Keith Phares  
New England First Place Winner, 1998  
National Council Winner, 1998


Keith Phares begins the 2015-2016 season with a return to Seattle Opera as Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles, and later encores his signature Charlie in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers at Milwaukee’s Florentine opera. He also appears with the Madison Symphony in another frequent undertaking as the baritone soloist in “Carmina Burana.” Next summer the baritone makes his Saratoga Opera debut as  Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. Last season Keith also took on both traditional and contemporary roles: Dandini in La cenerentola in a return to Tulsa Opera, Charlie with Des Moines Metro Opera, Alamaviva with New Orleans Opera, John Sorel in The Consul with Florida Grand Opera, the Father in the world première of Stefan Weisman's The Scarlet Ibis with the NYC PROTOTYPE Festival, Michael Stearns in the premiere of Peter Hilliard's Blue Viola with UrbanArias, and a “Carmina Burana” with Tulsa Ballet. In May Keith sang the title role in a concert reading of Frederick Alden Terry’s Ethan Frome at The National Opera Center in New York City.


Originally from Manalapan, New Jersey, Keith played trumpet in the pit orchestra for school musicals until he moved to Hilton Head, South Carolina as a teenager and started his stage career as Emile de Becque in South Pacific. Not until his junior year at University of Richmond did the baritone began taking voice lessons. Keith holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Richmond, a Masters in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music, and a graduate degree from the Juilliard Opera Center.


Among Keith earliest professional roles were Pip in Dominick Argento’s Miss Havisham’s Fire with Opera Theater of St. Louis in 2001 and his Met debut a year later as the Black Cat in Ravel’s “L’enfant et les sortilèges,” part of the French triple-bill Parade under the baton of James Levine. The baritone went on to principal roles throughout the country, including Figaro in Il barbiere di Sivigliaand Guglielmo in Cosìfan tutte at Boston Lyric Opera; Belcore in The Elixir of Love with Arizona Opera; the Pilot in Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince with New York City Opera and Boston Lyric Opera; Count Danilo in The Merry Widow with Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Eisenstein in Die Fledermauswith Opera Hamilton, and the Count in Le nozze di Figaro at Arizona Opera and Opera Colorado. Other roles have included Dandini in La Cenerentola at Glimmerglass; Rossini’s Figaro at Washington National Opera; Guglielmo in Cosìfan tutte at Portland Opera; Schaunard in La bohème at Santa Fe Opera; Marcello in that opera with Seattle Opera, Utah Opera, and Manitoba Opera in Winnipeg; Doctor Malatesta in Don Pasquale with Opera Memphis; Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Dallas Opera; Escamillo in Carmen with Florentine Opera; and Masetto in Don Giovanni at the Spoleto Festival USA.


In contemporary works Keith was heard as Orin Mannon in Mourning Becomes Electra with Florida Grand Opera, Chou-en Lai in Nixon in China with Portland Opera; Ned Keene in the Washington Opera production of Peter Grimes; Charles Lindbergh in the premiere of Loss of Eden, by Cary John Franklin, with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; Sebastian in the North American premiere of Thomas Adès’ The Tempest at Santa Fe Opera; Maurice Bendrix in Heggie’s The End of the Affair with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Nashville Opera, and Madison Opera; the title role in Robert Aldridge’s Elmer Gantry, first in the world premiere at Nashville Opera, later at Florentine Opera and Tulsa Opera; and Charlie in Heggie’s Three Decembers (originally Last Acts) in its world premiere at Houston Grand Opera, with encores at San Francisco Opera and Central City Opera.


Keith Phares was a finalist in the 1999 Eleanor McCollum Competition of the Houston Grand Opera and has been recognized with a Richard Gaddes Grant from the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and the 2000 Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Juilliard School of Music.




Mr. Phares is represented by IMG Artists.

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