Born of Anglo-Swiss parents‚ Richard Burkhard began his musical career as a boy chorister‚ singing daily services at St. George’s Chapel‚ Windsor Castle. Later he trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama where he was awarded numerous prizes and scholarships. Having graduated from the RSAMD with Distinction‚ he was awarded a bursary to study with Carlo Bergonzi at the Accademia Musicale di Chigiana in Sienna. He is a previous winner of the Decca prize at the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Vocal Awards‚ and winner of the Royal Over-Seas League Voice Competition.
Known for his versatility both as an actor and a singer‚ Richard has become increasingly in demand in opera and on the concert platform. He won critical acclaim for his portrayal of the roles of Marcello La Bohème and Mamoud The Death of Klinghoffer for English National Opera‚ with whom recent and future plans include Garibaldo Rodelinda and Dr Falke Die Fledermaus. Other recent and forthcoming appearances include the title role in The Marriage of Figaro‚ Nikita in the British premiere of Weinberg’s The Portrait and Sir Despard Murgatroyd Ruddigore (Opera North)‚ Garibaldo at the Bolshoi‚ Moscow‚ Papageno The Magic Flute and Dandini La Cenerentola (Scottish Opera)‚ Tomsky The Queen of Spades‚ Michonnet Adriana Lecouvreur‚ Dr Malatesta Don Pasquale and the title role Gianni Schicchi (Opera Holland Park)‚ Tolstoy Sevastopol (ROH Opera Shots)‚ Junkman & King Augustus Candide (Opera National de Lorraine‚ Nancy)‚ a concert with Carl Davis and the Hallé Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall‚ and a Puccini Gala Concert at the Barbican‚ London.
Further operatic engagements include roles as diverse as Papageno Die Zauberflöte (New Zealand Opera)‚ Pish Tush The Mikado‚ Yamadori Madam Butterfly‚ Bosola The Duchess of Malfi (English National Opera)‚ Sir Despard Murgatroyd Ruddigore‚ Peter Quince A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ General Kruger Let em Eat Cake (Opera North)‚ Schaunard La Bohème‚ Sharpless Madam Butterfly (Royal Albert Hall)‚ Oliver Simons The Shops (Bregenz Festival)‚ Bello La Fanciulla del West (Concertgebouw)‚ Marullo Rigoletto (Opera de Nantes) and Figaro Il Barbiere de Siviglia (Festival de Sedieres).
In concert‚ he has performed regularly with‚ amongst others‚ the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment‚ notably as bass soloist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion under Sir Roger Norrington‚ as the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and as Joabel in Charpentier’s Davide et Jonathas under Emmanuelle Haïm‚ in New York‚ Barcelona‚ and London. He has also appeared as Bass soloist in Mozart’s Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall. In recital he has performed at St. Martin-in-the-Fields‚ St. James’s Piccadilly‚ St. John’s‚ Smith Square and at the Snape Maltings‚ Aldeburgh. Most recently Richard performed recitals at the Ruhr Klavier Fest as a guest of Irwin Gage‚ and at De Singel in Antwerp.