The American tenor, Joel Burcham, received the Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, summa cum laude, the Master of Arts in Voice Performance from the University of Arkansas and the Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Wisconsin at Madison where he was the recipient of the Anne Crow Memorial Scholarship for Voice and Opera as well as the faculty-nominated University Fellowship based on excellence and career potential. His successes are also marked in competition. He received the Central City Opera’s Young Artist award, was finalist in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s American Artists Competition, and was also a finalist in the Upper Midwest Regional Finalist at the prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Joel Burcham has firmly established himself as a young professional in the world of opera and classical music. A star on the rise, he is known for his dominant stage presence as demonstrated through sensitive acting and “effortless command of his voice”, which was further described by Chris Shull of the Wichita Eagle as a tenor voice of “clarion tone and operatic power”. “Burcham’s soft voice”, declared Jim Edwards of the Chicago Tribune, “was lyrical and smooth as silk but when he opened up his voice, beautiful loud steely notes poured forth.” This versatile tenor voice has appropriately enabled Burcham to command leading roles with several of North America’s top opera companies. Handsome as he is gifted, Burcham meets each engagement with self-assured dignity and grace. Operatic highlights include Alfredo in La Traviata with Music by the Lake, Lake Geneva Wisconsin; The Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto for Opera Fort Collins; Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Knoxville Opera; Spoletta in Tosca for Madison Opera; and Pang in Turandot for Madison Opera and Opera Omaha. Mr. Burcham made his professional operatic debut with his portrayal of Lindoro in L’Italiana in Algeri with Central City Opera.
Joel Burcham’s 2007-2008 season lent itself primarily to prowess on the concert stage in his performance of Carmina Burana with the Madison Symphony, Das Klagende Lied with the Boulder Mahler Festival, Messiah at Augustana College, and in Mr. Burcham’s debut with the Music by the Lake Summer Concert Series as Philippe in The New Moon, in the summer series, Music by the Lake in the Summer Concert Series at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The 2008-2009 season saw him in Puccini’s La Bohème making his debut in the role of Rodolfo, with Opera Fort Collins and also in the role of Martin in Copland’s Tenderland with Madison Opera.
During the 2009-2010 season, Joel Burcham made his debut in the role of Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, with the Music by the Lake Summer Concert Series, and, twice played the role of Alfredo in La Traviata - with the University of Colorado - Boulder Opera Theater and also at Music by the Lake. The 2010-2011 season commenced with Burcham fulfilling a return engagement with Opera Fort Collins playing The Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, and in his debut with Knoxville Opera playing the role of Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, a role Burcham commands with a delicate sensitivity and dramatic power. The affable young Burcham is presently preparing for his debut in the title role of Charles Gounod’s Faust the Bob Jones University Opera Association’s Concert, Opera and Drama Series production.
Also a distinguished oratorio and concert performer, Joel Burcham has sung the tenor solos in a growing list of venues to include L.v. Beethoven’s Mass in C for the Utah Symphony Orchestra and a return performance with the George Frideric Handel’s Messiah; J.S. Bach’s B minor Mass (BWV 232) with the Madison Festival Choir; J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) with the Wisconsin Chamber Choir, Verdi’s Missa Di Requiem with the Littleton Symphony; Haydn’s Creation with Larimer Chorale, Das Klagende Lied with the Boulder Mahler Festival, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Madison Symphony, Lloyd Webber’s Requiem with the Wichita Symphony, Operatic excerpts for voice and choir in residence and on tour with Opera Omaha; and Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor and Strings with the Camerata Orchestra and once again with the Summer Music Festival at Colorado College.