From Suffolk to the World: Green takes lead role in ‘Champion’ at the Met

Published 7:28 pm Friday, April 21, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

A Suffolk bass-baritone is being heard this year in some of the world’s top opera houses and beyond.

Ryan “Speedo” Green opened the year performing at the Opera national de Paris in Bastille, France before returning to New York City to perform with the Met at Orchestra Musicians at Carnegie Hall in February. In March, he was on stage at David Geffen Hall with the New York Philharmonic and later this year, he is set to debut with the Chicago Philharmonic at Harris Theater and Dance.

It also was just recently announced that he is set to star in Terence Blanchard’s opera “Champion” with the New York Metropolitan Opera from April 10 through May 13. The live performance is being recorded and will be shown in cinemas around the world, including Virginia.

Email newsletter signup

Just as impressive, Green was featured on the March cover of Opera magazine for taking on the role of boxer Emile Griffith.

In a recent interview with the News-Herald, Green never imagined his passion for opera would lead him to where he is today. 

Born and raised in Suffolk, Green graduated from Lakeland High School and went on to pursue his love for opera. Now, at age 36, he said having the opportunity to take on a lead role at the Metropolitan Opera is a dream he once thought would be the end goal of his career.

Green shared more on the journey so far and the challenges he faces as a husband and father of two young boys while maintaining his successful career. 

“Juggling my career and family who are often in two separate places is the biggest challenge,” Green said. “I sometimes wonder why scientists haven’t discovered teleportation so I can go back and forth daily to be with my family and sing all the places I am contracted to sing.”

Despite the challenges, Green is proud of his roots and the opportunities he had growing up in Suffolk. He attended the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, where he was given the opportunity to express, educate and hone his skills. 

“There are too many artists to name who have graduated or attended GSA who are now contributors to their art form in some way or another,” he said.

He has proven that he is a rising star in the world of opera. Praised by the New York Times and The Washington Post, he is in high demand at the world’s leading opera houses. Among some of the venues where he has performed are the Wiener Staatsoper, Ravinia Festival, Mostly Mozart Festival and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, to name a few. He has been awarded the Marian Anderson Vocal Award from Washington National Opera and has made his debut with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Green invites his hometown folks to see him perform at the Met without leaving Hampton Roads as the boxing jazz opera “Champion” comes to movie theaters. 

“Check your local listing or Google to see what theaters broadcast ‘Met Live in HD’ near you,” Green said.

Green has proven himself to be an inspiration to young aspiring opera singers. He has overcome challenges, maintained his passion and has made his dream a reality. His rise to fame is a testament to his talent, hard work and dedication to his craft. Green’s journey serves as a reminder that anything is possible for those who believe in themselves and work hard to achieve their goals.