Obituary: James McCray Dies At 79

American Tenor James McCray has died at the age of 79.

Born in Ohio, the tenor served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War before entering the Mannes School of Music in New York City and eventually went on to win the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

He went on to perform with the Concert Opera Association at Philharmonic Hall in NYC, singing Chekalinsky in “The Queen of Spades,” and Francesco in the US premiere of Hector Berlioz’s “Benvenuto Cellini.”

From 1965-1968 he became an active member of the Israel National Opera and in 1969 he made his New York City Opera debut. He would go on to perform such roles as Canio in “Pagliacci,” Cavaradossi in “Tosca,” Don José in “Carmen,” Manrico in “Il Trovatore,” Riccardo in “Un Ballo in Maschera,” and Samson in “Samson et Dalila.” Other roles included Vladimir Igorevich in “Prince Igor,” the title role of “Otello,” Erik in “The Flying Dutchman,” Siegfried in The Ring Cycle. He also created the role of Ken in the world premiere of Harold Farberman’s “The Losers.”

After retiring, McCray went on to teach in The Hague, Netherlands at the McCray International Studio for Vocal Arts. Soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek and her husband Frank van Aken were among his students.

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About the Author

Francisco Salazar
FRANCISCO SALAZAR, (Publisher) worked as a reporter for Latin Post where he has had the privilege of interviewing numerous opera stars including Anita Rachvelshvili and Ailyn Perez. He also worked as an entertainment reporter where he covered the New York and Tribeca Film Festivals and interviewed many celebrities such as Antonio Banderas, Edgar Ramirez and Benedict Cumberbatch. He currently freelances for Remezcla. He holds a Masters in Media Management from the New School and a Bachelor's in Film Production and Italian studies from Hofstra University.

1 Comment on "Obituary: James McCray Dies At 79"

  1. Lisa M Cassidy | February 3, 2018 at 8:15 am | Reply

    How lovely to see my father’s beautiful photo and to know that the opera world will know of our loss.
    Dr. Lisa Hannah McCray Cassidy

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