New England native and New York City based tenor Kevin Courtemanche (Josiah Creech in Markheim) welcomes the opportunity to début with Little Opera Theatre of NY. He also relishes relating his personal operatic journey. It began while watching the first Three Tenors Concert, before the final of the 1990 World Cup in Rome. That concert immediately inspired him to forsake the law for opera.
Kevin first studied with Maestro Will Crutchfield, who encouraged him to get a full musical education. He attended Peabody Conservatory to learn, to study with Dr. Stanley Cornett, to gain stage experience, and to play a number of comprimario roles.
Mr. Courtemanche went to the University of Southern California for graduate study with Mr. Gary Glaze. There he played Judge Danforth and Giles Corey in The Crucible, The 1st Armored Man in The Magic Flute, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi and the Witch (!) in Hansel Gretel.
As a professional, Mr. Courtemanche has portrayed Verdi’s Otello, Don Carlo (4 and 5 Act versions), and Ernani, Giordano’s Andrea Chénier, Gounod’s Faust, Offenbach’s Hoffmann, Massenet’s Werther (cover), Yoav Gaal’s The Dwarf, King Carlo VII in Verdi’s Giovanna d’Arco, Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Radamès in Aida, Canio in Pagliacci and Turiddu in Cavalleria rusticana (in the same performance!), Enzo in La gioconda, the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, Don José in Carmen, Calaf in Turandot, Luigi in Il tabarro, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Rodolfo in La bohème, Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur, Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos, Tamino in The Magic Flute, Alfredo in La traviata, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Macduff in Macbeth, the Chevalier de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites, Tony in Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge, The Mother (!) in Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins and Pluto in Orpheus in the Underworld, among many other roles.
At San Francisco Opera he created the role of the Brigadier General in the World Premiere of Philip Glass’ Appomattox. In the concert hall Kevin has appeared as the tenor soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Handel’s Messiah.
He has performed as a principal or solo artist with, among others, the San Francisco Opera, Berkeley Opera, Mission City Opera, Symphony Parnassus, San Francisco Parlor Opera, Bakersfield Symphony, Cinnabar Theatre, Masterworks Chorale (San Mateo), Independent Opera (Los Angeles), New Valley Symphony (Los Angeles), Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra (all in California), Lowell House Opera (Massachusetts), New York Grand Opera, the National Chorale, Vertical Player Repertory, New Rochelle Opera, Hudson Opera Theatre, Manhattan Opera Studio, dell”Arte Opera Ensemble, New York Opera Forum, Vocal Productions NYC, Utopia Opera, Opera Company of Brooklyn (cover), Capitol Heights Lyric Opera, Amore Opera and sung before the Metropolitan Opera Guild (all in New York), MidAtlantic Opera, Opera at Florham (both in New Jersey), Arizona State University, Hradec Králové (Czech Republic) Philharmonic, St. Petersburg (Florida) Opera, Bel Cantanti Opera, Baltimore Concert Opera (both in Maryland), Riverbend Opera, New Dominion Chorale, Gold Rush Opera (all in Virginia), Atlantic Coast Opera Festival (Phiadelphia), Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra (North Dakota), Symphony of Northwest Arkansas and Caffè Venezia in Berkeley, CA (that’s right, Kevin’s voice is available for weddings, parties, New Year’s Eve and other festive occasions). His (disembodied) voice even appeared on The Bold and the Beautiful (opera as soap opera).
Kevin has branched out as an opera stage director, having recently helmed Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer, Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (two productions), Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Joseph Beer’s Die Polnische Hochzeit. His upcoming directing engagements include Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann in May, in New York City with Vocal Productions NYC.