Praised for his “healthy and soaring tenor voice” (Herald Times), Korean-American tenor Brad Bickhardt is vibrant and versatile in both opera and musical theatre. His 2021 season saw a company debut with Opera Naples as Gastone in La traviata and Big Deal/Diesel in West Side Story, as well as covering both Alfredo and Tony. He also returned to Opera Saratoga as a Festival Artist in productions of Man of La Mancha and Don Quichotte at Comacho’s Wedding, and will remain in New York state with engagements with Tri-Cities Opera and Opera Ithaca. His 2020 season brought a role debut as Alfredo in La traviata with IU Opera Theater, and virtual programming due to the Covid-19 pandemic as a Young Artist with The Glimmerglass Festival. Memorable performances from his 2019 season included Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore with IU Opera Theater, as well as Hanif in Gluck’s L'île de Merlin with Wolf Trap Opera. In 2018, he appeared as Njegus in The Merry Widow with Opera Saratoga in addition to performances as Tony in West Side Story with IU Opera Theater, coinciding with the school’s relationship with Leonard Bernstein in commemorating his centennial.
Mr. Bickhardt has appeared as a soloist in concert, having sung Schubert’s Mass in G, Mozart’s Missa Brevis in Bb, and in the Beethoven Choral Fantasy. Notable awards include being named a District Winner (Wisconsin) for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, an Encouragement Award from the Central Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Third Place for the “Men in Opera (College Division)” with The American Prize, as well as the Shirley-Rabb Winston Award from the Society of Arts and Letters.
Mr. Bickhardt is proudly an alumnus of the young artist programs of The Glimmerglass Festival, Tri Cities Opera, Opera Naples, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Saratoga, and Charlottesville Opera in addition to receiving his Bachelor and Master degrees in Vocal Performance from Indiana University.
With versatile proficiency in multiple areas of the performing arts, Mr. Bickhardt served as an Associate Instructor of Voice at Indiana University during his graduate studies in which his students were cast in principal roles with IU Theatre and IU Opera Theater. He has also received training in stage combat and is proficient in hand to hand combat, bo staff, dagger, rapier, and bullwhip. His primary vocal instruction has been under renowned baritone and teacher, Andreas Poulimenos, and husband and wife team Kevin and Heidi Grant Murphy.