American bass Kevin Burdette has 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,” 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 the Grammy Award for “Best Opera Recording” and a French Diapason d’Or.

In the 2017-18 season, Kevin Burdette returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Señor Russell in Adès’s The Exterminating Angel  and Seattle Opera as Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte as well as Somarone in Beatrice & Benedict, and debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra as the Sacristan in Tosca. The summer of 2018 finds him in a return to Santa Fe Opera as Voltaire, Pangloss, Martin, and Cacambo in Candide, and the Major Domo in Ariadne auf Naxos.

Mr. Burdette’s 2016-17 season engagements included the role of Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Atlanta Opera; Sulpice in La fille du régiment with Washington National Opera; Beck Weathers in Everest with Dallas Opera; Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress with Boston Lyric Opera; General Polkan in The Golden Cockerel and Frosch in Die Fledermaus with Santa Fe Opera; the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance with Lyric Opera of Kansas City; and soloist in Messiah at Duke University and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

In the summer of 2015 Kevin Burdette returned to Santa Fe Opera as Sulpice in La fille du régiment and Stobrod/Blind Man in the world premiere of Higdon’s Cold Mountain. His performance as Stobrod/Blind Man can be heard on the 2016 Grammy nominated CD released by PENTATONE records. His 2015-16 season performances include creating the roles of Eric Gold and the Ghost of Vittorio Bazzetti in Heggie’s Great Scott and Ob in the world premiere of Mark Adamo’s Becoming Santa Claus in returns to Dallas Opera. His performance of Ob can be seen on the 2017 DVD release produced by Dallas Opera. Other season performances include Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, reprising his roles in Cold Mountain in returns to Opera Philadelphia, making his Atlanta Opera debut as The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance, and returning to Portland Opera as Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd. In the 2014-15 season he sang Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Philadelphia, Beck Weathers in Talbot’s Everest with Dallas Opera (world premiere), reprised his role as the Ogre in Montsalvatge’s El gato con botas with Gotham Chamber Opera, sang T.J. Rigg in Elmer Gantry with Florentine Opera, and returned to Boston Lyric Opera as Leporello in Don Giovanni.

Recent season engagements included his return to the Metropolitan Opera for a reprise of Stefano in The Tempest and multiple roles in Shostakovich’s The Nose; his returns to Santa Fe Opera as Général Boum in La grande-duchesse de Gérolstein, Justice Wills and Henry B. Isaacson in the world premiere of Morrison’s Oscar, Herr Puff in The Impresario, and Chamberlain in Le Rossignol; Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore and Sulpice in La fille du régiment with San Diego Opera; a fully staged production of Gruber’s Gloria, a Pig Tale, under Alan Gilbert, as part of the New York Philharmonic’s Inaugural Biennial; Doktor in Wozzeck with the Philharmonia Orchestra, under Esa-Pekka Salonen; soloist in Messiah with Seattle Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and the Duke Chapel Choir and in Mozart’s Requiem with Grand Rapids Symphony; Viceroy (Don Andres de Ribeira) in Offenbach’s La Perichole with New York City Opera; Sergeant of Police in The Pirates of Penzance with Portland Opera; Ko-Ko in The Mikado with Opera Memphis; and Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Opera Grand Rapids.

Other highlights include Leporello with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, under Gustavo Dudamel; 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; 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; Papageno in a return to Opera Grand Rapids; and Stefano in The Tempest with L’Opera de Quebec.

Additional successes include The Ogre in the United States stage premiere of Xavier Montsalvatge’s El gato con botas with Gotham Chamber Opera; 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 productions of Wozzeck, Strauss’ Elektra and in Shostakovich’s The Nose; Rabbi Akiva in Dessau’s Haggadah shel Pescah with American Symphony OrchestraMessiah with Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra; 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 soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

He has sung Le Notaire in L’Île de Merlin at the Spoleto Festival USA, made his debut with Boston Baroque as Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte, was soloist in Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the American Symphony Orchestra, in Messiah with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra for the United States Naval Academy, debuted 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. His numerous other roles at New York City Opera have included Leporello, Papageno, 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.

