Keith Jameson, tenor, a native of South Carolina, recently appeared as Bardolfo in Robert Carsen’s new production of Falstaff at the Metropolitan Opera, conducted by James Levine, and seen “Live from The Met in HD” movie theaters around the world. He also sang the Novice in Britten’s Billy Budd at the Metropolitan Opera, and Osman in Handel’s Almira with NYC’s operamission in the North American premiere staging of the entire opera at the historic Gershwin Hotel.
He performed Sancho Panza in Man of La Mancha with Greenwood Community Theatre in his hometown of Greenwood, SC in June 2012. He sang Grandpa Joe in The Golden Ticket with Atlanta Opera, which was released on CD in 2012. During the 2011-2012 season, he was the tenor soloist in Haydn’s The Creation with Boston Baroque and as Nicolas in Britten’s Saint Nicolas with the Greenville Chorale in SC, and just made his debut with Arizona Opera as Goro in Madama Butterfly. During 2010-2011, he was heard as the Simpleton in Boris Godunov with Dallas Opera, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls with the Greenwood Community Theatre and as Triquet in Eugene Onegin with Los Angeles Opera. Last summer he debuted with the New York Philharmonic as the Mosquito and Schoolmaster in the critically acclaimed production of The Cunning Little Vixen.
During the 2010 season, Keith sang Remendado in Bizet’s Carmen during the “Live from the Metropolitan Opera” HD Broadcast in movie theaters worldwide, which was subsequently released on DVD. He had previously sung Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi at the Met, and made his debut there in 2007′s War and Peace. He sang Flute/Thisbe in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Azor in André Grétry’s Beauty and the Beast with the Greenwood Music Festival (SC premiere), Goro in Madama Butterfly and Clarìn in the world premiere of Lewis Spratlan’s Life is a Dream with The Santa Fe Opera, as well as covering the title role of Albert Herring. During the previous season, he sang Goro in the acclaimed Robert Wilson production with LA Opera, and sang Beppe in I Pagliacci with Lyric Opera of Chicago. He also debuted with Opera Boston as Vašek in The Bartered Bride, and as Don Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro with Dallas Opera.
He made his debut at the English National Opera in London as Nanki-Poo in Jonathan Miller’s production of The Mikado, and his debut with Opera Royal de Wallonie in Liege, Belgium as Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw. He debuted at Lyric Opera of Chicago as Triquet in Eugene Onegin, and returned there recently for his role debut as Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro. He has sung the role of Candide at New York City Opera, joined by a cast that included Anna Christy as Cunegonde, John Cullum (TV’s Northern Exposure) as Pangloss, and Judy Kaye (Broadway’s Mamma Mia and Souvenir!) as the Old Lady. He performed 14 roles with NYCO over six consecutive years, including Oronte in Handel’s Alcina (production by Francesca Zambello), Nanki-Poo in The Mikado (production by Jonathan Miller), Tobias Ragg in Sweeney Todd (production by Hal Prince), Attalo in Rossini’s Ermione, Goro in Madama Butterfly (in New York, and in Tokyo and Nagoya on the 2005 NYCO Japan Tour),Gastone in La Traviata, Ugone in Handel’s Flavio, Anfinomo in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Count Albert in Die tote Stadt, Spoletta in Tosca, Remendado in Carmen, and Monostatos in The Magic Flute.
With The Santa Fe Opera, he has sung the roles of The Novice in Billy Budd, Bardolfo in Falstaff, Bob Boles in Peter Grimes, John Withers in Paul Moravec’s The Letter (world premiere), the Dean of the Faculty in Cendrillon, Remendado, and Scaramuccio in Ariadne auf Naxos. He sang Pong in Turandot with The Santa Fe Opera, Ft. Worth Opera Festival and Atlanta Opera. He sang Valletto in L’Incoranazione di Poppea and Pietro in the North American premiere of Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten with LA Opera. He performedPedrillo in The Abduction from the Seraglio and Flavio in Norma with Opera Memphis; Goro, Monostatos, and Little Bat in Susannah with Indianapolis Opera, Beppe at the Bardavon Opera House in Poughkeepsie, NY, Almaviva in The Barber of Seville with South Carolina’s Newberry Opera, and Acis in Acis and Galatea with New York’s Fiammetta Ensemble. He sang Tamino in The Magic Flute with Utah Festival Opera, and performed Monostatos with Madison Opera. He sang the Lecturer in Argento’s A Water Bird Talk with Musica Nova in Rochester, NY.
