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Richard Cray began singing when he was nine years old. Possessing a true boy soprano voice, he was in great demand appearing in more than twenty plays, concerts and musicals before the age of twelve, including a co-star role as "Patrick Dennis" with Broadway actress Denise Lor in "Mame".

A native of North Carolina, Richard was chosen as a teenager to participate in a unique educational program called The "Governor's School of North Carolina". This program was the first of its kind for gifted students in the United States. Every year students compete for one of the precious slots in their artistic or academic field.

Richard received his formal education at The North Carolina School of the Arts and Indiana University. While attending IU School of Music (Bloomington), he studied voice with Walter Cassel, a twenty-five year veteran of the Metropolitan Opera. Richard also studied vocal jazz styles with Eileen Farrell, and coached lieder with John Wustman. Opera roles performed include Count Almaviva in Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" Papageno in Mozart's "The Magic Flute", and Escamillo in Bizet's "Carmen".

After formal schooling Richard spent a year traveling around the world as a solo artist aboard The Royal Viking Star. Ports of call included; Australia, New Zealand, Bora Bora, Moorea, Singapore, Bangkok, Bali, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bejing, Japan, Hawaii, Canada, Alaska and South America.

Following his life long friend and mentor Keith Keen to New York City, Richard made his Broadway debut in the New York Shakespeare Company's Tony award winning production of "The Mystery of Edwin Drood". Soon after, Richard starred off-Broadway, opposite George Hearn, in the musical version of Chiam Potok's celebrated novel "The Chosen". Other New York credits included, "Windy City" at the Paper Mill Playhouse, a new musical workshop recording for Sheldon Harnick, and appearing as Billy Bigelow in the Lake George Opera Festival production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Carousel". In New York, Richard studied acting at HB Studios, also with John Hirsch and Sanford Meisner. Richard's NYC vocal coach was Andrew Cooke. During his first year in New York, Richard performed with "Harbor Lights" a vocal quartet that opened for headliners in the Catskills.

A solo appearance with the San Diego Symphony celebrating the 100th birthday of Cole Porter (Jack Everly Conductor) and a guest appearance at the Crystal Cathedral brought Richard to the West Coast, where he performed in the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra's musical recording for the classic science fiction movie "Thing's to Come".

In the summer of 1993, Richard was asked to perform in The "Tomorrows Realities Gallery" at the annual
SIGGRAPH convention held in Anaheim, CA. as “Dynamation Man” giving voice and movement to a live, animated character. This event turned out to be the first live, operatic performance in digital real-time computer generated animation using a full upper-body Waldo and data glove with a single performing vocal artist interfaced with a character in total control. This project led Richard to perform and direct "A Musical Performance Animation" with composer Steven Bowen, an accomplished musician and arranger for the creation of a seven-minute singing musical story giving life to three computer generated characters; Pirate King, Reggae Man and the Sunny Boy, featured on CNN and in Computer Graphics World Magazine.

Richard founded the "Performance Animation Society" a special interest group catering to the needs of performing and creative professionals involved with the emerging technologies of performance capture.
He developed and created dynamic and ongoing innovative and entertaining projects with what he calls "the future of performing artists" through this innovative forum.


Richard lived for two years on Maui, singing, performing, swimming, hiking and taking in the local culture. He performed regularly at
La Jazzerie, WOW (Wednesdays On Wailea) at the Shops at Wailea and as a guest artist for Unity Church.

Richard is the featured artist on the OZmosis records CD release of "Lost Love Letters in the Sand" composed and produced by Cody Gillette at Emerald City Studios in Paia, Maui.

In May, 2003, Richard starred in the title role of the Maui Civic Light Opera’s production of Maury Yeston's Phantom opposite Debra Lynn as Christine at the Maui Art's & Cultural Center Castle Theatre

Richard most recently performed in the Long Leaf Opera Company (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) production of "Kismet" as the "Wazir".

Richard currently resides in Long Beach, CA. where he teaches voice privately.
A solo, debut CD is scheduled for release in 2008.

 

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