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College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Lamont School of Music

Newman Center for the Performing Arts


Kenneth Cox

Kenneth Cox

Chair, Voice

Director, Lamont Opera Theater

Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Room 429
[email protected]

Kenneth Cox has performed for the past thirty years as a leading basso with many of the international opera houses of the world, including Paris, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal, Seattle, San Diego, Washington, Philadelphia, Dallas, Amsterdam, Brussels and the Opera San Carlo in Napoli. His roles include Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Hunding in Die Walküre, Mephistopheles in Faust, Arkel in Pelleas et Melisande, King Phillip in Don Carlo, Banquo in Macbeth, Timur in Turandot, Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Gremin in Eugene Onegin and Colline in La Boheme. His New York appearances include two productions with the New York City Opera and his debut at Carnegie Hall with the Pittsburgh Symphony in Tristan und Isolde. He was invited to travel to Spoleto, Italy to sing the title role in The Death of the Bishop of Brindisi, a work dear to the heart of Gian Carlo Menotti in celebration of his 85th birthday.

Mr. Cox has received praise from the New York Times calling him "a wonderfully cavernous bass." His portrayal of Arkel in Pelleas and Melisande with Pierre Boulez and Peter Stein garnered worldwide acclaim. He also sang this role in Los Angeles and Seattle with great success. His Osmin at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC as well as in Amsterdam, New York and Chicago was a triumph. Mr. Cox also performed Mephistopheles in Faust in Paris and Philadelphia as well as a number of other American opera houses to the delight of critics and audiences.

Having performed a large number of the standard bass roles, Ken has also enjoyed participating in some contemporary productions including the world premieres of Conquistador and Salammbo, and theatrical stagings of Billy Budd and Of Mice and Men. Salammbo at Paris Opera was so popular that it was brought back for a second production run.

Professor Cox has also appeared with the symphony orchestras of Cleveland, Los Angeles, Vienna, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, San Francisco, Atlanta, Baltimore, Indianapolis, St. Louis, the French National Orchestra and the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, appearing with such conductors as Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Christof von Dohnanyi, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Leonard Slatkin, David Zinman, Julius Rudel, Gerald Schwarz and John Nelson, to name a few. His recordings include Mahler's Eighth Symphony, with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony, Herodiade at the San Francisco Opera with Placido Domingo and Renee Fleming and the Stein/Boulez Pelleas et Melisande with the Welsh National Opera available on DVD.

In addition to performing, Ken is known for his vocal master classes which he has presented around the world, most recently at the Interlochen Music Festival and the International Lyric Academy in Viterbo, Italy. His students are performing at the Metropolitan Opera as well as doing graduate work at Indiana University and other prestigious institutions.

Professor Cox serves as the Chair of the Lamont Voice Department and as the Director of the Lamont Opera Theatre. At the University of Denver he has directed Le Nozze di Figaro, The Merry Wives of Windsor, L'Elisir d'Amore, La Boheme, Cosi fan Tutte, Carmen, OKLAHOMA! and Don Giovanni. Using professional sets and costumes, these performances have blurred the lines between outstanding university productions and offerings from regional American opera houses.

Kenneth received his BM at Wheaton College and graduated cum laude from Indiana University with his MM where he performed ten leading roles in three years with the IU Opera Theater. He is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda musical honor society in recognition of his outstanding academic and musical achievement.

In addition to being a full professor at the University of Denver, he is the Managing Director of the Congregational Summer Assembly in Frankfort, MI where he has also served as Athletic Director and Music Director.

Professor Cox recently finished a two CD set of Schubert's Winterreise with his colleague and renowned guitarist Ricardo Iznaola.