Hailed as a force of nature (Toronto Star) and an actress of immense talent (Opera Canada), mezzo-soprano Lynne McMurtry is an exciting and vibrant presence on the concert and operatic stage. Her career spans the breadth of classical music genres, from opera and oratorio through art song and new music. She has sung with the Boston Symphony, the Charleston Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony, and Manitoba Opera, among others, and at many of the major festivals, including Tanglewood, Ravinia, Banff, and Aldeburgh. Conductors with whom she has performed include Seiji Ozawa, Robert Spano, William Eddins, Kevin Mallon, Wayne Strongman, Ivars Taurins, and Lorraine Vaillancourt.
In the standard repertoire, her operatic credits include the Slave in Salome with the Boston Symphony, Arsace in Rossini's Semiramide with Opera in Concert, Gertrude in Roméo et Juliette with Opera Hamilton, Olga in Eugene Onegin at Aldeburgh, and the Third Lady in The Magic Flute with Manitoba Opera. Her oratorio performances include Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Kingston Symphony, Mozart's Requiem and Bach's St. John Passion with Pax Christi Chorale, Messiah with the Charleston Symphony and the Grand Philharmonic Choir, Elijah with the Newfoundland Symphony, and Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with the Eastman Faculty Players.
Recent and upcoming engagements include Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana and Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance for Edmonton Opera, Mistress Quickly in Falstaff for Calgary Opera and Hamilton Opera, and Messiah for the Elmer Iseler Singers. She has performed with Manitoba Opera in Candide, Opera Lyra Ottawa in Cavalleria Rusticana, Calgary Opera in Faust, the Winnipeg Symphony in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and with the Aldeburgh Connection of Toronto. She debuted with the Winnipeg Symphony in songs of Gustav Mahler. Further credits include Symphony New Brunswick (Messiah and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen) and Edmonton Symphony (Glagolitic Mass). She returned to Opera in Concert for Vivaldi's La Griselda, and recorded both that opera and a disc of Vivaldi's sacred music with Aradia Ensemble. Her performances of the song repertoire continue to attract attention; a recent recital, which explored the poetry of Walt Whitman set by composers including Rorem, Bernstein, and Toronto composer James Rolfe, earned her a rave review in the Toronto Star, which stated that Art doesn't get any more moving than this.
Her interest in contemporary music extends across the genres, and her many premières include the world première of Conquering the Fury of Oblivion by Chicago Symphony composer-in-residence Augusta Read Thomas, the Canadian première of Ned Rorem's Evidence Not Seen with the Maplewood Artists Collective, and the North American première of Judith Weir's Voice of Desire. In the last few seasons she has been featured in no less than seven Canadian operas, including her highly acclaimed, multi-faceted performances in Opera to Go with Tapestry New Opera Works.
Ms.McMurtry grew up in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. She holds a Master of Music degree in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, and an Advanced Master of Music degree in Opera from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, where she was a winner of the Opera Trust Scholarship.
McMurtry is a force of nature ... This young artist has pipes of steel, an assured technique and great stage presence, which bode a great future.
McMurtry ... possess a big dramatic voice and many shades of nuance. She is also an actress of immense talent.