St. Flono

Jay St. Flono
Noted for a "beautiful and haunting" soprano voice, Jay Soleil St. Flono is a Black gay, non-binary/two-spirit classical singer, librettist, actor and writer who brings their various skills to a diverse performance repertoire.
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Jay St. Flono

Jay was born in the hamlet of East Meadow, New York and raised in Queens and Brooklyn. Under the guidance of their musical mother, Patricia, Jay began piano lessons and learned Hymns and Spirituals as part of the Sunshine Choir at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church as a boy soprano.

Throughout grade school, Jay played clarinet, violin, handbells and contrabass while performing with the OnStage Contemporary Theater Arts Company in Hempstead, New York, studying West African (Malian) dance, ballet and musical theater. Jay auditioned and was accepted into the Choir Academy of Harlem in 2004, singing with the Boys Choir at the Summer Music Institute at Skidmore College and at Madison Square Garden for the Republican National Convention. Upon graduating high school in 2008, Jay briefly studied Humanities at Onondaga Community College, intending to become an English Literature teacher, but at their mother’s urging switched to Vocal Performance.

Jay studied Voice at Mannes School of Music, minoring in Creative Writing at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, completing short stories and poetry while also performing partial operatic tenor roles such as Acis in "Acis and Galatea" and Nemorino in "L'Elisir d'Amore". Jay devoted much of their time to independent performance study, programming three recitals of Lieder, Spirituals and Baroque art song and arias.

Jay has performed as a soloist and ensemble-member in the world of Oratorio and African-American Sacred Music, including the Wendell Whalum Recital at the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference and Choir Directors/Organists Guild Workshop in Hampton, Virginia (2014) the Brooklyn Ecumenical Choir and the Brooklyn Contemporary Chorus. As a versatile vocalist, Jay has also performed in jazz and gospel ensembles, with performance highlights including the Ancestral Chorus of "The Maafa Suite: A Healing Journey", at Carnegie Hall for the Havasi Symphonic Concert (2015) and and most recently in the Pyer Moss Tabernacle Choir Drip Choir Drenched in the Blood for various performances in New York Fashion Week. Other performance highlights include the role of The Queen of Hearts in the musical "Alice Wonder" at The New School and Feinstein's/54 Below. During the 2019/2020 season, Jay joined the Ensemble cast for the premiere of “Stonewall” at New York City Opera, a work commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that helped further advance the LGBT Rights Movement.

In 2020, Jay began privately studying Voice with mezzo-soprano, Kori Jennings. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jay listened intently to their instrument as their voice began to further shift in a higher direction and vocally transitioned back to soprano. This change also coincided with their public expression as a 2-spirit/nonbinary person, allowing Jay to completely revamp their career during the Great Pause. Jay marked their return to live performance in autumn 2021 as the soprano soloist in the premiere of “Deep Blue Sea” with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company. Since that time, Jay has performed with the Unsung Collective in performances at Lincoln Center and The CARA and is currently at work on numerous musical projects, namely the role of Cosima in “Spirit in the Vine” and has been a featured soloist for the Grace Chorale of Brooklyn.