Edith Killgore Kirkpatrick Professor of Voice
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-2504
317 School of Music Building
Robert Grayson (Kirkpatrick Professor and Chair of the Voice/Opera Division). A leading tenor at the New York City Opera for more than a decade, Grayson has sung throughout the USA with many of the great opera houses including Chicago Lyric, Cleveland, Miami, Tulsa, and Spoleto. Professor Grayson has been cited as a “Rising Star” by the LSU Alumni Magazine. He has been the recipient of the Phi Kappa Phi award for “Outstanding Creativity in the Arts” and has received commendation from the Student Government Association for “Outstanding Teaching.” Grayson can be heard as “Caesar” on New World Records’ Grammy-winning recording of Antony and Cleopatra.
Making his New York debut as “Faust” opposite Samuel Ramey’s Mefistofele Robert Grayson has sung over 100 performances as leading tenor at the New York City Opera in such operas as La Boheme, Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Norma, Mefistofele, La Traviata and Carmen. Grayson has appeared as tenor with numerous companies: The Spoleto Festival, Italy, Israel Philharmonic in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem & Haifa, Santa Fe Opera, Arizona Opera Company, Canadian Opera, Tulsa Opera, Miami Opera, Wolftrap, Saratoga, Cleveland, ARTPARK, San Diego Opera, Costa Mesa Opera, Los Angeles Opera Theatre, Music Center Opera, etc.
From 1998 to 2002 Professor Grayson served as Artistic Director of the LSU Opera, during which time productions were increased from two to four per year, two state-wide tours were undertaken, and budgets were quadrupled. Grayson directed productions of La Traviata, La Boheme, and Carmen. He founded the Patrons of the LSU Opera, and coordinated efforts with the Baton Rouge Opera Guild, and BRAVO (Baton Rouge Area Volunteers for Opera).
Robert Grayson has produced a number of outstanding professional singers. Foremost among these artists is Tenor Paul Groves who has made auspicious debuts at the MET, La Scala, Vienna, Munich, Glynebourne, etc; Tenor Chad Shelton, of New York City Opera, Houston Grand, Strasbourg, Baritone Shon Sims of New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Colorado Festival Opera; Soprano Kimla Beasley of Houston Grand; Character tenor Edward Dacus of Ohio Light Opera, New Orleans Opera; Tenor Matthew Morgan, of the Pittsburgh Opera, National Grand Opera, Fort Worth Opera; Tenor Andrew Zimmerman, Aachen, Pfortzheim, Germany; Baritone Kenneth Brundage, Ohio Light Opera, New Orleans Opera; Tenor Robert Swenson, houses throughout Europe and with 14 CDs available; Mezzo Soprano Kathleen Clawson, regional orchestral soloist; Soprano Dawn Harris, Ohio Light Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre. Most recently, Lisette Oropesa, soprano, won the Grand Nationals of the Metropolitan Opera auditions and joined MET Young Artist Program. In 2007, five of Grayson’s students were Metropolitan Opera Regional Finalists, and in the Gulf Coast Region won 2nd, 3rd, and 4th places.
Appointed at LSU in 1985, Professor Grayson has served as head of the voice and opera areas since 1987. He has mentored more than twenty-two doctoral students. His master’s level and undergraduate students from his studio have achieved an outstanding record in national competitions and obtaining graduate awards at prestigious institutions including, Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, Yale and Indiana University. Grayson has produced three National Finalists and Semi-Finalists in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, two national finalists in the NATS Young Artists Competition, national finalists in the National Opera Association Auditions, national finalists in the Liederkranz Competition, New York.
Grayson continues as an active in concert and recital. In addition, he is the General and Artistic Director of Opéra Louisiane, a dynamic new opera company that appears at the River Center Theater for the Performing Arts.
March 13, 2011
- Bastien & Bastienne – Opera Louisiane
- Susan Ruggiero, Bastienne – DMA graduate, LSU 2010
- Chris Hutchinson, Bastien – MM student at LSU
- Vincent Turregano, Colas – MM program