Noted by the press for his dashingly attractive stage presence, commanding vocal authority, and creamy, warm baritone voice, KEITH PHARES is acclaimed both on the opera and concert stage as one of today’s most versatile artists.
During the 2007/08 season Phares made his Houston Grand Opera debut under the direction of Patrick Summers in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Last Acts, singing opposite Frederica von Stade. He made a role debut as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Opera Ontario and returns to the stage of the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in a new production of Martín y Soler’s Una cosa rara. Continuing his fervent commitment to bringing the works of living composers to the stage, Phares sang the title role of Elmer Gantry, by Robert Aldridge, in a co-production with Nashville Opera and Montclair State University (NJ). He also sang Five Movements for My Father in a program of chamber music by Susan Kander at Weill Hall in New York: his performance coincided with the commercial release of this work on the Loosecans Music label. His concert schedule brought him to the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra for performances of the Fauré Requiem under the baton of Bernard Labadie.
In the 2006/07 season, Phares returned to New York City Opera to sing Fritz in the company’s pioneering Frank Corsaro production of Die tote Stadt, and he joined Arizona Opera as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro in a new production by the celebrated British baritone Sir Thomas Allen. He also bowed as Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos with Utah Symphony and Opera and reprised his distinguished portrayal of Maurice Bendrix in Jake Heggie’s The End of the Affair with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Phares joined British composer-conductor Thomas Adès and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Gerald Barry’s The Triumph of Beauty and Deceit.
Operatic highlights of recent seasons include a Metropolitan Opera debut, under the baton of James Levine, in the French triple-bill Parade, performances of The Pilot in the Francesca Zambello production of The Little Prince at New York City Opera and Boston Lyric Opera, and Sebastian in the North American premiere of Thomas Adès’ The Tempest presented by the Santa Fe Opera. Concert highlights include Béatrice et Bénédict with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Sir Colin Davis, Candide with the San Francisco Symphony and Patrick Summers, and a program of Rodgers and Hammerstein songs with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
A graduate of the Juilliard Opera Center, he was a national winner of the 1998 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a finalist in the 1999 Eleanor McCollum Competition of the Houston Grand Opera. He also 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.