Leslie Tay is a Singaporean tenor recognized for the dramatic commitment he brings to his character portrayals. His stage presence has been described as “charming”, “captivating” and with “a sense of urgency”. He has also been praised for his “radiant energy” on stage. His remarkable versatility is evident in his extensive stage experience in opera, oratorio, musical theater, theater, pop a cappella and choral music.
He made his Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall debut as Guillot in Manon with New York Lyric Opera. His other operatic roles include Tanzmeister, Brighella (Ariadne auf Naxos), Witch (Hansel and Gretel), Goro (Madama Butterfly), Don Basilio, Don Curzio (Le Nozze di Figaro), Monostatos (The Magic Flute), Beppe (I Pagliacci), Bobyl Bakula (The Snow Maiden), Oronte (Alcina), Dr Blind, Alfred (Die Fledermaus) Boy 1 (Trouble in Tahiti) and Adalgiso (Tassilone). He has sung with companies including Dicapo Opera Theatre, the Bronx Opera, Opera Company of Brooklyn, American Opera Projects, Chelsea Opera, Opera Manhattan, Lowell House Opera, Harvard Early Music Society, MetroWest Opera, Brooklyn Repertory Opera, Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater, New York Opera Forum, Light Opera of New York, Morningside Opera, Eastern Festival Opera and the Singapore Lyric Opera.
Mr Tay’s interest in contemporary opera has led to roles in Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr Fox, Gregg Wramage’s Death in Summer, Tarik O’ Regan’s Heart of Darkness, Jack Perla’s Love/Hate and B. Allen Schulz’s Gargoyle Garden. His early music experience includes singing as both soloist and chorister with early music ensembles Musica Obscura, and Ab Oriente in Singapore. He recently performed the role of Pane in Cavalli’s La Calisto with Harvard Early Music Society.
He has also sung the tenor solo in Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël and has participated in masterclasses with Johanna Meier, Stephen Stubbs, Sir Andrew Parrott, Krisztina Laki, Juliana Gondek, Thomas Rolf Truhitte and Rudolf Knoll. He was also a finalist in the 2002 Young Singer of the Year Awards organized by the Singapore Lyric Opera. Summer programs he has participated in include Centro Studi Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy, the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Operaworks, Joan Dornemann’s International Vocal Arts Institute (IVAI) in Montreal and Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival.
His non-operatic performances include creating roles in original musicals written by well-known Singaporean playwright, Stella Kon. He has also contributed to recordings for the Musical Theatre Limited (Singapore). He was also an ensemble member of the musicals Fiddler on the Roof (Singapore Lyric Opera) and The Snow Queen (Singapore Repertory Theatre). As a singer with the Singapore Youth Choir, he participated in international choral competitions such as the XVIII International Music Festival in Spain and premiered new choral works by Singaporean composers such as Joyce Koh and Kelly Tang. With the a cappella group UpBeat, winner of the 2004 Singapore A Cappella Championship, he sang in masterclasses with groups like the Swingle Singers and the Magnets.
As an actor, Leslie Tay performed the role of Banquo in Shakespeare’s Macbeth as part of his training with the Singapore Repertory Theatre Young Company. With the youth ensemble Young and Wild, he performed scenes from plays in English by Asian playwrights such as Alfian Sa’at and Tony Perez.
As an educator, he has directed various high school choirs and church choirs. He has served as musical director for productions with the Musical Theatre Society and also co-directed Bastien und Bastienne for Artyfakt (Singapore). He believes strongly in educational outreach and has brought music and drama to schools in Singapore and New York City with organisations such as the Manhattan School of Music, the Singapore Lyric Opera, the A Cappella Society of Singapore, the Singapore Armed Forces Choir and Theatreworks.
Mr Tay holds a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music where he was in the studio of Arthur Levy. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the National University of Singapore. Mr Tay was a Resident Artist in Dicapo Opera Theatre’s 2009-2010 season and was also a 2010 featured artist of Opera Singers Initiative. He is at present a member of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Boston Opera Collaborative as well as Opera on Tap Boston. He was also recently added to the chorus roster of the Boston Lyric Opera. He is currently a student of Robert Honeysucker at the Boston Conservatory where he is earning his Graduate Performance Diploma (Voice Performance).
Upcoming engagements include scenes from Britten’s Albert Herring with the Boston Conservatory, the world premiere of the opera The Fiddler and the Old Woman of Rumelia with Juventas New Music Ensemble, the East Coast premiere of Michael Ching’s A Cappella opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream with OperaHub and Boston Opera Collaborative’s summer production of Orpheus in the Underworld.
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