Reviews

Showboat, Pensacola Opera

In my mind, any discussion of Showboat starts with its most famous song – the magnificent ‘Ol Man River.’ It is the absolute jewel in the crown within Kern’s score, and when placed in the hands of a singer who can master its challenges, it is an automatic highlight. In baritone Kenneth Overton, Pensacola Opera has a singer who more than masters ‘Ol Man River.’ Overton who plays Joe, absolutely soars, and prepare for chills when the male chorus adds their voices to the mix.

Andy Metzger, Pensacola News Journal, 2010

Messiah, Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut

Among the soloists, Kenneth Overton impressed during his bass arias. He sings with both warmth and power, and held his own against the trumpet in the famous aria ‘The Trumpet shall sound.’

Jeffrey Johnson, www.greenwichtime.com, 2009

Porgy and Bess, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh

Kenneth Overton was fabulous in the title role. He sang with great assurance and strength, and his acting was breathtaking.

Mark Kanny, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 2009

Vaughan-Williams’ Sea Symphony, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra

Baritone Kenneth Overton simply melted away all fear of the sea ‘on the beach at night alone.’ Throughout the work he was able to use the fullness of his voice, as well as the soulful lightness of his high notes in nostalgic moments.

Samuel Black, Duluth News Tribune, 2008

Porgy and Bess, Townsend Opera Players (CA)

For me, however, the truly exceptional performance of this production came from Kenneth Overton as Porgy. His sheer vocal power — a ringing, resonant baritone that seemed to emanate from deep within body and soul — could have carried the whole show on its own. But beyond this, he seemed to possess an intuitive sense of the character that not only projected itself compellingly to the audience, but enriched and enhanced the other roles as well.

Stephen Thomas, Modesto Bee, 2008

La Traviata, Boheme Opera (NJ)

Baritone Overton also succeeds in the limited space, bringing dignity to his killjoy mission to Violetta.

Anita Donovan, The Times, 2007

Lost in the Stars, Skylark Opera

In the role of the minister, Kenneth Overton offers a remarkably understated performance. In both his command of this complex character and his beautiful baritone voice, Overton is a magnetic presence.

Ron Hubbard, Pioneer Press, 2007

Porgy and Bess, Opera Memphis

Life on Catfish Row was brought to tuneful reality as Kenneth Overton’s Porgy and Kishna Davis’s Bess won the audience with song and strong acting. Overton delighted the audience as Leporello is last season’s Don Giovanni and did not disappoint in this successful return.

Jim Eiker, Memphis Silver Star News, 2006

Two lovely operatic voices were cast in the title roles. Frequent Opera Memphis baritone Kenneth Overton gave his Porgy an optimism and self-suffiency.

Christopher Blank, Memphis Commercial Appeal, 2006

In Concert in NJ for Pro Musica

Overton was as big a hit as Ernest. His big, warm voice used a wide dynamic range. Whether he was singing ‘Ah per sempre’ from I Puritani or ‘I Got Plenty of Nuttin” from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, his musical line and connection with the audience were great assets. He also received cheers.

Paul M. Somers, ClassicalNJSociety.com, 2006

Don Giovanni, Opera Memphis

Don Giovanni’s servant Leporello, played by Kenneth Overton, matched [Stephen] Salters with strong, comedic acting and excellent vocal skill. The response to Leporello’s curtain call was thunderous and almost eclipsed the name star’s curtain call which immediately followed.

Christopher Blank, Memphis Commercial Appeal, 2006

Beethoven 9th Symphony, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra

Baritone Kenneth Overton offered some remarkable passages.

Mary Johnson, The Sun in Annie Arundel, 2006

Turandot, Sacramento Opera

Baritone Kenneth Overton sang one of the three commedia ministers [Ping] giving their scene of reminiscences a poignant and detailed reading.

