Gregory Kunde

Gregory Kunde

Regarded as one of the most accomplished singers on the international opera stage today, the American tenor Gregory Kunde appears regularly at the most prestigious opera houses around the world, working with conductors and orchestras of the highest calibre. Kunde’s achievements have been recognised with a number of awards, most recently ‘Male Singer of the Year’ at the 2016 International Opera Awards.

Highlights of the 2020/21 season include the title role Otello at Grand Teatre del Liceu and Teatro Comunale di Bologna and Radames Aida at Hamburg State Opera and LA opera.

Recent highlights include the title role Otello at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Calaf Turandot at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Jean de Leyden Le prophète at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the title role Don Carlos for Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège, Samson Samson et Dalila at the Metropolitan Opera, title role Otello for Opéra national de Paris and Opéra de Monte-Carlo, title role Andrea Chénier and Radames Aida at the Wiener Staatsoper, Calaf Turandot at the Teatro Real, Madrid, Renato des Grieux Manon Lescaut in concert for Dallas Opera, Don Alvaro La forza del destino at the Semperoper Dresden, title role Peter Grimes at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, Valencia, Radames Aida at the Teatro Real, Madrid, and a return to the podium to conduct Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Teatro La Fenice. Invitations to be rescheduled to future seasons include Manrico Il Trovatore for LA Opera.

On the concert platform, recent highlights include Verdi Requiem and Calaf Turandot with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta, Das Lied von der Erde at the BBC Proms, Verdi Requiem in Bilbao, the title role Verdi Otello at the Cincinnati May Festival, title role Peter Grimes with Sir Antonio Pappano at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Faust La damnation de Faust in concert at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam with Charles Dutoit.

Acclaimed throughout his earlier career for his performances in French and Italian bel canto roles, Kunde has now established himself as a leading exponent of many of the Verdi roles and other such dramatic repertoire. Since his critically acclaimed debut as Verdi Otello at La Fenice in 2012, he has performed this signature role in Valencia, Genoa, Salerno, Florence, Turin, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Seoul, and São Paulo. Since moving into this repertoire, Kunde earned the unique distinction of being the only tenor in recorded history to perform both Rossini Otello and Verdi Otello in the same season (2014/15 and 2015/16).

Kunde’s discography includes his solo album Vincerò! (Universal Music Group), Verdi Il Trovatore at Royal Opera House London (Opus Arte DVD), Berlioz Les Troyens at the Théâtre du Châtelet (Opus Arte DVD, Gramophone magazine’s ‘DVD of the Year’), Benvenuto Cellini (Virgin Classics CD, Gramophone’s ‘Opera Recording of the Year’), Benvenuto Cellini with Sir Colin Davis (LSO Live CD), and Verdi Otello from the Palazzo Ducale in Venice (Unitel DVD).

Date Last Edited: 25/11/2020
Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.
SAMSON ET DALILA. Teatro de la Maestranza. 2019

“Kunde was a vocal Samson from beginning to end. His performance overflowed with energy and dedication from the very first phrase, with impeccable mask singing that makes his voice fill the entire theatre, despite not having any stage element that served as a sounding board. His voice sounds firm, with brilliant high notes and plenty of expressive and dramatic nuances, and at the same time he knows how to lessen the flow at the most intimate moments, but without losing support or sound definition.” Andrés Moreno Mengíbar (Diario de Sevilla)

“Amazing and admirable are the only words for Gregory Kunde's current vocal state, with his 65 years of age. This fact, that of his age, needs to be remembered, because his instrument seems to defy the passage of time. […] the admirable thing about Kunde is that his voice rings out without effort even in the ungrateful space of the Maestranza, which is so open. His familiarity with the French repertory is evident and he produces each bit of text with maximum precision. It is not in vain that he has been and continues to be one of the most highly respected performers of Berlioz and Meyerbeer of our days. After making his debut in the role of Samson in the Palau de Les Arts of Valencia, the part served Kunde well in his much-anticipated return to the stage of the Metropolitan of New York, after having also sung this role in emblematic venues such as the Mariinsky of San Petersburg. His Samson is powerful and vibrant, while not sidestepping the score's most lyrical passages, where he successfully pulls his voice back. Kunde still has a high range that sounds easy and intense, as could be heard in his final intervention, crowned with that complicated B flat.” Alejandro Martínez (PlateaMagazine)

“The cast was headed by Gregory Kunde, who debuted the role in Valencia in 2016 and then took it on again, more recently, at the Met. Kunde has become a tenor spinto yet he also has a great command of belcanto and thus responds perfectly to all of the demands of the score. His voice has remained good and it is firm, with hardly any vibrato, always being sufficiently projected.” Gonzalo Alonso (La Razón)

“The evening had two proper names: Gregory Kunde as Samson and Nancy Fabiola Herrera as Dalila. The former showed himself to be an outstanding tenor of great experience and versatility, tackling the complicated role of a leader who betrays his principles for love and ends up betrayed by the woman he loved. Thus, the heroic nature of his performance in the first act, with 'Israel romps ta chaîne', becomes melancholic and loving in the scene with Dalila in the second act, and then grieving and angry in 'Vois ma misère hela'. With a round deep timbre, each of his interventions, whether singing alone or in a duet, was warmly received by the audience.” Gonzalo Roldán Herencia (OperaWorld)

“The other great voice was that of Gregory Kunde, one of the most solid tenors of the moment. His Samson was irreproachable from start to finish.” Jacobo Cortines (Scherzo)

