Winner of the 2016 American Prize in Vocal Performance – Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, KEITH BROWN has garnered praise from Opera News for his “warm bass-baritone” and for performances “inflected with refined rubato.” Highlights from recent and upcoming seasons include Ping in Turandot with Virginia Opera, Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief with Vero Voce Theater (Chicago), the leading role of Luciano in John Musto’s Bastianello in collaboration with the composer, Zuniga in Carmen at the Lakes Area Music Festival in Minnesota, Colline in La bohème with Virginia Opera, Doctor Grenville in La traviata with Finger Lakes Opera, the Duke of Verona in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette with Opera Carolina, Opera Grand Rapids, and Virginia Opera, and bass soloist in Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Rochester Oratorio Society.
In recent seasons he also made his Carnegie Hall debut as Myles Brodrib in Howard Hanson’s rarely-heard opera Merry Mount under the baton of Michael Christie with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. He made his Canadian debut with Opera on the Avalon in Newfoundland as Colline in La bohème, sang Zuniga in Carmen at Finger Lakes Opera, and sang Mr. Jenks in Copland’s The Tender Land in concert at the Interlochen Arts Festival. As a member of Virginia Opera's Emerging Artist program, he sang the roles of First Soldier in Salome, Doctor Grenville in La traviata, Bob Becket and Dick Deadeye (cover) in HMS Pinafore, and Judge Turpin (cover) in Sweeney Todd. He also returned to Sarasota Opera as the Emir of Ramla in Verdi’s Jérusalem and as Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Other selected roles performed include Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, Ipparco in Cavalli’s L’Egisto, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, le gendarme in Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias, le fauteuil in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, and Johnnie in Bohuslav Martinů's radio opera Comedy on the Bridge.
Mr. Brown has appeared in concert with such ensembles as the Cincinnati Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, Rochester Oratorio Society, the CCM Philharmonia Orchestra, and Third Presbyterian Church of Rochester, NY under the direction of Peter DuBois, host of the nationally-broadcast sacred music program With Heart and Voice. As part of the Cincinnati May Festival, he sang the role of the Old Gypsy in a concert presentation of Il trovatore under James Conlon in a cast which included Sondra Radvanovsky. As a soloist he has performed works such as Mozart's Coronation Mass in C Major, Handel's Dixit Dominus, J. S.
Bach's Magnificat and Mass in B Minor as well as various cantatas, Fauré's Requiem, Carissimi’s Jephte, Gerald Finzi's cantata In terra pax, Dubois’ Les sept paroles du Christ, and others.
In addition to winning the American Prize in Vocal Performance, he was a finalist for the same organization’s Chicago Oratorio Award in 2016, and was the 2013 recipient of the Leo M. Rogers Award for an Outstanding Apprentice Artist from Sarasota Opera. He holds degrees in voice from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied with William McGraw and Kenneth Shaw. He has worked as a professional voiceover actor, has taught Opera Topics/History and directed opera scenes at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, and can also be heard regularly as a classical radio host on Interlochen Public Radio, one of the oldest NPR stations.
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