The young American bass Kevin Burdette has already impressed audiences on both sides of the Atlantic with his mellifluous voice and strongly dramatic characterizations. The San Francisco Chronicle called his Leporello in Don Giovanni“a tour de force of vocal splendor and comic timing.” Featured as Stefano in Adès’ The Tempest with the Metropolitan Opera, the DVD on Deutsche Grammophon was awarded a French Diapason d’Or, and the audio recording on Naxos has won a 2014 Grammy Award, “Best Opera Recording.”
In summer of 2014 Kevin Burdette returns to Santa Fe Opera as Herr Puff in Mozart’s The Impresario and Chamberlain in Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol. In the 2014-15 season he sings Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Philadelphia, Beck Weathers in Talbot’s Everest with Dallas Opera (world premiere), and returns to Boston Lyric Opera as Leporello in Don Giovanni. His 2013-14 engagements included his return to the Metropolitan Opera in Shostakovich’s The Nose; Sergeant of Police in The Pirates of Penzance with Portland Opera; Ko-Ko in The Mikado with Opera Memphis; Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Opera Grand Rapids; as soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with Grand Rapids Symphony; in Messiah with Seattle Symphony and with the Duke Chapel Choir; Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore with San Diego Opera; and in a fully staged production of Gruber’s “Gloria, a Pig Tale” with the New York Philharmonic.
In the 2012-13 season he reprised the role of Stefano in The Tempest with the Metropolitan Opera; sang as the Doktor in Wozzeck with the Philharmonia Orchestra, under Esa-Pekka Salonen; Sulpice in La fille du régiment with San Diego Opera; as the Viceroy (Don Andres de Ribeira) in Offenbach’s La Perichole with New York City Opera; Général Boum in La grande-duchesse de Gérolstein, and Justice Wills and Henry B. Isaacson in the world premiere of Morrison’s Oscar with Santa Fe Opera; and was bass soloist in Messiah with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Recent highlights include Leporello in Don Giovanni with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, under Gustavo Dudamel; the leading role of Prophet/King in the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters with Opera Company of Philadelphia and with Gotham Chamber Opera; Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Ko-Ko in The Mikado with Virginia Opera; as soloist in Messiah with Nashville Symphony Orchestra, with the United States Naval Academy and Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, also with Les Violons du Roy, under Bernard Labadie; and as Papageno in a return to Opera Grand Rapids. In summer 2012 he sang as Stefano in The Tempest with L’Opera de Quebec.
Other recent successes include The Ogre in the United States stage premiere of Xavier Montsalvatge’s El gato con botas with Gotham Chamber Opera; singing the dual roles of Death and The Loudspeaker in Emperor of Atlantis with Boston Lyric Opera; Papageno with Phoenix Opera; Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress at the Princeton Festival; Mr. Scattergood in Menotti’s The Last Savage for his debut with Santa Fe Opera; his return to the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for the company’s productions of Wozzeck, Strauss’ Elektra and in Shostakovich’s The Nose; Rabbi Akiva in Dessau’s “Haggadah shel Pescah” with American Symphony Orchestra; Messiah with Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra; singing Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Colline in La bohème with Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires; Commendatore in Don Giovanni with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra; Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Knoxville Opera; and, on the concert stage, soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
Notable performances include the role of Le Notaire in L’Île de Merlin at the Spoleto Festival USA, as well as his debut with Boston Baroque as Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte. He also appeared as the bass soloist in Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the American Symphony Orchestra and in Messiah with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra for the United States Naval Academy. Other recent highlights include his debut with Seattle Opera as Mustafà in L’italiana in Algeri and as Masetto in Don Giovanni. He performed “Time” in Gerald Barry’s The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and returned to New York City Opera as The Sergeant in a production of The Pirates of Penzance that originated at Glimmerglass Opera. Mr. Burdette’s numerous other roles at New York City Opera have included Leporello in Don Giovanni, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Archibald Grosvenor in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Patience, Siroco in L’Étoile, Pish-Tush in The Mikado, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Pallante in Agrippina, Angelotti in Tosca, and Mago in Rinaldo.
Operatic highlights include his debut with L’Opéra de Montréal, singing Claudius in the company premiere of Agrippina; his debut with the Chicago Opera Theater as Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream; Sergeant Sulpice in La Fille du régiment with Knoxville Opera; a return to Gotham Chamber Opera as Minos in the American premiere of Handel's Arianna in Creta; his first performances of Osmin with Opéra de Québec and of Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte with Toledo Opera; the title role in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Grand Rapids; Marquis in La forza del destino with the Collegiate Chorale, and his return to Glimmerglass Opera as Popolani in Offenbach’s Bluebeard. Other credits to the accomplished bass’ name include Siroco and Archibald Grosvenorwith Glimmerglass Opera; Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Lyric Opera of San Antonio; Mustafà in L'italiana in Algeri, the title role in Don Pasquale, Elviro in Xerxes, and Masetto in Don Giovanni, all with Wolf Trap Opera; the Priest in Die schwarze Spinne with Gotham Chamber Opera; and Fafner in a chamber version of Das Rheingold with the Eos Orchestra.
On the concert stage, Kevin Burdette debuted with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as the bass soloist in Messiah and performed Wim in the American premiere of Philippe Manoury's 60ème parallèle with the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and Kent Nagano. Other highlights include an appearance at Alice Tully Hall as the bass soloist in Brahms' Liebeslieder Wälzer, with the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall as Sam in Un ballo in maschera, and his return to Avery Fisher Hall as soloist in Liszt's Missa Solemnis with the American Symphony Orchestra. He was the bass soloist in Beethoven's Choral Fantasy and Verdi's Macbeth with the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall, in Messiah at the American Cathedral in Paris and at the Midland Center for the Arts, in Mozart's Mass in C with the Eos Orchestra, and in concerts with the Vienna Festival. He also has sung Jesus in St. Matthew Passion with the Knoxville Civic Orchestra, and Stravinsky's Renard with both the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Utah Symphony.
An alumnus of the Juilliard Opera Theater and the University of Tennessee, Kevin Burdette is a former member of the Opéra National de Paris Young Artists' Program and San Francisco's Merola Opera Program. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Richard F. Gold Career Grant Award awarded by the Shoshana Foundation, and of the 2006 Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Award, presented by New York City Opera to an artist who demonstrates outstanding dramatic ability.
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