TURANDOT. Teatro Comunale di Bologna. 2019

"Although the conductor does not stop and the applause must be brief, this is no insult to the tenor, whose triumph is undeniable, but rather a tribute to the opera, which can thus be enjoyed without a single note being missed or a single transition squandered. Even the most renowned fragments sound as fresh as the first time and, thanks to Gregory Kunde, we again feel that shiver when we hear “Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me”, a melody that has suffered from a certain degree of burnout and banalisation. The American tenor puts out high note after high note and gets the audience going, but not because of his tremendous outflow of vigour –although the energy of his timbre is undisputable– but because he manages to convey the strength and vitality of the Unknown Prince, and because these high notes are the culmination of a singing line that is intelligent and noble, conceived at all times for legato and for a fluid dynamic articulation, in which solemn and heroic phrases blend with a very sweet whisper, such as in the “O mia piccola Liù” recited mezzo voce over the slave girl's lifeless body.” Roberta Pedrotti (L’ape musicale)

“Gregory Kunde's Calaf is monumental. His performance is brimming with generosity and no effort is spared. Amidst well-projected high notes showing mathematical precision and incisive phrasing that allows him, with his usual ease of emission, to give the right accent and expressivity, he put the icing on the cake with a moving “Nessun Dorma” that went far beyond audience expectations.” Grigorij Filippo Calcagno (Leri Oggi, Domani, Opera)

“Gregory Kunde is a thoroughbred that starts to kick when he sees the icy princess before him….There is tremendous energy in the soldier Calaf's voice, with its crystal clear timbre and immense volume... It seems that the passage of time brings only advantages to this performer who is increasingly dynamic in terms of voice and the strength of his character on the stage.” Maria Teresa Giovagnoli (MTG Lirica)

"Despite his age, around 65, Gregory Kunde gives us a Calaf that is far from negligible:his ease of voice emission, his broad phrasing and his vibrant, luminous and well-sculpted sound surpass all expectations.” Gilberto Maurizio Mion(

“Gregory Kunde deservedly receives applause in the middle of a scene, and also an impressive final ovation. Born in 1954, the American tenor surprises audiences with the solidity and power of his upper register (his interpolation at the end of the riddle scene is nothing short of amazing), showing confidence and absolute control of his instrument. He enriches the phrasing with nuances and mezzo voces that are especially fitting in the arias “Non piangere Liù!” and “Nessun dorma!”.” Marco Faverzani / Giorgio Panigati (OperaLibera)

“Gregory Kunde lends his boundless voice to Calaf […] in terms of vocals he impresses especially with the brilliant and full high register that he displays with utmost assurance [….] The second performance's large audience shows great warmth and offers a big applause to Kunde in the middle of a scene, right after “Nessun Dorma”. The spectacle is a great success, with special waves of enthusiasm directed towards the aforementioned Kunde...”. Filippo Antichi (Connessi all’Opera)

“Gregory Kunde returns to Bologna after the triumphant concert of two weeks ago and again he prevails with his brilliance and timbre, which shine especially in the high notes. He chooses, naturally, the higher variation for “Ti voglio ardente d’amor!” (in contrast with his counterpart in the alternative cast) and regales the audience with a high C that astounds listeners with its ease, expansion and brilliant sound. His command of the role exudes confidence and even arrogance”. Silvano Capecchi (OperaClick)

"Gregory Kunde has the extraordinary luck of having the vocal chords of a thirty- year-old combined with the experience gained by one who has passed the line of the 60s. His Calaf chisels every accent and the words take on their full meaning in vibrant and passionate phrasing. Kunde's Calaf is a man, not a hero, able to be the father of his own father and also of Liù; “Non piangere Liù” is perhaps more tenderly calming, beautiful and moving than we have ever heard it. His “Nessun dorma” also stands out because the tenor does away with any kind of heroic whim and instead projects a dimension of intimate reflection.” Alessandro Cammarano (LeSalonMusical)

Samson et Dalila. Metropolitan Opera. 2019

“[…] Mr. Kunde had a beautiful success as Samson, singing with clear, strong, focused tone and acting with moving reserve. In cleaner, more robust voice than many tenors a generation younger (even on their healthy days), he rose by the end to genuine nobility, passionate without strain. His love scene with Ms. Rachvelishvili was quietly combustible, an achievement considering they had no opportunity to rehearse together.”  Zachary Woolfe (New York Times)

“Gregory Kunde came in to replace Antonenko and gave a heroic performance in finishing the opera. At an astonishing sixty-five years old, Kunde still shows impressive body and caramel color in his voice, and boasts focus and weight at his top, even on the opera’s closing B-flat. He gave a touching reading of the Act III monologue, “Vois ma misère,” bringing a weariness into his characterization without losing any vocal power.” Eric C. Simpson (New York Classical Review)

TURANDOT. Teatro Real, Madrid. 2018

“At 64, Gregory Kunde is a miracle of longevity. The acute third is sharp, the high C is impressive, the tone has an incredible youth and the musicality is always impeccable. It's rare to hear today sing this role without feeling effort, while still maintaining the excitement of a brilliant voice.” Jean Michel Pennetier (Forum Opera)

“After 40 years of career, Gregory Kunde presents an almost unchanging timbre and seems to have become more powerful, his singing remains not only sober and elegant (no doubt a legacy of his long experience in the belcantist repertoire), but all the difficulties of the role - triumphant treble, prolonged fiatto, endurance (the singer arrives in a state of surprising freshness before embarking on the terrifying final duo) are overcome with great skill and an apparent ease: the tenor receives at the end a spectacular ovation.” Stéphane Lelièvre (Olyrix)

"Gregory Kunde returned to incarnate Calaf again after the excellent perform he gave last summer at the Arena di Verona. The American tenor never cease to amaze us with his vocal freshness, precise phrasing, the nobility of the word (worthy of an Unknown Prince) and for the ease in the acute register. His performance in this Turandot is therefore excellent." (The.blogartpost)

