Born in Louisiana, Donnie Ray Albert earned a Bachelor of Music Degree at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a Master of Music Degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. His voice teachers included Victor Klimash, Bruce Foote and Thomas Hayward. Mr. Albert spent two summers as an apprentice at Wolf Trap.
Upon graduating from SMU, Mr. Albert began his operatic and concert career in the summer of 1975 with Houston Grand Opera as Parson Alltalk in TREEMONISHA. Mr. Albert would subsequently go on to perform in ten HGO productions including the award winning tours of PORGY AND BESS and SHOWBOAT.
Thirteen years of Mr. Albert’s career were as a Bass-Baritone. In 1988, the switch to Baritone repertoire proved to be a welcome fit which led to engagements by most of the major opera companies and orchestras in North America and Europe. Highlights include TOSCA (Scarpia) in Portland, New York City Opera, Atlanta & Giessen; AIDA (Amonasro) in Washington, DC, Köln, Boston, Montreal, and Stade de France; NABACCO in Vancouver, Florentine Opera, La Scala; RIGOLETTO in Miami, New York City, Arizona, Mannheim, and Vancouver; OTELLO (Jago) in Sacramento, Kentucky Opera, Hamburg; UN BALLO IN MASCHERA (Renato) in Utah, Chicago Lyric and Los Angeles; THE FLYING DUTCHMAN in Austin, Köln, Arizona; MACBETH in Columbus, Ohio & Köln; LA TRAVIATA (Germont) Metropolitan Opera in the Parks; DIE WALKÜRE (Wotan) in Austin and Tokyo, Japan; SIEGFRIED (Wanderer) in Tokyo, Japan; TALES OF HOFFMANN (Villains) Houston, Köln, Prague National Theater, and Covent Garden.
Orchestral engagements have been in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Jerusalem, London, Cleveland, Toronto, and New York. Mr. Albert has collaborated with notable conductors, John DeMain, James Conlon, Paavo Järvi, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Alexander Joel, John Fiore and Karel Mark Chichon.
Mr. Albert can be heard on RCA’s PORGY AND BESS (Grammy 1977 – Best Opera Recording and the Grand Prix du Disc); THE RISE AND FALL OF THE CITY OF MAHAGONNY( 2 Grammys: 2008 Best Opera Recording and Best Classical Album) conducted by James Conlon; EMI’s EINE FLORENTINISCHE TRAGÖDIE, also conducted by James Conlon. Mr. Albert’s discography can be found on CD Baby and Amazon.com.
Mr. Albert has also been an Affiliate Artist and one of the original Resident Artists with the Center for Black Music Research Ensemble (CBMRE) at Columbia College in Chicago. Other awards include the 1992 Alumnus Of the Year at L.S.U. School of Music, the 2010 Musical Legend Award by the Shiloh Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, LA, the 2010 Lift Every Voice Legend Award from the National Opera Association and the 2012 DMMA/NANM Musician of the Year Award.