Kevin Courtemanche: Native New Englander and tenor Kevin Courtemanche (Chevalier de la Force) determined to change his life, while watching the first Three Tenors Concert, before the final of the 1990 World Cup in Rome, Italy. That event inspired him to forsake a career in law for one in opera.
He saved up his money and then studied privately with Maestro Will Crutchfield. Mr. Crutchfield encouraged him to get a full musical education, so Kevin attended the Peabody Conservatory to learn, to study voice with Dr. Stanley Cornett and get some practice on the operatic stage. With only one operatic role under his belt (the Slave in Amahl and the Night Visitors, years before the stage bug bit him) and some school musical productions to his credit, Kevin tackled the roles of Le petit viellard/Arithmétique and La rainette (L’enfant et les sortileges), Bardolfo (Verdi’s Falstaff) and Alessandro, the Sacristan and an opera singer (Mark Weiser’s Where Angels Fear to Tread).
Mr. Courtemanche matriculated at the University of Southern California for graduate work, study with Mr. Gary Glaze and more stage experience: Judge Danforth and Giles Corey in The Crucible, the 1st Armoured Man in The Magic Flute and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi.
As a professional artist Mr. Courtemanche has portrayed Verdi’s Otello, Offenbach’s Hoffmann, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Radamès in Aida, Canio in Pagliacci, Don José in Carmen, Calaf in Turandot, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Rodolfo in La bohème, Tamino in The Magic Flute, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, The Mother (!) in Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins, and Macduff and Malcolm in Macbeth.
At the San Francisco Opera he originated the role of the Brigadier General in the World Premiere of Philip Glass’ Appomattox and covered the 1st Prisoner in Beethoven’s Fidelio. In the concert hall Kevin has sung as tenor soloist in the Verdi’s Requiem, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Handel’s Messiah.
He has performed with Berkeley Opera, Mission City Opera, Symphony Parnassus, Bakersfield Symphony, Santa Maria Philharmonic, Long Beach Opera, Cinnabar Theatre, Masterworks Chorale of San Mateo, Berkeley Community Chorus & Orchestra, New Valley Symphony (all in California), Lowell House Opera (Massachusetts), Vertical Player Repertory, New Rochelle Opera (both in New York), Arizona State University, Roswell (New Mexico) Symphony, Hradec Králové (Czech Republic) Philharmonic, New York Opera Society (Toulouse and Castres, France), St. Petersburg (Florida) Opera, the Baltimore (Maryland) Handel Society 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).
His future engagements include Gounod’s Faust with San Francisco Parlor Opera (May 2009).
Kevin has also studied with Maestro Timothy Lindberg and Cheryl Lin Fielding at the University of Southern California; John Shirley-Quirk and Ernest Ligon at the Peabody Conservatory, and privately with Helena Doese, Cathy Cook, William Vendice, Greg Buchalter, Susan Morton, Kathy Cathcart, Ernest Knell and Peter Mark.