"In my opinion, the best part of the evening was the performance by American tenor Gregory Kunde, as Calaf, who sang and expressed to perfection. He handled the most well-known sections brilliantly and also the more challenging ones. It must be mentioned that he did not shy away from the high C of the second act, as some of his colleagues do. He held it perfectly. He was especially brilliant in the always much-anticipated Nessun Dorma. In short, an outstanding performance by one of the most important tenors of the moment." José M. Irunzun (OperaWorld)

"Gregory Kunde, at the age of 60, performs a noteworthy Calaf, solid throughout the range with fiercely mastered passages from chest to head voice. A superlative incarnation." Pierre-René Serna (Concert

"Tenor Gregory Kunde superbly wraps Calaf's gestural expressionism in shimmering sound waves enshrouded in celestial nuances. He is the hearth and result of the combustion that moves his character, by means of a clear phrasing and a majesty of devouring breath." Thibault Vicq (Opera Online)

“An outstanding professional, Gregory Kunde has reinvented himself at the end of his career and he deserves enormous praise for it. He comes to the great roles that will mark the peak his career (Otello, Radamès, Grimes, Calaf) with vast experience and wisdom.” Luis Gago (Diario El País)

"Gregory Kunde was in charge of the heroic Calaf; he has been a recurrent performer at Teatro Real where he has sung in nearly every season since his debut at this house in “Roberto Devereux” in 2015. It will always amaze me to see the evolution of his voice from one of the best bel canto tenors in the 90`s (we must not forget that his stratospheric tessitura permitted him to produce a high F In full voice) to one of the most efficient dramatic tenors today. There are several opinions about his timbre, but it is undeniable that his instrument is a solid one. He possesses fine vocal projection, secure high notes, and pure line. When Kunde is singing you just feel calm; there is never that tension of wondering whether a tenor might make his way through a tricky passage or high note. You know he has it under control and it is his intensity that makes him all the more exhilirating to behold. He delivered a truly impressive high C on “Ti voglio ardente” and “Nessun Dorma” displayed all of the best qualities of his singing, capped off with a thrilling high B." Mauricio Villa (OperaWire)

"The American tenor Gregory Kunde captivated the audience with a Calaf that was confident and powerful." Manuel Cuella (El asombrario&Co.)

Concert with the Oviedo Filarmonía - Auditorio Palacio de Congresos Príncipe Felipe de Oviedo

“Tremendous. American tenor Gregory Kunde, singing to a full house last night in Oviedo’s Auditorio Príncipe Felipe, brought spectators to their feet over and over again, with a memorable performance that had viewers standing after every piece, applauding enthusiastically and filling the air with bravos”. Iván Román (La Nueva España)

“During the performance Kunde was direct, intimate, showing himself to be a radical Verdian tenor, while arias such as Puccini’s ‘Nessun dorma’ also showed us the verismo facets of this great artist. The Zarzuela romanza offered at the very end was not only a nod to the audience but also an extremely correct version, well-phrased and even containing a little variation when, over the words ‘no sé fingir’ (I don’t know how to pretend) he repeated the ‘no sé’ bit (I don’t know how). The truth is that Kunde does not know how to pretend, because he is truthful and direct”. Ramón Avello (El Comercio)

“Gregory Kunde was masterful and seemed to ‘own’ everything emitted at the Auditorio de Oviedo. Yes, the sounds, of course, but especially the silences.
How he managed to have the entire audience in suspense after singing just a few phrases is a mystery, but rarely have I seen an audience as quiet as this one while waiting for a singer’s next note. This is what happened when Kunde first stepped on stage, right after a vibrant and lively interpretation of the overture of La Forza del Destino.
The truth is, having been seated in the fifth row, it is extremely difficult for me to describe Kunde’s voice and not speak with great zeal.  However, what I will say is that, in short, he is a superlative tenor, with absolutely beautiful harmonics in the medium and high register, which, by the way, he shows off with a projection that would be more expected of an extraterrestrial than a man of his age and circumstances”.  Javier Labrada (Platea Magazine)

TURANDOT. Arena di Verona 2018

“Gregory Kunde displays all of his vocal and stylistic wisdom, creating a heroic Calaf who is also very attentive to dynamics and phrasing. The two arias were triumphant and Nessun dorma, received with great joy during the performance, was also the encore offered in response to audience clamour”. Francesco Lodola (Leri, Oggi, Domani, Opera)

“Equally good was Gregory Kunde -in the role of Calaf- who thanks to his past experience in bel canto gave a very refined and musically precise interpretation. A good actor, he showed no difficulty whatsoever during the performance and, even following an extraordinary execution of Nessun dorma, he made us prefer the encore performance of it, in which the famous final B emerged with even greater sonority. Andrea R.G. Pedrotti (L’Ape musicale)

“It seems that time does not pass for Kunde's Calaf. The tenor envelops the notes with phrasing and enviable breath control. The character is passionate, proud and has no fear of comparisons. Thanks to him an enthused audience shouted for an encore of Nessun dorma”. Maria Teresa Giovagnoli (MTG Lirica)

“Gregory Kunde uses his consummate professionalism to make his vocal qualities follow his intentions, presenting a hurt and tormented Calaf drawn marvellously by the tenor with a fine use of accent and phrasing. His singing is, therefore, always sweet and connected and each phrase sagely produced with the perfect intention and expressivity. The consequence of all this was the encore that the artist generously offered of the well-known Nessun dorma.” Silvia Campana (OperaClick)

“Splendid triumph for Kunde, as well, and no wonder. Born in 1954, the tenor from Kankakee, Illinois, began his career in 1978 and what a career it has been! It is simply amazing to think of what he has achieved now, at age 64: just over a month ago he sang Pollione in Bellini's Normain Bilbao and now Calaf, in Puccini's unfinished work, and always with unanimous opinions by critics and audiences, who adore him. The voice is firm and imposing in the high range, he has incredible breath control; obviously he sang the high variation, going up to the C in the final repetition. The pertinence of the phrasing is impressive, as is the performer's composure, always maintained with great nobility: a sign of rare intelligence and control in a tenor. The lover's vehemence was overflowing in the spectacular Nessun dorma, performed as an encore following the audience's frenzied response, to the surprise of the tenor himself, who confided to us that this was the first encore he has given in a performance in his entire career. Thank you Gregory, for many other very pleasant evenings!”. Andrea Merli (Impiccione Viaggiatore, I Teatri dell’Est e non solo)

