Jay Hunter Morris is represented by Rayfield Allied worldwide.
Associate Artist Manager:
Jay Hunter Morris
Morris triumphed as Ahab, sounding authoritative and full. The baritonal qualities of his voice came out in last night's performance. He was also utterly frightening and commanding in the role.The Opera Tatler
Jay Hunter Morris begins Season 2012-13 with his appearance in the principal role of Captain Ahab in Jake Heggie’s celebrated opera, Moby Dick, at San Francisco Opera. Mr. Morris returns to The Metropolitan Opera for revival performances of The Ring as Siegfried and continues to Glimmerglass Festival for Erik. He makes his debut at Vienna Konzerthaus under the baton of Kent Nagano for performances of Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder.
Recent successes include concert performances of Tristan Tristan und Isolde at Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia Valencia and his appearance in the role of Siegfried in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of the complete Ring Cycle which was broadcast worldwide. Other appearances include Samson Samson and Dalilah at Nashville Opera, Canio I Pagliacci at Florida Grand Opera, Cavaradossi Tosca at Alabama Opera, and Steva Jenufa at Opera Monte Carlo. He went on to appear as Florestan Fidelio at Portland Opera, and Erik Der Fliegende Holländer at Atlanta Opera, a role he also sang at Seattle Opera, Arizona Opera and Opera Australia.
Mr Morris embarked on his Ring career when he covered Siegfried Siegfried and Götterdämmerung at Seattle Opera in 2009, and the following season at Los Angeles Opera. He also covered the role of Siegmund Die Walküre during LA Opera’s Ring Cycle in 2010. In 2011, he made his debut as Siegfried at San Francisco Opera with great success under the baton of Donald Runnicles.
Originally a country and western music singer, Mr. Morris was first drawn into the opera spotlight in 1995, when he created the role of Tony in Terrence McNally’s play Master Class at the Philadelphia Theatre Company. He continued in the role at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, and finally on Broadway, where he was nominated for a Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Debut of an Actor.
Mr. Morris made his debut at The Metropolitan Opera during the 2006-07 Season as Steva Jenufa, which he also sang at Dallas Opera. He appeared as Canio at Atlanta Opera and Houston Grand Opera. He sang Walther Tannhäuser with Tokyo Opera Nomori, Dimitri Boris Godunov and the Drum Major Wozzeck at San Diego Opera. Mr. Morris drew great praise for his performance of Pinkerton Madama Butterfly at Opera Australia, and won equal acclaim for performances of Manon Lescaut with Seattle Opera in 2005.
He has made notable appearances as Don José Carmen at Minnesota Opera, Walther Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at San Francisco Opera and Staatsoper Frankfurt. He was seen at L’Operá de Nice as Drum Major and as Bacchus Ariadne auf Naxos, which he also sang at Dallas Opera.
One of the hallmarks of Mr. Morris’ career is his participation in some of the most noted new work in contemporary opera. He has created many roles in world premieres, among them the role of Captain James Nolan Doctor Atomic at San Francisco Opera, a role he reprised with the Netherlands Opera the following season; the role of Marky in Cronenburg’s The Fly (Howard Shore) at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, (which he revived at Los Angeles Opera under the baton of Placido Domingo); the role of Unferth in Elliott Goldenthal and Julie Taymor’s Grendel, a performance he repeated in the 2006 Lincoln Center Festival. With San Francisco Opera, he returned to sing Father Grenville in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, and Mitch in André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire. He was also heard in the American premiere of Messiaen’s St. François d’Assise at San Francisco Opera.
Mr. Morris’s repertoire also extends to roles such as Britten’s Peter Grimes, Tichon Kat’a Kabanova, which he sang with San Diego Opera, Sam Polk Susannah by Carlisle Floyd and Narraboth Salome, both with Philadephia Opera. At Opera National du Rhin in Strasbourg, he sang the role of Jenik The Bartered Bride. He has distinguished himself as an interpreter of rarely performed repertoire, singing Lykov in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride, the Duke of Parma in Busoni’s Doktor Faust at San Francisco Opera, and Anatol in Samuel Barber’s Vanessa at Seattle Opera.
Future engagements include Don Jose, his debut as Calaf Turandot and his special appearance in a gala performance which inaugurates The Opera San Antonio .
