Baritone Jeff Byrnes is looking forward to spending this summer in San Francisco as an artist in the Merola Opera Program. While he was a Studio artist at the Michigan Opera Theatre, he was seen as Dancairo in Carmen, William Dale in Silent Night, John Brooke in Little Women, Sonora in La Fanciulla del West, and Schaunard in La Bohème. Prior to joining MOT, he performed the role of Owen Hart in Dead Man Walking with Dayton Opera, and he covered Germont in La Traviata and Balstrode in Peter Grimes with Des Moines Metro Opera. Other operatic highlights include Leporello in Don Giovanni and the title role in The Mikado with the Natchez Opera Festival, and Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte, and Pilate in St. John Passion with CCM Opera. He was a National Semi-finalist of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions in 2016, a regional finalist in the Rocky Mountain Region in 2014, and he was awarded the Encouragement Award in the New Orleans district in 2010. Most recently, Jeff was awarded a 2018 Gerda Lissner Foundation Grant, an Encouragement Award from Opera Index, and was also a Finalist in the 2017 Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition and the 2017 Shreveport Opera Competition. Jeff has participated in the young artist programs at Michigan Opera Theatre, Martina Arroyo's Prelude to performance, Dayton Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Seagle Music Colony. For the past two summers, he was a Gerdine young artist at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis where he performed the role of Baron and covered Germont in La Traviata. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Louisiana State University.