POLIUTO. Gran Teatro del Liceu 2018

 “The character who gives title to the opera, Poliuto, was interpreted by Gregory Kunde. It is not a role within the reach of many tenors: the tessitura is complicated and there are some very exposed top notes. Kunde is one of the safest choices in this type of repertoire, and he brilliantly handled all the difficulties. His singing was as elegant as always, and I must say that it was a real luxury to have him as Poliuto.” José M. Irurzun (Seen and Heard International)

“From the height of his 64 years, Gregory Kunde –who recently sang the role of Jean de Leyde (Le Prophète, by Meyerbeer) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin– offers us a very fine Poliuto, and is always willing to take on the difficult parts of the score, making them his own with new variations. He has a perfect command of the grand scene in Act I, which he finishes with a remarkable high C... thunderously applauded by the Catalonian audience!” Emmanuel Andrieu (Opera Online)

“Gregory Kunde returns to a role with which he had already left a great impact back in 2010. The voice of the American tenor has become broader and he very skilfully blends the insolence of the highest notes with the richness of bel canto, adding exciting variations” Juan Michel Pennetier (Opera Forum)

“In the title role Gregory Kunde once again showed that he is a vocal phenomenon, truly out of this world. After his recent debut in Berlin with Meyerbeer's Le Prophéte and before launching into Peter Grimes at Les Arts, Kunde returned to a role that he had not sung for almost a decade, since the performances in Bergamo in 2010, when he sang the role for the first time. Thoroughly familiar with this repertoire, his style is flawless” Alejandro Martínez (Platea Magazine)

"The American tenor sang the very challenging role of Poliuto with confidence, the perfect amount of ornament and transparent phrasing…” Pablo Meléndez-Haddad (ABC)

“Gregory Kunde triumphed, thanks to his unmistakable eloquence and admirably noble phrasing…” Xavier Cester (Ara cataluña)

UN BALLO UN MASCHERA. Programación Lírica Amigos de la Ópera de A Coruña 2017

“We are not going to discover Gregory Kunde at this point in the story. Without a doubt the greatest and most complete tenor of the 21st century so far. Only his excellent technique allows him to maintain such a demanding schedule and the difficult roles he undertakes. He made a magnificent Riccardo who grew, vocally, as the performance progressed. His voice was well placed and delivered, with perfectly rounded high notes. He gave an outstanding interpretation of “Ma se m’è forza perderti …” and the opera's gorgeous duet “Non sai tu che se l´anima …” in Act II (…).” Daniel Diz (Opera World)

“The American tenor did away with any doubt that may have lingered about the state of his voice, with a fresh and lusty timbre, brilliant at the high end, eluding the elasticity difficulties that Riccardo's role has at the beginning of the opera and showing great strength from “Teco io sto” forward, when the most heroic facet of the character fits perfectly with the singer's current style. Kunde knows the role, which makes it that much easier to accentuate and speak with intention. Impeccable”. José Luis Jiménez (Ópera Actual)

“Especially noteworthy was Gregory Kunde's vocal protagonism, both in his arias and in the duets and concertatos so abundant in the work.” Julian Carrillo (El País)

“We expected great things from the renowned tenor Gregory Kunde, whom the role of Riccardo fits like a glove. At the height of his faculties, just as predicted, the American singer was perfect in his acting and impressive in his singing, raising the temperature of the performance with his interaction with the rest of the cast.” Teresa Adrán (Platea Magazine)

“Kunde gave a special shine to the opera season's kick-off event. Gregory Kunde, Riccardo, displayed a brilliant voice, almost always beautiful, squillante in the high notes, as early as his first fragment, La rivedra nell’ estasi, although I would perhaps ask him for more refined legato; effusive, even moving, in the duet of the second act, the high point of the work, and in the renunciation number, Ma se m’è forza perderti, and always exact in the dialogues and recitatives.” Antón de Santiago (La Voz de Galicia)

"To see in the final curtain call that Gregory Kunde was truly touched –he admitted as much to us after the event– when he saw that the organisational and artistic effort had obtained such a warm response from the audience is indicative of his deep commitment to the organisation. Little can be said of Gregory Kunde that has not already been said a thousand times. We are before an extraordinary tenor, an imposing voice even with the fatigue that comes with age. Kunde was better in the second and third acts, in which he brilliantly displayed a medium-high register that was full of character, technical know-how and interpretive capacity.” Aurelio M. Seco (Codalario)


- “The U.S. born tenor Gregory Kunde had already made quite an impression in Bilbao two years ago with a double performance of Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni (1863-1946) and Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919). Following his debut in the role of Andrea Chénier last month at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, he has once again given audiences robust and refined singing, impeccable phrasing and perfect musicality, from his Un dì all’azzurro spazio (one of opera's most beautiful arias) to the final apotheosis, with his Come un bel dì di maggio in between”. Frederik Verbeke (Eklektika)

- “At this point speaking of what has been called 'the Kunde miracle' is rather trite and repetitive. Miracles do not happen without work and effort and the American tenor has demonstrated that he has plenty of both. But what continues to be admirable is the apparent ease with which he takes on new 'tenoresque' challenges and adds, to an already long list of roles, one with such appeal as Chénier. Hearing him in the performance I am referring to one would think he has been singing the role for years, and that he has, after all that time and countless performances, given it his own personal stamp. But no. Kunde made his debut in the role this very season. Amazing. He takes on Chénier in a classical, canonical manner, with utmost commitment and no fear. Every single one of the high notes, the touchstone of the role, was perfectly placed, with exact projection and elegance, all of them sounding clear and limpid every time. He does not disappoint in the other registers either, although it is only fair to point out that a few notes sounded rather fatigued in the more piano sections. But starting with a splendid "Un dì all'azzuro spazio" and moving to the grand duet of the second act and then "Come un bel dì di Maggio" and all the way through to the tremendous ending, his work was impeccable. Bravo, maestro”.  Javier del Olivo (PlateaMagazine)

