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Jonathan Hays - Baritone

Biography

So far in 2013, Jonathan Hays has performed Carl Nielssen's Symphony No.3: Sinfonia Espansiva with the Harrisburg Symphony; J.S. Bach's Ich geh und suche mit verlangen, BWV 49 with The Bach Concert Series in Baltimore, MD; Franz Schubert's Winterreise in recital with pianist Craig Ketter at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA; Don Giovanni at the University of Memphis in Memphis, TN, and the world premiere of Martin Bresnick and J.D. McClatchy's My Friend's Story at Yale University for the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, CT.  

Upcoming performances will include the oratorio Anything Can Happen by Mohammed Fairouz, and a world premiere song cycle by composer Robert Pound, both sponsored by Dickinson College’s Stellfox Literary Award in celebration of the life and works of the recently deceased Nobel Prize-winning poet, Seamus Heaney. Hays will serve as the Italian coach for Gianni Schicchi by Giocomo Puccini at Susquehanna University, where he will also perform on recitals of music by Franz Schubert and Arnold Schoenberg.

Recent Orchestral engagements include a return to Avery Fisher Hall in Henry Cowell’s Atlantis with the American Symphony Orchestra, Monteverdi’s Vespro della beata Vergine (1610) with the Dayton Symphony Orchestra; a recital program with soprano JeAnne Moniz Swinley entitled An Unquiet Spirit: Madams, Madmen, and Other Unsavory Characters in New Orleans, LA, and a chamber music program entitled Kunst macht frei: Pearls of Terezin at Kutztown University, Gettysburg College, and Dickinson College.

Mr. Hays’s performance of Henry Cowell’s Atlantis with the American Symphony Orchestra was released on iTunes in October of 2011. His recording of Jeremy Gill’s tour-de-force German song cycle, Helian, ranked fourth on Philadelphia City Paper’s list of Top 10 Classical Albums of 2011. The Big Easy Foundation honored him with their 2011 award for Best Performance of New Classical Music for his recital program, An Unquiet Spirit: Madams, Madmen, and Other Unsavory Characters.

Mr. Hays has been heard as Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra; in performances of Rob Kapilow’s whimsical orchestral song cycle And Furthermore They Bite with the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles and the Toronto Symphony; at the Summerscape Festival at Bard College for a recital program entitled From Broadway to Gorky Street; in performances of Jorge Martín’s The Glass Hammer in the cities of Brooklyn, NY, Chapel Hill, NC, and Carlisle, PA, with pianist Craig Ketter; with “Music at Pine Street” in Harrisburg, PA in J.S. Bach’s cantatas for baritone Ich habe genug and Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen; and as the featured performer in a program of American Music with the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra.

Renowned as an interpreter of contemporary music, Mr. Hays essayed the role of Shadow Grendel in the world premier of Grendel by Eliot Goldenthal and Julie Taymor with the Los Angeles Opera and Lincoln Center Festival, collaborated with Ned Rorem and New Music New Haven on Mr. Rorem’s Songs of Sadness, originated the role of Isiah Berlin in The Guest from the Future by Mel Marvin and Jonathan Levi at the Summerscape Festival, and performed multiple roles in the OK Mozart Festival’s world premiere production of Jean Michel Damase’s Ochelata’s Wedding. He performed with the American Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall in two operas by Hindemith, Das Nush-Nushi and Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen, and bowed as Friedrich Bhaer in Mark Adamo’s Little Women with Dayton Opera.

Also acclaimed for his portrayal of roles in the standard repertory, Mr. Hays’ has sung principle roles in Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni), Le Nozze di Figaro (Count, Figaro), Die Zauberflöte (Papageno), Cosi Fan Tutte (Guglielmo), Das Rheingold (Donner), La Boheme (Marcello, Schaunard), L’Elisir d’Amore (Belcore), Giulio Cesare (Achilla), Deidamia (Fenice), L’Italiana in Algeri (Taddeo), La Cenerentola (Dandani), La Gazza Ladra (Fernando), I Pagliacci (Silvio), Fidelio (Fernando), Albert Herring (Sid, Vicar), Béatrice et Bénédict (Somarone), and others, with companies that include The Washington Opera, Central City Opera, The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, The Caramoor Festival, Connecticut Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera and Orchestra, Opera de la Colombia, Cape Town Opera, Syracuse Opera, Greensboro Opera Company, The Oklahoma Mozart Festival, The Utah Festival Opera Company, Eugene Opera, and Yale Opera.

After an acclaimed performance of Rossini’s La Gazza Ladra with the Caramoor Festival and the Orchestra of St. Lukes, Paul Griffiths of The New York Times wrote of his work, ‘…in all his contributions, the nobility of his voice matched the nobility of his bearing and his singing was consistently strong, lucid, direct and bang on the note. His was a magnificent performance’.

A frequent guest of symphony orchestras all over North America, Mr. Hays has performed the solo material in works such as Handel’s Messiah; J.S. Bach’s Magnificat, St. Matthew Passion and B-minor Mass; Avodath Hakodesh by Ernest Bloch; Rob Kapilow’s And Furthermore, They Bite and Polar Express; and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, with organizations including The Orchestra of St. Luke's, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, The American Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Eos Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Musica Viva, The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, The Alabama Symphony, The New Jersey Symphony, and The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mr. Hays is on the voice faculties of Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA, and Brooklyn College and Conservatory of Music in Brooklyn, NY. He owns a production company that produces The Days of ’98 Show with Soapy Smith in Skagway, AK, a vaudeville style musical that has been running since 1923.

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