He made his debut with L’Opéra de Montréal, singing Claudius in the company premiere of Agrippina; debuted with the Chicago Opera Theater as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; sang Sergeant Sulpice in La Fille du régiment with Knoxville Opera; returned to Gotham Chamber Opera as Minos in the American premiere of Handel’s Arianna in Creta; gave first performances of Osmin with Opéra de Québec and of Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte with Toledo Opera; sang Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Grand Rapids; Marquis in La forza del destino with Collegiate Chorale, and returned to Glimmerglass Opera as Popolani in Offenbach’s Bluebeard. Other accomplishments include Siroco and Archibald Grosvenorwith Glimmerglass Opera; Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Lyric Opera of San Antonio; Mustafà in L’italiana in Algeri, 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 soloist in Messiah; performed Wim in the American premiere of Philippe Manoury’s 60ème parallèle, with the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and Kent Nagano; appeared at Alice Tully Hall as soloist in Brahms’ Liebeslieder Wälzer; with Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall as Sam in Un ballo in maschera; returned to Avery Fisher Hall as soloist in Liszt’s Missa Solemnis with American Symphony Orchestra; was soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Verdi’s Macbeth with 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; gave concerts with the Vienna Festival; sang Jesus in St. Matthew Passion with Knoxville Civic Orchestra; and Stravinsky’s Renard with both 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.

 

 Santa Fe Opera – The Golden Cockerel

Kevin Burdette and his magnificent mustachios sustains his SFO command of the sublimely ridiculous.”

John Stege, Santa Fe Reporter

“Kevin Burdette, a light-toned bass, was effective as Commander Polkan, who struts around pompously before losing his head due to the Queen’s whimsy.”

James M. Keller, New Mexican

Lyric Opera of Kansas City – Pirates of Penzance

“As a physical comedian [Kevin Burdette] was unmatched on stage, well and truly hilarious, and his voice richly sonorous.”

Libby Hansen, Kansas City Star

Boston Lyric Opera – The Rake’s Progress

Kevin Burdette brought the same good-natured energy to Nick that he did to Leporello in BLO’s 2015 Don Giovanni; without giving offense he even managed to suggest to the audience that we might not be any smarter than Tom.”

Jeffrey Gantz, Boston Musical Intelligencer

“Bass Kevin Burdette inhabited the role of the devil Shadow with sharp grace, dressed in an improbable combination of red and burgundy and gazing after Tom like a cat after a plump vole.”

Zoë Madonna, Boston Globe

“Kevin Burdette’s Nick dominates this Faustian universe through humor, a variety of vocal colors, and crisp diction.”

Laura Stanfield Prichard, Boston Musical Intelligencer

“Kevin Burdette was a smooth operator as Nick Shadow. His bass voice was clarion and penetrating. When Tom bests him in a card game, Burdette’s performance turned chilling. Stripping off his vest, shirt, and wig, he sang a terrifying ‘I burn, I freeze,’ while rubbing blood all over himself.”

Aaron Keebaugh, Boston Classical Review

Milwaukee Symphony – Messiah

“The vocal soloists brought their own choices to the performance, from mezzo Fischer’s warm, compassionate, powerful deliveries… to bass Burdette’s stirringly bold, sit-up-and-take-notice deliveries of movements such as ‘Thus saith the Lord’ and ‘The trumpet shall sound.'”

Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Washington National Opera – Daughter of the Regiment

“… Mr. Burdette’s French captain is the perfect military marionette who … also demonstrates a creative flair whenever circumstances warrant.”

Terry Ponick, Communities Digital News

“Kevin Burdette does droll work as Sulpice, the regimental sergeant, and provides vocal sparks along the way. His contribution helps make the bubbly Act 2 trio with Oropesa and Brownlee a major highlight.”

Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun

“Sergeant Sulpice (WNO newcomer and blessedly bombastic Kevin Burdette) invigorates the entire production.”

Jenny Minich, Broadway World

“Kevin Burdette displays his exquisite, nuanced comedic skills as Sulpice.”

