The Scene


Clay Hilley

Clay Hilley
Bethany Davis Photography

American heldentenor Clay Hilley is poised for a prominent international career in the most demanding roles of the operatic repertory. From Bacchus to Florestan and Canio to Laca, the Georgia native has been acclaimed by The New York Times for his “vocal heft, clarion sound and stamina.”

Honing his repertoire and stage experience at first by covering in the leading international opera houses of North America, engagements have included Parsifal with Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the Metropolitan Opera, Der Ring des Nibelungen (Siegmund and both Siegfrieds) with Donald Runnicles, and Turandot conducted by Nicola Luisotti at San Francisco Opera, Siegfried at the Canadian Opera Company led by Johannes Debus, and Samson et Dalila under the baton of Emmanuel Villaume at The Dallas Opera.

In recent seasons Clay Hilley has performed the title role of Dvořák’s Dimitrij in a new production by Anne Bogart for the Bard Summerscape conducted by Leon Botstein; the title role of Mozart’s Idomeneo–both in a new production by Arila Siegert at the Salzburger Landestheater under the baton of Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, and at the Theater Würzburg in a production by Stefan Suschke conducted by Enrico Calesso; Radamès in Aida with Opera Southwest and Baltimore Concert Opera; Canio in Pagliacci with Virginia Opera; and Erik in Der fliegende Holländer with Austin Lyric Opera.

Concert experience includes: Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with John DeMain and the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the American Symphony Orchestra, Das Lied von der Erde with The Apollo Orchestra of Washington D.C., and Strauss’s Feuersnot with the American Symphony Orchestra for his Carnegie Hall debut.

The Wagner Society of New York presented Clay Hilley in recital, singing a program of Mahler, Janáček, Mozart, Dvořák, and Wagner following the Society’s recognition of the tenor with its Top Prize, the Robert Lauch Award, in 2015. He received the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education at the University of Georgia, a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Georgia State University, a Professional Studies Certificate from the Manhattan School of Music, and a Performer’s Certificate from the Opera Institute at Boston University.

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