Tenor, Voice Teacher, Academic
Joel Burcham
(He/Him) Spinto tenor professionally active since 2003 with a voice of "clarion tone and operatic power (Chris Shull, Wichita Eagle)" and one that's "lyrical and smooth as silk, but when he opened up his voice, beautiful loud steely notes poured forth. (Jim Edwards, Chicago Tribune)." 

Current roles include Canio, Don José, Cavaradossi, and Pinkerton. Also serves as an Associate Professor of Voice at the University of Oklahoma School of Music with a primary emphasis on classical singing, and a secondary emphasis on heavy metal music. 

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Recent Highlights



Joel Burcham

American Tenor Joel Burcham has performed numerous operatic roles with professional opera companies all around the United States, including Utah Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Omaha, Madison Opera, Knoxville Opera, and Painted Sky Opera. Jim Edwards of the Chicago Tribune once described Mr. Burcham’s voice as “lyrical and smooth as silk, but when he opened up his voice, beautiful, loud, steely notes poured forth,” and Chris Shull of the Wichita Eagle described it as a voice of “clarion tone and operatic power.” Joel’s most successful roles include Alfredo – La Traviata, Don José – Carmen, Pinkerton – Madama Butterfly, Cavaradossi – Tosca, and Faust – Faust. June 2022 saw Joel singing Canio in Painted Sky Opera’s production of Pagliacci.


As a concert soloist, Mr. Burcham has performed with Utah Symphony, Hawaii Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Madison Symphony, Colorado Mahlerfest, South Bend Symphony, and the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. Joel’s guest soloing is well-acquainted with Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Missa Solemnis, Mozart’s Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Britten’s War Requiem and Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings. As a recitalist, Mr. Burcham’s most-performed song cycles include Schumann’s Dichterliebe, Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte, Britten’s The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, and Schubert’s Die Winterreise. In 2014, Joel was awarded a Faculty Investment Program Grant through the University of Oklahoma’s Research Council to commission and premiere a new work setting nine sonnets of John Donne for voice and piano by American art song composer Juliana Hall. Dr. Burcham and Dr. Elizabeth Avery premiered this new work at the University of Oklahoma in November 2014.


As a secondary musical interest, Dr. Burcham is an avid fan, professor, and practitioner of heavy metal music and hard rock. He co-developed a course in heavy music for undergraduate non-music majors at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Dr. Burcham re-booted the same course at the University of Oklahoma, and MUNM 2513 Music in the Rock Era: Heavy Metal is an active course in the University of Oklahoma General Education quadrant for non-music majors. Joel has a heavy metal recording project called Thlipsis where he serves as primary songwriter, lyricist, vocalist, and rhythm guitarist, with singles on Spotify, Apple Music, and iTunes.






Norman, OK

Associate Professor of Voice

2013 - Present
Started as Assistant Professor of Voice in 2013, then promoted to Associate Professor of Voice with tenure in 2016. I teach undergraduate and graduate student voice majors from Freshmen through Doctoral