John Keene

Guest Judge

John Keene is Head of Music Staff and Chorus Master at Seattle Opera where he made his debut in 2012 with a production of Fidelio conducted by Asher Fisch. He has also conducted the Seattle Opera premiere of As One and was Assistant Conductor for Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen as well as musical consultant for the live recording issued on the Avie label. Previously he was Head of Music Staff and Chorus Master at Florida Grand Opera where he worked with Plácido Domingo, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Sherrill Milnes, Renata Scotto, and Bryn Terfel. An acclaimed vocal coach, recital accompanist, and conductor, Maestro Keene has been associated with San Francisco Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and New Orleans Opera among many other companies. He conducted a national tour of Il Barbiere di Siviglia in a production by John Copley to celebrate Western Opera Theater’s thirtieth anniversary, toured for five seasons with the baritone Ben Holt, and has presented masterclasses in accompanying and opera nationwide. His recordings include a collection of live performances issued to benefit the Ben Holt Memorial Scholarship at the Juilliard School and as conductor, a DVD of Carlisle Floyd’s Willie Stark. He was a student of the pioneer teacher of accompanying, Gwendolyn Koldofsky, in whose art song classes he partnered the baritone Thomas Hampson. A former cellist, he became the youngest ever member of his hometown Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Symphony Orchestra at age twelve.