Soprano Maghan McPhee’s voice has been described as “brilliant, with warm lyricism” (Times Argus). Her voice seems tailor-made to the the brilliance and difficulty in the Mozartian opera roles , including Ilia in Idomeneo, Susanna and Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro, Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Zerlina in Don Giovanni. Other roles are Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, and Berta in Rossini’s Barbiere di Siviglia where she made her mark and “immediately had the public holding their breath during her brief but remarkable solo”.(LeDroit)
Through her primary teacher, Benita Valente, she is a descendent of the Garcia Bel Canto technique. She uses this as a base for instruction for all styles of classical singing. Maghan is also a student of the Alexander Technique and chooses to teach breath and phonation from an holistic point of view, recognizing the importance of remaining mindful that the singer’s instrument is their entire body rather than just a “voice”.
Maghan was recently featured with the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra, singing Mozart concert arias with National Art Centre violinist, Donnie Deacon. She worked with Alexander Shelley and Colm Feore in Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and was the featured soprano soloist in their annual Messiah.
Maghan is a dynamic and engaging recitalist. She released a CD with pianist Parvaneh Eshghi entitled Portrait, a combination of art songs with resonant poetry that paints a picture of Maghan’s musical self. "[Maghan has] full command of her instrument, precise in her attacks, and stylish in her approach to the songs..." -Barcza Blog, Leslie Barcza"McPhee sounds (again) totally fluid in French, floating the notes without any noticeable sense of effort. ..." -Barcza Blog Leslie Barcza. "Few composers can boast more refinement in their music than Ravel... listen to McPhee's exquisite account of the Cinq mélodies populaires grecques."
- Wolfgang's Tonic, Richard Todd
Highlights of past seasons include being featured with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the American Symphony Orchestra and making her Carnegie Hall debut in the world premiere of a work by American composer Ryan Carter. Operatic highlights include creating the role of Hope in the Tapestry New Opera/Edmonton Opera production of Shelter by Juliet Palmer. Ms. McPhee is also a founding member Carmen on Tap (Micaëla), a travelling production based on Bizet’s original score. Most recently, Carmen on Tap appeared at the Stratford Summer Music Festival, Toronto, and the Prince Edward County Music Festival. An accomplished chamber musician, she has been engaged by various presenters including the Ottawa Chamberfest, Thirteen Strings and The Juilliard School in New York.
Ms. McPhee completed her second Masters Degree at Bard College Conservatory of Music in New York where she was awarded a full scholarship and a teaching position. One of only eight international singers in the inaugural class, she worked alongside various world-class coaches including Dawn Upshaw, Jennifer Ringo Conlon, and Lorraine Nubar. She is a recipient of a Canada Council for the Arts Grant for Professional Musicians. This funding enabled her to continue her monthly trips to New York to work with acclaimed American soprano Benita Valente (Marlboro Music Festival), Jennifer Ringo Conlon (Los Angeles Opera; Bard College; Aspen Opera Theater Institute) and others from the Metropolitan Opera.
Competition credits include the Eckhardt Gramatte Competition, the Montreal International Voice Competition, the Louis Quilico Voice Competition, and the Académie International d'été de Nice (France) Competition. An honours graduate of the University of Toronto, Ms. McPhee earned a Master’s degree from the University of Ottawa. She currently teaches voice at Carleton University.