Praised for the distinctive warmth of his voice, clear diction and exceptional musicianship, American baritone Keith Harris is captivating audiences for his performances on both the operatic and concert stage. This season Mr. Harris returns to the Metropolitan Opera for the new production of Merry Widow as Cascada, returns to Le Festival Lyrique International in France as Tonio in Pagliacci and debuts with Mobile Opera as Albert in Werther. Mr. Harris made his Metropolitan Opera debut in the new production of Verdi’s Don Carlo that opened the 2010-2011 season.
Keith Harris American baritone
Also that season, he performed the title role in Karsa’s Brundibar with the Phoenix Symphony and Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amorewith New York City Opera. Last season, Mr. Harris was in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Werther, performed Valentin in Faust with Toledo Opera, Marcello in La Bohème with the Savannah Philharmonic, the Count inLe nozze di Figaro at the Bar Harbor Music Festival, Marullo in Rigoletto with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Silvio in Pagliacci with Opera Tampa, Carmina Burana with Distinguished Concerts International at Avery Fisher Hall, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Lancaster Symphony. Mr. Harris has made several appearances with the Lyrique en Mer Festival in Belle Ile, France, including Belcore in L’Elisir d’Amore, Iago in Otello, Ford in Falstaff, as well as in Les contes d’Hoffmann and La Traviata.
In 2006, Keith Harris made his European debut singing Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff with The Lyrique en Mer Festival in France. This inspired his return for the festival’s 2007 productions of Les contes d’Hoffmann and La Traviata. The 2007-2008 season included performances with The Texas Choral Director’s Association where he sang Vaughn Williams Five Mystical Songs, Te Deum by Mark Hayes and a world premiere of Morning Has Broken arranged by Bob Chilcott. Under the baton of Music Director James Bagwell, he performed In Terra Pax by Gerald Finzi with the Dessoff Choirs.
The 2009-2010 season began with his Carnegie Hall debut with Manhattan Concert Productions in the world premiere of David N. Childs’ Requiem. Other season highlights included Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with The National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Carmina Burana with Distinguished Concerts International of New York at Carnegie Hall, and an Alice Tully Hall debut singing Carmina Burana with the Riverside Choral Society.
Mr. Harris has appeared with East Texas Symphony Orchestra for Handel’s Messiah, the Emerson Series in Wisconsin performing Argento’s Andrée Expedition with Pianist Kenneth Bozeman, Stephen Paulus’ So Hallow’d Is the Time with the Greenwich Choral Society in Connecticut, Haydn’s Heiligmesse and Ed Lojeski’s Psalms of Passover with the New Jersey and Connecticut Choral Societies. Other concerts include Kurt Weill’s Berliner Requiem, Duruflé’s Requiem, Bach’sMass in B Minor, Dona Nobis Pacem by Vaughan Williams, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Mozart’s Requiem, and the FauréRequiem.
Not a stranger to musical theater, Mr. Harris sang Billie Bigelow in Carousel and Harold Hill in Music Man for the Baltimore Dinner Theater. In the summer of 2007, he sang the roles of Anthony Hope in Sweeney Todd and Pirate Bras Pique in Naughty Marietta with Light Opera Oklahoma. Tulsa World stated, “Harris gives Hope a stalwart air, thanks to a sturdy baritone.” The Lawton Constitution noted, “The deep voiced Keith Harris managed to out-Gaston Gaston in his turn as the evil Governor, Pirate Bras Pique.”
Mr. Harris has appeared at the Seattle Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Holders Festival in Barbados, Nevada Opera, Opera of East Texas, El Paso Opera, Skagit Opera, Chelsea Opera in such roles as Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, Silvio in Pagliacci, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Le Dancaïro, Escamillo and Moralés in Carmen, Sid in La fanciulla del West, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Athanaël in Thaïs and Dandini in La Cenerentola.
A vocal competition winner, his numerous honors and awards include first prize in the Seattle Region Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, Opera Longview Vocal Competition in Texas, where he was named “Young Artist of the Year”, the Ellen Faull Gordon Northwest Vocal Competition, and the Ladies Musical Club Competition in Seattle. He holds a Master’s of Music in Vocal Performance from University of Washington and a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Lawrence University in Wisconsin.