméo et Juliette


" a few of the more notable performances were by Kyle Ketelsen, whose impressive bass-baritone lent gravity to the role of Friar Laurence."

          - John Aehl, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison) - Roméo et Juliette



Verdi Requiem


"Kyle Ketelsen offers his bass-baritone support and leads with warm tones that tend toward austerity at the appropriate moments.  Too often basses get lost in the depths of their own notes, but Ketelsen rises above throughout the performance."

           - Michael Muckian, Capital Times (Madison) - Verdi Requiem


"Ketelsen sang handsomely."

          - Daniel Cariaga, Los Angeles Times - VerdiRequiem


"Ketelsen, the youngest of the group was very much at home in the 'Confutatis maledictis.' His voice reminds one of the richest chocolate desserts one could hope for. And the quartet as a unit was as pleasant as a gorgeous Caribbean sunset."

          - Dick Jaeger, Lafayette Journal and Courier - Verdi Requiem



Guglielmo in Così fan Tutte


"Best of all was the elegant, suave Guglielmo of Kyle Ketelsen, last season’s Don Giovanni (and next season’s Figaro), a stylish young Mozartian clearly on his way."

          - Alan Rich, Opera News - Così fan Tutte


"...Cutler and Kyle Ketelsen are exciting finds.  Ketelsen is a baritone with abundant resonance and crackle.  He has been singing dramatic roles, with a specialty Mozart, at regional opera houses and is ready for even more.  He has the swagger down, and can stoop to vulnerability."

          - Gene Warech, Laguna Beach Independent - Così fan Tutte


" The cast looked and, for the most part, sounded young and marvelously involved: Pamela Armstrong and Kristine Jepson as the donne mobile, Eric Cutler and the remarkably suave Kyle Ketelsen as their conniving swains."

          - Alan Rich, Los Angeles Weekly - Così fan Tutte


"...lovers were superbly sung by Eric Ferrando, baritone Kyle Ketelsen as his comrade in arms, Guglielmo..."

          - Jim Farber, Daily Breeze (Torrence, CA) - Così fan Tutte


"Kyle Ketelsen was a mellifluous Guglielmo."

          - Chris Pasles, Los Angeles Times - Così fan Tutte



Madison Symphony Christmas Spectacular


"Ketelsen's magnificent baritone brought new life to the holiday chestnut while a group of eight female backup singers -- we'll call them the Kylettes -- filled in the high end."

          - Michael Muckian, Capital Times - Madison Symphony Christmas Spectacular


"Kyle Ketelsen transformed the nice but usually unexceptional 'Walking in a Winter Wonderland' into an exciting few minutes.  He almost overwhelmed the sound system with a resonant and warm and strong baritone voice."

          - John Aehl, Wisconsin State Journal - Madison Symphony Christmas Spectacular



St. Peter in Too Many Sopranos


" Kyle Ketelsen showed effective stage presence and a firmly focused voice as St. Peter."

          - Lawrence A. Johnson, Opera News - Too Many Sopranos



Beethoven's Ninth Symphony


"Only the bass-baritone, the American Kyle Ketelsen, saved the face of the quartet in which the soprano had a disagreeable voice, the mezzo didn't listen to herself and the tenor had a completely metallic voice."

          - Milvia Piaza, - Beethoven's Ninth Symphony



Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia


"Kyle Ketelsen sang Basilio, the slimy musician, with appropriate oiliness.  His singing of "La Calunnia" in the first act was hilarious.  His is a solid technique and a wonderfully resonant sound."

          - Tim Lindeman, Greensboro News & Record - Il Barbiere di Siviglia


"Luckily, bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen...had no such problems in the classic deep-voice role of the crafty and opportunistic music teacher Don Basilio...and was able to milk his famous "Slander" aria for all it was worth.  He had wonderful low notes during the Act II scene in which everyone, for different reasons, was trying to make him think he was sick and leave--'yellow as a corpse.'"

          - William Thomas Walker, Spectator Online - Il Barbiere di Siviglia



Il Bonzo in Madama Butterfly


" Bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen had the voice, the presence and the stature to stand on the stairs and condemn the apostate (or anyone else who crossed him). Recently out of graduate school in voice at Indiana University, his is a career to watch so that in a few years you can say you heard him when."

           - Elizabeth and Joe Kahn, Raleigh Independent Weekly - Madama Butterfly



Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola


"Kyle Ketelsen offered all the richness of his bass-baritone to the role of Don Magnifico, he who gets the opera's buffo patter numbers. This young Metropolitan Opera Auditions winner spares nothing vocally or dramatically (or, as in this case, comically). He knows how to take over a character and did so. His voice is a most assured instrument. Not for a moment did it falter. Luster and full-throatedness marked Ketelsen's work of the evening."

          - Peter Jacobi, Bloomington Herald-Times - La Cenerentola



King René in Iolanta


"Space does not permit listing the double cast of singers for both operas, but a few outstanding talents include Kyle Ketelsen....Perhaps in time they will join successful graduates of the University of Iowa like Simon Estes, Michele Crider, David Hamilton, and Dennis Petersen in Europe as well as many others active in the U.S."

          - Sven Hänsell, Opera, August, 1995 - Iolanta


"...when the performer in him takes over, a sense of poise - of assurance, of control, of expansiveness - pours forth. This is a young man with so much potential, as he's shown us."

          - Peter Jacobi, Bloomington Herald-Times



Angelotti in Tosca


"In his Met debut the American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen brought a robust voice and matching physique to the role of Angelotti."

