"Your voice is one-of-a-kind. Learn from others but do not seek to have another’s voice. Find your truth and your artistry. Only then will you truly move those who hear you."
"Outstanding for his formidable presence..." for Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea with New Opera Singapore
"...supremely commanding vocally..." for Tom Johnson's Four Note Opera with L'arietta
"Equally impressive was Leslie Tay, whose singing and acting were the most convincing among the male cast..." for Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld with New Opera Singapore
Tenor Leslie Tay’s unique versatility is seen in his performances in recent years which include Mozart's Cosi fan tutte and Rossini’s La Cenerentola at the Esplanade Concourse; Singapore's first opera film, Mozart's Idomeneo with The Opera People; Singapore’s first marionette opera film, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress with New Opera Singapore, the world premiere of Michael Ching's digital opera All Dressed Up with L'arietta during Circuit Breaker; the role of the Emperor in SRT’s The Nightingale; the world premiere of Lim Boon Keng: the Musical; concerts of Russian songs at the Esplanade Recital Studio; the art installation Sonic Blossom at the National Gallery as well as collaborations with Indian Classical musicians and T.H.E Dance Company.
He has sung with various American opera companies including Dicapo Opera (NYC) and Bronx Opera. He has also sung with the Boston Lyric Opera Chorus and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. He was a young artiste in Lorin Maazel's 2011 Castleton Festival. Locally, he has sung with Singapore Lyric Opera and New Opera Singapore.
As an educator, Leslie is an experienced choral conductor and voice teacher. His students have earned high distinctions in ABRSM, LCM and LAMDA singing examinations and have placed in the Top 3 of competitions such as the inaugural International Youth Opera Festival Competition 2022 (New Opera Singapore), the 2021 Xin Kong Xia Xinyao Competition and the 2020 Sheng Siong Show Singing Competition. They have also been named prize winners in the American Protege Competition held at Carnegie Hall and the Brilliant Talent Discovery Awards held at the Esplanade Recital Studio. His students have also been invited to be soloists at Childaid and have been cast in musicals such as the touring productions of The Sound of Music and Evita. Leslie’s students have also successfully auditioned for schools such as Yong Siew Toh Conservatory and have been offered places at top music conservatories and acting schools in the UK.
Leslie graduated from Manhattan School of Music and Boston Conservatory. His teachers include Richard Conrad (who has sung and recorded with legendary soprano Joan Sutherland), Richard Byrne, Robert Honeysucker, Arthur Levy (who has taught Audra McDonald and Meryl Streep) and Dr Thomas Manhart. He is currently on the faculty of SOTA (School of the Arts) and maintains a busy private teaching studio.