|Year of Birth:||1963|
Jay Hunter Morris (born July 3, 1963) is an American operatic tenor. He is best known internationally for the role of Siegfried in the Metropolitan Opera's 2011–12 series of Wagner's Ring Cycle, performances of which were cinecast and radio broadcast live worldwide, aired on U.S. television, and released on DVD.
Jay Hunter Morris was born and raised in Paris, Texas. Both of his parents were professional musicians: His father, Jack Hunter Morris, who died when Jay was 13, was a Southern Baptist music minister, and his mother, Carolyn, was a church organist. Morris sang in the church choir, and in high school also sang in rock 'n' roll garage bands. He graduated from Paris High School in 1981.
Morris studied music at Paris Junior College, and received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor University in 1986. After college, he moved to Nashville and performed gospel and country music, and was involved in ministry, but he had little enthusiasm for these pursuits.
A friend took him to see La Traviata in Dallas, and Morris became fascinated by opera; he also met Alfredo Kraus, who recommended a voice teacher to him. Morris received a Master of Music degree in vocal performance at Southern Methodist University, and also studied vocal performance for two years at Juilliard School of Music.
In November 1995, Morris performed the role of Anthony Candolino in the original production of Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning Master Class. In June 1996 he sang Pinkerton with Cheryl Barker in Madama Butterfly for Opera Australia. Morris made his Seattle Opera debut in 1999 in Samuel Barber's Vanessa and his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2007 as Steva in Jenufa, the latter being broadcast worldwide.