The talented and versatile American tenor, Frank Kelley, has performed in concert and on opera stages throughout North America and Europe, garnering plaudits and a loyal following. The Boston Musical Intelligencer has observed, “Kelley’s burnished tone was just right…. His sensitivity to the texts and the shifts of mood were superlative.” The Worcester Telegram has also noted Mr. Kelley’s “superb voice and…special quality of conveying the text in an expressive and affecting way.”
Recent season highlights include performances with the Florentine Opera in Carlisle Floyd’s Prince of Players and as Joseph in Carlisle Floyd’s Wuthering Heights. He also recently performed as a soloist in Britten’s War Requiem with Music Worcester, in Bach’s St. John Passion with Orquesta Sinfónica de Mineria, and in his stage directing debut for Elmer Gantry with the Florentine Opera. His stage directing was praised by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, who wrote that, “Stage director Frank Kelley brought a healthy dose of theater to the production. Friday’s audience saw characters with depth, as well as complexity in their relationships with one another.” He also recently returned to Odyssey Opera in Boston as Victorin in Die Tote Stadt.
Mr. Kelley has enjoyed an ongoing relationship with the Boston Lyric Opera, where he has performed many roles, including Triquet in Eugene Onegin, Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro, Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor, Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus, Goro in Madama Butterfly, Spoletta in Tosca, and Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte. With Opera Boston he appeared as Raoul in Offenbach’s La vie parisienne, as the Kavalier in Hindemith’s Cardillac, the Magician in The Consul, and Fatty in The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Other notable opera appearances include Grandpa Joe in the world premiere of Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, also in the European premiere with Wexford Festival Opera; Spoletta in Tosca, Pang in Turandot, Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro and Eddie Fislinger in Elmer Gantry with Florentine Opera; and the United Way in Tod Machover’s Death and the Powers with Dallas Opera and Opéra de Monte Carlo.
He also has long associations with Boston’s premier concert organizations, including multiple performances of Bach’s cantatas with Emmanuel Music under the direction of Craig Smith, Christopher Hogwood, and Seiji Ozawa; St. John Passion with the Handel and Haydn Society and the Orquesta Sinfónica Naciónal de México; St. Matthew Passion with Boston Baroque and Emmanuel Music; Handel’s Messiah with the Handel and Haydn Society and Boston Baroque; recitals of Schubert lieder for Emmanuel Music’s Schubert Series; and Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His other concert appearances include Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite with the St. Louis Symphony; Master of Ceremonies in Queen of Spades with the National Symphony Orchestra; and Mendelssohn’s The First Walpurgis Night with Roger Norrington and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.
On television, Frank Kelley appears on the PBS broadcasts of Peter Sellars’ productions of Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte. Mr. Kelley’s recordings feature him in repertoire spanning ten centuries. His discography includes three Deutsche Harmonia Mundi albums with the ensemble Sequentia: Aquitania, Shining Light, and Saints; a Teldec release of Stravinsky’s Renard with Hugh Wolff and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; and Kurt Weill’s Das Kleine Mahagonny with Kent Nagano. He is also featured on the recording of Robert Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry which received a 2012 Grammy for Best Contemporary Composition as well as Best Engineered Album.