© Clive Barda

Wade Kernot


Management: Australasia

The Pearl Fishers

“Kernot is an imposing presence and brings gravity and dignity to the role of Nourabad.”

William Yeoman, The West Australian, October 2016

The Marriage of Figaro, NBR New Zealand Opera

 “Wade Kernot’s Figaro was a nice mixture of the quick thinking and naïve, singing with a commendable natural ease. His “Bravo signor padrone” where he sings about the Counts designs on his future wife was sung with a mixture of agitation, bitterness and thoughtfulness which hints at the upper class / lower class divide which is at the core of the opera.”

National Business Review, June 2010

The Lindberg Flight and Seven Deadly Sins, Opera de Lyon IFANZ 2008

"Wade Kernot delivers a star turn as a malevolent spirit who assails Lindbergh from below, encouraging him to give in to sleep. Kernot gives a suitably seductive performance, his warm voice round and resonant and with lots of character, with the requisite Weillian “bite”…”

Theaterview, 2008

The Magic Flute

"Sarastro was an imposing figure. Wade Kernot's velvety bass commanded attention as it ought. He shows enormous potential in this role to which he gave great gravitas." 

Opera Opera Magazine, December 2006

Così fan tutte

"Don Alfonso is a pivotal character who can become a tiresome meddler. But Wade Kernot, at only 25, gave a remarkably assured performance. He is a genuine Bass who uses his voice skilfully to create mood…His ‘Soave’ trio with the two women was delicately shaded and was a beguiling moment."

Opera Opera Magazine, December 2005

In addition to his teaching and work with young emerging singers, Wade’s performances this year will include Banquo (Macbeth) for Opera Queensland and Bach’s Mass in B minor for Orpheus Choir, Wellington. 

Most recently Wade returned to Orchestra Wellington for Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust, Faure Requiem and Rachmaninov The Bells, to New Zealand Opera as Banquo and Call of the Huia, to New Zealand Symphjony for Messiah, to Wellington Opera as Doctor Grenvil (La Traviata), to Auckland Choral Society for Messiah, and to Christchurch Symphony Orchestra for the Beethoven Mass.  

In other recent seasons, Wade has performed Zuniga (Carmen) for State Opera South Australia; Nettuno, Tempo and Antinoo (Il Ritorno d’Ulisse) for Pinchgut Opera; Zuniga and Sarastro (The Magic Flute) for New Zealand Opera; Masetto (Don Giovanni), Angelotti (Tosca), Raimondo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Arthur (The Riders), and Nourabad (The Pearl Fishers) for West Australian Opera; Mother in Seven Deadly Sins (Kurt Weill) at Sydney Conservatorium; and Fred in a new work Brass Poppies, by Ross Harris, (libretto by Vincent O’Sullivan), for New Zealand Festival in both Wellington and Auckland.

Further engagements have included the bass role in Stravinsky's Pulcinella for the Hessisches Staatstheater in Wiesbaden, Germany; the bass roles in the IFANZ/Opera de Lyon season of a Kurt Weill double bill; Colline (La Bohème), Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), Marchese (La Traviata) and Sciarrone (Tosca) for New Zealand Opera; Ferrando (Il trovatore), Speaker (The Magic Flute) and Zuniga (Carmen) for Southern Opera, New Zealand.

Wade has appeared as a soloist in many concert performances with the New Zealand Symphony, Vector Wellington and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestras, and has appeared with Aorangi Symphony Orchestra in Verdi’s Requiem, with Napier Civic Choir in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Verdi’s Requiem and An Australian War Requiem (Bowen) in Sydney.

As a founding member of Opera Factory, Wade Kernot performed roles in Orpheus in the Underworld, Cheryomushki and A Christmas Carol. In 2003, he joined the NBR New Zealand Opera for productions of Boris Godounov and Tosca. He also performed the role of the Speaker and Sarastro in productions of Die Zauberflöte and was a PwC Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist at the NBR New Zealand Opera. Wade was awarded the 2008 Patricia Pratt Scholarship in Music Performance, and was a semi-finalist representing NZ in both the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and the Neue Stimmen, in Germany, as well as a runner-up in the Lexus Song Quest.

From 2010-2015 Wade held a full-time principal position at Theater St Gallen, Switzerland, where his roles included Monterone (Rigoletto), the Forester (The Cunning Little Vixen), Osmin (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Zuniga (Carmen), Père Laurent (Roméo et Juliette), Gubetta (Lucrezia Borgia), Jacopo Loredano (I due Foscari), Wotan/Wanderer (Siegfried) in concert, Truffaldino (Ariadne auf Naxos), Il Pedone di Schnals (La Wally), Commendatore (Don Giovanni), Melisso (Alcina), Méphistophélès (La Damnation de Faust), Sarastro, Sprecher, Erster Priester and Zweiter Geharnischter (Die Zauberflöte), Sam (Un Ballo in Maschera), the main bass roles in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, Frank (Die Fledermaus) Comte des Grieux (Manon), 1st Nazarene (Salome), and Handwerkbursche (Wozzeck). Wade has also sung Pogner and the role of Nachtwächter (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) at the Tirolean Festspiele in Erl.

Earlier in his career, Wade held a principal position with the Australian Opera Studio in Perth, graduating with honours. During his two-year contract, his performances included Truffaldino, the title role (Elijah), Crespel, Luther, and Coppelius (Les contes d'Hoffmann), Don Alfonso (Così fan tutte), Colas (Bastien und Bastienne), Comte des Grieux and Sarastro. He then pursued further studies at the National Opera Studio in London and attended the Solti/Te Kanawa Accademia di Bel Canto and the Verbier Festival Opera Studio.

Wade is now Lecturer in Voice at the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University, Wellington.

Wade Kernot is managed by Graham Pushee: graham@artsmanagement.com.au
February 2023
  This biography is for general information purposes only and not for publication.
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