Keith Olsen's stellar career has seen him appear regularly in the world's most
prestigious opera venues.
These include London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (KÁTYA KABANOVÁ with Haitink, TOSCA with Domingo, AIDA, BUTTERFLY, BOHÈME, ); Opera Bastille, Paris (TOSCA with Ozawa, BOCCANEGRA with Myung-Whun Chung, BUTTERFLY, BOHÈME); La Scala, Milan (FEDORA) + (FANCIULLA DEL WEST tour to Japan); Staatsoper Wien (TOSCA); Staatsoper Berlin (TROVATORE, L'AFRICAINE, AIDA); Arena di Verona (AIDA, CARMEN, BUTTERFLY, BOHÈME).
A tenor most adept to the poetic and romantic roles, Mr. Olsen's vast opera repertoire and stage experience concentrates on the Italian and French literature and beyond to selected German, Czech, Russian and modern works.
Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the world premiere of MANON LESCAUT in February 1993 in Turin, Italy, Mr. Olsen was chosen to portray the role of Des Grieux.
His successful Italian debut was filmed by the Italian television, RAI.
Later that year, he was asked to sing Radamés at Rome's Terme di Caracalla. Previously, in Montpellier, France, his debut as Radamés was broadcast by RADIO FRANCE to an
estimated 1.5 million people across Europe celebrating the opening of its 1992 Summer Festival. Subsequent productions presented his Radamés in the Arena di Verona; Royal Opera House, London; Staatsoper Berlin; Teatro Massimo, Palermo; Seville, Spain. In Italy,
Mr. Olsen is a regular guest in all the major theaters. At La Scala, Milan, he debuted as Loris in FEDORA. Also with La Scala, he has traveled to Tokyo, Japan to sing Dick Johnson from Puccini's FANCIULLA DEL WEST with their tournée to the Bunka Kaikan theater.
He repeated the opera FEDORA at the Teatro Regio in Turin with soprano Mirella Freni by his side. His voice has filled the Arena di Verona as Radamés, Don José, Pinkerton and Rodolfo.
At the Puccini Summer Festival at Torre del Lago, he presented his BOHÈME and BUTTERFLY.
His Calaf in TURANDOT has been heard in Genova and Turin. In Florence, he has sang Dick Johnson. Turin, Palermo and Catania have heard his Cavaradossi.
In Catania, he has also sung Boris in KÁTYA KABANOVÁ and the Prince the L'AMOUR DES TROIS ORANGES.
In Palermo he created Nanni in the modern opera of LA LUPA. At Palermo's Teatro Massimo, he performed AIDA.
Later in the same theater, he sang Lenski aside soprano Mirella Freni. Bologna has heard his MacDuff and Pollione. Teatro Regio, Turin has also heard him in the role of Don José and the title role of SLY. As memorial to the 50 year anniversary of the 1945 atomic bomb, Mr. Olsen performed with Nello Santi in the Vatican, Sala Nervi, performing the Verdi Requiem. This moving live broadcast, in collaboration with the Japanese NTV and the Italian RAI television networks, juxtaposed unfeigned images of war to the profound music of Verdi.
For 6 consecutive years, Mr. Olsen performed in London at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (AIDA, TOSCA, KÁTYA KABANOVÁ,BOHÈME, BUTTERFLY).
Highlight of his work there were with Maestro Haitink and stage director Mr. Trevor Nunn in the premiere of Janácek's KÁTYA KABANOVÁ. Further honor was singing Cavaradossi under the direction of Mo. Placido Domingo.
The Opera Bastille, Paris has heard Mr. Olsen in SIMON BOCCANEGRA (Mo. Myung-Whun Chung).
This successful debut led to further engagements in BOHÈME and BUTTERFLY (Bob Wilson production). His TOSCA was with the collaboration of Mo. Seizi Ozawa. In Toulouse, France, Mr. Olsen's debut of Cavaradossi in the production of TOSCA was received with 34 bows.
He returned to sing the concert version of LA WALLY. Most memorable was his performance of Don José in CARMEN under the direction of Mo. Michel Plasson.
Mr. Olsen further collaborated with Mo. Plasson in the Eglise Notre-Dame La Daurade, Toulouse in the recording of Verdi's REQUIEM (EMI).
Elsewhere in France, he has sung the title role of WERTHER in Marseille and Don Alvaro in
FORZA DEL DESTINO, again with Mo. Plasson, at the summer festival in the roman arena of Orange. The role of Rodolfo marked his European debut in 1987 at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe with the renown stage director Mr. Gian Carlo Del Monaco.