- “Andrea Chénier was Gregory Kunde, who in this most recent and surprising stage of his career is taking on roles as a spinto lyric tenor and sometimes even as a clearly dramatic one. The American singer's voice was a perfect match for the requirements of a part in which he appeared to move very comfortably. Even considerably better than in his recent successful appearances in Spain, characterised as Otello, Pollione and Arrigo, which I have had the good fortune of seeing. His great voice projection and warm phrasing prevailed with naturalness over a middle and lower register that was stronger than on the previous occasions and also more homogenous.  José Amador Morales (Codalario)

- “Kunde's presence and vocality on stage are tremendous, with an upper range that is powerful and ringing and a line of singing that is noble and expressive. All of this, along with a truly noteworthy dramatic dedication makes his Chénier convincing and moving, and absolutely thrilling to the audience, especially in his first act aria and in the duet with Maddalena in the second act”.  Jesús Aguado (Mundo Clá

- “Gregory Kunde gives life to the charismatic poet Chénier. The American tenor sings the role with impressive technical ability and uninterrupted emotion that even reaches the phrase endings, which demonstrates the great care the artist devotes to the interpretation required by each of his roles”.  Susana Santolaria (Act Teatro Bilbao)

-  “We find once again, to our great joy, the electrifying duo formed by Gregory Kunde and Anna Pirozzi. With the memorable Roberto Devereux performed on this very stage less than two years ago, the directors discovered the great appeal of bringing together this U.S.-born tenor and the Italian soprano. The vocal arrogance, the impetuous temperament and the musical sense that the artists have in common never fail to bring the audience to their feet when the two voices sound together. The tenor's sense of security continues to arouse the same admiration, especially when he takes on a clearly difficult score, a score that demands the perfect blend of tenderness and courage. Whether as a poet, an ardent lover or a bold revolutionary, his Andrea Chénier shines with elegance and grace, and with the brilliant health of a voice that appears to have no limits. We could mention any one of his arias, but we were particularly dazzled by the third act with a "Si, fui soldato" brimming over with authority”. Nicolas Griennenberger (

- “And nothing more can be said about Kunde and Pirozzi, a pair that appears regularly on this stage and whose vocality and interpretation never disappoint”.  Nora Franco Madariaga (Gara)

ANDREA CHÉNIER. Teatro dell’Opera di Roma 2017

" extraordinary cast, dominated by the poet embodied by Gregory Kunde, whose voice seems to have gained even greater plenitude. A quite well-supported middle register and sharp high notes transmit a power and a fluidity that dazzle listeners. As always, his singing is careful, his phrasing impeccable and his musicality perfect in this role that has at times been sacrificed by less refined tenors attempting to show "muscle". Although now past the age of a young gallant, the American tenor is able to create an attractive and believable character with the help of fine stage directing: yet another challenge has been met by this singer in his multi-faceted career." Jean Michel Pennetier (ForumOpera)

"… the main role was entrusted to a true gentleman: Gregory Kunde, a heartrending tenor, devotes himself fully to the role and is not prone to banal acts of extraversion. His singing is completely dedicated to the words and phrases, like a true poet. Kunde has been acclaimed as a magnificent tenor. It is quite a surprise, unprecedented, if we consider that this was his debut in the role. Also, it seems incredible that a tenor who started out in the Rossini repertoire could have, after some years, acquired the vocality of a verismo tenor; that is, robust and declamatory. The medium-low register must be found more in the interior of the words than in the fibre of the singing. As his voice becomes louder it takes on a heroic tone, it grows in intensity and thickness, and he accompanies it at all times with aristocratic phrasing and finely-wrought text." Carla Moreni (Il Sole 24 ORE)

"Gregory Kunde sings extraordinarily well in the principal role: the robustness that his voice has acquired over the years and his uniform register, the way he rises to high notes and the clear timbre he still has make him ideal for interpreting the role of the unfortunate poet. The famous Improvviso ‘Un dì all’azzurro spazio’, which sounds and shines with a smooth, pure timbre, sparks applause immediately. He knows how to give delicate accents to the two duets with Maddalena, especially the second, thanks to their Verdian and Wagnerian writing, and also to his aria of apology (‘Sì, fui soldato’). Roman audiences offer him a big ovation, thus confirming his personal triumph." Stefano Ceccarelli (L’ape musicale)

"The protagonist, Gregory Kunde, is one of very few tenors who, after starting a career with a specialisation in bel canto and light lyric roles, over the years has been able to cultivate a dramatic vocation. This has allowed him to explore, like few others have done and with great intelligence, the entire repertoire, with many outstanding successes. His debut as Chénier shows a great vocal and interpretative richness which the audience appreciated enormously." Antonello La Rocca (Roma Italia Lab)

"With regard to the cast of artists, the performance of Gregory Kunde in the title role was a precious pearl. Despite being 63 years old and having a very different repertoire behind him, he successfully gave the young poet Chénier strength and character in all registers, especially the high ones, which were firm and rich." Sara Feliciello e Paolo Mascari (Ieri, Oggi, Domani, Opera)

