Baritone Bruce Kelly first appeared with Pacific Opera Victoria as Tranio in The Taming of the Shrew (2001). He has returned regularly since, presenting performances as Achillas (Julius Caesar, 2002), Dr. Bartolo (The Marriage of Figaro, 2003), Antonio (The Tempest, 2004), Sacristan (Tosca, 2005), Geronte di Ravoir (Manon Lescaut, 2006), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly, 2008), the High Priest (Der Sprecher) in The Magic Flute, 2009, and Germont in La traviata, 2009. In 2010 he returned as Garibaldo in Handel's Rodelinda and in April 2013 as the Sacristan in Tosca. He performed the role of the Music Master in Ariadne auf Naxos, and POV welcomed him back in 2015 to reprise the role of Sharpless. He returns in April 2016 as Quince in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Bruce Kelly's extensive career has taken him to many of the important opera houses and concert halls of Europe, including Nice, Strasbourg, Liège, Avignon, Vienna, Paris, Brussels, and Moscow. He has appeared in a variety of leading roles, including Silvio (Pagliacci), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Walton (I Puritani), Capulet (Roméo et Juliette) Marcello (La Bohème), Falstaff, Lescaut (Manon Lescaut), Wolfram (Tannhäuser), Doctor Engels (The Student Prince), Abimelech (Samson et Dalila), and Ernesto (Il Pirata). He has performed on Canadian stages from coast to coast, with companies such as Pacific Opera Victoria, Calgary Opera, Opera Ontario, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Opera in Concert, Toronto Operetta Theatre, and Opéra de Québec.
Recent and upcoming projects include the world première of John Burge's chamber opera The Auction at the Westben Festival, Campbellford, Sacristan in Tosca for Opéra de Québec and Messiah with the Kingston Symphony.
In Canada Mr. Kelly has appeared as a frequent guest soloist with all the major orchestras, and abroad with orchestras such as the Prague Radio Symphony and the Symphony of Kunming, China, in works such as Elijah, Carmina Burana, the Bach Passions, The Creation, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, the Verdi, Brahms and other Requiem masses, and numerous Handel Oratorios including Samson and Messiah. He appeared in the first national CBC radio broadcast of the Mozart orchestration of Handel's Messiah, in the Canadian premiere of Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio, and gave the Canadian Première of the staged version of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' Eight Songs for a Mad King. As a disciple of the Lieder tradition he has given uniquely dramatized performances of Schubert's Die Winterreise, Mahler's Lieder enies fahrenden Gesellen, and dramatic readings of Ludwig Tieck's Die Schöne Magelone and the accompanying Brahms cycle.
Baritone Bruce Kelly had a thoroughly good time chewing the scenery as the very bad guy Garibaldo. The same verve and joyousness in his voice gave extra energy to his artistic skill.
Review Vancouver, Review of POV's Rodelinda, 2010
Bruce Kelly used his mellifluous baritone to portray a warm and compassionate American Consul, Sharpless.
Opera Canada, Review of POV's Madama Butterfly, 2009
Top vocal honours went to Bruce Kelly ... his sturdy baritone ringing and heroic, his diction impeccable.
Warren Wilson, The Globe and Mail
Kelly's pipes are a marvelous combination of deep and light and his technique is flawless ... his passion as an actor was a definite plus.
Kitchener Record, Colleen Johnson