Hailed by Opera News as possessing “a sturdy baritone and terrific swagger with equal portions of baritonal power and graceful subtlety,” Michael Anthony McGee is enjoying successes on both operatic and concert stages, in all styles from the Renaissance to contemporary repertoire. McGee has sung leading roles throughout the United States, including the title roles in both Falstaff and Gianni Schicchi with Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, Alphonse in La favorite and the title-role of Prince Igor with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program, the American premiere of Tan Dun’s Tea: A Mirror of Soul and Oreste in Iphigénie en Tauride at Santa Fe Opera, and Hermann Ortel in Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg at the Tanglewood Music Festival under the baton of James Levine. In his two years as a Filene Young Artist at Wolf Trap Opera Company, McGee sang the roles of Don Geronio in Il turco in Italia, Snug in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the title role of Sweeney Todd with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Filene Center. Other engagements include William/Chief Ahtahkakoop in Migrations for Welsh National Opera, the role of Francesco del Giocondo in Max von Schillings’ Mona Lisa at Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with Orchestra Now at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles with Israeli Opera. Other recent engagements include Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs and First Nazarene in Salome with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Engagements affected by the Covid-19 pandemic included Rutter’s Mass of the Children with the Santa Fe Symphony, First Nazarene in Salome with Hawaii Opera Theatre and Scindia in Le roi de Lahore with Dorset Opera (UK).
In 2008, McGee made his Carnegie Hall debut with Opera Orchestra of New York (OONY) as The Tsar’s Valet in The Tsar’s Bride conducted by Eve Queler. McGee continued his relationship with OONY and recently recorded the role of Bustamente in La Navarraise with Roberto Alagna and Elina Garanca, conducted by Alberto Veronesi, to be released by Deutsche Grammophon.
McGee made his European debut when Lorin Maazel offered him the leading role of Winston Smith in his opera 1984 at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, learning the role in five days. His success was hailed internationally: “Young, American baritone Michael Anthony McGee, doing his first Winston Smith, showed a fine, well-trained voice and promising acting skills.” McGee continued his working relationship with Maazel with the Hong Kong Philharmonic in Britten’s War Requiem, at Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari as Morales in Carmen, and at Maazel’s Castleton Festival, where he performed the roles of Marcello in La bohème and Morales in Carmen, and was featured in recital at the Theater at Little Washington as a “Star of the Future.”
On the concert stage, McGee has sung Jesus in Bach’s St. John Passion with members of the Manhattan School of Music Orchestra in a charity benefit for Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS. McGee’s oratorio repertoire includes the bass soloist in Bach’s Magnificat, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, the roles of Raphael and Adam in Haydn’s The Creation, Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem, Faure’s Requiem, Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and Rückert Lieder, and Orff’s Carmina Burana recently performed with both the Seattle Symphony and the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company.
As a recitalist, McGee has performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Kaufman Center’s Merkin Hall, and 92nd Street Y, The Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, NY, Trinity Concert’s at One at Trinity Church, The Bruno Walter Auditorium at the New York Public Library for Performing Arts, The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, Ozawa Hall at the Tanglewood Music Festival, and Nordstrom Hall in Seattle. As a 2009 Stern Fellow at Songfest, Michael Anthony McGee premiered the cycle Insomnia by American composer Tom Cipullo. McGee returned to Songfest as the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus, where he was presented in recital at the Colburn School in Los Angeles and premiered the four-hand transcription of Bernstein’s Songfest prepared by John Musto.
Michael Anthony McGee was the first American ever to win first place at the Marie Kraja International Competition for Operatic Singers held in Tirana, Albania. Additional awards include second place in the Opera Index Competition, winner of the 2009 Sullivan Foundation Award, second place in the 2009 Liederkranz Foundation Competition, first place in the 2009 Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition and first place in the 2009 Mario Lanza Institute International Competition. McGee is also a recipient of the George London Award from the George London Foundation for Singers.
A native of Dallas, he holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music.