          - Anthony Tommasini, New York Times - Tosca


"Kyle Ketelsen made a very worthy debut in the brief role of Angelotti."

          - Russell Platt, Newsday (New York) - Tosca


"Kyle Ketelsen's Angelotti, the escaped political prisoner, was forcefully portrayed. His baritone voice was clear and sure."

          - Tim Lindeman, Greensboro News and Record - Tosca



Selim in The Turk in Italy


"The focus...turned to the possessor of the title role, that Turk in Italy. Kyle Ketelsen makes an athletic swashbuckler of Selim...Ketelsen knows how to draw attention to himself because he knows how to invade a character and both fathom and fashion its full dimensions. He also happens to have a very sound bass-baritone voice that carries weight and interpretive flexibility. This young man could go places."

          - Peter Jacobi, Bloomington Herald-Times - The Turk in Italy



Gremin in Eugene Onegin


"...made a strong impression as Olga. Even more, so did Kyle Ketelsen, the basso portraying Prince Gremin, Tatyana's husband to whom Tchaikovsky gave a juicy, love-expressing aria."

          - Peter Jacobi, Bloomington Herald-Times - Eugene Onegin



Dvorak Te Deum


"...(Ketelsen) possesses a big voice that spins forward to the audience, including a beautiful baritone high range without any hint of stridency. His crisp pronunciation and well-defined phrasing were impressive."

          - Charles Conrad, Anderson Herald Bulletin - Dvorak Te Deum



Fred Graham/Petruchio in Kiss Me Kate


"Of course, it didn't hurt to have Kyle the top of the list. Ketelsen...has a baritone worthy of Verdi. So, the music of Porter held no dangers for him. And he avoided the trap some opera singers fall into, that of taking such a vocal assignment too seriously, too ponderously, too weightily. Ketelsen entered into the material comfortably. His baritone rang clearly, liltingly, even comically when called for. And he proved a charming actor, both as...Fred Graham...and as Shakespeare's Petruchio..."

          - Peter Jacobi, Bloomington Herald-Times - Kiss Me Kate



1999 Marguerite McCammon Vocal Competition


"Ketelsen's performance on both occasions showed off a deep, spacious voice with a strong low range. His repertory was clearly designed to demonstrate an impressive acting range as well...In both cases, he was totally at home on the stage, creating a miniature operatic scene through sheer stage presence, without benefit of costume or props. Lean and flexible for `buffo' roles, Ketelsen also has the stature to create more imposing characters convincingly -- as he did in King Rene's arioso from Tchaikovsky's Iolanta and Blitch's pleading "Hear me, oh Lord," from Floyd's Susannah."

          - Wayne Lee Gay, Fort Worth Star-Telegram - 1999 Marguerite McCammon Vocal Competition, Ft. Worth Opera


"There was little disagreement at the Hall, though, regarding the first place winner. Kyle Ketelsen, the handsome bass from Iowa, won people over from the start, with the drunken false bravado of "Quand la flamme de l'amour" from Bizet's La Jolie Fille de Perth. His "Madamina" from Don Giovanni was too fast, but his comic timing put the aria over. In the finals, he displayed impressive command of the Russian idiom in an arioso from Tchaikovsky's Iolanta, and then conveyed the self-loathing of the fallen preacher in his version of "Hear me, Oh Lord!" Throughout, his voice never lost its burnished tone, nor did it betray weakness at any point in the register. Alone among the contestants, he emerged as a fully developed artist. The Bass Hall crowd agreed with the judges, awarding him the Audience Favorite Award as well. An afternoon with some controversy ended in consensus."

          - Kristian Lin, Ft. Worth Weekly - 1999 Marguerite McCammon Vocal Competition, Ft. Worth Opera



Orfeo 2000 Competition


"Deep voices bore the stamp of the finale (and of the whole competition). Many favored the American sunnyboy Kyle Ketelsen. He was in high course with many, and impressed with his presenting charm and the wonderful well-balanced voice."

          - Burkhard Wetekam, Hannoversche Allgemeine, Orfeo 2000 Competition, Hannover Staatsoper, Hannover, Germany



2002 Dutch International Vocal Competition 's-Hertogenbosch


"a few potential candidates for the finals presented themselves...the two best candidates so far...were the American Kyle Ketelsen and...Ketelsen, in arias of Bizet and Puccini, and a song of Bowles, appeared to be an all-around singer with an excellently trained and quite experienced adult voice who impressed the audience with his self-confident and pleasant performance."

          - Nico Koolsbergen and Marjolijn Sengers, Brabants Dagblad - 2002 Dutch International Vocal Competition 's-Hertogenbosch


"Absolutely favorite is the American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen.  He’s an all-around singer and seems not to have any restriction or limitations.  He knows excellently how toperform and uses his voice in all types of genres evenly beautiful."

          - Nico Koolsbergen and Marjolijn Sengers, Brabants Dagblad - 2002 Dutch International Vocal Competition 's-Hertogenbosch


"Bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen demonstrated once more that he can do everything...Kyle Ketelsen, amongst other pieces, again sang "Tryptique" (which brought him the Award of the Netherlands Lied) and the virtuoso 'catalogue aria' of Don Giovanni.  Here stands a real all-around and experienced artist."          

          - Nico Koolsbergen, Brabants Dagblad - 2002 Dutch International Vocal Competition 's-Hertogenbosch

<June 2021>


Stravinsky: Pulcinella
Berlioz: Lélio, Op. 14bis
Schumann: Scenes from Goethe's Faust
Haydn: Die Schöpfung, H 21 no 2 (Creation)

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