Chris Williams, MD Theatre Guide

“Kevin Burdette was funny yet tender as the blundering Sulpice, and his rich voice and amusing facial expressions were a joy, especially in his joyful rendition of the regiment song Chacun le sait, chacun le dit … ”

Emily Schweich, DC Metro Theatre Arts

“Kevin Burdette, as the officer Sulpice, was the performer who seemed most to embrace the buffo tradition, enjoying snappily marching around the stage and offering a voice a couple of sizes larger than the others.”

Anne Midgette, Washington Post

Atlanta Opera – Abduction from the Seraglio

“Of those six performers, all are making their Atlanta Opera debuts, save Burdette, who played the Pirate King in last season’s production of The Pirates of Penzance. He likewise plays Osmin mostly for full-out comedy with his exaggerated, stylized gestures, at times to the level of silliness, using his whip as a jump rope in an extended episode of glee.”

Mark Gresham, ARTSATL

Chautauqua Opera – The Mikado

“Lord High Executioner was sung by Bass, Kevin Burdette … It was a melodic pleasure to enjoy his story rendition of ‘Behold the Lord High Executioner.'”

Todd Pullan, Jamestown Post-Journal

Portland Opera – Sweeney Todd

“Sondheim’s scene in which Judge Turpin flagellates himself over his lust for his ward, Joanna, and then moments later sentences a petty-crime robber to death — brilliantly rendered by Kevin Burdette – drips with sarcasm.”

Daryl Browne and Bruce Browne, Oregon Artswatch

Santa Fe Opera – Cold Mountain

“Ada laments that Stobrod, sung with a combination of ruggedness and sensitivity by bass Kevin Burdette, never really knew his admirable daughter Ruby, the earthy survivor who materializes to help Ada run her farm.”

Joshua Rosenblum, Opera News

“The entire cast acted and sang with dedication to detail…. Kevin Burdette provided a welcome comic touch as Ruby’s wayward father.”

Simon Williams, Opera News

Atlanta Opera – Pirates of Penzance

“Kevin Burdette played pirate extraordinaire as the Pirate King. Burdette is an opera singer first and foremost, but is as dynamic moving across a stage as any music theatre pro on Broadway.”

Stephanie Adrian, Opera News

“Bass Kevin Burdette as a Jack Sparrow-like Pirate King makes the pirate’s life sound glorious indeed in the opening scene, and Act 2’s group number ‘With Cat-like Tread’ becomes one of the highlights of the evening.”

Andrew Alexander, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Opera Philadelphia – The Elixir of Love

“I’ve praised Kevin Burdette highly before, and my faith in his talents and ability to win an audience has not wavered one bit. As Dulcamara, snake oil salesman extraordinaire, Mr. Burdette was slimy and unsavory while still remaining somehow lovable.”

David Browning, Huffington Post

“Kevin Burdette was perfect as Doctor Dulcamara. He had the unctuous looks. But he had the voice, too, dipping in to a sound blend of cheer and edge that allowed him to explain, vocally, why we fall for a good huckster every time.”

Peter Dobrin, Philadelphia Inquirer

“Bass Kevin Burdette (who appeared in Opera Philadelphia’s Cold Mountain earlier this season) is a laugh-out-loud riot as that self-proclaimed “grand, Encyclopaedic doctor” Dulcamara of “Udite, udite o rustici” (“Listen, listen, o peasants”), relishing his deceptions and playing the crowd, as he throws flyers around the square, attracts an audience with his portable phonograph, and cons them into buying his phony elixir.”

Deb Miller, DC Metro Theater Arts

Opera Philadelphia – Cold Mountain

“Kevin Burdette’s pair of character roles—a blind seer and Ruby’s raucous but musically inspired father Stobrod—remained fully drawn portraits, perhaps aptly etched in ‘music theater’ rather than ‘classical’ timbre.”

David Shengold, Opera News

“Kevin Burdette brought a rueful puckishness to Stobrod, Ruby’s dissolute but reformed father (Ms. Higdon’s orchestral evocations of his fiddle tunes were high points in the score).”

Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal

“Ruby’s father, Stobrod (Kevin Burdette), appears (another deserter) and introduces a sprightly folk flavor with his fiddling and dance movements.”

Liane Curtis, Boston Musical Intelligencer

“The bass Kevin Burdette is piquant as Ruby’s ne’er-do-well father, Stobrod.”

Zachary Woolfe, New York Times

“For ‘Cold Mountain’, Burdette (who, incidentally, grew up not far from where composer Higdon was raised) brought his authentic Eastern Tennessee accent to the incisively drawn characters of the Blind Man and Stobrod. For Stobrod, whose fiddle-playing is a plot point, Higdon composed some fiddle music which, incredibly, Burdette plays onstage, while singing.”

William Burnett, Opera Warhorses

“Standouts among them include … bass Kevin Burdette as the Blind Man and, especially, Stobrod, making that failed father lovable despite his failings and acing his realistic depiction by actually playing the fiddle.”

James M. Keller, Santa Fe New Mexican

Santa Fe Opera – Daughter of the Regiment

“The rest of the knockabout comedy was provided by that resourcefully droll comedian Kevin Burdette as Sergeant Sulpice, who caused much hilarity with his malingering over his ‘wounded’ leg in Act II.”

Simon Williams, Opera News

“As Sergeant Sulpice, it was hard to believe that Kevin Burdette was the same performer who was so serious and compelling in Cold Mountain some days prior. Here, he was all loose limbs and German-challenged orator, a marriage of Dick Van Dyke and Mr. Magoo. Forget about solar panels, Mr. Burdette generates enough energy to power greater Santa Fe. That he also sang with a direct, polished delivery was icing on the pratfall.”

James Sohre, Opera Today

“As Sulpice, Mr. Burdette possesses a supple, light bass instrument that wraps perfectly around this opera’s light solo moments. He’s also not afraid to portray his character with hallmark vaudeville-style struts and double takes, whose exaggerated character reminds one of John Cleese in his Monty Python days.”

Terry Ponick, Communities Digital News

“[Bass] Kevin Burdette was the bluff Sgt. Sulpice, chief among Marie’s ‘fathers,’ a man with a knack for dramatic exaggeration.”

Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“The sergeant of the regiment, with the unwieldy moniker Sulpice Pingot, is given an intentionally over-the-top portrayal by [bass] Kevin Burdette. His pantomime with the wine bottle opening the second act is not to be missed. Not a word is sung, not a word is spoken, but it triumphs as one of the highlights of the evening.”

D.S. Crafts, Albuquerque Journal

“As Sulpice, hyper-moustachioed sergeant-major of the redoubtable 21st Regiment, [bass] Kevin Burdette provided his customarily adroit vocal and super-adroit physical comedy skills. During that delicate Tyrolean tune prefacing Act 2, he’s asked to pantomime an extended silent-comedy schtick.”

John Stege, Santa Fe Reporter

Dallas Opera – Becoming Santa Claus

“The astonishingly versatile bass-baritone Kevin Burdette eats the scenery as Ob. (This is his fourth world premiere in a row in 2015; he was in the Dallas Opera’s premiere of Everest, Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain this summer in Santa Fe and Dallas Opera’s Great Scott just a few weeks ago).”

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones

Dallas Opera – Great Scott

“The incredibly versatile Kevin Burdette plays Eric Gold, the smitten but perplexed conductor. Later on, he sings the role of the long dead composer, Vittorio Bazzetti, but you wouldn’t know it, without a program, from his complete change of voice and demeanor.”

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones

“Kevin Burdette brings vocal clarity and theatrical command to the dual role of conductor Eric Gold and the ghost of composer Vittorio Bazzetti.”

Judith Malfronte, Opera News

Dallas Opera – Everest

“Bass Kevin Burdette plays Dallasite Beck Weathers, a pathologist who is the only survivor of the three main characters. He spent many hours in a coma on the slope from which he eventually awoke…. Burdette’s voice is deep and resonant…. His hallucination that he is back home at a barbeque is quite well done.”

