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Judith Farris began her professional career at The Santa Fe Opera, where she sang the roles of Dolores in the world premier of Yerma by Villa-Lobos and of Frau Mary in Der Fliegende Hollander. She also has appeared with the Opera of St. Louis, Tulsa Opera, Fort Worth Opera and the Virginia Opera, in repertoire ranging from Puccini to Gilbert and Sullivan. Ms. Farris has portrayed the Mother in productions of The Consul staged by its composer Gian Carlo Menotti at both Chicago Opera Theater and the Connecticut Grand Opera. She also received critical acclaim for her moving portrayal of Nettie in the Kennedy Center’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel.
Ms. Farris has performed with The Washington Opera in its production of Lucia di Lammermoor, following her debut as the Governess in the company’s highly acclaimed Pique Dame. With the Hartford Symphony she has appeared as soloist in Handel’s Messiah in a repeat engagement following her first success there in 1988. During this period she also appeared at Carnegie Hall as the Contralto soloist in the Verdi Requiem with Luciano Pavarotti as tenor. She was a featured soloist in the Caramoor Festival’s presentation of Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust, and she portrayed Madelon in the Canadian Opera Company’s premiere presentation of Andrea Chenier. Ms. Farris made her Lincoln Center solo recital debut during the 1988-1989 season at Alice Tully Hall. Her program emphasized extensive repertoire ranging from Henry Purcell songs to Shostakovich’s Suite for Contralto and Piano. In the 1993-1994 season she performed the role of Ulrica in Verdi’s Un Ballo In Maschera for Connecticut Opera.
Ms. Farris has appeared as a soloist with many of America’s finest orchestras including the Saint Louis Symphony, the National Symphony, and the American Symphony. In 1990 Judith Farris made her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, singing the role of the Governess in concert performances of Pique Dame by Tchaikovsky, conducted by Seiji Ozawa. She also performed in Haydn’s The Creation with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta. She has been a frequent guest with New York’s Musica Sacra, and has appeared as soloist with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Handel’s Messiah. She is widely renowned for her sensitive interpretations of works by J.S. Bach and Mahler.
Judith Farris has received numerous awards, including the Marian Anderson Scholarship, the National Arts Club of New York City Award for Contraltos, the Minna Kaufman Rudd Award, the Lucrezia Bori Award, and the Metropolitan Opera’s Kathryn Long Grant. In addition, she can be heard as a soloist in the New York Philharmonic’s RCA label recording of the Beethoven Choral Fantasy.
Judith started her own private voice studio in New York City as an adjunct to her busy singing career. Her specialty is achieving quick positive vocal results with professional actors and dancers: this has made her one of the most sought after teachers in the New York City theater community. Some of her illustrious clientele over the years include: the famed lyricist Betty Comden, Kaye Ballard, Tyne Daly, Marilu Henner, Cheryl Ladd, Matthew Broderick, Victor Garber, Anthony Quinn, Peter Allen, Tony Goldwyn, Marcia Lewis, Lauren Bacall, and numerous soap opera stars such as Kathryn Hays, Terry Lester, and John Gabriel. Her students have performed principal and chorus roles in Broadway productions of Cabaret, Beauty and the Beast, Chicago, Producers, Movin’ Out, Annie Get Your Gun, Fosse, Sweet Smell of Success, Gypsy, and many others.
Judith is an excellent conductor of master classes; her results are always of the highest level of excellence regardless of the vocal ability of her student. Her many workshops have included Catholic University at Washington D.C., University of New York at Buffalo, Southeast Missouri State University, and St. Joseph’s Collegiate Prep School in Buffalo, New York.
She has recently accepted the position of Artist in Residence in Theater/Music departments at Southeast Missouri State University beginning Fall 2005. During this time Ms. Farris also will maintain some of her professional work in New York City.