From this debut, which received 36 minutes of ovation, he was subsequently engaged in other productions of LA BOHÈME in Hamburg, Frankfurt am Main, Hannover, Düsseldorf, Wiesbaden, Leipzig, and at the Semper Oper in Dresden.
With the Oper Bonn, he has sung the title role in EDGAR as well as Turiddú in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA and Dick Johnson in LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST.
While the Würthembergisches Staatstheater, Stuttgart, heard his Hans in its production of Smetana's DIE VERKAUFTE BRAUT.
The Stadtstheater Frankfurt has heard his BOHEME, BOCCANEGRA and MANON LESCAUT.
Maestro Kurt Masur, having heard the premiere of LA BOHÈME in Leipzig, Mr. Olsen was approached immediately afterwards to mount an evening of solos and duets by Puccini with his renown Gewandhaus Orchestra, on November 7, 1992.
The success of this evening lead Maestro Masur to again ask Mr. Olsen to collaborate with him on the closing ceremonies marking the 250th anniversary of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, with performances of the NINTH SYMPHONY by Beethoven culminating in a Gala New Year's Eve concert televised by the German MDR television.
He later returned as guest soloist with the Gewandhaus Orchestra again under the direction of Mo. Kurt Masur singing DIE ERSTE WALPURGISNACHT.
At the Staatsoper Berlin, Mr. Olsen debuted in IL TROVATORE as Manrico (being the same debut role at the Oper Leipzig). On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the death of Meyerbeer, Mr. Olsen also performed Vasco da Gamma in DIE AFRIKANERIN (L'AFRICAINE).
Most recently, he returned to sing Radamés in the revival of AIDA. Elsewhere in Europe, Mr. Olsen's Calaf in TURANDOT was heard in Geneva, Switzerland. The last performance was shown as a 'big screen' presentation in the city's main square. Athens, Greece heard his FAUST by Gounod outdoors in the historic Acropolis. He has also performed with the Opera of Helsinki, Finland the role of Alfredo in LA TRAVIATA.
In Spain, he teamed his Calaf with soprano Dimitrova's TURANDOT.
In Barcelona he sang Alfredo while Bilbao has heard his Rodolfo and Cavaradossi.
The famous Concertgebouw concert hall in Amsterdam featured Mr. Olsen singing the title role in Berlioz's LE DAMNATION DU FAUST with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Flanders.
This live performance was recorded and released on CD (Bayer).
Other memorable concerts for Mr. Olsen, include his continuing support in Belgium for the benefit concerts for the Cancer Society for Children, a cause for which he has delighted in contributing his talents over a 3 year period. In Italy, he has participated in a benefit concert for the 'Telefono Azzurro', a hot-line for abused children.
His benefit Gala concert, shared with Ms. Eva Marton, in Pesaro, Italy summer of 1991, was in honor of the late Mario Del Monaco with proceeds donated to the local school for retarded children.
Outside of Europe, Mr. Olsen has journeyed to Tokyo, Japan to sing Dick Johnson from Puccini's FANCIULLA DEL WEST with the tournee of La Scala in the Bunka Kaikan theater.
The Opera City in Hamamatsu saw him as Pinkerton in the Opera Bastille BUTTERFLY production of Mr. Bob Wilson. His latest endeavor was as Des Grieux at the New National Theater production of Puccini's MANON LESCAUT in Tokyo and Toyama.
In the other hemisphere, Mr. Olsen portrayed the role of Turiddú for SABC television in Durban, South Africa. At the State Theater of Pretoria, he performed LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN and Verdi's ATTILA. While Santiago, Chile heard his Don José in CARMEN.
In America, he has sung leading roles with 21 Opera companies. His successes have taken him from New York City Opera (FAUST), Cincinnati Opera (LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN), to the San Francisco Opera (Strauss' CAPRICCIO opposite Dame Kiri Te Kanawa), Spoleto Festival, Charleston (LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN), to Los Angeles Opera (LA TRAVIATA) and the May Festival in Cincinnati with James Conlon (TURANDOT).
Mr. Olsen's 8 years of formal education have earned him numerous recognitions, including the prestigious Grace Moore Graduate Fellowship in Voice/Opera (University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Master of Music), scholarship recipient during his four years at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (Bachelor of Music), and in 1984 was nominated as one of the "Most Outstanding Young Men of America".
He holds a certificate of studies of German Lieder from the Franz Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien, Austria. At the Juilliard School of Music, New York City, he culminated his studies with two years in the Professional Studies program.
When not on the road, he makes his home in northern Italy.
He delights in his married life and enjoys cooking, reading, woodworking, his three cats 'Suki,
Floppy and Buzz', but above all his Bonsai garden.