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Jonathan Ray Adjunct Associate Professor


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Hailed for his "very rich, full tenor" (Broadway World), Dr. Jonathan Ray has recently performed with Heartland Opera Theatre, The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre. Other professional engagements include The Missouri Symphony, Opera in the Rock, The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and St. Petersburg Opera, as well as Opera in the Ozarks, Greensboro Opera, and Greensboro Light Opera and Song. Most recently, he debuted the title role in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette with Lawrence Opera Theatre.

Dr. Ray holds a DMA in Vocal Performance with a minor in Choral Conducting from Louisiana State University, where he studied with tenor Robert Grayson and coached with renowned pedagogue Loraine Sims and Metropolitan Opera tenor Paul Groves. He received his MM in Vocal Performance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he studied with Carla LeFevre and his BME from Arkansas Tech University where he studied with Jon Clements and Arlene Biebesheimer. Recently, Dr. Ray completed his apprenticeship as the tenor Apprentice Artist with The Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

Known for his "stamina and unrelenting concentration, as well as his lovely singing" (Arktimes) on the operatic stage, his operatic highlights include the principal tenor roles in La Traviata, Il barbiere di Siviglia, L’Italiana in Algeri, La Cenerentola, Béatrice et Bénédict, Don Giovanni, The Abduction from the Seraglio, The Magic Flute, Le Nozze di Figaro, L’elisir d’amore, and Albert Herring. Operetta highlights include the principal roles in The Gondoliers, The Pirates of Penzance, Trial by Jury, and Candide. An advocate of musical theater, he has appeared in West Side Story, Newsies, Hairspray, Sweeney Todd, Assassins, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, South Pacific, and multiple roles in A Little Night Music.

Currently, Dr. Ray serves on the voice faculties for Northwest Missouri State University, the Swinney Conservatory of Music at Central Methodist University, and Johnson County Community College. He is also the vocal music director at Avondale United Methodist Church in North Kansas City, where he directs the chancel and bell choirs. Dr. Ray also maintains a successful private voice studio whose students have earned top prizes in various categories at NATS, as well as other nationally recognized vocal competitions. His students have been seen performing in the greater Kansas City area and beyond.

Dr. Ray is also Artistic Director for Landlocked Opera, Kansas City's newest opera company. He recently directed their production of The Magic Flute. To read more about Landlocked Opera, please visit This year, Landlocked Opera is beginning a collaboration with William Jewell College in North Kansas City for the conception of its first paid young artist program.

When he is not performing or teaching, Dr. Ray enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife, mezzo-soprano Christina Casey, their new daughter Lucy, and their cats Churro and Gravy.