Kanen Breen is a graduate in drama and dance, of DEAKIN UNIVERSITY, in 1994, being the top ranking graduating student and leading him to be accepted as an Associate Member of the AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF EDUCATORS.
His early operatic engagements included performances in the rôle of Almaviva for OPERA AUSTRALIA‘s OZ OPERA touring production of THE BARBER OF SEVILLE and the MELBOURNE FESTIVAL‘s production of Jonathan Mills’ THE GHOSTWIFE during 1999, performances which he repeated at the ADELAIDE FESTIVAL in 2000, at the 2001 SYDNEY FESTIVAL and in London, during 2002, at the BARBICAN’s BITE02 festival.
He appeared, during 2000, in CHAMBER MADE OPERA’s MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL season of Michael Smetanin’s GAUGUIN, sang the rôle of Nanki Poo in OPERA QUEENSLAND‘s season of THE MIKADO. He appeared as The Duke, alternating in the rôle of Borsa, in OPERA AUSTRALIA‘s OZ OPERA production of RIGOLETTO, performances he repeated for OZ OPERA during 2001. Of these performances, the SUNDAY HERALD-SUN said, Kanen Breen’s Duke was no happy-go-lucky playboy but a hell-bent, Nicholas Cage-like predator with a voice that gives new hope to the quest for young tenors., while THE AUSTRALIAN wrote, Kanen Breen…sang with exceptional assurance and flexibility, tossing off the high notes without any apparent effort and thrilling the opening night audience. The COURIER MAIL said of performances of the production in Brisbane, Kanen Breen is a real find; a beautifully lyric tenor voice with a great top and he makes a swaggering Duke.