Recognized by The New York Times as a “robust baritone” and “agile comedian” and by The Sondheim Review for his “opulent baritone and nuanced phrasing,” baritone RON LOYD has been praised for thoughtful portrayals and versatility on operatic, concert, and musical theatre stages across the United States.
Notable performances of recent seasons include his Carnegie Hall debut as KUNZ GILGENSTOCK in Richard Strauss’ Feuersnot with the American Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leon Botstein, a house debut with Winter Opera St. Louis as FORD in Verdi’s Falstaff, a return to Mobile Opera as TONIO in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, his seventh role with Albuquerque’s Opera Southwest as LEPORELLO in Don Giovanni, bass soloist for Beethoven’s NINTH SYMPHONY with the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Gerald Steichen, and encore performances of Sondheim’s demon barber in LOOK Musical Theatre’s remounted production of SWEENEY TODD, which garnered the distinction of Tulsa’s “Best Night of Theatre” in 2007 and once again in 2014 from The Tulsa World.
The 2016 – 2017 season began with a feature on Opera America’s New Opera Showcase as RASHEED in A Thousand Splendid Suns, a new opera by American composer Sheila Silver and librettist Stephen Kitsakos based on Khaled Hosseini’s New York Times best selling novel. Produced by American Opera Projects and led by American conductor Sara Jobin, the new work is on track for its world stage premiere at Seattle Opera in 2020. Ron also made his title role debut of Verdi’s MACBETH with New Hampshire’s Raylynmor Opera in 2016, debuted with the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra as baritone soloist in Michael Tippett’s A CHILD OF OUR TIME, and toured with the Mid Atlantic Symphony for a series of holiday season concerts in Maryland and Delaware. 2017 began in New York City as Ron debuted THOMAS BETTERTON in the NY stage premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s newest opera Prince of Players with the little OPERA theatre of NY before returning to the Helena Symphony in Montana as MARCELLO in Puccini’s La Bohème.
In the upcoming 2017 – 2018 season, Ron performs with First Coast Opera in St. Augustine, Florida, for a concert of Opera’s Most Haunting Melodies, continues his collaboration with American Opera Projects as RASHEED in A Thousand Splendid Suns, returns to Baltimore Concert Opera as the demon barber, SWEENEY TODD, and debuts with St. Petersburg Opera in Florida as GERMONT in Verdi’s La Traviata.
In concert, Opera News complimented Mr. Loyd’s “solid baritone” as baritone soloist with The Collegiate Chorale and The American Symphony Orchestra under the baton of James Bagwell in Handel’s ISRAEL IN EGYPT (featuring Brian Asawa, Sari Gruber, and Rufus Müller). Also in NYC, Mr. Loyd has joined The Dessoff Choirs for An Exploration of 19th to 20th Century American Works and The Choral Society and Orchestra for Brahms’ EIN DEUTSCHES REQUIEM. He has twice performed with the Metropolitan Opera Guild Lecture series in Masterly Singing: Guiding Light Opera as well as in a concert of excerpts from Rossini’s Le Comte Ory for a private MET patron audience. Other concert credits include Beethoven’s NINTH SYMPHONY with the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra; VIVA VERDI! with the Chautauqua Symphony under the baton of Joseph Colaneri; Palm Beach Opera’s popular Music for the Mind concert series; Holiday Pops concerts with the Charlotte Symphony (FL) and the Gulf Coast Symphony (FL); bass soloist in Bach’s WEIHNACHTS-ORATORIUM with the Berkshire Bach Society; baritone soloist in Handel’s MESSIAH with The Stonington Choral Society; and WEST SIDE STORY in Concert with the Fort Worth Symphony. Most recently, Ron made several symphonic debuts as guest soloist with the Missouri Symphony in their Hot Summer Nights Music Festival under the baton of Kirk Trevor, the Victor Herbert Foundation in NYC as FATHER PERALTA for a concert reading of Victor Herbert’s rarely heard grand opera Natoma under the baton of Gerald Steichen, and the Helena Symphony under the baton of Allan R. Scott for Aaron Copland’s OLD AMERICAN SONGS and Kile Smith’s PSALM 46. Ron rounded out the 2016 season with Mid Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and Opera Delaware as feature soloist for STARRY NIGHT OPERA, a concert of operatic favorites at The Freeman Stage in Delaware, and with Missouri Symphony as soloist in Beethoven’s NINTH SYMPHONY.
Mr. Loyd began the 2012-2013 season as RIGOLETTO in his title role debut of Verdi’s masterpiece with Salt Marsh Opera. Of his performance, Connecticut’s The Day wrote
it was the vocal power and characterizations by Loyd, in the title role, that carried the night. Physically compelling in his characterization…Loyd mined dramatic material at every turn, whether cowering, raging or pouring affection on Gilda. His seething musing on his fate, to be mocked daily by those who stand straight and tall, ‘Pari siamo,’ came across as a Shakespearean soliloquy writ larger than life.”
Three other role debuts followed as Mr. Loyd sang SCARPIA in Puccini’s Tosca with Baltimore Concert Opera, LUCAS in Christoph Gluck’s comic opera L’Ivrogne Corrigé (The Reformed Drunkard) performed off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters, and TONIO in Pagliacci with New Jersey Verismo Opera.
