Having gained a Fellowship and teaching qualifications from the London College of Music, Kevin West began singing professionally with the D’Oyly Carte before studying as a postgraduate at the Guildhall under Walther Grüner.

He made his debut at The Royal Opera, Covent Garden as PONG (Turandot), and has sung DAVID (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg) for English National Opera. For Opera Northern Ireland he sang the SCHOOLMASTER (Cunning Little Vixen) and DON BASILIO (Le nozze di Figaro), the latter an opera which he has sung more than a hundred times for Opera North, as well as live for BBC Television’s Figaro Live. He appeared in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Bernstein’s Candide, and Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, among others, at the Teatro Regio in Turin, and sung Britten’s song cycle for tenor and orchestra, Les Illuminations, for Pomeriggi Musicali in Milan, which was broadcast by RAI. Other performed roles by Britten include THE PROLOGUE and PETER QUINT in The Turn of the Screw.

Kevin has had work composed for him by several leading British composers; he created the role of SWAMI ZUMZUM in The Second Mrs Kong by Sir Harrison Birtwistle for Glyndebourne Festival and Glyndebourne Touring Opera. A recording of his performance of RAGUEL in Tobias and the Angel, written for him by Jonathan Dove, was released on the Chandos label in 2010, (LINK TO RECORDING) adding to a discography which includes the operas of Charles Dibdin for Hyperion Records (LINK TO RECORDING). He performed the title role in Lo Speziale by Haydn for the Antwerp Kammeroper, Transparant in Barcelona and Antwerp, followed by the premiere of Judith Weir/Monteverdi's Missa e Combattimento for La Monnaie and de Singel. Apart from Glyndebourne, he has covered much of the English opera festival circuit, singing La Gazza Laddra (DON ISAACO) at Garsington, Madama Butterfly (GORO) for Opera Holland Park and L’Heure Espagnole (TORQUEMADA) for Grange Park among others.

Two new plays with music have featured in recent years: a newly commissioned theatre biography of the first Don Basilio, an Irish tenor : Eating the Peach ~ when Mozart met Mick Kelly by Brian Abbott was given its first performance  at the Georgian Theatre, Richmond, in which Kevin played MICHAEL KELLY and All at Sixes and Sevens, a play with music about Gilbert and Sullivan, with Kevin as GILBERT, which had a very successful run at The King’s Head, Islington during February/March 2011. (LINK TO WEBSITE)

Recently he has been involved with Artichoke’s highly acclaimed theatrical experience for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, Dining with Alice (LINK TO WEBSITE) where he played the KING OF HEARTS.

Vanderdender in Candide

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