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.
Recent performances include Berlioz’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the 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’Occasione fa il ladro and Sigismondo at Rossini in Wildbad conducted by Antonino Fogliani, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at Opera Vlaanderen, as well as Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle at the Wiener Konzerthaus and at the Philharmonie Luxembourg under its music director Gustavo Gimeno. Upcoming highlights of the season 2019/2020 include two concert performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni under Teodor Currentzis in Vienna and Lucerne, Francesco Corselli’s Achille in Sciro at Madrid’s Teatro Real under the baton of Ivor Bolton, as well as Haydn’s so-called Creation Mass with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra under its new music director Thomas Dausgaard.
Further successes include Bach’s Mass in B minor with the Bayerischer Rundfunk in Munich and Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Bach’s Magnificat with Il Giardino Armonico and Giovanni Antonini in Wroclaw, Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette with Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra, Béatrice et Bénédict with Robin Ticciati, Roméo et Juliette at the Edinburgh International Festival, Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia for Opera Australia in Sydney, the Staatsoper Berlin and Genoa’s Teatro Carlo Felice, La Cenerentola at the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv and at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes at Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse conducted by Christophe Rousset, Gluck’s Orphée et Euridice at Staatsoper Stuttgart, Haydn’s L’Anima del Filosofo at the Budapest Festival conducted by Adam Fischer, Handel’s Messiah with the New York Philharmonic, Traetta’s Antigone in Berlin, Haydn’s Orlando Paladino at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam as well as L’Infedeltà Delusa at the Musikverein in Vienna conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, 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 Bremen, Don Giovanni at the Bergen National Opera and Handel’s Messiah with the Dresdner Philharmonie.
Kenneth Tarver has amassed an impressive repertoire of both well-known and seldom performed masterpieces with conductors such as Alberto Zedda (Rossini’s Moïse et Pharaon, L’Inganno Felice, La Gazza Ladra, La Scala di Seta, Adelaide di Borgogna) Riccardo Chailly (Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, both Bach’s St Matthew and St John Passion), Carlo Rizzi (Rossini’s Armida), Bobby McFerrin: (Handel’s Messiah) or Frans Brüggen: (Mozart’s Requiem). 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.
Kenneth Tarver’s extensive recording catalogue includes collaborations for Sony with Teodor Currentzis and MusicAeterna (Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni), for Deutsche Grammophon with Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra (Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’été and Roméo et Juliette), Kent Nagano and the London Symphony Orchestra (Bernstein’s A White House Cantata), for LSO Live with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra (Berlioz’s 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, he features on the series of complete Ives songs on the Naxos label. Kenneth Tarver has also recorded for Opera Rara (Rossini’s La Donna del Lago and Aureliano in Palmira with Maurizio Benini) as well as for Harmonia Mundi (Don Giovanniand Idomeneo with the Freiburger Barockorchester conducted by René Jacobs).
Kenneth Tarver 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.