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones

“Kevin Burdette’s commanding bass voice, as the main character Beck Weathers, helped to guide the story between the glimpses into the lives of the expeditioners and their expedition.”

David Weuste, OperaPulse

“Bass Kevin Burdette, who plays Beck Weathers, makes his own memorable vocal stamp on the production. He sings with a swagger and a deep Texas drawl (his lyrics even include a ‘y’all’ or two), but his accent never hinders his musicality. He’s endearing, and he gets some of Talbot’s best writing.”

Catherine Womack, D Magazine

“The sturdy baritone Kevin Burdette, as the survivor Weathers, brought an optimistic note to the close in greeting his young daughter with outstretched arms.”

George Loomis, Financial Times

“The excellent cast made fine work of Mr. Talbot’s expressive vocal writing. Kevin Burdette was colorful as Beck, who, against all odds, saves himself.”

Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal

“Burdette provide[s] evidence that great opera is as much about fine acting as it is singing.”

Arnold Wayne Jones, Dallas Voice

 

 

 

COMPOSER OPERA ROLE
Adamo Becoming Santa Claus Ob
Adès The Tempest Stefano
Berg Wozzeck Doktor
Bellini La Sonnambula Rodolfo
Bizet La jolie fille de Perth Ralph
Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream Bottom / Quince / Theseus
Chabrier L’Étoile Siroco
Donizetti Don Pasquale Don Pasquale
Donizetti La fille du Regiment Sulpice
Donizetti Lucia di Lammermoor Raimondo
Donizetti L’elisir d’amore Dulcamara
Floyd Susannah Blitch
Gloria A Pig Tail Rodrigo
Gilbert & Sullivan Mikado Ko-Ko / Pooh-Bah / Pish-Tush
Gilbert & Sullivan Pirates of Penzance Pirate King / Sergeant of Police
Gilbert & Sullivan Iolanthe Earl of Mountararat
Gilbert & Sullivan Patience Archibald Grosvenor
Gluck L’Île de Merlin Prud’homme
Handel Acis and Galatea Polyphemus
Handel Agrippina Claudius / Pallante
Handel Arianna in Creta Minos
Handel Rinaldo Argante / il mago
Handel Xerxes Elviro / Ariodate
Heggie Great Scott Eric Gold / Ghost of Bazzetti
Higdon Cold Mountain Stobrod / Blind Man
Menotti The Last Savage Mr. Scattergood
Monteverdi Il ritorno d’ulisse in patria Antinous
Monteverdi L’incoronazione di Poppea Seneca
Montsalvatge El gato con botas il ogro
Morrison Oscar Colonel Isaacson / Justice Wills
Mozart Cosí fan tutte Don Alfonso
Mozart Don Giovanni Leporello / Il Commendatore / Masetto
Mozart Die Entführung aus dem Serail Osmin
Mozart Le nozze di Figaro Figaro / Bartolo
Mozart Die Zauberflöte Papageno / Sarastro / Sprecher
Muhly Dark Sisters Prophet / King
Offenbach Barbe-Bleue Popolani
Offenbach La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein Général Boum
Offenbach La Perichole Don Andrés de Ribeira (Viceroy of Peru)
Puccini La bohème Colline
O’Regan Heart of Darkness Kurtz
Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia Don Basilio / Don Bartolo
Rossini La cenerentola Alidoro
Rossini L’italiana in Algeri Mustafá / Haly
Ravel L’heure espagnol Don Inigo Gomez
Saint-Saëns Samson et Dalila Abimélech
Schumann Manfred Chamois Hunter
Sondheim A Little Night Music Carl Magnus
Stravinsky The Rake’s Progress Nick Shadow
Stravinsky Le Rossignol Chamberlain
Sutermeister Die schwarze Spinne Priest
Talbot Everest Beck Weather
Ullman Der Kaiser von Atlantis Tod / Lautsprecher
Verdi Un ballo in Maschera DeHorn / Tom
Verdi Falstaff Pistola
Verdi La forza del destino Marquis of Calatrava
Verdi Macbeth Banco / il dottore
Verdi Rigoletto Sparafucile
von Weber Der Freischütz Heremit