Green to perform at Ferguson Center

Published 10:14 pm Thursday, July 20, 2017

Suffolk native Ryan Speedo Green will showcase his opera prowess this Saturday not too far from home.

Green, a bass-baritone who is currently an ensemble member with Vienna State Opera, will perform at the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News. Seats are still available at

Green has been an up-and-coming sensation in the opera world in recent years. The 2004 Lakeland High School alumnus won the prestigious George London Foundation competition at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City in 2014. At the time, he was in his third year of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

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He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in the 2012-2013 season, singing the Mandarin in “Turandot” and the Second Knight in “Parsifal.” He also has made debuts with Utah Opera, singing Don Basilio in “The Barber of Seville,” and had roles in “Madama Butterfly” and “Tosca.” He also performed at Carnegie Hall singing “The Messiah” with the St. Cecilia Choir and Orchestra.

Suffolk native Ryan Speedo Green performs in the George London Foundation competition in 2014. He won the competition and has become a well renowned young opera performer. (Shawn Ehlers photo)

Green’s life is the subject of a book, “Sing for Your Life,” by Daniel Bergner, telling the story of his rough childhood.

Green was the child of divorced parents, placed in a special class for the school division’s worst-behaved children, sent to Virginia’s most notorious juvenile detention facility, and living as an adolescent in Suffolk across from the headquarters of a drug dealing operation.

But he found his voice in opera, having discovered his love for it while attending the Governor’s School for the Arts.

Green has said Alan Fischer, chair of the school’s vocal music department, and the late Robert Brown, his first voice teacher, particularly influenced him.

He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree at the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford and earned a Master of Music degree from Florida State University.