Newfoundland tenor Ryan Downey has sung with opera companies and symphonies across the country and has been critically acclaimed for his “nimbleness of voice” (Bachtrack) and “clear intention and character” (Schmopera).
A graduate of the University of Toronto, Ryan was invited to join the Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program with Vancouver Opera where he made his company debut in the company’s 2016 production of Hansel and Gretel as the Gingerbread Witch, in which critics praised him for his “excellent comic timing..” as well as for “[stealing] just about the entire third act” (Review Vancouver). Ryan also sang the roles of Don Basilio and Don Curzio in Vancouver Opera’s 2017 production of Le Nozze di Figaro. Ryan is honoured to be a frequent guest artist with his hometown opera company, Opera on the Avalon, singing Howard Boucher in their recent production of Dead Man Walking and creating the role of John in John Estacio’s WW1 Opera, Ours. Other credits include Prince Charming (Cendrillon) with Vancouver Opera, Corcoran (HMS Pinafore) with Toronto Operetta Theatre, and the Lyric Tenor (Postcard from Morocco), with U of T Opera..
Upcoming engagements for Ryan include returning to Windsor to reprise the roles of Basilio and Curzio in the new Windsor Symphony Orchestra production of Le Nozze di Figaro. Ryan will also be making his company debut singing Messiah with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
“As Mr. Gedge, the Vicar, there was something compelling about Ryan Downey… his intention and character were always clear.”
– Jenna Douglas, Schmopera
The witch (Ryan Downey) was so fantastic…
-Lauren Chancellor, The Review Weekly
Ryan is also an eager concert artist; recent and upcoming engagements include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G, Orff’s Carmina Burana, as well as excerpts from Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Bach’s Magnificat, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
Ryan is a proud alumnus of the Opera on the Avalon, Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, Highlands Opera Studio and Halifax Summer Opera Workshop Young Artist programs.
Ryan has been quite active on the competition scene in Ontario. In the Ontario NATS 2013 Competition, he took home honours as the Most Promising Singer as well as the Best Graduate Level/Young Professional Singer. He also won the 2013 Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition, debuting with the ensemble as prize-winner in May 2014. Ryan has been honoured and humbled to be supported by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council as a recipient of a 2013 Project Grant, as well as by generous donors through University of Toronto’s Opera Division and Memorial University.