Other operatic highlights include FIGARO in Le Nozze di Figaro with Nevada Opera and Opera Southwest; SHARPLESS in Madama Butterfly with El Paso Opera, Mobile Opera, Opera Southwest, and the Holder’s Festival in Barbados, West Indies; MARCELLO in La Bohème with Baltimore Concert Opera and Opera Southwest; SCHAUNARD in La Bohème with Des Moines Metro Opera, Pensacola Opera and National Lyric Opera; PETER in Hansel and Gretel with Nevada Opera; PING inTurandot with Mobile Opera and Pensacola Opera; FALKE in Die Fledermaus with Salt Marsh Opera; PAPAGENO in Die Zauberflöte with Pensacola Opera and Opera Southwest; MONTERONE in Rigoletto with Pensacola Opera; GERMONT in La Traviata with Bronx Opera and the New Operafestival di Roma Symphony in Rome, Italy. POOH-BAH in The Mikado and BARON ZETA in The Merry Widow with Natchez Festival of Music; DON BARTOLO in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Southwest and Pensacola Opera; GUIDO in the world stage premiere of Un Racconto Fiorentino (Louis Gioia) with New Jersey Verismo Opera; and DULCAMARA in L’Elisir d’Amore with Salt Marsh Opera in which he
“dominated the theater with his double-takes, his asides and tack-sharp comic timing that made a simple raised eyebrow speak volumes” (Connecticut’s The Day).
A dynamic actor and strong proponent of the Golden Age of American musicals, Mr. Loyd has enjoyed a long relationship with LOOK Musical Theatre (formerly Light Opera Oklahoma). After a critically acclaimed debut as EMILE DEBEQUE in South Pacific garnering
“a remarkable performance – his voice warm, resonant, and powerful”
from The Tulsa World, Mr. Loyd was immediately invited back to take on Stephen Sondheim’s demon barber SWEENEY TODD where The Tulsa World subsequently wrote that his performance was “electrifying in its intensity” and “stunning in its ferocity” and voted the show as Tulsa’s “Best Night of Theatre” in 2007. Mr. Loyd has since been seen in Tulsa as THE PIRATE KING in Pirates of Penzance; CAPTAIN in Candide; THE BAKER in Sondheim’s Into the Woods where
“his warm baritone offered one of the production’s greatest musical pleasures” (The Sondheim Review);
and as FREDRIK in A Little Night Music, where The Sondheim Review again praised his “opulent baritone and nuanced phrasing.” Conquering the Shaw-inspired dialogue, Mr. Loyd’s HENRY HIGGINS in My Fair Lady earned “his gorgeous, booming voice” was accentuated by fine acting. His portrayal of Higgins as a cantankerous but lovable bachelor was spot-on” from Urban Tulsa. For his fifth consecutive season at LOOK, Mr. Loyd portrayed FRED in Cole Porter’s Shakespeare inspired Kiss Me, Kate and BUNTHORNE in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Patience before finishing the summer with Broadway themed concerts in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York.
In 2012, Ron was the subject of a feature article in The Sondheim Review, the national quarterly magazine dedicated to the works of Stephen Sondheim. Examining his commitment to compelling performances in both opera and musical theatre, the magazine concluded that “Ron Loyd has built a career on ‘and’ and not ‘or.’” Testament to that theme, the 2011-2012 season saw Mr. Loyd at Baltimore Concert Opera as SHARPLESS in Madama Butterfly and Mobile Opera as MAX VON MAYERLING in a concert performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most lyrical musical, Sunset Boulevard. Quickly following was Ron’s off-Broadway debut at 59E59 Theatres as LOUIS in Gustav Holst’s rarely performed opera The Wandering Scholar produced by the little OPERA THEATRE of NY. For the summer festival season, Ron returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma’s LOOK Musical Theatre as HERBIE in Gypsy, BRIAN in Avenue Q, and PSEUDOLUS in Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
Prologus/Pseudolus is as essential to a successful Forum as Rose is to a successful Gypsy, and it is arguably an even trickier role: He not only propels the show’s plot but must also move into and out of the action, interacting with the other characters but also speaking directly to the audience. Ron Loyd provided the necessary outsized stage presence, clowning broadly and ever more urgently as each new comic obstacle yet again snatched away the freedom evading Pseudolus’s grasp. At the same time, Loyd proved a generous performer who did not eclipse his scene partners, a pitfall not every Forum star manages to avoid.
The Sondheim Review
Ron made his professional operatic debut as HORACE TABOR in The Ballad of Baby Doe with Amarillo Opera upon graduating from West Texas A&M University. After moving to New York City, he spent two seasons touring with Opera Iowa as BELCORE in L’Elisir d’Amore and as FIGARO in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in the US and China before apprenticing with Chautauqua Opera, Sarasota Opera, and Lake George Opera performing mainstage roles and cover assignments that included GERMONT and BARON DOUPHOL in La Traviata, FALSTAFF in Falstaff, MORALES in Carmen, PETER in Hansel and Gretel, and MILLER in Verdi’s Luisa Miller.
The youngest of five boys, Ron was born in Tennessee to an Italian mother (thus, Alfonse) and a Welsh father (thus, Loyd), raised in Texas, and currently makes his home in New York City.