BiographyKenneth 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.
Engagements led him to renowned houses, such as the Royal Opera Covent Garden, Metropolitan Opera New York, Wiener Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper München, Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, Dresdner Semperoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Hamburgische Staatsoper and Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona as well as to the festivals in Aix-en-Provence and Edinburgh.
His repertoire includes the great roles in the works of Gluck, Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti and Verdi as well as concert works by, among others, Bach, Beethoven, Debussy and Stravinsky.
Kenneth Tarver worked with conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Chailly, Sir Collin Davis, Ivor Bolton, Kent Nagano, Daniel Harding, Marc Minkowski, Teodor Currentzis, René Jacobs, Paolo Arrivabeni, Maurizio Benini, Michael Tilson Thomas, Yves Abel, Gustavo Gimeno, Jesus Lopez Cobos, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Bernard Haitink, Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez and Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
Previous opera highlights include, among others, Don Ottavio/Don Giovanni with Claudio Abbado and Daniel Harding in Aix-en-Provence as well as under René Jacobs in Paris and Brussels, Così fan tutte at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and at Teatro San Carlo in Naples under the baton of Sir Colin Davis, Die Entführung aus dem Serail also under Sir Colin Davis and with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Falstaff at Bayerische Staatsoper München under Zubin Mehta, Orphée et Eurydice with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre, Rodrigo in Rossinis Otello at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and at the Washington National Opera, Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Metropolitan Opera New York, Bayerische Staatsoper München, Dresdner Semperoper and Opera Australia Sydney, the title role in Fra Diavolo at the Opéra-Comique Paris and Opéra Royale de Wallonie in Liège, Belshazzar at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin together with René Jacobs and at the Théâtre du Capitôle as well as Haydns Orlando Paladino/Medoro at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Tamino/Die Zauberflöte at Opera Vlaanderen.
As a concert singer he achieved great success, too. Just to name a few: L’infedeltà delusa under the baton of Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the Wiener Musikverein, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with Riccardo Chailly and Michael Tilson Thomas, Les nuits d’été together with the Cleveland Orchestra under Pierre Boulez, Messiah with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as Shchedrins Vek moi, zver‘ moi at Verbier Festival and in Paris.
Last season, he guest-performed at the Teatro Real de Madrid as Aufidio/Lucio Silla and sang the tenor part of Berlioz’ Requiem, Ravel’s Chanson medécasses and Stravinsky’s Perséphone together with Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Furthermore, he sang Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle at the Wiener Konzerthaus and the Philharmonie Luxembourg, each under the baton of Gustavo Gimeno as well as the title role of Judas Maccabaeus with Laurence Cummings at the Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen.
Upcoming engagements include La finta giardiniera/Don Anchise at the Opera Zurich and numerous concert, such as Rossini’s Petite Messe solennelle together with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall London, Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli under Manfred Honeck and with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia of Rome, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra in Bucharest, Bach’s Mass in B minor with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Bach’s St Matthew Passion at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam together with the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and under the baton of Marc Albrecht.
Kenneth Tarvers extensive recording catalogue includes collaborations for Sony with Teodor Currentzis & MusicAeterna (Cosí fan tutte and Don Giovanni), Deutsche Grammophon: Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra (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).
Outstanding debut as Nerone/Agrippina at the Florida Grand OperaKenneth Tarver has made a great debut as Nerone in the new Agrippina production (director: Jeffrey Buchman) at Florida Grand Opera!
In the new staging, which relocates the story of Agrippina to a 1930s Hollywood film set, Tarver's radiant tenor "took the night's vocal honors":
"As Nerone (whose reign would flip murderous), Kenneth Tarver took the night's vocal honors. The veteran singer's heroic tenor, incisive declamation in recitatives, precise trills and talent to command the stage introduced the present to a brand new top together with his each look."
Remaining performances: May 17 and 19, 2022
Photo: Joan Tomàs
You can listen to a "Best-of Kenneth Tarver" on Spotify. From Bach and Handel, via Mozart, Rossini and Berlioz to Ives, the finest listening pleasure awaits you!
Agrippina / Florida Grand Opera / 16.05.22 / usanewslove.com
"Kenneth Tarver took the night's vocal honors. The veteran singer's heroic tenor, incisive declamation in recitatives, precise trills and talent to command the stage introduced the present to a brand new top together with his each look."
Judas Maccabaeus / Händel-Festspiele Göttingen / 11.05.18 / goettinger-tageblatt.de
"ein unglaublich unangestrengt singender Tenor mit hellem, konturenscharfem Timbre"
Judas Maccabaeus / Händel-Festspiele Göttingen / 10.05.18 / bachtrack.com
"Kenneth Tarver was simply amazing"
Eduardo e Cristina / Belcanto-Festival Bad Wildbad / 19.07.17 / pz-news.de
"sängerisches Juwel des Abends"
L'occasione fa il ladro / Belcanto-Festival Bad Wildbad / 10.07.17 / pz-news.de
"schönes Timbre sowie [...] technische Souveränität"
L'occasione fa il ladro / Belcanto-Festival Bad Wildbad / 08.07.17 / die-deutsche-bühne.de
"Tenoraler Glanz mit intensiver Tongebung"