"... Gregory Kunde debuts in this role singing a very moving ‘Un dì nell’azzurro spazio’. What can be said of the everlasting Kunde? He is one of the most versatile singers of our times; many years have passed since he performed in I Puritani in 1987 and, although his repertoire has changed a great deal, he is still as fresh as ever. He produced a very beautiful B in the final duet, but even more beautiful was the duet of the second act with that ‘Ora soave’ in which he goes beyond F and, with a slight Corellian-type portamento, slides up to A flat with incredible naturalness. The audience cannot help but applaud. It is easy to perceive the tranquillity of his singing, his total concentration on the text and how he lets the music do the singing, so characteristic of those who have truly dedicated their lives to this art.” Chiara Marani (Nel fiero anelito)

"Kunde has performed some of the most beautiful melodies of Italian opera; something for which critics were unable to forgive Giordano for years. There was a time in which some tenors sang them at full strength, as if they were the outbursts of a sermonizer instead of the melodies of a (pre)romantic poet, that is, deliberate, dreaming, diffused and even sombre. Gregory Kunde sang them with a perfect musical line in terms of phrasing, the range of carefully measured dynamics and the homogeneity of registers." Mauro Mariani (Il Giornale della musica)

"With Chénier, Gregory Kunde adds a new role to his already extraordinary career and once again hits the bull's eye with his tenor's timbre and the moderation selected for the poet." Pierachille Dolfini, (Avvenire)

"Gregory Kunde allows all the passages of his voice to be perceived and executes a marvellous ‘Improvviso’ sustained with the same strength as the ancient arches. He dialogues well in the second act, sings ‘Ora soave’ magnificently and reaches his peak in ‘Fui soldato’. He saves his energy during ‘Come un bel dì di maggio’ (inevitable, due to the lack of an intermission) and he sets off fireworks in ‘Vicino a te s’acqueta’." Giacomo Agosti (I Teatri dell'Est e non solo...)

SAMSON ET DALILA. Teatro Regio di Torino 2016

"For the role of Samson the Teatro Regio has chosen Gregory Kunde. After the Otelo of two years ago, the American singer takes on another work that is very demanding at both the vocal and the stage performance level. Now past sixty, Kunde shows that he is a singer with extraordinary class and vocal intelligence. He strives to create an authoritarian character, in terms of stage performance as well, but does not become hieratic or neglect the human drama. This makes the recognition of his love for Dalila in the second act especially expressive and tormented: a concession to a humanity of sentiments that forebodes guilt." Ludovico Buscatti (OperaClick)

"Gregory Kunde, Samson, proves yet again that he is an outstanding tenor, with a full and supple voice, capable of performing the most demanding of roles: a true Heldentenor who, without giving priority to the quest for spectacular high notes and always giving more weight to the quality than to the quantity of sound, manages to express the personal anguish of the biblical hero, shifting from the burning passion of the duet with Dalila to the extreme pain of Vois ma misère, hélas!; all with perfect control of intonation, which translates into fabulous high notes and a sound that is full and burnished and at the same time brilliant”. Giuliana Cutore (BelliniNews)

"The cast has also been sensationally good, beginning with the presentation in Italy of Samson by Gregory Kunde, who just debuted in this role in Valencia. The tenor surprises listeners a little more each day with the skill and ductility of his singing; besides being totally convincing in the early acts with a gallant execution, his intense lyricism in the first scene of the third act is also very moving." Andrea Merli (I Teatri dell’Est e non solo)

"At his sixty-two years of age, Gregory Kunde, with the solidity of his singing, the intensity of his interpretation and the heroicity of his phrasing, becomes Samson the moment he steps on stage. The singer in him strengthens and fades with no hesitation whatsoever, the musician in him respects the score with impeccable aplomb and the performer in him, always attentive and involved, allows to forget the complication of some vibratos. Also priceless is the contrast between the insolent exhalation of God's chosen one in the first act and the stifled affliction of a man humiliated and enchained, with which he sustains the lament and prayer introducing the third act". Andrea Dellabianca (Connessi all’Opera)

"In Gregory Kunde and his enviable phrasing Samson finds determination and nobility of voice. A voice that still offers enormously effective numbers, and interpretation that is coherent and intense". Maria Teresa Giovagnoli (MTG Lirica)

"At her side, Gregory Kunde is a Samson of surprising musicality and projection, with a triumphant high range. More surprisingly, this central tessitura does not seem to be a problem for him at all, as if his voice were maturing even more". Jean Michel Pennetier (ForumOpera)


 "The American tenor has shown that he is in fine form and he sang with verve throughout the evening. Particularly outstanding was the Dio mi potevi scagliar passage from Verdi's Otello, where he shined in a special way, just as he did a few days ago on the stage of the Teatro Real". José M. Irurzun (Opera World).

“If the audience ended the recital with a standing ovation, applauding madly, it was because all of the performers gave an excellent representation of opera. (…) [The singer] especially in the second half, from that fullness of sound in the high notes and with devotion and a generous heart, moved and touched all present with his Pagliacci (Leoncavallo) and his final Otello (…)”. Teo Baldos (Noticias de Navarra)

“Finishing a recital with the audience on its feet, thrilled, after a collosal Nessun dorma. This would surely be the dream of any self-respecting tenor. Gregory Kunde – who was featured on our July cover – did it last Thursday in the Auditorio Baluarte in Pamplona, after showing us everything he's got in terms of repertoire and his current instrument, which has been wrought with a high dose of tenacity, a proven dedication in technique and a few drops of miracle. (…) But the American tenor can rest easy: he has earned himself a place in opera history. And not just for being the only tenor in history to sing, in the same season, both Otellos, the one by Verdi and also the one by Rossini. Kunde is much more than an outstanding tenor: his biography stands out as a lesson in humanity. He is also an unequivocal example of the American dream; a self-made man, one who has worked hard for everything he has achieved. (…) the concert was deserving of applause from start to finish and the aforementioned standing ovation after the Nessun dorma offered at the end was nothing but confirmation. Alejandro Martínez (Platea Magazine)

