The Scene


Peter McGillivray

Peter McGillivray

The award-winning Saskatchewan-born baritone Peter McGillivray begins his 2022-23 season as Don Magnifico in Manitoba Opera’s La Cenerentola followed by a role debut as Bottom in Vancouver Opera’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 2021-22 saw Peter take on Sir Joseph Porter in Vancouver Opera’s HMS Pinafore and return to Don Magnifico for Brott Opera. His 2019-2020 season began with Schaunard in La bohème for Calgary Opera followed by one of his signature roles, Doctor Bartolo, in Le nozze di Figaro for Edmonton Opera. Peter rounded out the season with Tapestry Opera’s Rocking Horse Winner, reimagined for the digital world due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Other recent opera projects include Don Pizarro in Fidelio and Stárek in Jenůfa for Pacific Opera Victoria, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola with Vancouver Opera, and Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia for l’Opéra de Québec and Calgary Opera. Of particular note was his creation of dual roles in The Overcoat, A Musical Tailoring, a co-production directed by Morris Panych for Canadian Stage, Tapestry Opera and Vancouver Opera.

Further credits include Moby Dick with Dallas Opera and Calgary Opera (Stubb), La Cenerentola with Edmonton Opera (Don Magnifico), Le nozze di Figaro for Manitoba Opera (Bartolo), and Silent Night with Calgary Opera. With Vancouver Opera, he appeared in Albert Herring as the Vicar and for Saskatoon Opera, as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, a role he reprised with l’Opéra de Québec. Additional credits include Dr. Falke in Edmonton Opera’s Die Fledermaus, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi as Betto (Calgary Opera) and Marco (Canadian Opera Company) and as Silvio in Pagliacci (Calgary Opera). McGillivray has sung Dolokhov and General Belliard in War and Peace for the Canadian Opera Company and de Bretigny in Calgary Opera’s Manon. His Schaunard in La bohème has taken him to Winnipeg and Ottawa and as a cover artist, to The Metropolitan Opera where he has also covered Olivier in Capriccio. Dedicated to new opera, Peter has appeared with Tapestry Opera in Omar Daniel’s The Shadow, Juliet Palmer’s Shelter and in Gareth Williams’ Dora Award-winning production of Rocking Horse Winner.

In concert, Peter has appeared with the Elmer Iseler Singers of Toronto and the McGill Chamber Orchestra, sang Carmina Burana for Toronto’s Amadeus Choir, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in Regina, and joined the Toronto Summer Music for Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. He has sung the Duruflé Requiem for the Vancouver Chamber Choir, Messiah with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Winnipeg Symphony, Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Estacio’s The Houses Stand Not Far Apart with the Richard Eaton Singers in Edmonton.

In Saskatoon, Peter has performed Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony, and Bach’s Johannes Passion in Montreal. His Haydn repertoire includes Die Schöpfung, which he sang with the Georgian Bay Concert Choir. Bach’s Mass in B Minor took him to Kitchener’s Grand Philharmonic Choir, the Peterborough Singers and the Talisker Players of Toronto. At summer festivals, he has appeared in Acis and Galatea for Festival of the Sound and the Elora Festival and Carmina Burana with the Elora Festival and the Brott Festival. In addition, Peter has sung with the FestiVoix in Trois-Rivières and the Luminato Festival.

A former member of the Ensemble Studio of the Canadian Opera Company, Peter made his professional debut as Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and sang Schlendrian in a staged production of Bach’s Coffee Cantata. Other Canadian Opera Company credits have included Sid and the Vicar in Britten’s Albert Herring, and Wagner in Faust. He was seen as Demetrius in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Tanglewood and other highlights of past seasons include a Debut Atlantic tour of the Maritime provinces; recitals in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Saskatoon and Ottawa; and engagements with the Calgary Philharmonic, and l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec.

As a young artist, Peter won the Deuxième Grand Prix and prize for Best Canadian Performance at the Montreal International Musical Competition, a success followed by another top prize at the Queen Sonja Competition in Oslo, Norway. He previously received national recognition at the CBC Radio-Canada Young Performers Competition in Calgary when he took home First Prize as well as the Audience Award. Mr. McGillivray is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Opera Division and also holds an honours degree in Canadian History and Literature from the U of T’s University College. He was awarded grants from both the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts and has been a finalist and prize-winner at the Eckhart-Gramatté Competition, the Lotte Lenya Singing Competition and the Robert Schumann International Competition for Piano and Lied, held in the composer’s birthplace of Zwickau, Germany. Peter was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for his creation of the role of Petrovich in The Overcoat.

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