Richard Burkhard


"Master Ford‚ outstandingly well sung by Richard Burkhard"

Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times

"Richard Burkhard makes an outstanding Cascart"

Tim Ashley, The Guardian ****

"Richard Burkhard is masterly as Schicchi"

Clare Colvin, Sunday Express ****

"Richard Burkhard’s Amfortas was a revelation …anguished and deeply moving performance, thoughtfully sung with a compelling, resonant baritone voice"

Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International

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

Simon Thompson, The Times ****

"Michonnet … whose performance here by baritone Richard Burkhard is richly sung and quite beautifully judged"

Erica Jeal, The Guardian

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Described as ‘a national treasure’ and ‘an artist that never ceases to astonish’ (What’s on Stage), Anglo/Swiss baritone Richard Burkhard is a singer-actor of remarkable versatility and creativity. Never predictable, Burkhard’s chameleon-like ability to inhabit his characters, and to explore the dramatic possibilities in any given scene, is revelatory. His interpretations of a great variety of roles have earned him many plaudits, and along with the ‘outstanding warmth of his baritone’ (Bachtrack) and ‘charismatic’ stage presence, he has cemented his reputation as one of the most sought after and respected performers working today.

Highlights in recent seasons have included Don Alfonso Così fan tutte with Classical Opera Company, Papageno and also Count Gil Il Segreto di Susanna at Scottish Opera, a role he also sang at Opera Holland Park, along with Major-General Stanley Pirates of Penzance, Ford and La Rocca Un giorno di regno at Garsington Opera, Harry Easter at Opera de Monaco and in Madrid, Gianni Schicchi for Opera North, Garibaldo at the Bolshoi, and at Garsington, for which he was nominated for Best Singer in Opera for the UK Entertainment Awards.

This season Richard returns to Garsington to perform the role of Don Fernando Fidelio in concert and Faninal Der Rosenkavalier.

Burkhard started singing as a boy treble in the Choir of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. Later he combined his two passions, theatre and music, and graduated with Distinction from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (then RSAMD), before being awarded a bursary to study at L’Accademia Muiscale di Chigiana in Siena, under the renowned tenor Carlo Bergonzi. He is a previous recipient of the Decca Prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Vocal Awards at Wigmore Hall, and winner of the Royal Overseas League Voice Competition.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

CD: Eccles Semele (Juno), Academy of Ancient Music

AAM012 (January 2021)

Richard Burkhard and Helen Charlston mine some divine comic scenes as the king of the gods and his jealous wife Juno.

Richard Fairman, Financial Times****

Richard Burkhard captures Congreve’s sensual yet thoughtful Jupiter, texturing every word.

BBC Music Magazine (Recording of the Month)

…leading to a lovely duet with Jupiter (the excellent Richard Burkhard), ‘If this be Love’.

Colin Clarke, Rhinegold

Weill Street Scene (Harry Easter), Opéra de Monte Carlo

(February 2020)

Harry Easter (abusive boss, Sam's rival) is unpleasantly sweet, clingy and dances to perfection thanks to Richard Burkhard.

Florence Lethurgez, Ôlyrix

Richard Burkhard proves to be excellent at Harry Easter

Emmanuel Andrieu, Opera Online

Weill Street Scene (Harry Easter), Teatro Real Madrid

BelAir Classiques DVD BAC162 (November 2019)

...the slick sophisticated economy of actor-singers such as the baritone Richard Burkhard, outstanding as Rose's predatory boss.

Christopher Webber, Opera Magazine

​ Eccles Semele (Jupiter), Cambridge Handel Opera Company

(November 2019)

All the vocal soloists were excellent... The baritone Richard Burkhard was a convincing Jupiter, smooth and resonant

Sandra Bowdler, Opera Magazine

Wolf-Ferrari Il segreto di Susanna (Count Gil)

Scottish Opera (September 2019)

Clare Presland and Richard Burkhard reprised their roles from Opera Holland Park’s summer production with beguiling vivacity and charm

Rowena Smith, The Guardian****

Wolf-Ferrari Il segreto di Susanna (Count Gil)

Opera Holland Park (July 2019)

…the leads are beautifully played by Richard Burkhard and Clare Presland

Hugh Canning, The Times

Designs by Takis establish an atmosphere of postwar dolce vita, and alongside two wholly engaging principals — Richard Burkhard alternately blustery and burnished as Gil, and Clare Presland’s kittenish, beguiling Susanna

Richard Bratby, The Spectator

Richard Burkhard neatly layered Gil's jealous outrage with moments of pure lust for his exasperating wife; his singing steered clear of simple caricature and both singers knocked sparks off each other in their blazing row, one of opera's finest

Peter Reed, Opera Magazine

Mozart The Magic Flute (Papageno)

Scottish Opera (May 2019)

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

Simon Thompson, The Times****

Richard Burkhard reprised his role in a splendid central crowd-pleading performance as a charming Papageno, clowning gloriously with his bells.

David Smythe, Bachtrack****

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...

David Petherick, Edinburgh Festival*****

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

Andrew Clark, Opera Magazine

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

Kelly Apter, The Scotsman****

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

Mark Brown, Herald Scotland

Puccini Gianni Schicchi (title role)

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.

Mark Pullinger, BachTrack****

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

Martin Dreyer, Opera Magazine

Puts Silent Night (Lieutenant Horstmayer)

Opera North (December 2018)

Outstanding among the large cast were...and Richard Burkhard (...German lieutenants).

Hugh Canning, The Times

Lieutenants Audebert (Quirijn de Lang) and Horstmayer (Richard Burkhard) are the most ambivalent characters in the piece – both intelligently acted and splendidly sung…

Ron Simpson, Reviews Hub

Handel Solomon (Levite)

The Royal Opera House (October 2018)

...while tenor and baritone‚ Ed Lyon and Richard Burkhard‚ give us Zadok (yes‚ the priest) and a Levite. They sound wonderful‚ the singing never forced‚ the voices simultaneous powerful yet fragile‚ as ever giving me the impression of being on the edge of human capacity for sound creation. It’s a thrill all right.

Gary Naylor, Broadway World

Richard Burkhard was a solid‚ stentorian Levite.

Melanie Eskenazi, MusicOMH****

The small role of the Levite actually opens the evening‚ so pressure was high on Richard Burkhard (who was also making his Royal Opera debut here). His ‘Praise ye the Lord’ was lyrical and tender‚ a wonderful song beautifully realised.

Colin Clarke, Seen & Heard International

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.

Peter Reed, 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.

Jim Pritchard, Seen & Heard International

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