IDOMENEO. Palau de les Arts. 2016

“This Idomeneo is sung very well. More than anyone else Kunde is memorable and moving. He may not be the typical Mozart singer, according to the canons, but he has an extraordinary way of phrasing and modulating that truly reaches listeners. There are artists who have that indefinable something that makes one never tire of seeing them and hearing them on stage and that makes each one of their interventions seem too brief. It is a mixture of mastery, the ability to communicate and charisma that makes them unique”.  Joaquín Guzmán (ABC-Valencia)

“The production has a cast of very skilled singers, led by the tenor Gregory Kunde in the title role (it is interesting to recall that this was the only Mozart role sung by Luciano Pavarotti in his day)”. Roger Alier (La Vanguardia)

“The casting is excellent in the main quartet. Gregory Kunde shines as Idomeneo”.  Jorge Fernández Guerra (El País)

“The American tenor Gregory Kunde showed great enthusiasm as Idomeneo, the King of Crete who rebels against the fate he had brought upon himself and that leads him to question the role ofthe gods because they "decide that a father can kill his son".  Joan Castelló (EFE)

“In the title role, in Valencia for the first time after his injured Samson, the American tenor Gregory Kunde showed that vocation and valour are capable of anything. He arrived here following his performance of Verdi's Requiem in Bilbao and was called away during this run, also, to cover for Francesco Meli in the Luisa Miller staged by Teatro Real. Along with La clemenza di Tito and to a lesser extent Mitridate, Idomeneo is the third of the Mozart roles that Kunde maintains in his repertoire today, with the well-known transition of his instrument towards the more dramatic Verdi, reaching even verismo. With co-ordinates like these, the flexibility of his singing when faced with Mozart's meticulously-written vocal parts is surprising. In truth, it should not surprise us so much that the same tenor is capable of singing in the space of barely a month parts as distant as Aida's Radames and this Idomeneo”.  Alejandro Martínez (Platea Magazine)

“Vocally, the performance of Gregory Kunde as Idomeneo is worth highlighting. For the first time in an opera at Les Arts, audiences had the chance to enjoy the Kunde of the bel canto tradition; up to a few years ago, this tenor was a specialist in the late 18th and early 19th century repertoire. In this regard, his command of the style is absolute and it is amazing that even after taking on a heavier repertoire his voice maintains its flexibility; also, thanks to his never-flagging technique, he can shine in all of the technical demands of a role like this, without forgetting his stage presence and expressive capacity”. César Rus (Las provincias)

“We had Gregory Kunde in the leading role at Les Arts. The American tenor is an expert in bel canto who, however, is also capable of taking on Verdian roles and similar ones. It is not common to be able to handle both repertoires at the same time. But on this very same stage we have heard him in Otello, La forza del destino, Samson et Dalila and, now, Idomeneo, where Mozart puts the bar very high in terms of agility and melodious beauty. Not only does Kunde meet the technical requirements, he goes all out, offering heartfelt interpretations, with a warm timbre and fantastic projection”. Rosa Solà (Culturplaza)


“The tenor Gregory Kunde is again up to his old tricks, that is, outstanding verismo, in a repertoire in which his voice expands joyfully and can reflect his beautiful squillo in the high range. He rose to the occasion and responded perfectly to the soprano, with all the romantic passion called for in this opera, thanks to his dramatic singing, full of strength”.  Nino Dentici (Diario El Correo)

“Kunde is a vocal spectacle, a force of nature, a tenor who seems to never tire. (…) He hits the high notes with the steel of a sword and he sings the role of Des Grieux with good singing line, vibrant accents and an elegance that does not elude passion”. Asier Vallejo (Diario Deia)

“Many have spoken of the boldness and the dedication that Gregory Kunde shows on stage in this phase in which he is rapidly incorporating new roles to his long and fruitful career. If last year he debuted, on this very stage, as Turiddu and Canio, on Saturday he sang for the first time the role of Renato des Grieux in Manon Lescaut (…). In the second act, in his duet with the soprano, sparks began to fly and we started to hear that voice of his that we so admire. But in the third and fourth act was when Kunde demonstrated, once again, that he is an exceptional singer, thanks to the freshness of his instrument that runs with amazing ease in the highest notes of the range. Especially moving was his Ah! non v’avvicinate! where he maintained the vocal tension in a very difficult scene with no apparent effort. It was the fourth act, the most touching and genuinely Puccini of the entire opera, where the two main characters gave the best of themselves, creating with their singing and acting all the emotion called for in the libretto and the score”. Javier del Olivo (Revista Platea Magazine)

“Gregory Kunde continues to make history and we have the opportunity and immense fortune to be witnesses of his achievements. New role, new debut and new irrefutable success by the American singer (…) Des Grieux is a perfect match for the tenor, as the role allows him to offer a portrait that is fresh, passionate and vocally lusty. It is a pleasure to see him sing very complicated passages with great ease but not for that reason with any less devotion and generosity. The role is devilishly challenging. In the first act alone Puccini gives him two arias and two duets that are highly demanding. Kunde’s high register is pure gold, as he is capable of sustaining tessituras that move constantly between the F and the A with impeccable musical results and letting out true lashes of the whip in the numerous B flats that fill the staff as well as in the less abundant B (spectacular in the "con te portar dei solo il core" and in the "guardate, pazzo son"). The oppure of the C above high C in the fourth act ("ah Manon") was one of those sounds worth remembering. But Kunde does more than just offer high notes: his musical intelligence for dynamics is undeniable, with varied phrasing and total absence of monotony, with a middle range having an attractive and unmistakeable colour and a great imagination that allows him to dive into the text with an intention that leaves no one indifferent”. Rubén Martínez (Revista Codalario)

