Robert's Aria: Iolanta (Pyotr Tchaikovsky)
Yazid Gray, baritone
James Lesniak, piano
Yazid Gray has been described as "a vocal chameleon" (Seen and Heard International) with "a baritone voice of fine quality and warmth" (onStage Pittsburgh). Mr. Gray recently finished a summer with The Glimmerglass Festival as a young artist where he sang Le Dancäire in Carmen, Baloo in the world premiere of The Jungle Book, (Sankaram / Rourke) and covered the role of Cedric/Matteo in the world premiere of Tenor Overboard (Rossini/Ludwig). He is a former Resident Artist with Pittsburgh Opera where he performed The Woodcutter/The Outlaw in the world premiere of In a Grove (Cerrone/Fleischmann), Le Dancäire in Carmen, Policeman #3 in Blue, and Second Priest in The Magic Flute in their 2021-22 season. In the fall of 2022, Mr. Gray makes his debut as Homecoming Soldier in The Falling and the Rising with Intermountain Bozeman Opera.
In the summer of 2021, Mr. Gray performed with Chautauqua Opera as an apprentice artist where he appeared as the baritone soloist in As the Cosi Crumbles: A Company Developed Piece. In Pittsburgh Opera's 2020-21 season he performed in all four mainstage productions which included Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Soldier in David T. Little’s Soldier Songs, Dizzy Gillespie in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, and Athamas in Semele.
During the summer of 2020, Mr. Gray participated as a featured young artist in Chautauqua Opera's digital season and in 2019, he made his debut with the company singing Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia.
In the 2018-19 season, Mr. Gray sang the role of Bello in La fanciulla del West with Maryland Lyric Opera. He then went on to join Opera Santa Barbara as a member of their Chrisman Studio Artist program. There he performed the roles of Schaunard in La bohème, Zaretski in Eugene Onegin, Le Podestat in Le docteur Miracle, and Thomas Putnam in The Crucible.
Mr. Gray made his professional debut in the summer of 2018 as Charlie in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers with Opera Maine. Also comfortable on the musical theater stage, Mr. Gray has performed roles such as Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Ragtime, Jim Conley in Parade, Hunter Bell [title of show], and Al in The Most Happy Fella.
Yazid received his Bachelor of Music in Voice from DePauw University in Greencastle, IN and is a graduate of University of Michigan where he received his Master of Music in Voice. His academic credits include Oliver Jordan in the Michigan premiere of Dinner at Eight (Bolcolm/Campbell), Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, and Demetrius in A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Mr. Gray also performed in the University Musical Society’s concert of Porgy and Bess as Frazier and the Undertaker.