Baritone Samuel James Dewese is a 2012 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he performed roles including Mercurio in Cavalli’s La Calisto, Anselmo in Man of La Mancha, and Mr. Gedge in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring.
In July of 2011, Mr. Dewese originated the role of Jackson the Slave in 1787: We the People with Creative Dramatics Workshop, a role for which his singing was praised as “Skillful and moving” by critics. Later that summer, Samuel made his international debut singing in China for the first time, performing the title role in the Kunming Opera Festival production of Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.
Mr. Dewese made his concert debut singing excerps from Beethoven’s Fidelio with the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra in May of 2011 under the baton of Donald Schleicher, and was a featured soloist with the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Urbana in the summer of 2012, performing selections of Romantic Lieder. Samuel was named the Joann Damman Memorial Scholarship winner by the Bel Canto Foundation of Chicago in April 2010, and was the recipient of the Golden Lyre Foundation Award from the University of Illinois School of Music in May 2011.
Samuel was a 2013 St. Louis District Champion in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was a MONC Midwest Regional Finalist in February 2014.