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BEHIND THE MUSIC

Tenor Kellan Dunlap is a frequent performer of opera, oratorio, and song literature. The breadth of this repertoire spans from early Baroque through the literature of the 20th and 21st centuries. As a musician passionate about communicating with a voice that is elegant, lyric and sweet, he captivates audiences with his appearances on the stage. Advocating for the artform, Kellan has developed a vibrant teaching presence that has moved his students to receive national recognition in their work.

A frequent Mozartian tenor, Dunlap has performed the role of Ferrando in Così fan tutte, and scene work in roles including Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, and Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro at venues including Shepherd School Opera and Oakland University Opera. Other recent operatic roles include the title role of Acis in Acis and Galatea, Male Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia, Duke of Dunstable in Patience; or Bunthorne's Bride?, Triquet in Eugene Onegin, and 1st Officer in Dialogues des Carmélites. Other favorite roles performed in scene work include Frederick in Pirates of Penzance, The Gingerbread Witch in Hänsel und Gretel, and Martin in The Tender Land with OPERA San Antonio and Oakland University Opera.

An alumnus of the OPERA San Antonio Apprentice Artist program where he performed on a tour of a children’s production throughout Texas, Dunlap will be an Apprentice Artist at Des Moines Metro Opera this coming season covering Nicola d’Inverno in the world premiere of American Apollo and First Jew in Salome and scene work including Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and Novice in Billy Budd.

Recent oratorio work includes performances of Messiah and covering the tenor solo in the Mozart Requiem. He sang as the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah this past December with conductor Madeleine Krick. Venues have included the Detroit Concert Hall, Varner Hall, Devos Hall, and Duncan Recital Hall. He aims for creative interpretation and text expression. He has performed works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Wolf, Fauré, Ravel, Handel, Quilter, Vaughan Williams, and Jake Heggie in recital. In 2025, he will tour a recital with pianist Lyndsi Maus which will be the premiere of the song cycle Even the Trees Weep by Victor Cui, which discusses school shootings and their effect on American society.

Dunlap has garnered many awards as a singer including the Houston Gilbert and Sullivan Society Award, 2024 Presser Graduate Music Award, the Stanley Voice Award of the Opera Guild of San Antonio, the Gardner Voice Award of the National Federation of Music Clubs, the Solo Performance Award from Oakland University, and first place in the National Student Auditions with the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).

In contrast on the musical theatre stage, Dunlap has recently performed as Stephen Kodaly in She Loves Me, Max in The Sound of Music,  Dickon in The Secret Garden, Charlie in Brigadoon, and many others. 

 

While in Grand Rapids, Dunlap performed regularly with the Grand Rapids Symphony and related choruses, Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Grand Rapids Metropolitan Choir of Praise, Master Arts Theatre, and was a charter member of the West Shore Chamber Choir.

 

Dunlap is a lover of new music. He has enjoyed collaborations with Tom Trenney, Victor Cui, and Seth Miller on premieres of their works. A recipient of the 2024 Presser Graduate Music Award, Dunlap will premiere the new song cycle Even the Trees Weep by Victor Cui. Along with pianist Lyndsi Maus, Dunlap will tour the new work throughout the United States. 

 

Dunlap has sung professionally as a soloist and in choruses around the metro-Detroit area including All-Saints Episcopalian Church of Pontiac, Howarth United Methodist Church of Lake Orion, North Hills Christian Reformed Church of Troy, and the Choral Artists of Michigan. Notably, Dunlap sang at the world premier of the film The True Summit. 

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