singer, performer, teacher



performance photos




Santa Rosa Players' Man of La Mancha (Leigh):

"William Neely and Miguel Evangelista lead the charge ...  These guys can really sing... This is an exceptional cast."

—Dan Taylor, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 6/24/2007


Lamplighter's The Merry Widow (Lehar):

The suave, handsome Neely commanded the stage, his baritone full of wily fun in his jaunty descriptions of the notorious cabaret Maxim’s, yet tender in his waltzing duets with the widow.

—James Keolker, San Francisco Classical Voice 1/23/07 


Solano College / North Bay Opera's Sweeney Todd (Sondheim):

"... Neely's Todd is the man who serves 'a dark and hungry god' and he serves him excellently,"                  

—Richard Bammer, The Reporter, 4/12/2006


"William Neely gives a haunting performance as serial killer Sweeney."

—Shirley Nunes, Daily Republic, 4/11/06


Lamplighters’ A Little Night Music (Sondheim)

“William Neely was a standout— a powerful baritone who did a deliciously comic turn as the pompous Carl-Magnus.”

—Bonnie Weiss, The Sondheim Review (New York), Summer, 2001


Piedmont Light Opera Theatre’s Kiss Me Kate (Cole Porter):

“Neely has that Douglas Fairbanks flair that is right for his role of Petruchio... sings movingly in his warm, well-equalized baritone voice.”

—Alice Grace Chalip, Oakland Tribune, 7/19/01


West Bay Opera’s Così fan tutte (Mozart):

“Neely [as Don Alfonso]... was again technically and dramatically smooth and polished, the perfect pivotal comic foil—fully supporting the comic plot twists and turns.”

—Pamela Fisher, The Independent, 3/4/00


“Neely... deliver[s]... with a relaxed self-possession and a warm, boisterous baritone.” 

—Michael Vaughn, Palo Alto Weekly, 2/25/00


West Bay Opera’s Madama Butterfly (Puccini):

“William Neely.. .in marvelous voice... yet again delivered beautiful phrasing and a sensitive  characterization as Sharpless...”

—Pamela Fisher, The Independent 10/23/99


Cinnabar Opera Theater’s Barber of Seville (Rossini):

“Neely’s long experience served him well as Bartolo, and so did his voice. He even found some attractive qualities in this ‘stock booby’.”

—Charles Shere, San Francisco Classical Voice (online) 5/15/99


Pocket Opera’s King for a Day (Un Giorno di Regno) (Verdi):

 “William Neely’s Treasurer was drawn in bold comic strokes... handled both music and text with equal ease, tossing off the patter writing with finesse and commendable diction.”

—Kelly Snyder, Le Concertographe: les critiques de concerts, 2/28/99


Peninsula Civic Light Opera’s Phantom (Yeston/Kopit):

“William Neely as the Phantom wields a thoroughly operatic rich baritone that weeps with pathos... Neely presents a regal and brooding Phantom.”

—Pamela Fisher, The Independent, 10/3/98


“William Neely is a charismatic... sympathetic Phantom. Neely has a rich baritone voice and excellent technique.”  —Judy Richter, Aisle Say, 9/28/98


Cinnabar Opera Theater's The Marriage of Figaro:

“The handsome, lecherous Count [was] brilliantly performed by William Neely.” 

—Amy Schlein, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, 6/12/98


“Neely's [voice] is superbly matched to his truculent Count." 

—Daedalus Howell, Sonoma County Independent, 6/11/98


Berkeley Opera’s The Magic Flute:

“Neely made the comic birdcatcher [Papageno] irresistible— the audience both loved him and laughed at him. His baritone was beautiful and well-trained and he used it, along with his keen comic sense, to get the most from every line. His expressions, gestures, and body language also bespoke the skills of a consummate actor.”

—Cheryl North, Oakland Tribune, 2/26/96


Lamplighters’ Pirates of Penzance:

Bay Area Theatre Critic Circle nomination (Pirates of Penzance, 1995)

“William Neely turned the Pirate King into the suave, courtly buccaneer with just a hint of menace”                        

—Allan Ulrich, S.F. Examiner, 6/22/87


“William Neely’s Pirate King was roguish, festooned with a glorious, high vocal range.”

—Paul Hertelendy, San Jose Mercury News, 6/23/87