New York City- long known for its thriving performing arts community has continued to be a breeding ground for some of the best talent in the world- Lena Horn, Stephen Sondheim, and Lady Gaga- just to name a few. Added to that growing list is Clayton Graves Williams.
Baritone Clayton Graves Williams is a New York City resident; however the emerging artist was born and raised in the birthplace of the iconic Motown Records- Detroit, Michigan. Despite his affiliation to a land wildly successful in the Rhythm and Blues genre, Williams –at a very early age-chose a more unchartered course which ultimately led to his burgeoning career in the rarefied worlds of classical music, opera and musical theater.
Thanks to his training in musical theater- dating back as early as elementary school- Williams made a gracious entrance into the performing arts sector. By the time he entered Junior High School, Williams had performed in his first stage play- “Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” by Andrew Lloyd Weber. Four short years later, Williams’ operatic ambitions kicked into high gear after sharing a stage with legendary opera diva Kathleen Battle during a concert at the esteemed Detroit High School of Fine and Performing Arts.
Williams’ focus, intelligence and refinement in music have led him down an increased path of success. In addition to his dynamic debut as Escamillo in Bizet’s Carmen with Golden Rose Opera Works in 2015 and creating and performing in the excitingly staged US recital tour “Souls of the Soil,” Williams has, over the course of several years, performed on stages across the globe, participated in countless benefit concerts and taught Voice, Choreography and Stage Decorum to inner city youth in Detroit. And while Williams’ talents are deeply nestled in the ultra-demanding world of Performance Theater, the New York City based baritone leads a very balanced life- traveling; and interestingly enough- lending his talents to background acting. With a growing list of callbacks from some of primetime television’s biggest series, Williams gushes to share that he has made appearances in hit shows such as ‘Law & Order SVU’, ‘Blue Bloods’ and ABC’s ‘Forever.’ In less than two weeks, the quadruple threat will cover the role of Epraham in Harlem Opera Theater’s revival of H. Lawrence Freeman’s Voodoo. Tickets are on sale now at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1273562
Although much of Williams’ time is spent in vocal training and further developing his already beguiling stage presence, the young artist unwinds in his New York City apartment listening to an array of music- everything from soprano Laquita Mitchell to baritone Lester Lynch and American singer Janelle Monae.
Williams attributes his well-roundedness to the youthful energy and dynamic stage personality he brings to each performance. ‘Vocal training is tough enough; but having to study a foreign language on top of that- is taxing. It’s important to have fun and be authentic to yourself and your craft’ – says Williams. By exploiting his many talents and thinking and doing things ‘outside of the box,’ Clayton Graves Williams is continuing his ascent to operatic stardom. Added to his effervescent musical aspirations, Williams plans to use his skills to become a mainstream actor and ‘Voice Over’ talent for feature films.
For more info on Clayton Graves Williams and/or his upcoming performances, please visit his website at: www.claytongwilliams.com
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