Everett McCorvey, D.M.A.

Tenor. Impresario. Teacher. Conductor.

Everett McCorvey is a native of Montgomery, Alabama.  He received his degrees from the University of Alabama, including a Doctorate in Musical Arts.  He has performed in many cities around the world and theaters across the country, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Kennedy Center, Aspen Music Festival, Radio City Music Hall, Birmingham Opera Theater, Teatro Comunale in Florence, Italy, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, England, as well as performances throughout Spain, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Austria, Japan, China, Brazil, Ireland, Poland, Portugal and Hungary, Mexico, Peru and France.  He joined the Tony Award winning Sherwin Goldman Production of PORGY AND BESS at Radio City Music Hall in 1982 and was also part of the Metropolitan Opera’s Debut Production of PORGY AND BESS  in 1985.

McCorvey’s career has spanned all areas of the performing arts business from performer to musical director, stage director, voice teacher, producer, impresario, orchestra conductor, union representative, administrator, and mentor.

McCorvey’s recent conducting activity includes productions with Kentucky Opera, Opera Columbus, Bay View Opera, Virginia Symphony, Virginia Opera, Opera Orlando, and Handel’s MESSIAH at the newly renovated David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in December of 2023. He conducted the World Premiere of Composer Stella Sung and Pulitzer Prize Librettist Mark Campbell's Opera, THE SECRET RIVER with Opera Orlando in December of 2021, and MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES with Kentucky Opera in November of 2022. He was also featured in Taromina, Sicily conducting the Grand Finale Opera Gala at the Mythos Opera Festival 2018 and in December of 2019, he conducted the Dvořák Symphony #9 in Prague’s Smetana Hall with the North Czech Philharmonic.

Upcoming performances include the Verdi REQUIEM with the Salt Lake Symphony and Chorus, Santa Fe Opera’s Opera for All Voices commission of THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE by Chandler Carter with the libretto by Diana Solomon Glover with Kentucky Opera, THE THREE PENNY OPERA by Kurt Weill with Opera Columbus, and Rossini’s CENERENTOLA with Bay View Opera.  McCorvey served as the Music Director and Conductor of the World Premier of BOUNCE, The Basketball Opera, conceived and directed by Grethe Holby with the lead composer Glen Roven and author and librettist Charles R. Smith, Jr. Additional music for BOUNCE was written by Tomas Doncker and West Side Story Film Star Ansel Elgort. https://bouncethebasketballopera.org

On September 11, 2021 on the 20th Anniversary of the attacks, he conducted the National Chorale and the US Army Field Band in New Jersey’s 9/11 Commemoration at Liberty State Park.

He has also appeared in television movies and feature films including The Long Walk Home.  Dr. McCorvey’s operatic roles include Don Jose in Carmen, Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Fenton in Falstaff, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, Puck in La Grande Duchess de Gerolstein, and many others.  Orchestra and Oratorio works include the Beethoven Symphony #9, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Bach’s Mass in B Minor and the St. Matthew Passion, among others. 

Vocal Excellence is a hallmark of Dr. McCorvey’s work.  As a teacher he has given masterclasses and vocal workshops throughout the United States, Europe, South America, China, Japan, and Poland.  Dr. McCorvey is the founder and Music Director of the American Spiritual Ensemblewww.americanspiritualensemble.com, a group of 24 professional singers performing spirituals and other compositions of African-American composers dedicated to keeping the American Negro Spiritual alive.  In its 29-year history, the group has presented over 600 concerts including 20 tours of the United States and 17 tours of Spain. Presently the American Spiritual Ensemble is the only professional ensemble of its kind dedicated solely to the American Negro Spiritual. The Ensemble has released twelve CD’s: On My Journey Now – The American Spiritual Ensemble on Tour, Ol' Time Religion, Lily of the Valley, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot; The Spirituals;  The Spirit of the Holidays; The Duke Returns; Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts; Mosaic, featuring Metropolitan Opera Star Angela Brown; Stand the Storm, Featuring American Soprano Jeryl Cunningham; Been in the Storm Too Long featuring American Baritone Kenneth Overton as well as two CD’s featuring the music of John Jacob Niles produced by McCorvey featuring American Soprano Hope Koehler.   McCorvey recently produced a CD Anchored in the Lord featuring singers from the Bay View Music Festival’s American Negro Spirituals Intensive program, where McCorvey serves as Director.

The US Public Broadcasting Station (PBS) has produced seven films featuring McCorvey’s work, including a recent 2023 performance of the Stars of Tomorrow Opera Gala (2023), It’s a Grand Night for Singing:10th Anniversary (1992); Impresario (2002); A Tribute and a Toast to Opera (2005); The Spirituals (2007); The American Spiritual Ensemble in Concert (2017); and It’s a Grand Night for Singing 25th Anniversary (2017). The Stars of Tomorrow Opera Gala (2023) is currently running on PBS channels throughout the United States.

