Pamela Dewell –

DATE: June 19, 2023

STONINGTON – Nashville songwriter and composer Ray Duncan will be performing a selection of original songs written for six of Shakespeare’s plays. Presented by Opera House Arts, the performance will take place on Saturday, June 24th at the Burnt Cove Church in Stonington at 7 pm. The set will include music from Much Ado About Nothing, which Opera House Arts produced at Mariners Memorial Park last summer. Duncan will be accompanied by Sam C. Jones who was also here last summer and Machaela Nesler-Scibilia.

Born in Cambria, California, Ray has been performing all her life. Playing her first shows at only 13 years old, by 16 she had formed the duo Ranchers for Peace with her father, songwriter Charles Duncan. After releasing her debut solo EP, This Road in 2016, Ray moved to Nashville where she now works as a background singer and freelance composer, in addition to performing as a solo artist. Ray also co-hosts podcast Book of Jude, which is a series of interviews with her mother, hit songwriter Jude Johnstone, that tells the story of Johnstone’s career in the music business.

In 2020 Ray formed R&B/swamp-rock duo New Daddy with songwriter Stefbbaby, and finished recording her EP, Break My Heart. In 2022, Ranchers for Peace released their third EP titled One Kind of Free, and Ray released a new solo single Don’t Let it Get to You.

Duncan is now poised to release her debut full length record, a twelve-song collection titled Under the Greenwood Tree, comprised entirely of music she composed for Shakespeare’s plays over the course of her career in sound design. Shakespeare used the term “under the greenwood tree” to evoke the pastures and forests of Tudor England. The album is set to be released in early June of 2023.

As a composer, Duncan has also written music for productions of Romeo and Juliet (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival Spring Tour 2023), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Connecticut Shakespeare Festival 2021), As You Like It (Scranton Shakespeare Festival), Much Ado About Nothing (Easy Leap Theatre Company/The Brick and Opera House Arts 2022), Othello (Easy Leap Theatre Co/The Underground Lounge) and created musical arrangements for Henry IV (Scranton Shakespeare Radio Plays, 2020.)

Tickets are $25 for adults and $12.50 for visitors aged 17 and under. For more information or to purchase advance tickets, visit Hancock County students are invited to attend the concert for free, thanks to supporters of Opera House Arts and area business advertisers. Tickets will also be sold at the door, subject to availability.

Opera House Arts, a 501 [c] [3] nonprofit organization, was founded in 1999 to restore the 1912 Stonington Opera House, on the National Register of Historic Places, and its original purpose as a performance space and community cornerstone. Professional theater, movies, variety acts, music and dance, educational programs, and special events are offered yearround. Hancock County students are invited to attend live performances for free thanks to Opera House Arts supporters. For more information, tickets, and a schedule of upcoming performances and events, please visit

Ray Duncan Headshot

Ray Duncan

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