Richard Burkhard


"Richard Burkhard makes an outstanding Cascart"

The Guardian

"Threatening to bring the house down, however, is Richard Burkhard, whose lovelorn yet jovial Papageno overflows with warmth, wit and charm."

The Scotsman

"Burkhard is a brilliant Schicchi‚ firm-voiced‚ a lovable rogue"


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Known for his versatility both as an actor and a singer‚ Richard Burkhard has become increasingly in demand in opera and on the concert platform. Current engagements include Harry Easter Street Scene (Teatro Real‚ Madrid and Opéra de Monte Carlo)‚ Tiridate Radamisto (Northern Ireland Opera)‚ Quince A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Palau de les Arts‚ Valencia)‚ Ford Falstaff and Speaker Die Zauberflöte (Garsington Opera)‚ Lieutenant Horstmayer Silent NightTonio I PagliacciDr Dulcamara L’elisir d’amore and Lhotský Osud (Opera North)‚ Count Gil Susanna’s SecretTomsky The Queen of Spades and Cascart Zazà (Opera Holland Park)‚ Papageno The Magic Flute and Dandini La Cenerentola (Scottish Opera) and Garibaldo at English National Opera and the Bolshoi‚ Moscow (nominated for an Opera/Best Actor Golden Mask Russian Theatre Award).

Recent engagements include Marcello La BohèmeMamoud The Death of KlinghofferGaribaldo Rodelinda and Dr Falke Die Fledermaus (English National Opera)‚ Figaro The Marriage of FigaroNikita in the British premiere of Weinberg’s The Portrait and Sir Despard Murgatroyd Ruddigore (Opera North)‚ Michonnet Adriana LecouvreurDr Malatesta Don Pasquale and title role Gianni Schicchi (Opera Holland Park)‚ Tolstoy Sevastopol (Royal Opera House Opera Shots)‚ Junkman & King Augustus Candide (Opera National de Lorraine‚ Nancy)‚ a concert with Carl Davis and the Hallé Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall‚ and a Puccini Gala Concert at the Barbican‚ London.

In concert‚ he has performed regularly with‚ amongst others‚ the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment‚ notably as bass soloist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion under Sir Roger Norrington‚ as the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and as Joabel in Charpentier’s Davide et Jonathas under Emmanuelle Haïm‚ in New York‚ Barcelona‚ and London. He has also appeared as Bass soloist in Mozart’s Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall. In recital, he has performed at St. Martin-in-the-Fields‚ St. James’s Piccadilly‚ St. John’s Smith Square and at Snape Maltings‚ Aldeburgh. Most recently Richard performed recitals at the Ruhr Klavier Fest as a guest of Irwin Gage‚ and at De Singel in Antwerp.

Born of Anglo-Swiss parents‚ Richard trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama and was awarded a bursary to study with Carlo Bergonzi at the Accademia Musicale di Chigiana in Sienna. He is a previous winner of the Decca prize at the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Vocal Awards‚ and winner of the Royal Over-Seas League Voice Competition.

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Wagner Parsifal (Amfortas)

Saffron Opera Group (September 2018)

Amfortas piles on the agony so much that the role seems much longer than it actually is‚ and Richard Burkhard’s account powerfully sustained the illusion. His monologue moved from cultivated lyricism and intimacy to some superbly managed delirium‚ and he rose to the occasion for Wagner’s demands for ‘terrible ecstasy’ in Act 3.

Opera Magazine

Richard Burkhard’s Amfortas was the revelation of this performance. Thoroughly prepared his was an anguished and deeply moving performance that was thoughtfully sung with a compelling‚ resonant baritone voice.

Seen & Heard International

Puccini Gianni Schicchi (title role)bu

Opera North (February 2019)

Burkhard is a brilliant Schicchi‚ firm-voiced‚ a lovable rogue even if – as he shrugs off in his spoken epilogue – Dante did consign him to hell for this deceit.


Richard Burkhard’s Schicchi commanded the stage, his firm baritone brooking no opposition. He duped the lawyers with a credible imitation of the deceased whose will he was co-opted to rewrite

Opera Magazine

Mozart The Magic Flute (Papageno)

Scottish Opera (May 2019)

Richard Burkhard sings beautifully as Papageno, making him more than a mere comedian...

The Times

Richard Burkhard is a hilariously charismatic Papageno, whose terrible jokes, popular culture references (yes, even Coronation Street gets a mention) and fourth-wall bashing audience acknowledgment makes for wonderful theatre.

Opera Guide Scotland

The Magic Flute’s music is well known, and in a very decently sung production, Richard Burkhard reprised his role in a splendid central crowd-pleading performance as a charming Papageno, clowning gloriously with his bells.


The comic genius of Mozart's work is probably best personified by Papageno, beautifully characterised and sung by Richard Burkhard as the cocky, cheeky birdcatcher, who acts as the earthy everyman as we move through this story. He is a vaudeville showman - witty and vulgar at the same time, and he effortlessly breaks the fourth wall to conspire with and amuse the audience in pantomime style. It's the way this character moves across the stage and uses the sets that highlights the fluid and subtle choreography of the whole piece...Burkhard as Papageno deftly steals the show...

Edinburgh Festival

It’s little wonder The Magic Flute remains one of the most popular operas, thanks to it’s accessible, almost pantomime like, moments – in this production skillfully delivered by Richard Burkhard’s cheeky, charming yet lovelorn Papageno. Burkard’s intermittent breaking of the fourth wall to make quibs and jibes makes the audience feel all the more included in the unfolding japes and caused ripples of laughter throughout the opera.

Art Mag

...his hilarious sidekick Papageno (Anglo/Swiss baritone Richard Burkhard on delightful form)...

Herald Scotland

Of note are the irresistible Papageno, so cleverly and cheekily played by Richard Burkhard, his bang up-to-date, witty asides and ability to wrap the audience around his little finger are a delight...

Reviews Hub

Threatening to bring the house down, however, is Richard Burkhard, whose lovelorn yet jovial Papageno overflows with warmth, wit and charm.

The Scotsman

The new cast was altogether classier than in 2012… It boasted a real communicator in Richard Burkhard’s Papageno, never over-egging the humour...

Opera Magazine

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