Dr. McCorvey is also in his ninth season as the Artistic Director of the National Chorale of New York City www.nationalchorale.org. Celebrating 56 years of great choral singing, the National Chorale is a symphonic choir which performs at Lincoln Center in New York City.  The National Chorale is well-known in New York and around the region for its performances of the great choral titans as well as for the popular New York Messiah Sing-In at Lincoln Center!  The Sing-In is one of the oldest sing-ins in the country. 

Dr. McCorvey has served on the faculty of the New York State Summer School of the Arts in Saratoga Springs, New York where he was Artist-in-Residence and Associate Conductor and is also a frequent advisory panelist and on-site reviewer for the National Endowment for the Arts Opera/Musical Theatre program in Washington, D.C.  He also served on the faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria.  He is on the opera faculty in the summers at the Bay View Music Festival in Petoskey, MI, www.bayviewassociation.org/performingarts/musicfestival, and is co-director of the Bay View Music Festival’s American Negro Spirituals Intensive program, a program dedicated to helping young singers learn about the American Negro Spirituals.

Dr. McCorvey is a teacher and vocal advisor to many singers in the profession. Dr. McCorvey has been the recipient of several awards highlighting his teaching, research and service. Recent awards include the SEC (South Eastern Conference) Faculty Achievement Award, given to a faculty member from each of the 14 SEC Athletic Conference schools.  He was also the recipient of the University of Kentucky Libraries Medallion for Intellectual Achievement in 2018. This award is one of UK’s most prestigious awards given to one Kentuckian, it recognizes high intellectual achievement by a Kentuckian who has made a contribution of lasting value to the Commonwealth. The award also promotes education and creative thought.  Other awards include the Lexington Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Award (2020); two Regional Emmy Awards for UK Opera Theatre’s summer production of “It’s A Grand Night for Singing” (2018);  the Notable African-Americans in Lexington Award given by the Lima drive Seventh-Day Adventist Church (2018);  the Central Music Academy Lifetime Achievement Award (2015), the Alabama Governor’s Artists Award, the highest arts award given to an artist from Alabama (2015), the Salvation Army Community Service Award (2014) and the Camp Horsin’ Around Community Service Award (2014).  In 1998 he was the Acorn Award Recipient given by the Kentucky Advocates for Higher Education. This prestigious Award goes to only one Professor in the state of Kentucky who exemplifies excellence, innovation and creativity in teaching and research. Dr. McCorvey was also the recipient of an outstanding faculty award from the University of Kentucky Lyman T. Johnson Alumni Association for 1998 and was selected to receive the Outstanding Alumni Award in the Arts from the Society for the Fine Arts at the University of Alabama, his Alma Mater, in February of 1999. 

Dr. McCorvey produced only the second full-length recording of The Tender Land by Aaron Copland with the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre recorded in Zlin, Czech Republic and released January 2002, featuring singers from the University of Kentucky Opera Program with Kirk Trevor conducting the Boshuslave Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra. Two other CD’s released in 2008, were a world premiere of a new opera, The Hotel Casablanca, by Thomas Pasatieri, produced by Dr. McCorvey and performed by the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre and a collection of songs by John Jacob Niles, performed by soprano Hope Koehler and produced by McCorvey.  Both recording were released by Albany Records.  In the spring of 2010 UK Opera released a new CD of Die Fledermaus with Maestro John Nardolillo conducting and in December of 2010 a World Premiere CD of Thomas Pasatieri’s new opera God Bless Us Everyone which premiered in New York at DiCapo Opera with students from UK Opera and which received a rave New York Times Review. 

Dr. McCorvey is of the belief that every citizen in the country should find ways to give back to his or her community, city or country.  He has been very active in his volunteer activities working to keep the arts as a part of the civic conversation and currently serves on many local, regional and national boards. In his home state of Kentucky, he is Chairman of the Kentucky Arts Council Board www.artscouncil.ky.gov  and nationally he is on the Sullivan Foundation Board of Trustees, www.sullivanfoundation.org, an organization dedicated to supporting young professional singers with career grants and study awards for continuing development.  He holds an Endowed Chair in Opera Studies/Director of Opera and Professor of Voice at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky.  www.ukoperatheatre.org.  In the spring of 2024, McCorvey was named the Principal Guest Conductor for Opera Columbus www.operacolumbus.org.

In September of 2010, Dr. McCorvey served as the Executive Producer of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Alltech 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games held in Lexington, Kentucky.  The Opening Ceremony was broadcasted on NBC Sports and was viewed by over 500 million people worldwide.  The Alltech 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games was the largest equestrian event to ever be held in the United States.   He is married to soprano Alicia Helm.   They have three children.