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. 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 the Grammy Award for “Best Opera Recording” and a French Diapason d’Or.
Burdette’s 2023-2024 season begins with the world premiere of Talbot/Scheer’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly at The Dallas Opera, in which Kevin will sing the role of Papinou. He makes returns to Atlanta Opera, as Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Seattle Opera, as Bartolo in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Central City Opera, as Frank Maurrant in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. On the concert stage, the bass joins the Alabama and Knoxville Symphony Orchestras for Handel’s Messiah. Further ahead, he returns to Santa Fe Opera and Opera Philadelphia.
An exciting 2022-2023 season began with Kevin’s debut at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, reprising the role of Stefano in Adès’ The Tempest. Elsewhere in the season, he made his role debut as Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd with Austin Opera, adding summer performances of the same title at Chautauqua Opera, and returned to Atlanta Opera as Voltaire/Pangloss in Bernstein’s Candide.
During the 2021-2022 season, Mr. Burdette made returns to the Metropolitan Opera as the Police Officer in Boris Godunov, to Seattle Opera as Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, and Santa Fe Opera for Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Manuel Toulon/The Judge in the world premiere of M. Butterfly. He also performed Benoit and Alcindoro in CultureArt of Puerto Rico’s production of La bohème. In concert, he appeared with the Fort Worth Symphony to premiere a setting of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 66 by Veronika Ágnes Fáncsik, and joined the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra for Handel’s Messiah.
In 2020-2021, Mr. Burdette joined the inaugural season of the Atlanta Opera Company Players, as his hometown company looked to reimagine performances for their community during the COVID-19 pandemic. There he performed the roles of Death in Der Kaiser von Atlantis, and Peachum in The Threepenny Opera. Additionally, Mr. Burdette joined Opera Parallèle for their filmed graphic novel presentation of Everest, reprising his role of Beck Wethers.
Kevin Burdette maintains a close relationship with the Santa Fe Opera, having appeared over many seasons as Sulpice in La fille du régiment, Stobrod/Blind Man in the world premiere of Higdon’s Cold Mountain (recorded for Pentatone), Général Boum in La grande-duchesse de Gérolstein, Mr. Scattergood in Menotti’s The Last Savage, General Polkan in The Golden Cockerel, Frosch in Die Fledermaus, Voltaire/Pangloss/Martin/Cacambo in Candide, the Major Domo in Ariadne auf Naxos, Justice Wills and Henry B. Isaacson in the world premiere of Morrison’s Oscar, Herr Puff in The Impresario, and Chamberlain in Le Rossignol.
Recent operatic engagements include returns to the Metropolitan Opera for Señor Russell in Adès’s The Exterminating Angel, Spinelloccio in Gianni Schicchi and multiple roles in Shostakovich’s The Nose; Pangloss/Martin/Cacambo in Candide with Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu; Sulpice in La fille du régiment with Washington National Opera; Beck Weathers in the world premiere of Everest, General Polkan in The Golden Cockerel, and 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 with Dallas Opera; his role debut as Claggart in Britten’s Billy Budd with Central City Opera; Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress with Boston Lyric Opera; Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore and Sulpice in La fille du régiment with San Diego Opera; Osmin in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Atlanta Opera; and Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Philadelphia.
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 and performed Verdi’s Requiem with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. He has performed Handel’s Messiah with the Seattle Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Duke Chapel Choir, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, the United States Naval Academy and Les Violons du Roy, led by Bernard Labadie. Elsewhere, he performed “Time” in Gerald Barry’s The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, returned to Avery Fisher Hall as soloist in Liszt’s Missa Solemnis with the American Symphony Orchestra; and sang Stravinsky’s Renard with both Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Utah Symphony.
Kevin Burdette created the Prophet/King in the world premiere performances of Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters with Opera Philadelphia and with Gotham Chamber Opera. Other career highlights include Leporello with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, under Gustavo Dudamel; Stefano in The Tempest with L’Opera de Quebec; 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; and Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Colline in La bohème with Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.
He made his debut with Seattle Opera as Mustafà in L’italiana in Algeri and as Masetto in Don Giovanni, 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; gave first performance of Osmin with Opéra de Québec and returned to Glimmerglass Opera as Popolani in Offenbach’s Bluebeard.
Kevin Burdette is 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.