ed Marie Z. Uihlein Artist of 09-10 Season by Florentine Opera
Phares will portray the title role in the upcoming Midwest premiere of Elmer Gantry
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin—March 18, 2010—The Florentine Opera Company has named baritone Keith Phares the recipient of the Marie Z. Uihlein Artist Fund sponsorship for the 2009-2010 season. Mr Phares will appear with the Florentine in the title role of the upcoming Midwest premiere of Elmer Gantry, a role that he also performed at the world premiere of the opera in 2007 with Nashville Opera. 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 2008-09 season Keith Phares made his San Francisco Opera debut in the company's premiere of Jake Heggie's Three Decembers, singing opposite Frederica von Stade, and debuted with both the Opera Company of Philadelphia as Haly in L'Italiana in Algeri and as Falke in Opera New Jersey's presentation of Die Fledermaus, singing opposite Ruth Ann Swenson. 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.
Mr. Phares will become the seventh vocalist recognized by the Marie Z. Uihlein Artist Fund. The fund was established in 2004 when Marie Uihlein, a longtime Florentine supporter, contributed the Company’s first million-dollar gift. Earnings from the gift’s investment sponsor a singer of superlative quality each season.