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 “a tour de force of vocal splendor and comic timing,” and the New York Times dubbed him “the Robin Williams of opera.” He was featured as Stefano in Adès’ The Tempest with the Metropolitan Opera, the DVD of which, on Deutsche Grammophon, was awarded a French Diapason d’Or and the audio recording of which, on Naxos, won the 2014 Grammy Award for “Best Opera Recording.”
Kevin Burdette’s 2013-14 engagements currently include his return to the Metropolitan Opera to perform in Shostakovich’s The Nose; his return to Santa Fe Opera as Herr Puff/Chamberlain in The Impresario/Le Rossignol; his return to San Diego Opera as Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore; performances as soloist in Messiah with Seattle Symphony and with the Duke Chapel Choir; 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; and Rodrigo in HK Gruber’s Gloria — A Pig Tale, conducted by Alan Gilbert for the inaugural New York Philharmonic Bienniel.
In summer 2013, he returned to Santa Fe Opera as Général Boum in La grande duchesse de Gérolstein, and as Justice Wills and Henry B. Isaacson in the world premiere of Morrison’s Oscar. In the 2012-13 season he reprised the role of Stefano in Adès’ The Tempest with the Metropolitan Opera; sang as the Doktor in Wozzeck with the Philharmonia Orchestra, under Esa-Pekka Salonen; as Sulpice in La fille du régiment with San Diego Opera; as the Viceroy (Don Andres de Ribeira) in Offenbach’s La Périchole with New York City Opera; and was bass soloist in Messiah with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
His 2011-12 season included 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 Gotham Chamber Opera, with subsequent performances with Opera Company of Philadelphia; 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 Les Violons du Roy, under Bernard Labadie, with Nashville Symphony Orchestra, and with the United States Naval Academy Orchestra; and as Papageno in a return to Opera Grand Rapids. In summer 2012 he returned to L’Opéra de Québec to sing Stefano in The Tempest.
In the 2010-11 season Mr. Burdette made his debut with Santa Fe Opera as Mr. Scattergood in Menotti’s The Last Savage, returned to the Metropolitan Opera for its production of Wozzeck, sang Death and the Loudspeaker in The Emperor of Atlantis and the Photograph of the Father in Richard Beaudoin’s The After-Image with Boston Lyric Opera, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress with The Princeton Festival, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Phoenix Opera, and Ogro in Montsalvatge’s El gato con botas with Gotham Chamber Opera, and, on the concert stage, was Rabbi Akiva in Haggadah shel Pesach at Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra and the bass soloist in Händel’s Messiah with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Burdette also continued this season to be involved in the development of the new work Jump, by Nora York and David Greenspan, being developed by the Public Theater.
In 2009-2010, Mr. Burdette sang in Strauss’ Elektra and in Shostakovich’s The Nose with the Metropolitan Opera, performed Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Colline in La Bohème with Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, il Commendatore in Don Giovanni with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Knoxville Opera. On the concert stage he was the bass soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
Kevin Burdette’s other recent successes 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 B Minor Mass with the American Symphony Orchestra and in Händel’s 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.
Mr. Burdette’s 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 Händel’s Arianna in Creta, his first performances of Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Opéra de Québec, his first performances 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 in Chabrier’s L’Étoile and Archibald Grosvenor in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Patience with 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 Händel’s Xerxes, and Masetto in Don Giovanni 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, an appearance 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 performed Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Verdi’s Macbeth with the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall, was the bass soloist in Messiah at the American Cathedral in Paris and at the Midland Center for the Arts, Jesus in St. Matthew Passion with the Knoxville Civic Orchestra, the bass soloist in Mozart’s Mass in C with the Eos Orchestra, and appeared as soloist in concerts with the Vienna Festival. He also has sung 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.