About John Gray Watson
". . . a balance between vocal artistry and dramatic presence."
John Gray Watson believes that opera is more than just beautiful singing. According to the press, he “uses his bright baritone to winning effect,” and “brings such passion to cheering [audiences] all over.” Whether on the opera stage or in the concert hall, Mr. Watson pursues a balance between his vocal artistry and dramatic presence.
In opera, Mr. Watson has appeared in an ever-growing list of works from Mozart to Puccini. When he is not falling in and out of love as Marcello from La bohème, he plays matchmaker for his friends as the resourceful Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia. And as the loyal, yet cowardly Papageno from Die Zauberflöte, Mr. Watson “brings an honest simplicity [to the character].” His other opera credits include Peter in Hänsel und Gretel, Zuniga in Carmen, and the Harlequin from Ariadne auf Naxos, among many other roles.
Mr. Watson also continues to expand his concert and oratorio repertoire. In 2017, he demonstrated a strong and authoritative presence as Simon in a year-long production of Haydn’s The Seasons. This past season, he was a soloist in Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. He has appeared as a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, in Handel’s Messiah, and in Brahms’s Requiem.
Around North-East Ohio, Mr. Watson has performed with Cleveland Opera, Opera Western Reserve, Opera Circle, and Cleveland Opera Theater. He received his Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Mr. Watson has also appeared on stages around Italy where he trained with the Oberlin in Italy and Opera in Concert programs. Most notably, he portrayed Marcello in La bohème at the Teatro Signorelli in Cortona, Italy. This summer, Mr. Watson's engagements include a two week workshop in Vancouver, where he will be performing the Count in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro. And in September, he will be relocating to Boston to pursue a Master's Degree from the New England Conservatory.
When he isn’t singing, Mr. Watson spends time as the Associate Conductor for the Cleveland Choral Arts Society. He is a frequent soloist for Fairmount Presbyterian Church. And in his free time, he enjoys running through the Metroparks and weightlifting. Mr. Watson currently resides in Fairview Park, Ohio.