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Kevin Deas (Bass-Baritone)

Born: USA

The American bass-baritone, Kevin Deas, is a graduate of The Juilliard School, and is presently on the faculty of Princeton University.

Kevin Deas has gained international acclaim for his portrayal of the title role in concert performances of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess with Bobby McFerrin conducting. Performances of this work include the Mann Music Center, the Ravinia Festival, with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Utah Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Recent and upcoming performances include Mozart Requiem with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, George Frideric Handel's Messiah, Mozart Requiem and Mandolino's The Beneficent Dervish with Boston Baroque, L.v. Beethoven Symphony No. 9 and Gershwin Blue Monday with Colorado Symphony, Copland Old American Songs with Oregon Festival of American Music, Johannes Brahms Requiem with Colonial Symphony, J.S. Bach B-minor Mass (BWV 232) with The Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall, as Porgy in Gershwin Porgy and Bess with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Festival and with Montreal Symphony, William Walton's Belshazzar's Feast with Tulsa Philharmonic, Verdi Requiem at Bach Festival of Winter Park and How the Grinch stole Christmas with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. During part of last season, Kevin Deas was touring across the USA and Europe with Riverdance as the leading vocalist.

Past seasons have found Kevin Deas in Rossini's Stabat Mater with the Colorado Symphony, L.v. Beethovenís Missa Solemnis with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Siegmeisterís A Tooth for Paul Revere with the Bronx Arts Ensemble, G.F. Handelís Jephtha at St. Barnabus Church, Felix Mendelssohnís Elijah with the Masterwork Chorus, Verdiís Requiem with the Charlotte Symphony, an evening of Baroque sacred music with the Dallas Bach Society, Dave Brubeckís Gates of Justice at Carnegie Hall and also his Mass To Hope! in Moscow, Georges Bizetís La Jolie Fille de Perth with LíOpéra Français, as Boaz in Noa Ain's The Outcast at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Cadmus in G.F. Handel's Semele at the Berkshire Opera, King Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors with Opera Company of North Carolina, roles in Rameau's Le Temple de la Gloire at the Alliance Francaise, and The Tempest with Dallas Opera. He has also performed several times at the Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival in Ohio.

Kevin Deas has performed many times at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, five appearances at Carnegie Hall as soloist in G.F. Handelís Messiah with the Masterwork Chorus which he also performed with the Colorado Symphony, the Haydn St. Cecilia Mass with the St. Cecilia Chorus, and the Lord Nelson Mass with the New York Choral Society, Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 14 with Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and two engagements with The Collegiate Chorale: G.F. Handel's Judas Maccabeus and Schubert's Fierrabras along with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at Carnegie Hall.

Kevin Deas appeared at the Spoleto Festival in Italy in a new production of Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors in honor of the composer's eighty-fifth birthday. This production was videotaped for worldwide release. Other orchestral engagements for the 1995-96 season included his tenth season of collaboration with Dave Brubeck, singing his Gates of Justice in a gala celebration in New York, performances of Tippet's Child of our Time with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, L.v. Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Colorado and Eugene Symphonies. Kevin Deas also appeared with the Orchestre National de Lyon in works by Fedele and Varèse. In addition, he performed in the 92nd Street Yís Schubertiade, and in J.S. Bach's B minor Mass (BWV 232) with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor and Toledo. He traveled to Hong Kong with the Early Music Institute as bass soloist in Monteverdiís Vespers and sang the role of Plutone in Orfeo. In 1992 he debuted with the Chicago Symphony in a concert version of X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X by Anthony Davis; the group then returned to New York for performances and a recording.

Kevin Deas has recently recorded for several labels including Die Meistersinger with the Chicago Symphony under the baton of the late Sir Georg Solti and Varèse's Ecuatorial with the ASKO Ensemble under the baton of Riccardo Chailly, both on Decca/London. Other releases include Bach's B minor Mass (BWV 232) and G.F. Handel's Acis & Galatea on Vox Classics and Dave Brubeck's To Hope! with the Cathedral Choral Society on the Telarc label.

Source: Thea Dispeker Website (January 2001)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2001)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Blanche Moyse


BWV 232

Dwight Oltman


BWV 130 [2nd], BWV 140 [2nd], BWV 154, BWV 208
BWV 232 [6th], BWV 244 [8th], BWV 245 [8th], BWV 245 [9th], BWV 248 [6th], BWV 248 [7th]

Valentin Radu


BWV 232, BWV 243

Links to other Sites

Kevin Deas, bass (Dispeker)

Kevin Deas - Bass/Baritone (Colorado Symphony)

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