Ryan Edwards Bio


Acclaimed baritone Ryan Edwards has appeared in major operatic roles throughout North America and Europe.  He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR with Beverly Sills, a landmark production that was broadcast and later released on CD.  Mr. Edwards’ numerous other performances with the Met have included the leading baritone roles in ERNANI, DON CARLO, and LA FORZA DEL DESTINO.  OPERA NEWS declared:  “Ryan Edwards’ magnificent instrument is ideally suited for Verdi.”

He has garnered critics’ accolades for such diverse repertoire as PIQUE DAME with Galina Vishnevskaya, conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich at the San Francisco Opera, and THAÏS with Jeannette Pilou at the Greater Miami Opera.  His performance with Helga Dernesch in the British premiere of Bloch’s MACBETH was broadcast from London by the BBC and prompted MUSIC AND MUSICIANS to call him “an ideal Macbeth.”  OPERA NEWS concurred, declaring him

“a Macbeth as ringingly firm in tone as he was tautly secure in characterization.”

As a concert artist, Mr. Edwards has been featured soloist with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  The SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE wrote that

Mr. Edwards’ performance in CARMINA BURANA was the “vocal sensation of the evening.”  He was also applauded by audiences and critics alike for his sensitive interpretation of Mahler’s SONGS OF A WAYFARER at the Herod Atticus Theatre in Athens and was soloist for both the American and European premieres of ENDOPSIS, a symphonic work for baritone and orchestra, conducted by composer Stavros Xarhakos. 

Mr. Edwards has been heard on broadcasts of over 20 operatic productions, including TOSCA, AIDA, and OTELLO,

as well as such concert works as CARMINA BURANA, the Brahms REQUIEM, and Mahler’s SYMPHONY NO. 8. 

His performances have been carried internationally by the BBC, ORTF-Paris, Voice of Europe Radio Network, CBC,

and the Texaco Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts.  On television, he has been seen in CBC’s award-winning production of Tchaikovsky’s MAID OF ORLEANS, NET’s Brahms REQUIEM conducted by André Previn, and the PBS documentary THE VOCAL LION.  Mr. Edwards’ extensive media credits also include the film of I PAGLIACCI directed by

Henry Butler, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra recording of Mahler’s SYMPHONY NO. 8 conducted by James Levine, and the world premiere recording of CATERINA CORNARO with Montserrat Caballé and Giacomo Aragall.

Mr. Edwards has also performed with such distinguished singers and conductors as Martina Arroyo, Leonard Bernstein,

Richard Bonynge, Grace Bumbry, James Conlon, Anton Coppola, José Carreras, Cristina Deutekom, Giuseppe

Di Stefano, Placido Domingo, Nicolai Gedda, Nicolai Ghiaurov, Lorna Haywood, Alfredo Kraus, Erich Leinsdorf, 

James McCracken, Zubin Mehta, Anna Moffo, Giuseppe Patané, Luciano Pavarotti, Katia Ricciarelli, Renata Scotto,

José Serebrier, Robert Shaw, George Shirley, Joan Sutherland, Klaus Tennstedt, Shirley Verrett, and Jon Vickers.

As a teacher, lecturer, and author, Mr. Edwards gives master classes throughout the United States and Europe and is a frequent judge for the Metropolitan Opera Auditions and other national competitions.  He is a past president of the National Opera Association and has served as artistic consultant and master teacher for the International Opera Academy in Rome and the Marquee Theatre Company.  He has written numerous articles on opera and drama and is the author, with son Geoffrey, of THE VERDI BARITONE: STUDIES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF DRAMATIC CHARACTER (Indiana University Press), VERDI AND PUCCINI HEROINES: DRAMATIC CHARACTERIZATION IN GREAT SOPRANO ROLES (Scarecrow Press), and A.K.A. DOC: THE ORAL HISTORY OF A NEW ORLEANS STREET MUSICIAN (released as a book-CD package by Cadence Jazz Books).  Mr. Edwards is an alumnus of the Academy of Vocal Arts and the prestigious Juilliard Opera Center.  He is the recipient of numerous honors, including the National Opera Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Among his European appearances are CATERINA CORNARO for L’Opéra de Nice and French National Radio in Paris,

I PURITANI at London’s Royal Festival Hall, and ATTILA with Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu.  LA PRENSA called him

“the perfectly defined Figaro” for his performance in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA at the Liceu, concluding:  “He was a triumph both as a singer and as a comic actor.”

“sterling voice” as Renato in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA.  OPERA CANADA wrote of his Count di Luna in

IL TROVATORE:  “Ryan Edwards sang brilliantly, interpolating a high B flat into the final moments of the opera that called to mind the late Leonard Warren.”

Eminent in the Verdi repertory, Mr. Edwards has received international tributes for his vocal and dramatic interpretations of such roles as Iago in OTELLO, Germont in LA TRAVIATA, and the title roles in NABUCCO and MACBETH.  OPERA (London) hailed him as “a Verdi baritone ‘di prima classe’” for his Rodrigo in DON CARLO, while the NEW YORK TIMES praised his