Moby Dick, San Francisco Opera
Here's the top take-away from San Francisco Opera's "Moby-Dick": the power of tenor Jay Hunter Morris as Ahab, peg-legged commander of the good ship Pequod, spouting his words like water from the blowhole of a whale. At Wednesday's opening performance, in this adaptation of Herman Melville's epic novel, he sang with a pressurized fury that practically shook the seats of the War Memorial Opera House. Think Old Testament. Think King Lear. Amazing Morris stepped on stage and announced Ahab's obsession, his will to capture and kill the great white whale: "Infinity! Infinity! We will harvest infinity!"Richard Scheinin, Mercury News
Much of the opera is a duet between Jay Hunter Morris as Ahab and Morgan Smith as Starbuck. Both are superb. Morris, the new leading heldentenor in San Francisco and Metropolitan Opera Wagner roles, handles the high-tessitura effortlessly.Janos Gereben, The San Francisco Examiner
Jay Hunter Morris triumphed as Ahab, sounding authoritative and full. The baritonal qualities of his voice came out in last night's performance. He was also utterly frightening and commanding in the role.The Opera Tatler
As Ahab, tenor Jay Hunter Morris sang tirelessly and with fierce lyricism in some of the opera's more fine-grained scenes.Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
Heroic tenor Jay Hunter Morris currently occupies – no, dominates – this rare company of tenors, and his performance of Ahab was magnificent. [...] Morris communicated the captain’s descent into madness with terrifying dramatic and vocal intensity. As Morris has emerged as the Siegfried of our day, his Ahab is another portrayal that must be seen to be believed. http://www.bachtrack.com/review-san-francisco-opera-moby-dick-jake-heggieJeffery S McMillan, Bachtrack
Morris has the heldentenor chops to dig into the part, as he has proved before in his appearances in the SFO's Ring cycle. [...] Morris still makes an indelible impression with his acting, and he has a fine voice.Philip Campbell, The Bay Area Reporter
The Ring, Metropolitan Opera
The surprise of this “Ring” is Jay Hunter Morris in the title role of “Siegfried.” Though he is not a heldentenor by natural endowment, he has found his own way to sing this voice-killing role with youthful verve and a somewhat lighter yet full-bodied soundAnthony Tommasini, The New York Times
Jay Hunter Morris continued to use his good will and lovely voice to great effect right through the end.Brian, OutWestArts
Götterdämmerung, Metropolitan Opera
The night’s bright star was Texas tenor Jay Hunter Morris, as the duped and doomed Siegfried. He sang with consistent warmth and authority. He also brought a moment of intentional humor in a flirty exchange with a trio of trilling Rhinemaidens.Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News
Siegfried, Metropolitan Opera
Jay Hunter Morris, the Texas tenor who plays the rigorous title role with a rich and easy musicality and a hearty vigor fitting for a fearless young man in search of his destiny.Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News
Jay Hunter Morris, who took over the punishing title role just a week before the premiere, has a bright, pliant tenor—not large, but ringing and energetic. He brought an appealing goofiness, youthful impulsivity and bumptious self-confidence to Siegfried.Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal
He looked terrific and, nasal twang notwithstanding, sang with remarkable stamina, expressive force and dynamic sensitivity.Martin Bernheimer, Financial Times
He sang Siegfried with innocence and youthful enthusiasm. His voice is not large, yet it rode buoyantly on the crest of Luisi's lyrical orchestra. Morris was broad-shouldered and handsome as Wagner's dragon-slaying hero. He was convincing as a young man who roams the wilderness, bonds with the birds of the forest and explores his country. Then he climbed to the top of a rocky mountain, walked through fire and awakened Deborah VoigtSteve Cohen, The Opera Critic
Morris, replacing Gary Lehman who bowed out due to a viral infection, filled the heroic part with remarkable grace. There is a natural quality to his singing that produces an evenly luminous, unforced, sound. His forest scene in Act II, where Siegfried reflects on the mother he never knew, was lush and dreamy. There was a sense of him singing from inside the music rather than wrestling with it.Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The Classical Review
Moby Dick, South Australian Opera
Jay Hunter Morris as Ahab is magnificent. He gives the old seadog a commanding, deeply etched authority.Graham Strahle, The Australian
Siegfried, San Francisco Opera
In the title role, Jay Hunter Morris has the best qualities of a heldentenor, with a forward sound, edge and natural high notes.Janos Gereben, San Francisco Chronicle
Morris, who had previously sung the role of Ahab in last year’s State Opera of South Australia production, was splendid. With only a single walk-through before Tuesday’s performance, he seemed to completely inhabit the role.James Chute, UT San Diego
Mr. Morris brought impressive stamina and robust character to his singing. He smartly held back during endurance-test episodes of the opera, like the forging scene. And in more reflective, lyrical passages, he sang with tenderness and subtlety.Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
Fidelio, Portland Opera
Jay Hunter Morris made a memorable impression as Florestan with a voice that had equal measures of power and beauty. His first appearance and long aira, “In des Lebens” was filled with tangible passion and longing. Morris had everyone in the palm of his hand as he slowly got up from the stage floor and came closer and closer to the audience until he finally realized that his feet were still chained to the wall.James Bash, Northwest Reverb
Jay Hunter Morris sang the manacled Florestan with a fascinating mix of power and effort, strength and despair. Every note carried sharp pain.David Stabler, The Oregonian