“Daniel [Keeling] is a fine musician who distinguishes himself as one who possesses solid vocal technique, which is both beautiful and expressive."
Philip Glass, composer
As a performer of opera (musical theater), classical, sacred, and popular music — Baritone and Song stylist Daniel Keeling is steadily emerging as a champion interpreter of 19th, 20th, and 21st Century classical repertoire on an international scale while successfully making a foray into mainstream music. Daniel is a versatile artist with the vocal dexterity and acumen to sing many types of styles and genres of music extremely well, and he is much at home in the concert hall and on the opera stage as he is in a jazz club. He has had a personal and professional association with composer Philip Glass and poet/songwriter Leonard Cohen, and has performed works from other esteemed modern and contemporary composers such as Dmitri Shostakovich, Kurt Weill, George Gershwin, Harry Partch, Academy Award-nominated David Lang, and Pulitzer Prize-winner John Adams.
During 2016 and 2017, Daniel toured Spain as the baritone soloist with The New World Vocal Ensemble. The NWVE consists of four classical soloists and presents a history of African-American sacred music, from Spirituals to the beginnings of Gospel music. This Summer of 2019, Daniel will tour again withThe NWVE in Spain.
September of 2015, Daniel Keeling made his debut at Il Teatro dell’Opera di Roma during its 2014-15 season in John Adams's I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky as the protagonist, Dewain. Within this opus, Adams incorporated the sounds of pop, soul, jazz and rock, and Ceiling/Sky’s libretto was written by acclaimed poet and social activist June Jordan. (Stage direction by Giorgio Barberio Corsetti and conducted by Alexander Briger.)
During the Winter and Spring of 2015, Mr. Keeling toured with the New York Harlem Theatre production of Porgy and Bess, covering the role of Crown (Grand Théâtre de Genève, Amsterdam RAI, Palais des Festivals [Cannes FR]). Daniel had previously covered the role of Crown in the same production between 2008-2010 at the Koninlijk Theater Carré Amsterdam, Vlaamse Opera, Hamburgische Staatsoper and Baden Baden Festspiele, while he successfully performed Crown at the Komische Oper (Berlin), Deutsche Oper am Rhein (Düsseldorf), and the Sächsischen Staatsoper in Dresden (Saxony).
Back on the mainstream musical front, between 2o11 and 2012, Daniel performed as lead singer of the nouveau jazz group the Deja Nova Trio in Germany. The songs are original compositions by songwriter Shawn Casselle, whom Keeling continues to collaborate with.
Since 2o10, Daniel's voice has gradually moved upwards, maturing from basso cantate to Verdi Baritone. Before the shift, Daniel sang such roles as Figaro in Il Nozze di Figaro, Nick Shadow in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, Tolomeo in Handel's Giulio Cesare, Pistola in Falstaff, and Simone in Gianni Schicchi, now Daniel's repertoire contains such roles as Rodrigo in Don Carlos, Renato in Un Ballo in Maschera, and Amonasro in Aida. Daniel's debut into the Verdi Baritone repertoire took form in role of Germont père in La Traviata at the Montefeltro Festival, under the baton of Joseph Rescigno.
Between 2007 and 2009, Daniel toured internationally with Philip Glass as featured soloist in his critically acclaimed multi-media, semi-staged Song Cycle entitled Book of Longing, with lyrics and pre-recorded spoken word by Leonard Cohen. Book of Longing was produced by Pomegranate Arts and was presented at many of the world’s most prestigious music festivals, concert halls, and venues. BOL premiered at the opening of the 1st annual Luminato Festival in Toronto, Canada (Spring 2007), and within two years Daniel performed it at:
The Barbican (London), the Ravinia Festival (Chicago), Lincoln Center Festival (Rose Theater at Lincoln Center NYC), Il Festival Internazionale di Villa Adriana (Tivoli IT), Noor Nedelands Orkest De Ooterpoort (NL), The National Theater Concert Hall of Taiwan (Taipei), the Wales Millennium Centre, the Spoleto Festival (USA), the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall (Budapest), the Madrid Autumn Festival, the New Zealand International Arts Festival (Wellington, NZ), the Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts (Australia), Scripps Performing Arts Center in Claremont (California), Torino/Milano Musicale Festival Internazionale della Musica, the University of Texas Performing Arts Center (Austin), the Melbourne International Arts Festival (Australia), Stanford Lively Arts (California), the Olympic Badminton (Athens GR), and the Sydney Opera House.
Book of Longing was recorded in 2007 (Orange Mountain Music Label) and it was considered by critics to be a commercial hit. In addition, Daniel's performances were acclaimed by critics worldwide. In Philip Clark's review for Gramophone (June 5, 2007), he wrote that Daniel singing was "majestic"; others described his singing and theatricality as "polished", "electrifying", "elegant", "jazzily sexy", and "effective." Even Philip Glass ascribed his own personal critique of Daniel's artistic prowess:
"His [Daniel's] depth of interpretation is compelling which he communicates directly and effectively. He has a terrific range both vocally and theatrically, and projects his sound extremely well. Finally, Daniel is a pleasure to work with and this, combined with the above attributes, contributes to his professionalism.” —Philip Glass, 2007
Before the above international performances and tours, Daniel performed traditional, modern, and contemporary operas around the New York metropolitan area — New York State, New Jersey, and Connecticut. During 2007, he sang Escamillo in Carmen and Grandpa Moss in Aaron Copland's The Tender Land with the Bronx Opera in 2007. Continuing to take the stage, he sang Oresevo in a concert version of Norma with the Tappan Zee Music Festival (New York US) the same year.
During 2005-2006, Peak Performances@Monclair (New Jersey US) presented, in conjunction with Ridge Theater (New York City), two operas: David Lang's The Difficulty of crossing a Field, wherein Daniel played a Ghost Slave (2006), and Oedipus Rex by Harry Partch, for which Daniel's portrayal of Tiresias garnered a glowing review from Alex Ross in the New Yorker (April, 2005).
During 2004-2005, Daniel spent time performing in New Zealand. He sang with the Auckland Chamber Orchestra (Peter Scholes, Musical Director) as the bass soloist in Shostakovich Symphony no.14 (2005), workshopped Kurt Weill's Die Sieben Todsünden (2005) in the role of The Mother with the Auckland Opera Studio (AOS), and sang with the AOS the role of Zeus (La Voce) in Mozart's Idomeneo (2004). William Dart of The New Zealand Herald wrote:
"The climax for many was the appearance of Zeus (La Voce), as memorable for the Wagnerian premonitions of Mozart's bass writing as it was for Daniel Keeling's resonant pronouncements." (August 4, 2004)
Daniel's first professional engagement was as an ensemble member — swing and featured dancer — in the first and second North American tours of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of Show Boat. (Produced and directed by Hal Prince, and choreographed by Susan Stroman.)
Daniel Keeling a native of Topeka, Kansas (USA) and was born into a musical family. Besides singing at a very young age, Daniel studied piano and alto saxophone during his formative years, and he successfully continued his studies in western music and theater — theory, history, conducting, singing (voice), drama,dance, musical theatre, and opera — at university through various scholarships and grants. He was a grant recipient from the International Festival Society in 2010, and again in 2015. Daniel Keeling graduated with his Bachelor of Music, CUM LAUDE, from Wichita State University (Wichita, Kansas USA) and a Master of Music at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio USA), where he also studied in the college-conservatory's Master's program for Fine Arts in Drama with a Musical Theater emphasis. Daniel currently resides in Berlin, Germany.