Singaporean tenor Jonathan Charles Tay is one of the leading opera singers to emerge from his home country in this generation. His clear lyric tone and commitment to text and drama have contributed to his increasing presence on the opera and concert stages in Singapore and the United States.
Mr. Tay made his Singapore Lyric Opera debut in May 2017 as the exuberant and romantic Nemorino in their first ever production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. He will make his second appearance of the year with Singaporean contemporary fusion music group TO ensemble in their 10th year anniversary concert Wonderland X in August, following an earlier appearance in the group’s Land with no sun III in March.
In a busy 2016 season, Tay played the role of Steuermann in the Richard Wagner Association of Singapore’s local premiere of Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer, garnering praise from international publication OPERA! as “excellent and very lyrical”. He was the title role in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, another Singapore premiere, with New Opera Singapore. Also with New Opera, Jonathan played the role of Peppe, in Donizetti’s Rita, where his comic display was applauded as “genuinely sincere” (The Straits Times). In concert, Tay made his debuts with TO ensemble in Alternate Worlds II and also with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, singing in their National Day concert at the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage. Tay also performed a recital of Schumann’s Dichterliebe at the Esplanade Recital Studio.
Previous opera appearances in Singapore include The Sailor in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, the Narrator in Bach's Kaffee Kantate in a staged production, Hussar in Stravinsky's Mavra and Peter Quint in New Opera Singapore’s highly acclaimed production of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw (Straits Times award 2015).
Prior to Tay’s return to Singapore from the United States in 2015, his opera credits abroad include Astolf in Schubert's Die Versworenen, Edoardo in Rossini’s La cambiale di matrimonio, Muley Graves in Ricky Ian Gordon's Grapes of Wrath, Laurie in Mark Adamo’s Little Women and Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. Jonathan also performed as Re Gonzaga and L’araldo in Franco Faccio’s Amleto, a new-world premiere with Opera Southwest, as well as being the understudy for the title role of Hamlet. The recording of their performance in Albuquerque was listed in Opera News best of 2016 recordings and is available in DVD worldwide.
In recital, Jonathan has performed Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, Schumann’s Dichtelierbe and Brahm’s Liebesliederwaltzer at The Esplanade and The Arts House in Singapore, Charles Loeffler’s Five Irish Fantasies at the Manhattan School of Music, and Finzi’s Till Earth Outwears and Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte at Northwestern University in Illinois, USA. He was also the featured soloist with the New Mexico Symphonic Chorus, giving an “impressive” (Albuquerque Journal) performance of Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor and Horn.
Mr. Tay attained his Bachelor of Music at the Manhattan School of Music, studying with renown tenor Neil Rosenshein and following that his Masters of Music at Northwestern University, studying with professor W. Stephen Smith. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Eckstein Merit Scholarship Award, a New Horizon Aspen Music Festival Award in 2014 and recently was award a scholarship to the 2017 Richard Wagner Stipendienstiftung in Bayreuth, Germany, representing the Richard Wagner Association of Singapore. Upon his return to Singapore, Tay has also responded to his passion for teaching and sharing music with the next generation. His endeavours in teaching has paid dividends with his students achieving distinctions and awards in the ABRSM singing examinations, as well as gaining entry into music degree programs.
As a voice teacher, Jonathan finds it of paramount importance to help his students find their authentic voice in singing. His approach to teaching focuses on a singer’s ability to communicate text, which he believes is the most important job of any singer. Singers learning with Jonathan are taught the basic building blocks of vocal training, in a systematic approach to singing in any language. Jonathan hopes his students will ultimately learn not just the tools of singing healthy and beautifully, but find their own language of expression and explore the beauty of emotion expressed in words and music.
Daniel Fong (Baritone) is an active Singer and Voice Teacher. A scholarship Graduate of the Royal Academy of Music London, Daniel received both his Master (Distinction) and Bachelor (1st Class Honours) degrees from the Academy. In 2016, he further graduated with the Post-Graduate Professional Diploma (Distinction) in Song and Lieder. Daniel is also a certified Singing Teacher under the Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM).
Daniel was a Voice Lecturer at King's College London (KCL). He is currently Lecturer of French and German diction at NUS-Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. Daniel has also prepared students for ABRSM Examinations, Vocal Auditions and School Productions.
As an active performer, Daniel has sung in notable places such as Colston Hall (Bristol), The Austrian Cultural Forum (London), The Holywell Music Room (Oxford), King’s Place (London), The Art’s House Singapore and the Esplanade Recital Studio.
Daniel is the winner of the Marjorie Thomas Song competition at the Royal Academy of Music (2014), runner-up at the Elena Gerhardt Lieder Prize (2014), highly commended at the prestigious Mozart Singing Competition (2014) and highly commended in the Major Van Someren-Godfrey English Song Prize. Future projects include NUS-Yong Siew Toh Bach Cantatas under Masaaki Suzuki and as the soloist for the Durulfé Requiem at the Esplanade Concert Hall.
Daniel firmly believes in creating a fun and safe teaching environment, where students will be unafraid to explore new vocal techniques, sing new and challenging songs and expand their story-telling skills. He always wants to ensure that students enjoy their learning journeys and are excited about their musical progress. In addition, Daniel will incorportate note-learning, rhythmic skills and accurate diction in lessons.