James Koelker, San Francisco Classical Voice, 2006

L’italiana in Algeri, Connecticut Opera

Perhaps the surprise performance of the evening was actually that of Kenneth Overton, whom I thought did an outstanding job as Taddeo. And who voice was strong, rich in tone and even throughout the entire performance.

Paul Joseph Walkowski, OperaOnline, 2005

Other side-splitting moments included the bubbly Act I Finale and the Act II Trio with… the formidable bass-baritone Kenneth Overton as Isabella’s smitten “uncle” Taddeo.

Matthew Erikson, The Hartford Courant, 2005

The vibrant and talented young cast includes some exceptional voices, notably Kenneth Overton, whose acclaimed leading roles include those in Carmen, Don Giovanni, La Bohème, Turandot and Porgy and Bess for the Connecticut Opera company and recently made his Broadway début in Baz Luhrman’s acclaimed La Bohème.

Hereford and Worcester, BBC, 2005

La bohème, Metro Lyric Opera

As Schaunard, Kenneth Overton was the most lively of the four men and used the entire stage to benefit his character.

Carlton J. Ilkinson, Ashbury Park Press, 2005

Don Giovanni , Connecticut Grand Opera

Kenneth Overton made a livelier Masetto with a very well vocalized ‘Ho capito.’

David Shengold, Opera News, 2005

Turandot, Opera Delaware

Kenneth Overton [as Ping] impressed with his rich-toned baritone.

Robert Baxter, Opera Canada, 2004

Don Giovanni, Metro Lyric Opera

The hot-headed Masetto [was] sung with verve by last-minute sub Kenneth Overton.

Frederick Kaimann, The Star-Ledger, 2004

Don Giovanni, Westfield Symphony Orchestra

Kenneth Overton performed the roles of both Masetto and the Commendatore, and his resonant bass-baritone was effective in both. As Masetto, he seemed very much the simple peasant newly-wed. For his transition to Commendatore, he wore a cape, strutted across the stage with great flourish and adopted a more declamatory vocal character and upright bearing.

Brad Tonfow, The Westfield Ledger, 2004

The Magic Flute, Opera Company of Brooklyn

Kenneth Overton’s powerful Papageno stole the show.

Shirley Fleming, The New York Post, 2003

Two singers stood out, soprano Janinah Burnett and Kenneth Overton, with a drolly-acted and finely-sung Papageno.

Jeremy Eichler, The New York Times, 2003

The Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation, Orlando, FL

Mr. Overton’s vocal talents were on full display as he charmed the audience. A virtuoso treatment of the commissioned piece ‘Been in de Storm So Long’ by Wayne Sanders generated huge applause that paved the way for an encore which alone was almost worth the entire appearance. Overton unveiled a rarely heard Negro spiritual…demanding relentless gusto, finesse and craftsmanship — all of which this young singer delivered without reserve.

Quarter Notes, 2003

Messiah, Baltimore Handel Choir

Of the soloists, baritone Kenneth Overton made the strongest impression. He brought fire to ‘Why Do the Nations So Furiously Rage Together’ and weight to ‘The Trumpet Shall Sound’ with dead-on support from trumpeter Elisa Koehler.

Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun, 2001

La Bohème, Connecticut Opera

Kenneth Overton’s Schaunard and Herbert Perry’s Colline were both distinctly characterized and ably sung… Their slapstick antics in the garrett and the café functioned well as ironic foils for the tragic fate of the consumptive heroine.

Clifton J. Noble, Jr., The Hartford Courant, 2001

The Gilded Cage, Nexus Arts NYC

As John Peters, baritone Kenneth Overton provided a proud instrument and an outstanding ability to project text meaningfully; like Nancy Loesch, he’s good-looking and a gifted actor. Despite the odds, Overton rendered a thoroughly convincing portrait of a character ahead of his time.

William V. Madison, Opera News Online, 2001

Die Zauberflöte, Connecticut Opera

Baritone Kenneth Overton almost stole the show with his magnificent singing and engaging stage presence.

Tony Angarano, The Hartford Courant, 1999

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