Canadian soprano Elizabeth McDonald has a diverse career as a performer and teacher. A young artist with both the Santa Fe Opera and the Canadian Opera Company, Elizabeth understudied and performed a number of major roles including Elettra in Mozart’s Idomeneo, The Woman in Schoenberg’s Erwartung, Miss Jessel in Britten’s Turn of the Screw, and Jenufa in Janecek’s Jenufa. She has appeared with the National Ballet Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, and the Kingston Symphony and is a regular recitalist having been featured at Virginia Polytechnic University, Eastman School of Music, and the Off Centre Music Salon in Toronto. In the studio she has recorded Canadian composer Martha Hill Duncan’s Singing in the Northland with pianist Kathryn Tremills. Recent appearances include and the Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival, the Civic Morning Recital Series in Syracuse, NY, the American Cathedral in Paris, and the Maison des étudiants canadiens in Paris.
Recent performances, masterclasses and lecture-recitals with her trio, Women on the Verge, took place at Universities in western Canada including Lethbridge, Calgary, Grand Prairie and Alberta as well as further stops at Pacific Lutheran University, Western Washington State University, the Iceland University of the Arts, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. The Trio was also featured on Classical King FM in Seattle, at the University of Toronto Thursday Noon Series, Bucknell University Artist Series, Fox Island Concert Series in Maine, NE and the Borough New Music Series in London, UK.
A 2012 participant of the prestigious NATS Intern Program, Elizabeth is quickly making a name as an active and inspiring teacher of voice. Her students have won major awards including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition, the Canadian Opera Company Centre Stage Competition, the Art Song Preservation Society Competition German Lieder Prize, the American National Opera Association Vocal Competition, and the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition. They have been accepted at prestigious summer programs including the Ravinia Festival, The Franz Schubert Institute, and as a Mark and Eva Stern Fellowship at SongFest. Her students are regularly accepted to major graduate programs across North America and the United Kingdom and have received Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation Grants, the Norcop Prize in Song (UofT) and been featured on the 2016 and 2017 CBC's annual list "Hot 30 Under 30 Classical Musicians."
Elizabeth has served as an adjudicator for major music festivals across the country including the 2019 Newfoundland Provincial Music Festival, 2018 National Music Festival, and the 2017 New Brunswick Provincial Music Festival. She has conducted master classes at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Bemidji State, Carlton, Lakehead, Lethbridge, Texas Tech, Western, and Queen’s Universities and has taught at Cowtown Opera Summer Academy in Calgary, Long Reach Summer Opera Workshop in Toronto, and regularly works with the Toronto Children’s Choir, the Ontario Youth Choir, the Hamilton Children’s Chorus. In 2019 she was a faculty member of the inaugural season of the Great Lakes International Summer Music Institute and in 2020 will work with the participants of the Albany Pro Musica Choral Festival.
Elizabeth graduated from the Eastman School of Music with a Master of Music in Performance and Literature and was additionally awarded a Performers’ Certificate. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto and has trained at the Banff Centre for the Arts in the Dramatic Integration Program, the Britten-Pears School in Contemporary Song Literature, the Orford Arts Centre, and at the Vancouver Early Music Festival.
Currently on faculty at the University of Toronto, Elizabeth has served as the Associate Editor for the new Conservatory Voice Series published by PLANGERE Editions in 2014, is the Past-President for the Ontario Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), and is the co-founder of the trio Women on the Verge.
Elizabeth resides full time in Prince Edward County, Ontario with her husband and two teenage children.