Unafraid to reshape traditional comprimario characters into something twistedly dark or entirely new, Michael Gray is not your typical tenor. Critics describe Michael’s
interpretations as, “slyly lustful”, “Rhett Butleresque”, and “impressively athletic.” Michael possesses a physical capability on stage that, “effectively steals the show” with “good comic ease” while “singing strikingly well at all times.”
Currently, Michael is scheduled to perform as Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte with the Florence Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina, Hyllus in Handel’s Hercules with Oratorio Society of Richmond in Virginia, Don José in La Tragédie de Carmen with Charlottesville Opera, and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi with Opera Susquehanna.
Most recently, Michael appeared as Rinucccio in Christopher Newport University’s production of Gianni Schicchi in Virginia, The Evangelist in Pickens Concert Choir production of Weihnachtsoratorium in South Carolina, and a soloist in The Reston Chorale’s Messiah outside of Washington D.C. In 2018, he premiered the role of Giralamo in Capitol Opera Richmond’s and Firehouse Theater’s production of To Damascus, supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and nominated for an Artsie Award. Michael performed as Tamino in an abridged version of Die Zauberflöte with Capitol Opera Richmond, and The Sailor in the company’s production of Dido and Aeneas. Michael’s performance as The Sailor was highlighted in full on NPR, Richmond. During the summer of 2018, Michael appeared as Don Curzio in Charlottesville Opera’s production of Le nozze di Figaro, and the Steward in the company’s productions of Into the Woods.
During the 2016 – 2017 season, Michael performed as Monsieur Vogelsang and The Sailor as a Professional Artist in Tidewater Opera’s productions of The Impresario and Dido and Aeneas, the role of The Tyger in the world premiere of Stranger From Paradise with Opera Omaha, the role of Beppe in Pagliacci as a Guest Artist with Opera Southwest, fulfilled duties as the understudy of Ferrando in Opera Omaha’s production of Cosi fan tutte, covered the role of Argirio as an Apprentice Artist in Opera Southwest’s production of Tancredi, and appeared as El Remendado in Quisisana Resort’s production of Carmen.
Frequently hired as a soloist, Michael has performed with various ensembles and venues including: The Reston Chorale (Washington D.C, VA.), The Italian Embassy (Washington D.C.), Pickens Concert Choir (Greenville, SC), Cantanti PROJECT (New York City, NY), Palmetto Opera (Columbia, SC), Capitol Opera (Richmond, VA), South Carolina Bach Choir, Teatro Lirico d’Europa, Opera at USC, the First Presbyterian Church of Columbia – Chamber Ensemble as seen at the 2012 Spoleto Festival in Charleston SC, and has also performed abroad with the Asolo Song Festival in Venice, Italy.
Currently, Michael is a Doctoral Candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of South Carolina, as well as a Resident Company Member of Opera Carolina (Charlotte, NC).