Praised for his “clarion tenor,” Wisconsin native Kevin Newell is quickly becoming known for his clear and intelligent performances of opera and oratorio.
As a growing specialist in contemporary opera, Newell made his mainstage debut at Fort Worth Opera in 2012 as Maron in Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata. This summer, Opera Today proclaimed that Newell is an artist “whose stock is no doubt on the rise,” as he performed the role of Simon Stimson in Our Town at Central City Opera. Newell recently performed in the world premier Absurdopera, two one-act operas at the 2013 Latino Music Festival, Words & Music and The Leader, both by composer Gustavo Leone. As Jonathan Dale in Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer-Prize winning opera Silent Night in 2014 (Fort Worth Opera), Newell received great critical review.
Newell has participated in many prestigious young artist programs, including Central City Opera, Chautauqua Opera and Syracuse Opera, where he performed in productions of Carmen, Amadigi di Gaula, Les mamelles de Tiresias, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Manon Lescaut. As a young artist at Seagle Music Colony, Newell sang Roméo in Gounod’s Roméo et Julliette and Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys & Dolls, among others.
As a performer of oratorio, Newell’s debut with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in Messiah was a triumph. The Third Coast Digest pointed out that Newell’s voice, “rose above it all like an angel’s annunciatory trumpet.” Newell has also performed the tenor solos in great choral works such as Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Haydn’s Messe in tempore belli, and Ariel Ramirez’s Missa Criolla.
Newell is also committed to education, investing himself in introducing young audiences to the joys of opera. Newell has toured Wisconsin with the Florentine Opera Outreach Program, and has lead many masterclasses for young students who are just beginning to explore classical music.
Kevin Newell received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and his master’s degree from The University of Michigan where he performed roles such as Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress, Laurie in Little Women, and Fenton in Falstaff. Additional opera roles include Albert in Albert Herring and Aeneas in Dido & Aeneas.
Newell currently resides in Phoenix, AZ, and studies voice with Connie Haas.