About Simon Keenlyside
Simon Keenlyside sang Schubert's Winterreise in performances with the Trisha Brown Dance Company directed by choreographer Trisha Brown for Lincoln Center Presents at the John Jay College Theater in New York on December 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, and 13, 2002, at 8 p.m.
"If Brown has been modest, the same cannot be said for Keenlyside, who initiated this project and steps forward as its star. By adding dance movement to his list of challenges, Keenlyside has transformed the already taxing 'Winterreise' into a kind of Iron Man competition. Seeing him leap into place, then launch into 'Stormy Morning' with full voice, or watching him sing with a dancer's foot pressing against his chest, it's hard not to believe he's showing off.

"On the other hand, Keenlyside approaches closer to the character of the hero, buffeted by Fate as dancers manipulate his limbs and cart him around. His voice remains sonorous and his diction impeccable throughout this dramatic ordeal."--from a review by Robert Johnson, December 4, 2002, at
I went to the Winterreise performance in New York on Friday night, December 6, 2002, at the John Jay College Theater.   I enjoyed it very much, even more than I had thought that I would. It was amazing that Simon Keenlyside was able to sing so well despite his participation in the activity. I thought that the choreography was excellent, that it did not distract from the songs, and that it made the performance more interesting than just a regular recital. I had thought that it would be superfluous at best, but it actually enhanced the performance, in my opinion. The dancers and the pianist were very good also. The audience seemed to enjoy it thoroughly. There was complete silence from the audience during the performance and a lot of applause at the end.--JRP
In a December 3, 2002, review at jameswagner.com, James Wagner wrote:  ";Is it necessary to stage or choreograph an evening of songs? Schubert himself didn't even think of them as an integral set, and there is no narrative unity, but they have often been presented in concert and recordings as a cycle, so while the answer is obviously no, I will say that I had never understood them so well as individual pieces or as a set until I heard and saw them performed as they were last evening."
Yahoo! group:  Fans of Simon Keenlyside


Winterreise sung by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

"In this Winterreise . . . , Keenlyside, finely abetted by pianist Pedja Muzijevic, not only sings wonderfully; he has a beautiful presence?simple, modest, and up to everything Brown proposes. He launches himself toward us headfirst and several feet off the ground in 'The Stormy Morning'; he sings cantilevered in various ways against the dancers' upraised feet and delivers the entire 'Dream of Spring' lying on the bed they have formed for him. At one hopeful point, he breaks into a small, angular dance."--from review by Deborah Jowitt in the Village Voice of December 11-17, 2002.
"The elegant British baritone Simon Keenlyside is the Ralph Fiennes of opera, not just an affectingly restrained actor, but, as his recent Lincoln Center performances in the choreographer Trisha Brown's staging of Schubert's song cycle 'Winterreise' made clear, an agile dancer."--Anthony Tommasini in New York Times of Sunday December 22, 2002.
"'Winterreise' is a true collaboration between Brown and Keenlyside, who previously portrayed Orfeo beautifully under her direction. Keenlyside blended in naturally with Brown's dancers. His stature is similar to theirs, and he moved confidently and easily without a hint of stiffness, through all manner of positions . . .. His voice was clear, accurate, agile, and seemingly gained strength throughout the rigors of the cycle. Brown remained sensitive to the singer's innate talents while pushing him beyond an opera singer's normal limits. She showed palpable respect for the songs by matching their scope and focus, and by asking her dancers to assume an important, if supportive and subservient, role."--Susan Yung in the Dance Insider.
"Mr. Keenlyside is the emotional center of the piece.  And without his lyrical vulnerability and the dark registers of his anger as well as Mr. Muzijevic's sensitive playing, this production would not be what it is."--from review by Anna Kisselgoff in the New York Times of December 4, 2002.
"That Keenlyside can dance at all is unusual for a concert singer, but that aptitude would amount to no more than a gimmick if he were not also a musician of consummate seriousness.  He delivered Schubert's chronicle of sublime self-pity with a studied neutrality worthy of Walter Cronkite, letting the savage emotions speak for themselves.  Working in almost total darkness, Pedja Muzijevic played the painterly piano part with distinction."--from review by Justin Davidson in Newsday of December 5, 2002.
"1. TRISHA BROWN'S `WINTERREISE' Trisha Brown's staging of the Schubert work for the baritone Simon Keenlyside and dancers from her company in early December was a seamless and compelling fusion of song and movement which captured the music's emotional essence and eloquence."--from "10 Moments in Dance"  by Jack Anderson in New York Times of December 29, 2002.
Schubert: “Winterreise” – Keenlyside; Martineau; Schubertiade Schwarzenberg 2004
Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival in the summer of 2003  included encore performances of Winterreise with the Trisha Brown Dance Company and Simon Keenlyside.
"[T]his is some of the most perfect singing I've heard,"  wrote Anna Picard in a review dated 31 March 2002 for The Independent about a (recital) performance of Winterreise by Simon Keenlyside at Wigmore Hall.
"In the final Queen’s Hall concert, baritone Simon Keenlyside gave a performance of Winterreise that was operatic. It was not just his capacious voice - it was lovely to hear him hit rich low notes, then bounce into the broad strip of colour that is his middle range - he quite simply became the song cycle’s jilted lover. It wasn’t until the fourth song that his voice was really ready, but by then, steeped in the cycle, he treated it as a role. Raging torrents beneath the music’s surface burst through into the vocal line. Questions were beautifully inflected, every sentiment seemed refracted through a very personal emotional prism into his voice."--from a recital review by James Allen for The Scotsman of 1 September 2003.

Philips 50 - Schubert: Winterreise /Fischer-dieskau, Brendel
Terms of Use