Possessing a voice that the New York Times calls “heart-stirring” as well as a “charismatic” and “powerful” stage presence, American baritone Kelly Markgraf is rapidly distinguishing himself on the opera and concert stages.

Kelly Markgraf’s 2013-2014 calendar brings his debut with Austin Lyric Opera as Belcore in L’elisir d’amore and concert performances of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Donato Cabrera and the Green Bay Symphony. He will also be the featured vocalist on a chamber music program of Barber, Schubert, and Rorem with Frank Almond’s Frankly Music. Additionally, he returns to the San Francisco Symphony for its traditional New Year’s Eve Concert, under the baton of Michael Francis, in a program of Viennese operetta and popular showstoppers. Future engagements include a world premiere with American Opera Projects at Brooklyn Academy of Music and The Kennedy Center; a return to Madison Opera; his debut with the Florentine Opera; and his European debut in a new role in Lausanne.

Highlights of his 2012-2013 season include appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, for Le rossignol and L’enfant et les sortilèges under Charles Dutoit; the Los Angeles Philharmonic, for Bach’s O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel; Madison Opera, for the title role in Don Giovanni; a recital with the Marilyn Horne Foundation at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, and an art song program, “Love Songs”, with the The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Kelly Markgraf debuts with the San Francisco Symphony in summer 2013, as Bernardo in performances of West Side Story, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. He subsequently returns to Aspen Music Festival, as Ned Keene in a semi-staged performance of Peter Grimes, conducted by Robert Spano.

Kelly Markgraf is a distinguished graduate of the Juilliard Opera Center, where his work included the roles of Mamoud in a staged concert of John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer, conducted by the composer, and Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff in a production directed by Stephen Wadsworth and conducted by Keri-Lynn Wilson. In fall 2008, he participated in the knockout West Side Storyportion of the all-Bernstein program, which opened Carnegie Hall’s season and was nationally televised under Michael Tilson Thomas. Mr. Markgraf also made his Pittsburgh Opera debut as Ragged Man in Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath, a role he created at Minnesota Opera in 2007. In spring 2009, he was part of Ken Noda’s Winterreise project at The Juilliard School.

Mr. Markgraf is a former member of the Resident Artist Program at Minnesota Opera, where he sang Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Frédéric in Lakmé, Dappertutto and Coppélius in Les contes d’Hoffmann, as well as Ragged Man in the world premiere of The Grapes of Wrath. At Opera Theatre of St. Louis, he performed Dick McGann in James Robinson’s production of Street Scene, of which the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote: “Kelly Markgraf was terrific as Dick McGann: dancing up a storm, singing as well as he danced, and projecting palpable, hilarious lust.” As an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera, he sang the role of the Bosun in Paul Curran’s production of Billy Budd, under the baton of Edo de Waart.

The artist’s honors include a First Prize Award from the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition(2010), the Sullivan Foundation’s Sullivan Award (2009), the Grand Prize in the Opera Index Competition (2009), awards from the Giulio Gari Foundation and the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation (2009), a Richard F. Gold Career Grant (2009), an Outstanding Apprentice Award from the Santa Fe Opera, a Richard Tucker Foundation Career Grant Nomination, the Civic Music Association Competition Grand Prize, and an Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. A native of Wisconsin, Mr. Markgraf holds degrees from Boston University, the University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music, and The Juilliard School.

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