Kevin Krasinski, baritone, loves living and working in Chicago. Kevin’s operatic credits include Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (Il conte), John Musto’s The Face on the Barroom Floor (Tom/John), Mark Adamo’s Little Women (Professor Friedrich Bhaer), and in the choruses of Die Fledermaus, Street Scene, and Die Zauberflöte. He has been a featured soloist in performances of the Brahms Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Samuel Barber’s The Lovers. He is a supplemental member of the Grant Park Symphony Chorus and a chorister at St. James Episcopal Cathedral, and he has sung with numerous other choirs around the city. On occasion he travels to Philadelphia to sing with the Grammy-nominated new-music choir The Crossing, directed by Donald Nally. Kevin recently received his Master’s Degree in Voice/Opera Performance from Northwestern University, where he studied with Karen Brunssen.
What is the story of how you first came to love music and opera?
I grew up in rural Illinois (Elburn), where musical opportunities were scarce. Luckily, all three of the public schools I attended had extraordinary music teachers. In particular, my high school choir director, Mr. Kunstman, opened the world of music to me and encouraged me in my pursuits. The school also boasted a state-of-the-art auditorium, and it was here that I fell in love with the theater. My love of opera came about in college, when I was introduced to its wonder both through my program and through attending performances at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?
Balancing good vocal production with genuine artistic engagement. It’s easy to focus too intently on technique while singing, which often forces you to sacrifice your connection to the music itself. It is a constant battle to ensure both come out fully.
Do you have a favorite performer?
I’m not fond of designating ‘favorites,’ but I will say that I greatly admire and often turn to the work of Fischer-Dieskau. His ability to express through text was unparalleled, and his versatile voice is an example for any baritone.
Do you have a favorite role? Aria? Opera?
Again, not a huge fan of favorites. My first major role was Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, and he will always hold a special place in my heart.
Do you have any favorite books about music?
Gardiner’s monumental Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven is a great read for any music lover, professional or otherwise.
What else are you reading?
My primary reading material is National Geographic. I also make a point of reading source material for whatever music I may be working on at a given time.
Who are your favorite 17th- and 18th- century composers?
Bach, Mozart, Handel, Haydn, Monteverdi, Byrd (barely counts as 17th century). I love to study the music of our times as well.
If you were stranded on a desert island, is there one piece of music you would like to have with you?
I don’t know that there is a single piece that I could listen to for eternity, but Tallis’ If ye love me may come close.
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not making music?
I play an inordinate amount of video games. I find them to be an incredible medium for interactive story-telling.
What is the first thing you think about in the morning?
Everything I neglected to do the day before.
What music do you listen to most often?
21st-century choral music.
If you had not entered into your current career what do you think you would have done instead?
Something in the field of genetics.