Kenneth Tarver is considered to be one of the outstanding bel canto tenore-di-grazia of his generation, acknowledged for his beauty of tone, virtuosic technique, extensive and even vocal range, coupled with an attractive and elegant stage presence.
He has appeared at the world’s most prestigious opera houses, including the Royal Opera House—Covent Garden (Falstaff, Così Fan Tutte, La Cenerentola and Rossini’s Otello), Wiener Staatsoper (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Deutsche Oper Berlin (Don Pasquale, Die Rosenkavalier, Die Zauberflöte and Semiramide), Staatsoper Unter den Linden (Handel’s Belshazzar), Bayerische Staatsoper (Così Fan Tutte, La Cenerentola and Falstaff), Dresden Semperoper (L’Italiana in Algeri), Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona (Il Viaggio a Reims), Opéra Comique in Paris (Fra Diavolo), Teatro Lirico in Trieste (Il Turco in Italia), Theatre de La Monnaie Brussels (Idomeneo), Metropolitan Opera in New York (Il Barbiere di Siviglia and La Cenerentola), Teatro San Carlos in Naples (Così fan tutte) and the Festival in Aix-en-Provence (Don Giovanni) conducted by Claudio Abbado.
Mr. Tarver is a specialist in the most demanding virtuosic operatic repertoire. Recent successes include: Haydn’s L’Anima del Filosofo (Orfeo) conducted by Adam Fisher at the Budapest Festival; Gluck’s Orphée et Euridice at the Staatsoper Stuttgart; Mozart’s Idomeneo with Jeremie Rhorer at La Monnaie; Haydn’s Orlando Paladino with the Hilversum Radio Orchestra conducted by Alessandro De Marchi at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam; Haydn’s L’Infedeltà Delusa conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Musikverein in Vienna; Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Belmonte) and Traetta’s Antigonaat the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin; and Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes in Toulouse. Other highlights of his successful career include: Rodion Shchedrin’s My Age, My Wild Beast at the Rheingau Festspiele; a film of Judith Weir’s Armida for Channel 4 TV in the UK; Orff’s Carmina Burana at the Verbier Festival; and Mozart’s Requiem at the Tanglewood Festival conducted by James Levine.
He has built an impressive repertoire of both well known and seldom performed masterpieces with such conductors as Alberto Zedda (Rossini’s Moise et Pharaon in Liège; L’Inganno Felice and La Gazza Ladra at the Rossini Festival in Wildbad; La Scala di Seta at the Deutsche Oper Berlin; and Adelaide di Borgogna in La Coruña), Ricardo Chailly (Stravinsky's Pulcinella with the Concertgebouw Orchestra; Bach’s Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 in Milan; and Johannes-Passion with the Gewandhaus Orchester in Leipzig), Carlo Rizzi (Rossini’s Armida at the Edinburgh Festival), Bobby McFerrin (Handel’s Messiah with the Munich Philharmonic) and Frans Bruggen (Mozart’s Requiem with the Orchestra della Toscana).
Mr. Tarver recently performed: Terradellas’s Sesostri (Amasi) recently released by RCOC; Berlioz’s Te Deum in Oslo; a concert and recording for Opera Rara of Rossini’s Aureliano in Palmira (title role) with Maurizo Benini at the Royal Festival Hall in London; Mozart’s Coronation Mass in Rome; Roméo et Juliette in Valòencia; Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (Belmonte) and Graun's Montezuma in Berlin; Petite Messe Solennelle in Cagliari; and Les Indes Galantes in Toulous; Die Zauberfloete in San Lorenzo de Escorial and in San Sebastian; La Cenerentola in Buenos Aires; Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Aalborg and Berlin; Messiah in New York with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra; Beatrice and Benedict with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in Edinburgh and Glasgow; Berlioz' Roméo et Juliette in London and Paris with the London Symphony Orchestra; Handel’s Joshua at the Händel-Festspiele in Goettingen; Hasse's Leucippo in Koln; Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Berlin; Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings in Bielefeld; Don Giovanni in Bergen; Roméo et Juliette in Seattle; Le Roi David in Stuttgart.
Future plans include: Bianca e Falliero at the Festival in Bad Wildbad; Messiah in Dresden; Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Sydney; Lucio Silla in Madrid; Mass in B Minor, concert and recording with Concerto Köln and the Choir of the Bayerischer Rundfunk under Peter Dijkstra in Munich and Baden Baden; and a recital at the Festival de la Portaferrada in Sant Feliu de Guixols.
His impressive recording catalogue includes collaborations with Deutsche Grammophon: Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra (Berlioz's Les Nuits d’été and Roméo et Juliette); Kent Nagano and the London Symphony Orchestra (Bernstein: A White House Cantata). He also works for the label LSO Live: Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra (Berlioz: Béatrice et Bénédicte, Roméo et Juliette and the highly acclaimed Les Troyens that was awarded Grammys for Best Opera Recording and Best Classical Recording). He has also recorded for Opera Rara (Rossini’s La Donna del Lago with Maurizio Benini), Harmonia Mundi (Don Giovanni and Idomeneo with the Freiburger Barockorchester conducted by René Jacobs) and Naxos (album of songs by Charles Ives).