Heralded by the BBC for his “exceptional voice,” Kenneth made his New York City Opera mainstage debut in 2012 as Doctor Grenvil in Verdi’s La Traviata. That season, Kenneth also made an acclaimed debut in the world premiere of David Ott’s The Widow’s Lantern at Pensacola Opera, whereby he was immediately re-engaged to star as Joe in Showboat. The upcoming season brings debuts with New Jersey Symphony, in Bruckner Te Deum, as well as Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, in a concert highlighting the Verdi repertoire.
With great anticipation, Kenneth releases his first solo CD this season, in collaboration with pianist Kevin Miller. Entitled Been In De Storm So Long: Songs My Fathers Taught Me, this collection is his homage to the spiritual tradition that has been formative in his artistic life. In step with this legacy, Kenneth is also co-founder and artistic director of Opera Noire of New York, a performing arts organization created to empower African-American artists to reach their full creative potential in a creative supportive environment.
Career highlights include Kenneth’s debut as Lawyer Frazier with the San Francisco Opera in Porgy and Bess, Germont (La Traviata) with Sacramento Opera and Boheme Opera (NJ). An Opera Memphis favorite, Kenneth has sung leading roles from Mozart to Puccini. As a leading baritone, Kenneth has sung Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) with Connecticut Opera, Chattanooga Symphony and Opera and Boheme Opera of NJ; Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), with Opera Memphis and Chattanooga Symphony & Opera; Leporello (Don Giovanni) at Houston Ebony Opera Guild and Opera Memphis; Schaunard (La bohème) Opera Memphis and Connecticut Opera. Kenneth has sung Ping (Turandot) with Opera Delaware, Nashville Opera, Opera Memphis, Sacramento Opera, Connecticut Opera and Opera Carolina. Other roles in performance include Angelotti (Tosca) and Bello (La Fancuilla del West) with Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and a successful return to San Francisco Opera as Sid in (La Fanciulla del West).
Kenneth’s interpretation of the title role in Porgy and Bess has been acclaimed as “breathtaking.” He made his international debut at Deutsche Oper Berlin in the critically-acclaimed production from South Africa’s Cape Town Opera. Kenneth portrayed Porgy with Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Opera Memphis, Opera Carolina, Lexington Opera Society, and The Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, The Paducha Symphony, and on tour throughout the British Isles. Kenneth also made his Stadttheater Klagenfurt debut as Jake in Porgy and Bess.
Kenneth is widely recognized for his concert work, which displays the breadth of his repertoire. His recent successes include his performances in New York City Opera’s Schomberg Series, gala concerts with Sarasota Symphony and San Antonio Symphony, and an evening of Gershwin with Richmond Symphony. His oratorio repertoire includes in Handel’s Messiah with Phoenix Symphony and Norwalk Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem at Montclair State University and at New Jersey’s Cathedral Basilica, Vaughn Williams’ A Sea Symphony with Duluth Superior Symphony, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and The Yonkers Philharmonic, as the baritone soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs with the Oratorio Society of New Jersey, and soloist in Schubert’s Mass in A-flat and Haydn’s Creation with the Summit Chorale Festival (NJ). Kenneth is also featured in the American Spiritual Ensemble as a soloist for annual performances in the USA and international tours of Spain, Ecuador and France.
Kenneth has a passion for both musical theater and new works, and he made his Broadway debut in Baz Luhrman’s La Bohème. He was featured in City Center Encores’ production and recording of Romberg’s The New Moon, and sang the role of Stephen Kumalo in Lost in the Stars with Skylark Opera. His Carnegie Hall debut was baritone soloist in Come Follow Me by Jackson Berkey with the Westfield Symphony Orchestra (Mid-America Productions). Kenneth’s has also excelled in diverse contemporary works including performances of Corps of Discovery by Michael Ching at Opera Festival of New Jersey; Six Characters by Hugo Weisgall; and Nexus Arts (NY) The Gilded Cage by Kioulaphides.
Kenneth is a winner of the Liederkranz Competition, Connecticut Opera Guild Competition, Rosa Ponselle Competition (Meriden, CT) and a national winner of the Leontyne Price Vocal Competition.