Baritone Austin Kness, a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is a former Adler Fellow who sang Sciarrone (Tosca) and Marquis d’Obigny (La Traviata) with the Company in 2008 and returned in the 2009–10 season as Marco (Gianni Schicchi), the Second Nazarene (Salome), a Herald (Otello), and Handsome (La Fanciulla del West); he most recently appeared as Brühlmann (Werther), Prince Yamadori (Madama Butterfly), a Stagehand (The Makropulos Case), and several roles in Cyrano de Bergerac last season. An alumnus of the Merola Opera Program, he performed the title role in the Merola 2008 production of Don Giovanni. He has been featured with Indiana University Opera Theater as Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Don Giovanni, Escamillo (Carmen), and Eddie Carbone (A View from the Bridge). Kness is a former member of the Des Moines Metropolitan Opera Apprentice Program (2006–07), where he performed the roles of Moralès (Carmen) and Count Ceprano (Rigoletto). The baritone has also sung the roles of Fiorello (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) and Moralès with Cedar Rapids Opera Theater.