Kenneth Tarver is considered to be one of the outstanding belcanto tenors of his generation, acknowledged for his beauty of tone, virtuosic technique, extensive and even vocal range, coupled with an attractive and elegant stage presence. A specialist in Mozart and demanding virtuosic operatic repertoire, he has appeared at the most prestigious opera houses and concert halls around the world, performing both well-known and seldom-performed works with conductors such as René Jacobs, Riccardo Chailly, Pierre Boulez, and Claudio Abbado.
KT is a specialist in the most demanding virtuosic operatic repertoire. Recent successes include Berlioz’ Roméo et Juliette with Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra, Béatrice et Bénédict with Robin Ticciati, Ramiro in La Cenerentola at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes at Theatre du Capitole in Toulouse conducted by Christophe Rousset, Gluck’s Orphèe et Euridice at Staatsoper Stuttgart, Orfeo in Haydn’s L’Anima del Filosofo at the Budapest Festival conducted by Adam Fisher, Handel’s Messiah with the New York Philharmonic, Traetta’s Antigone at the Staatsoper Berlin, Haydn’s Orlando Paladino at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Haydn’s L’Infedeltà Delusa at the Musikverein in Vienna conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
KT has been invited to perform on prestigious concert stages, amassing an impressive repertoire of both well known and seldom performed masterpieces with such conductors as Alberto Zedda: Rossini’s Moise et Pharaon (Opera Royale de Wallonie, Liege), L’Inganno Felice, La Gazza Ladra (Rossini Festival Wildbad), La Scala di Seta (Deutsche Oper), Adelaide di Borgogna (La Coruña), Riccardo Chailly: Stravinsky’s Pulcinella (Concertgebouw Orchestra), Bach’s Matthäus-Passion (Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi), Johannes-Passion (Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchester), Carlo Rizzi: Rossini’s Armida (Edinburgh Festival), Bobby McFerrin: Handel’s Messiah (Munich Philharmonic), Frans Bruggen: Mozart’s Requiem (Orchestra della Toscana). Other highlights include Rodion Shchedrin’s My Age, My Wild Beast at the Verbier festival, a film of Judith Weir’s Armida for Channel 4 TV in the UK, Orff’s Carmina Burana at the Musikverein Vienna and Mozart’s Requiem at the Tanglewood Festival conducted by James Levine.
KT’s extensive recording catalogue includes collaborations with Deutsche Grammophon: Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra (Berlioz – Les Nuits d’été and Roméo et Juliette), Kent Nagano and the London Symphony Orchestra (Bernstein – A White House Cantata), for LSO Live: Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra (Berlioz – Béatrice et Bénédicte, Roméo et Juliette and the highly acclaimed Les Troyens which was awarded Grammy’s for Best Opera Recording and Best Classical Recording). An accomplished recitalist, KT features on the series of complete Ives songs on the Naxos label. KT has also recorded for Opera Rara: Rossini’s La Donna del Lago & Aureliano in Palmira with Maurizio Benini, and for Harmonia Mundi: Don Giovanni & Idomeneo with the Freiburger Barockorchester conducted by René Jacobs.
Recent performances include Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Staatsoper Berlin and Genoa; Bach’s Magnificat with Il Giardino Armonico & Giovanni Antonini at the Wroclaw festival; Hasse’s Leucippo at the Cologne Opera; Le Roi David by Honegger with the International Bach Akademie, Stuttgart, as well as Arbace in Mozart’s Idomeneo at the Musikfest; Don Giovanni at the Bergen National Opera;
Händel’s Messiah with the Dresdner Philharmonie; Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette with the Seattle Symphony; Bianca e Falliero at the Rossini Festival in Bad Wildbad; Così Fan Tutte & Don Giovanni in Dortmund and St. Petersburg, with Teodor Currentzis & MusicAeterna, both works recorded by Sony.
Amongst his future plans : Johannes-Passion with the International Bach Akademie, Stuttgart; Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Opera Australia in Sydney; Bach’s Mass in B minor with the Bayerischer Rundfunk in Munich and Baden-Baden; Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette at the Edinburgh International Festival and La Cenerentola at the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv.
KT is a past winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Young Artist Development Program and the Staatsoper Stuttgart. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, The Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Kenneth holds a Masters of Music Performance from Yale University School of Music, where he received the Dean’s Award for the Most Outstanding Student in the graduating class.