Acclaimed throughout his career for his performances in French and Italian bel canto roles, Kunde has more recently earned a formidable reputation in Verdi and other dramatic repertoire. Since his critically acclaimed debut as Verdi’s Otello at La Fenice in 2012, he has performed this signature role in Valencia, Genoa, Salerno, Florence, Turin, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Seoul, and São Paulo. Other Verdi debuts in recent seasons include Arrigo I vespri siciliani and Riccardo Un ballo in maschera (Turin), Radames Aida (São Paulo), and Don Alvaro La forza del destino (Valencia). In the 2012⁄13 season, Kunde earned the unique distinction of being the only tenor in recorded history to perform both Rossini’s Otello and Verdi’s Otello in the same season – something he repeated last season and will do again this season.
Highlights of the current season include his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Manrico Il trovatore; his role debut in the title role of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux in Madrid and Bilbao; Verdi’s Otello in Seville and Cincinnati; Rossini’s Otello at the Gran Teatre del Liceu; the title roles of both Idomeneo and Samson et Dalila in Valencia; and Des Grieux Manon Lescaut in Bilbao.
Engagements last season included Verdi’s Otello in São Paulo, Peralada and Seville; Rossini’s Otello (La Scala); Radames Aida (Arena de Verona); Pollione Norma (Gran Teatre del Liceu and La Fenice); and role debuts as Rodolfo Luisa Miller (Liège), Turriddu Cavalleria Rusticana and Canio Pagliacci (Bilbao), and Manrico Il trovatore (La Fenice).
Other recent roles include Enée Les Troyens (La Scala), Peter Grimes in Santa Cecilia with Pappano, Vasco da Gama L’Africaine (La Fenice), Gualtiero Il Pirata (Gran Teatre del Liceu), Raoul Les Huguenots (Opéra national du Rhin), Rodrigo La donna del lago (Theater an der Wien), and Faust La damnation de Faust (with Maestro Dutoit in Amsterdam).
Kunde’s rich discography includes Berlioz Les Troyens at the Théâtre du Châtelet (Opus Arte DVD, Gramophone magazine’s ‘DVD of the Year’), Berlioz Benvenuto Cellini (Virgin Classics CD, Gramophone’s ‘Opera Recording of the Year’), Benvenuto Cellini with Sir Colin Davis (LSO Live CD), and Verdi’s Otello from the Palazzo Ducale in Venice (Unitel DVD).