About Yazid

Yazid Gray Headshot 2Past Chautauqua Opera Company Credits: Studio Artist 2019 – Fiorello/Chorus in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Chorus in The Ghosts of Versailles; covered Paul conti in ¡Figaro! (90210).
Select credits: Carmen (Morales), Don Giovanni (Don Giovanni cover), and Florencia en el Amazonas (Alvaro cover) with Pittsburgh Opera; Eugene Onegin (Zaretski/Onegin cover) and The Crucible (Thomas Putnam), and La Bohème (Schaunard) with Opera Santa Barbara; La Fanciulla del West (Bello) with Maryland Lyric Opera; Three Decembers (Charlie) and Le nozze di Figaro (Count Almaviva cover) with Opera Maine; Speed Dating Tonight! (Dater 11/22) with Intimate Opera of Indianapolis.
Awards: National Federation of Music Clubs—Mary Prudie Brown PNP Award winner (2016), Fitzpatrick Opera Department Award (DePauw University, 2016), Harold Haugh Vocal Competition (2014)—Shirley Verrett Award winner;
Education: University of Michigan (Master of Music, 2018), DePauw University (Bachelor of Music, 2016).

To Watch

Virtual Sing-In, Part 2

Cocktails, Concerts, and Conversations, Week 2

”This is not the end” (Chautauqua Opera Song Cycle)

Week Two Master Class

Opera Invasion 1: Ballads on Balconies, Tour C

Opera Invasion 2: Opera Open Book

Opera Invasion 3: Miller Bell Tower Sing-a-long

Week Nine Master Class

Opera Invasion 4: Grand Finale - A Musical Tour of the Institution Grounds

Young Artist Interview

Yazid CrucibleQ: What is your hometown?
A: Gaithersburg, MD

Q: What was the first opera you saw and how old were you?
A: Le donne curiouse by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari. I was 17 years old.

Q: What was the first opera in which you performed?
A: Die Fledermaus

Q: Opera features some pretty iconic characters. Who is your favorite operatic character and why?
A: Mercutio from Romeo and Juliet. He is funny, a quick thinker, and loves to have fun. I love to have a great time and not take life too seriously.

Q: Who are your opera singing idols?
A: Lucas Meachem, Jessye Norman, Leontyne Price, Larry Brownlee, Hermann Prey, Gerald Finley, Martina Arroyo, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Robert Merrill

Q: What do you love most about opera?
A: The powerful energy that comes from the stage and orchestra pit. The way it all connects and tells stories.

Q: Chautauquans love their ice-cream! What is your favorite flavor?
A: Strawberry

Photo caption: Yazid Gray as Thomas Putnam in The Crucible by Robert Ward at Opera Santa Barbara. Photo credit: Zach Mendez

Spotify Playlist

Each week, two of our Young Artists will draw inspiration from Chautauqua Institution’s weekly theme and weekly interfaith theme to curate Spotify playlists for your listening pleasure. We hope these playlists provide inspiration, joy, and a chance to engage with these themes in a different way.

For Week Two, Yazid Gray drew inspiration from the theme Forces that Shape Our Daily Lives: The Contemporary Search for Spirituality.

He says:

“We all go on our own spiritual journey in life and each person's is different. With these songs, I tried to create one form of that journey. Understanding that there may be a greater power and how it shapes our daily lives. So many of these songs are ones I grew up with in church and many times have given me guidance.”