Baritone Kenneth Overton has consistently received accolades for his rich, gleaming voice and his many layered, powerful interpretations. After successful engagements with New York City Opera’s Schomberg Series, Kenneth made his NYCO mainstage debut in Feburary 2012 as Doctor Grenvil in Verdi’s La Traviata and will return to Boheme Opera NJ as Papageno in The Magic Flute. He recently performed a gala with the Sarasota Symphony and also sang the title role of Porgy in Porgy and Bess with Lexington Opera Society/University of Kentucky Opera Theater. Kenneth also made his Pensacola Opera debut this season in the world premier of David Ott's The Widow's Lantern and returned to Pensacola Opera as Joe (Showboat). He reprised the role of Sharpless (Madama Butterfly) for Opera Memphis, Porgy for the 75th anniversary tour to Opera Carolina and returned to San Francisco Opera as Sid (La Fanciulla del West).
Kenneth’s 2010-11 engagements included Germont (La Traviata) with Sacramento Opera, the soloist in Handel's Messiah with The Norwalk Symphony, Verdi's Requiem at Montclaire State University and at The Cathedral Basilica in New Jersey. His 2008-9 engagements included debuts with the Phoenix Symphony (Messiah), Norwalk Symphony(Messiah), The Paducha Symphony (Porgy), a return engagement to the Duluth Superior Symphony in Vaughn Williams’ A Sea Symphony, and a concert featuring Mahler, Copland and opera arias with the San Antonio Symphony. He also sang the lead in Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh’s production of Porgy and Bess, a “magnificent” Gershwin evening with Richmond Symphony, and sang Lawyer Frazier with the San Francisco Opera in Porgy and Bess. In 2008, Kenneth made his debut as Porgy in Porgy and Bess at the famous Deutsche Oper Berlin in the critically acclaimed production from Cape Town Opera in South Africa. He toured the British Isles as Porgy in Porgy and Bess and, in the same role, opened Opera Memphis' 51st season. He also made his début recently Stadttheater Klagenfurt as Jake (Porgy and Bess) and sang his first Escamillo (Carmen) with Missouri Symphony Society, as well as Leporello (Don Giovanni) with Opera Memphis, Bello (La Fancuilla del West) with the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, as bass soloist in Beethoven’s
Other performances include a return to Connecticut Opera for Taddeo (L’Italiana in Algeri) and appeared as Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Masetto(Don Giovanni) and Schaunard (La Boheme) with Metro Lyric Opera (NJ). He also appeared as soloist in Schubert’s Mass in Ab and Haydn’s Creation with the Summit Chorale Festival (NJ), in addition to his annual Spain tour with the American Spiritual Ensemble.
Kenneth has also been heard as Germont (La Traviata) at Boheme Opera NJ, Leporello (Don Giovanni) at Houston Ebony Opera Guild and Opera Memphis; Ping (Turandot) with Opera Delware, Nashville Opera, Opera Memphis, Sacramento Opera, Connecticut Opera and Opera Carolina; Schaunard (La Boheme) and El Dancaire with Opera Memphis; Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Angelotti (Tosca) and Papageno (The Magic Flute) with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera; Baz Luhrman’s Broadway La Boheme; Masetto (Don Giovanni) with Connecticut Grand Opera; Schaunar (La Boheme) and Papageno (The Magic Flute) with Connecticut Opera; City Center Encores’ production and recording of Romberg’s New Moon; and performed the role of Stephen Kumalo in Lost in the Stars with Skylark Opera
Kenneth’s intelligence and versatility have allowed him to excel in several modern works, including Corps of Discovery by Michael Ching, with Opera Festival of New Jersey; Six Characters by Hugo Weisgall; Nexus Arts (NY) The Gilded Cage by Kioulaphides. He made his Carnegie Hall début as baritone soloist with the Westfield Symphone Orchestra in Come Follow Me by Jackson Berkey with Mid-America Productions. He was a winner of the Liederkranz Competition and a national winner of the Leontyne Price Vocal Competition. He is also co-founder of Opera Noire of New York, a performing arts organization created to empower African-American artists to reach their full creative potential in a mutually supportive environment.