The Scene


Iain MacNeil

Iain MacNeil

Canadian baritone Iain MacNeil “is a singer to be reckoned with” (Musical Toronto). He recently made his debut with Vancouver Opera in the title role of The Marriage of Figaro, and in March he was a national semi finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. In February of 2016 Iain sang the title role in the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio performance of The Marriage of Figaro with a “clear and piercing tone” (Schmopera). He debuted the role of Tarquinius with the Banff Centre in July of 2016, and the Calgary Herald wrote: “He had the vocal power to make me feel I was in the presence of a master…His is a voice so sure of itself you can trust it do exactly what it is supposed to do and quite convincingly.” Musical Toronto hailed his May 2016 performance of Canadian composer John Greer’s arrangement of the Songs of Travel for piano Quintet as having “uncommon beauty of tone and heartfelt expression,” as well as having a “virile and smooth baritone.” In May of 2015 he portrayed a “remarkable…totally convincing” (La Scena Musicale) Doctor Bartolo in the COC Ensemble Studio performance of the Barber of Seville. He was a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio from 2014-2016 after studying for a year at the University of Toronto Opera School with Canadian soprano Wendy Nielsen. In the summer of 2013 he participated in the Young Singers Project with the Salzburg Festival, after graduating from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Music degree under the tutelage of Canadian mezzo soprano Marcia Swanston. In his February, 2012 performance of the title role in Sweeney Todd, critics said he “…doesn’t miss a beat, and that, as they say, is performance,” (The Chronicle Herald) and “His voice and diction were excellent and he easily portrayed the conflicted anti-hero” (Opera Canada).

Opera performance highlights include: Tarquinius (The Rape of Lucretia) with Banff Open Spaces: Opera in the 21st Century; Le Dancaïre (Carmen), Marchese D’Obigny (La traviata), Fiorello (The Barber of Seville), and the Imperial Commissioner (Madama Butterfly) with the Canadian Opera Company; Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) and Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) with the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy; Sid (Albert Herring) with the U of T Opera School; Bobby (Mahagonny Songspiel), Sweeney Todd (Sweeney Todd), the Brewer (Comedy on the Bridge) and the Bartender (Face on the Barroom Floor), all with the Dalhousie Opera Workshop. In June of 2014 Iain sang the role of Tancredi (Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda) at the International Barrocktage Stift Melk in Austria. In May of 2014 he represented the Canadian Opera Company in the Stella Maris International Voice Competition on board the MS Europa. Prior to university, Iain performed in numerous musical theatre pieces, most recently as Cosmo Brown (Singing In The Rain).

Iain is a recipient of numerous scholarships and prizes. Recently he was a finalist in the Ottawa Choral Society New Discoveries Competition, the male prize recipient of the Emmerich Smola Förderpreis in Landau, Germany, a finalist in the Canadian Opera Company Centre Stage Competition, and a recipient of the Elvira Gonnella Scholarship in voice and the Georg Tintner Concerto Night prize. He was chosen to represent Nova Scotia in the national finals of the Registered Music Teachers competition in 2013. In June he will make his debut with Saskatoon Opera in the role of Don Giovanni, before joining the Frankfurt Opera Studio in September of 2017.

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