Jon Lee Keenan

tenor

The Industry Credits

Biography

Tenor Jon Lee Keenan is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada. Influenced at a young age by his father, a classically trained jazz saxophonist, Jon cultivated an interest in performing a variety of musical styles. While a high school student at the Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts, Jon found himself winning state vocal competitions, writing music and playing guitar with his 8-piece original ska band, and singing first tenor with the local collegiate vocal ensemble. After earning a triple degree in music at UNLV in Las Vegas, Jon moved out to Southern California to pursue a career in classical singing, studying Vocal Arts at the USC Thornton School of Music. Jon was first introduced to the Los Angeles classical music scene by the Los Angeles Master Chorale with whom he has been featured as a soloist in each season since joining on with the group in 2007. Recent highlights with LAMC include the role of “Evangelist” in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah, and the narrator in Hugo Distler’s The Story of Christmas. Currently, Jon is in demand on opera stages and concert halls throughout California and the United States. Recent appearances with Southwest Chamber Music include collaborations on Britten’s A Birthday Hansel for tenor and harp, and A Sunbeam’s Architecture, an orchestral song cycle by E.E. Cummings and Elliot Carter at Red Cat. Recent opera roles with the Pacific Opera Project include Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni and Tanzmeister in Ariadne auf Naxos. Over the past few seasons, Jon has helped create several new exciting characters through collaborations with The Industry including: Clyde Barrow in Andrew McIntosh’s Bonnie & Clyde (Second Take 2017 & First Take 2015), Little Monk in Brecht’s Galileo, composed by Andy Akiho, Napoleon Bonaparte in Nicholas Deyoe’s Haydn’s Head (First Take 2017), and Anne LeBaron’s LSD: The Opera (First Take 2015). Also with The Industry, Jon has performed as Jameson in Hopscotch, Chapter 12 and in the performance installation Nimbus as a Featured Tenor. This past June, Jon performed and recorded the role Gniphos in the LA Philharmonic’s co-production of Lou Harrison’s Young Caesar with The Industry, slated for international release in 2018. This season’s highlights include appearances with the Los Angeles Master Chorale in Handel’s Israel in Egypt; Orange County’s Pacific Chorale as the role of Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion; tenor soloist in Mozart’s rarely heard “Little Masonic” cantata Laut Verkünde unsre Freude conducted by Gustavo Dudamel; and the role of Gunner / Stage Hand in the premiere of Orson Welles classic War of the Worlds turned opera by Yuval Sharon and composer Annie Gosfield, and the LA Philharmonic.

Meet Jon Lee Keenan

Press

Jon Lee Keenan’s tenor sailed along waves of liquid legato; his silvery top register lending extra shimmer to the music’s light.

, Crescenta Valley Weekly

Keenan is particularly a delight to watch and listen to, as he exhibits an impressive level of skill and close attention to the lyrics, pronunciation and pitch, mixing innate instinct and carefully crafted artistry.

, Pasadena Independent

As the Evangelist, Jon Lee Keenan offered a clarion tenor and commanding narrative style.

, LA Times

The role of Evangelist, the storyteller, was assigned to Master Chorale member Jon Lee Keenan, whose tenor voice easily carried throughout Walt Disney Concert Hall and featured gorgeous high notes and clearly enunciated German.

, LA Opus

What was especially impressive was how well the apprentice artists — tenors Jeremy Fisher and Jon Lee Keenan and mezzo-soprano Laura Begley — sounded in their smaller roles. The quality of their voices, the line and their projection easily matched the caliber of the principal voices.

, The Daily Gazette

There are five tenor roles in Esther, and all five of them were excellent… I particularly liked Jon Lee Keenan as Ahasuerus.

, San Francisco Civic Center

Keenan’s voice was sonorous, yet still crisp and clear; fully intelligible, expressive with a surprising dynamic range.

, CultureSpotLA.com

The minor role of Don Curzio was filled by the liquid tenor of Jon Lee Keenan in a bit of inspired luxury casting.

, Crescenta Valley Weekly

Tenor Jon Lee Keenan… soon became the soloist of the night, performing with clarity and power; his melismatic work, in which an ornamental phrase of several notes is sung to one syllable of text, hit just the right balance between staccato and legato.

, Stage and Cinema

Tenor Jon Lee Keenan was outstanding in his turn as the Evangelist, singing with a pious beauty and immaculate musicality that was in complete service to the score.

, Klang Klang Klang

Keenan, in his third season, is the most recent, and he is someone to watch. His sure tenor sailed comfortably through tricky embellishments.

, LA Times

Jon Lee Keenan, a tenor from Southern California, also proved himself ready for prime time, with a clear, sweet, high voice; he is ready to emerge as an in-demand oratorio singer.

, San Francisco Classical Voice