Quinn Kelsey • Opera Singer
La Gloria Cubana Serie R No. 3
Quinn Kelsey understands his limits when it comes to smoking cigars. “My rule of thumb about smoking cigars is always no smoking the day before a performance,” says Kelsey, 44, a baritone who sang the title role in Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera Company this past season, a performance he will reprise there in 2022-23. “So many of my colleagues won’t even talk on the day of a show, because saving your voice is so important,” he says. “Because my voice is my moneymaker, and such a big part of my body, it gets down to knowing yourself and your limits, what you can or can’t do.”
Kelsey’s go-to cigar is a La Gloria Cubana. “It’s darker but not so heavy,” he says. “It has a lot of flavor.” He began smoking Macanudos and Rocky Patels, and the Hawaii-born Kelsey discovered maduros about 20 years ago and hasn’t looked back.
The burly Chicago-based baritone, who is built like a small linebacker, is much in demand, with a performance schedule booked years in advance and four or five different roles in his head, ready to be sung.