OTELLO. Teatro de la Maestranza 2015

“Gregory Kunde executed his starring role to that difficult point in which feelings must be taken to their maximum distortion… His command of the stage and his knowledge of his vocal possibilities allowed him to sail through the love duet of Act I…”. José Antonio Cantón (El Mundo)

“Gregory Kunde is probably the best Otello that an opera house can find today. His Verdian voice has energetic phrasing and an enormous facility for middle and low registers, which enabled him to reach the end of the performance with all of his capacities still intact. The brilliance of his voice and his technique for modulating in forte rounded out his interpretation… ”. Ismael G. Cabral (El Correo de Andalucía)

“Gregory Kunde offers a complex Otello… and his vocal quality is beyond any doubt throughout the representation. His intensity never falters and he shows the torment of jealousy and his inner battle clearly. His scenes with Desdémona (a splendid Julianna Di Giacomo) are outstanding, both vocally and dramatically”. Alejandro Reche Salas (XYZ noticias)

“The American tenor is enjoying a “second” career that inspires admiration and respect. Otello is one of the roles that best define his personality on stage: boldness and sensitivity. Kunde brings us a very human Otello: we could even say, if the character allowed it, that he is sensitive. Irrational and jealous, yes, but above all torn by inner doubts, never brutal and distant, always vulnerable... His Dio! mi potevi scagliar tutti i mali  was truly memorable, for its impeccable phrasing, for everything he conveyed during that wrenching moment”. Javier del Olivo (Revista Codalario)

SAMSON ET DALILA. Palau de les Arts. 2016

“Gregory Kunde was making his debut in the role of Samson, a true test of fire for a tenor because of its dramaticism (…). Vocally he once again broke the mold, performing as a first-class Samson, especially in Act III in which his voice flowed with the role’s true weight and dramatic colour. Most definitely, the tenor expands his legend once again.” César Rus (Las provincias)

“The misfortune (his injury) is largely forgotten in light of this great tenor’s miraculous vocal qualities. Kunde does not do a classically balanced Samson like the one given by Domingo; he leans instead toward the heroic and suffering aspects, for which his impressive voice is perfect. When Kunde sings there’s a party in the air, from the beginning to the end. Let’s hope it lasts many years.” Joaquín Guzmán (ABC_Valencia)

“The performance of the American tenor Gregory Kunde was certainly worthy of praise because even performing with an injury he had more than enough vocal power to be an excellent Samson. (…). The physical limitation did not prevent him from showing off an intense and powerful voice that reached the depths of Samson, the hero and saviour of the Israelites but who ended up being conquered by Delilah’s charms. The audience rewarded his determination and dedication with enthusiastic applause afterwards.” (Agencia EFE)

“Gregory Kunde marks another milestone. The American tenor, who is 61 years old and has reached the top during the later stages of his career, interpreting 15 ambitious new roles in just three years, successfully debuted as Samson on Tuesday at the Palau de les Arts de Valencia (…). Kunde’s mobility problems were no impediment to him unfurling his precise timbre, his musicality and his vocal power.” César López Rosell (El periódico)

“Gregory Kunde interpreted a valiant and musically generous Samson (…). A Samson with the aesthetics of the Hulk was able to offer an expressive palette that went full circle, from the initial recitative (…) with a vocal strength that was measured and always plethoric in all registers, to the most lyrical and intimate moments of the duets with Delilah and especially in the last act’s recitative with chorus, “Vois ma misère, hélas! vois ma détresse!”; an excellent example of phrasing and musicality.” Nicolás Piquero (OperaWorld)

“Gregory Kunde demonstrates with each new debut his absolute love for and devotion to his work, with such a confident vocal and dramatic technique that it seemed he had been singing the role for years, although he has done only a handful of performances. An impeccable musician, the writing of this Samson suits Kunde’s current vocal characteristics perfectly, with long legato lines in which he displayed a fiato worthy of respect and also a first high note that he nailed and then gave a round centre which was very attractive, with hints of spinto.” Rubén Martínez (Revista Codalario)

“Gregory Kunde has debuted as Samson in Valencia and again he has done it with high marks, approaching the extraordinary (…). What really stands out is how incredibly well his voice matches the part (…), he gives Samson a voice that is lyrical yet intense, he is flawless in his knowledge of the style and in his work with the text.”  Alejandro Martínez (Platea Magazine)

ROBERTO DEVEREUX. Teatro Real 2015

“So, the performances of Devia and the tenor Gregory Kunde (as Devereux, the Count of Essex who toys with the heart of the aging queen) managed to extract oil where there seemed to be nothing and they were applauded with passion….” Darío Prieto (El Mundo)

“…tonight Gregory Kunde, fully recovered - to the delight of bel canto fans everywhere, and Mariella Devia, a splendid performer of this kind of opera, inspired from the very first cantabile plenty of emotion and bravos… Devia, a veteran in works by Donizetti, and Kunde, one of the world’s best tenors and who has returned to the stage after battling a serious illness, were excellent in their roles and succeeded, in each and every scene, in moving an audience that was in return generous with applause and bravos”. Concha Barrigó (EFE News Agency)

“Gregory Kunde as Devereux demonstrated that his singing is still round and luminous, truly delicate despite the logical strains of his age, which is 61. And it enchants listeners. The poet Rubén Darío said it long ago: Old age, divine treasure... Or was it youth? No matter. Can we not be young after sixty? Kunde showed that the answer is yes. His phrases in the duets with Elisabetta and Sara convey warmth and lyricism, bursting with what can be considered the essence of opera from the moment he makes his entrance with Donna reale. Immaculate projection, Talevi has him sing his aria from the floor, with somewhat fanciful phrasing (Bagnato il sen…) and clean, polished high notes. The best of the evening”. Gonzalo Lahoz (Codalario)

“Gregory Kunde… sang with supreme skill” Luis Gago (El País)

“Gregory Kunde… took the stage with a superb voice”. , Alberto González Lapuente (ABC)

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