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 Riccardo Chailly, Pierre Boulez, Claudio Abbado, Laurence Cummings and Teodor Currentzis.
Recent performances include Berlioz’ Requiem and Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 with Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale at the Bolshoi in Moscow, Aufidio in Mozart’s Lucio Silla at Teatro Real Madrid with Ivor Bolton, Rossini’s Eduardo e Cristina, L’Occasiona fa il ladro, and Sigismondo at Rossini in Wildbad conducted by Antonino Fogliani, Mozarts Die Zauberflöte at Opera Vlaanderen, and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle at the Wiener Konzerthaus and at the Philharmonie Luxembourg under its music director Gustavo Gimeno.
Other successes include Berlioz’ Roméo et Juliette with Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra, Berlioz’s, Béatrice et Bénédict with Robin Ticciati, Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House; Bach’s Mass in B minor with the Bayerischer Rundfunk in Munich and Festspielhaus Baden-Baden; Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette at the Edinburgh International Festival and La Cenerentola at the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, 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, 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, and Händel’s Messiah with the Dresdner Philharmonie.
KT has amassed 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 for Sony with Teodor Currentzis & MusicAeterna (Mozart – Cosí fan tutte and Don Giovanni), 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.
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.