NYC opera singer and JCJC alumnus, Bryce Smith inspired JCJC vocal students
Written By: Teresa Martin
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date Submitted: 2011-03-31 14:50:52
ELLISVILLE – In addition to performing in the Jones County Junior College Spring Recital Series Friday, Jones alumnus and New York City professional opera singer, Bryce “Billy” Smith took time to share performance tips with vocal students. This is the first time the Lumberton native has returned to campus in his professional career. While here, the bass vocalist said he hopes to inspire students to ‘dream the impossible dream’ and know they can achieve it, like him.
“I know how much time I wasted waiting for opportunities to come to me,” said Smith. “Sometimes you have to make your own opportunities. I also wanted students to know the audience is rooting for them to succeed. However, they have to ‘perform’ and sing. The passion has to be felt by the singer as they convey the meaning of the song to the audience.”
Smith has appeared with Opera Colorado, Central City Opera, Dicapo Opera Theatre, Natchez Festival of Music and Summer Lyric Theatre in New Orleans. In 2004, he made his Carnegie Hall debut and has seen been seen in major performances with Staten Island Symphony for Beethoven’s famous 9th Symphony,D.C.’s Capitol Symphony Orchestra for the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished American’s 60th Anniversary Inaugural Dinner at Andrew Mellon Auditorium and performing the national anthem at Susan G. Komen Foundation’s 18th & 19th annual National Race for the Cure, the largest race/walk fundraising event in the world with over 50,000 participants on the National Mall in D.C.
Besides performing, Smith has been instrumental in creating a company that caters to artists of all different types in New York. Through his vision and extensive experience (corporate, stage, orchestral, production and technical theater), and with his colleagues’ assistance, a unique company was born in the summer of 2008, called Opera Manhattan Repertory Theater. He has also helped charter non-profit theater companies in New York City and the New Orleans region and has advised several other NYC organizations on incorporation and obtaining non-profit status.
Companies such as the Mobile Opera Guild, Denver Lyric Opera Guild and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions have bestowed numerous awards upon Smith. He has been seen as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Count Capulet in Romeo et Juliette, Simone in Gianni Schicchi, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Pistola in Falstaff, Macheath in The Threepenny Opera, the title role in Don Giovanni, Mephistofeles in Gounod’s Faust, Colline in La Bohème, Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Seargent of Police in The Pirates of Penzance, Pish-Tush & The Mikado in The Mikado and Duke Bluebeard in Bluebeard’s Castle in Hungarian. In June 2011 Smith becomes The Four Villains in the much-anticipated production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann with the Regina Opera Company of Brooklyn.
Smith attended Jones 1995-1997. JCJC alumni and friends remember Smith’s performances in “Damn Yankees,” “Little Shop of Horrors” as Orin the Dentist, and performing the lead role in “Kismet”, before pursuing a career as a professional opera singer. The award winning vocalist also marched in the Rose Parade playing tuba for the Maroon Typhoon.