AZO Cast Members & Creatives
Rising American tenor Kevin Ray joins the Phoenix Symphony for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Florida Orchestra for Rachmaninov’s The Bells, and the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra for Verdi’s Requiem. Future engagements include the debut of a leading role with Arizona Opera.
He is a 2015 winner of the William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation Award. Last season, he returned to Houston Grand Opera to sing performances of the company’s new commission of Iain Bell’s one-man opera, A Christmas Carol in addition to returning to the company for Roderigo in Otello, Beadle Bamford in Sweeney Todd, and both the First Armed Man and Second Priest in Die Zauberflöte. He joined his alma mater, the Curtis Institute of Music, as a guest artist in his first performances of Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos in association with Opera Philadelphia and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
The tenor recently completed two years in the Houston Grand Opera Studio, during which he sang Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, the Third SS Officer in Weinberg’s The Passenger, Melot in Tristan und Isolde, and the Messenger in Aida, in addition to being responsible for both Froh and Loge in Das Rheingold as well as Don José in Carmen. He also sang the Defendant in a special performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury presented by the company at the Harris County Courthouse and scenes of Heggie’s Moby Dick and Carmen in concert.
Mr. Ray’s other recent engagements include his first performances of the title role of Peter Grimes with Chautauqua Opera as well as Don José in Carmen with Wolf Trap Oprea and the Lyrique-en-Mer/Festival de Belle-Île. While a Santa Fe Apprentice Artist, he created the role of the Second Clubman in the world premiere of Moravec’s The Letter. Also with the company, sang the role of the Poet in Menotti’s The Last Savage, covered the Drum Major in Wozzeck, and performed scenes of the title role of Idomeneo. On the concert stage, Mr. Ray has joined the Philadelphia Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the Sunriver Music Festival for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. He has also sung Verdi’s Requiem with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and has appeared in numerous concerts with the Opera Orchestra of New York.
He recently earned his Master of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music. While there his roles included Don José in La tragédie de Carmen, the Schoolmaster in Cunning Little Vixen, and Toni Reichsmann in The Elegy for Young Lovers. He is also a former participant in the Merola Opera Program of San Francisco Opera, where he sang scenes of Jenik in The Bartered Bride. He studied for several years as a baritone, when he sang such roles as Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Don Alvaro in Il viaggio a Reims, Robert in Iolanta, and Conte Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro.
The tenor was one of eight finalists in Seattle Opera’s 2014 International Wagner Competition. He is a 2012 Grand Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as well as a three-time district winner of the competition in previous years. He has also received second prize from the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition and third prize in the Wagner division of the Liederkranz Comeptition. Additionally, he is a two-time recipient of study grants from the Wagner Society of New York.
The Cornwall, New York native also received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and has completed further studies at the Accademia Rossiniana in Pesaro and the Mozarteum Sommerakademie in Salzburg.