A gifted interpreter of Gilbert & Sullivan, he has performed Nanki-Poo, Frederic in The Pirates of Penzance, Hilarion in Princess Ida, and Fairfax in The Yeomen of the Guard, all with the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, in New York’s Symphony Space and City Center, Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, and Lake Placid’s Performing Arts Center. He also sang Ralph in H.M.S. Pinafore with Chattanooga Opera.
He performed the roles of Bretschneider and Army Chaplain in Kurka’s The Good Soldier Schweik at Glimmerglass Opera in 2003, and also toured with the Glimmerglass Opera Young Artists in Torke’s Strawberry Fields, as part of Central Park, in 2000. He toured with The Santa Fe Opera Young Artist Program singing Rafael and Perico in Serrano’s La Dolorosa in 1998.
He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2004 as tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C and Schubert’s Mass in G with Mid-America Productions, and returned in 2005 to sing the tenor soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass. He was the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Boston Baroque (2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2011) and the Phoenix Symphony (1999 and 2000), and in Bach’s B-minor Mass with the Berkshire Bach Society at Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood in 2004. He was tenor soloist in Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass with the Greenville Chorale in South Carolina. He has also sung with the Carmel Bach Festival as a Virginia Best Adams Voice Fellow, the Brevard Music Center, Opera Theatre of Rochester, NY, Currents in Richmond, VA, and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, OH.
He was a 1999 award recipient of the prestigious Sullivan Foundation, and a winner of the Anna MacKay Scholarship from The Santa Fe Opera. He received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Furman University, and his Master of Music in Conducting and his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance and Literature, both from the Eastman School of Music.
He is also the Founder and Director of the Greenwood Music Festival in Greenwood, SC, which had its inaugural season January 12-14, 2007. There he sang Michael in a staged production of the musical I Do! I Do! The weekend music festival features a staged production of an opera or musical, chamber music concerts, recitals, classic films, and a sacred music concert and/or cabaret evenings, in addition to commissioned artwork from a local artist. For the past three years, the Festival has sponsored a “Cabaret Evening” fund-raiser, and in the fall of 2010 presented the world premiere of the children’s opera Mooch the Messy by Marcus DeLoach (Keith sang the role of Mooch and Marcus was Mooch’s Father), in celebration of the Grand Opening of the new Greenwood County Library. The Greenwood Music Festival celebrated its fifth anniversary season in May, 2011, with the theme “Roman Holiday”, and featured Broadway star baritone Nat Chandler, soprano Siân Davies, Ensemble Radieuse, Emerald Brass, Atlanta’s Peachtree Symphonic Winds, and showings of Roman Holiday and Spartacus.
Keith is the composer of the children’s opera Petunia, based on the book by Roger Duvoisin. It was premiered by FBN Productions’ Opera for Kids! in Aiken, SC, in January 2014, and will tour across SC, NC, and GA. He is now completing a Christmas-themed “community” opera, and another children’s opera, in addition to chamber works.
His upcoming engagements include a return to Los Angeles Opera for the Novice in Billy Budd, and makes his debut with Seattle Opera as the Four Servants in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann. Later in 2014, he will sing the title role of Candide with the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra in Brazil, and Bardolfo in Falstaff at the Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, Japan. In addition to his upcoming opera performances, Keith will record his first solo cd featuring new song cycles by Conrad Cummings, Peter Ash, and Sayo Kosugi. Keith lives in New York City.