HALA Magazin Münster

By: Rana Sibilini

Tenor Roy Hage is humbled to have grown from singing along with opera recordings in his room as a kid in Beirut, Lebanon, to receiving multiple GRAMMY® nominations, collaborating with the very artists who first inspired that love. Roy has performed over 60 operatic and symphonic works in 8 languages with the world’s leading orchestras, music festivals, and opera companies, and has appeared on national and international television.

Roy has worked with conductors of historic importance including Maestros Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Sir Richard Bonynge, and has performed roles including the title roles in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Roméo et Juliette, The Rake’s ProgressCandideLa Clemenza di Tito, and Pelléas et Melisande in addition to Il Duca (Rigoletto), Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore), Alfredo (La Traviata), Tamino (The Magic Flute), Des Grieux (Manon), Ruggero (La Rondine), Jeník (The Bartered Bride), Ein italienischer Sänger (Capriccio), and Chevalier de la Force (Dialogues des Carmélites).

Roy completed his operatic training at top programs for each of his respective degrees: Interlochen Arts Academy (High School Diploma), Oberlin Conservatory (Bachelor of Music), and Yale University (Master of Music), Curtis Institute of Music (Master of Music), and Academy of Vocal Arts (Artist Diploma). He is currently a student at Harvard Business School Online.

Roy spends his time between Beirut and the U.S. East Coast and is an advocate for the arts in the Middle East, particularly in the commissioning and exploration of art that infuses operatic tradition with the local experience. At the age of 16, Roy had to trade his life in Beirut for one in the States in order to realize his dream of becoming a professional opera singer. That dream isn’t within the realm of possibility for many Lebanese. His goal is to bring those opportunities to the Middle East and create a path for the many Arab musicians he has worked with and mentored to pursue a career in opera and classical music.

Rana: Tell us about your encounter with the opera: how did you choose this path?

Roy: I was a very musical kid. I spent my early years in the United States where my school had a wonderfully rich music program. There, I learned to play a number of instruments and sang in a choir. I was always drawn to music but didn’t necessarily see it as a career path. I didn’t fully comprehend how unique my singing voice as until in Middle School I was chosen as the only male singer to represent Lebanon at the AMIS International Honor Choir and Band Festival in Berlin. There, I met and collaborated with hundreds of musicians from all over the world and witnessed, for the first time, the power of music to connect people regardless of nationality, belief, upbringing, language, and culture. It was also on that trip that I saw my first opera “Elektra” by Richard Strauss at the Berlin Staatsoper. I was in awe of this marriage of all art forms – music in the unamplified human voice with a formidable orchestra, architecture in the set, fashion design in the elaborate costumes, dance in the fluid movements of ensemble member, and so forth. While I was ecstatic to be performing in an exceptional choir, I knew at that moment that I wanted to be an opera singer.

The full interview will be published in the next edition of HALA Magazin Münster.

Learn more about Roy at https://www.royhage.com or on Instagram @RoyTheTenor

Paulina Rice is a housewife as well as author. She’s the wife of a rock star, and the mother of two young adults, but she’s also been a ballerina, a typographer, a film composer, a piano player, a singer in an all-girl rock band, and a voice in those violent video games you won’t let your kids play. She does her best writing on entertainment such as movies.

Topics #LLebanons first GRAMMY nominee #Roy Hage