Saskatchewan-born baritone Peter McGillivray participated in Pacific Opera Victoria's 2008 Resident Artist Program and made his POV debut in the role of Prince Yamadori in Madama Butterfly. He returns in February 2013 to perform in two of Pacific Opera Victoria's Britten Festival productions in celebration of the 100th birthday of Benjamin Britten. He will be Noah in Noye's Fludde , and in Albert Herring he will be Vicar Gedge – a role he has previously performed with the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio.
During the 2012-13 season he performed Schaunard in La Bohème for Opera Lyra Ottawa, and sang a concert of Bach Cantatas with Pax Christi Chorale. Upcoming are a starring role in an exciting new Tapestry New Opera/Edmonton Opera co-production of Juliet Palmer's Shelter, and a summer concert tour called Villains and Vixens with Kristina Szabo and Peter Tiefenbach.
During the 2011/12 season Peter appeared with Calgary Opera as Silvio in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, as Betto in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, as Stubb in the Canadian première of Jake Heggie's Moby Dick, and returned to the Canadian Opera Company for Gianni Schicchi. As a concert artist, he was heard with the Elmer Iseler Singers and the Grand Philharmonic Choir in Messiah and in a special programme at the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound.
In 2010/11 he completed his first season on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera as cover artist for Schaunard in La Bohème and Olivier in Strauss' Capriccio.
Other recent highlights include Die Fledermaus (Falke) with Opera Hamilton, Massenet's Manon (de Brétigny) with Calgary Opera, and Andrew Staniland's Dark Star Requiem with Toronto's Tapestry New Opera for the Luminato Festival.
McGillivray leapt to international attention in 2005 by winning top prizes both at the Montreal International Musical Competition and at Norway's Queen Sonja Competition. He was also the winner of the 2003 CBC Young Performers Competition.
As a recent member of the Ensemble Studio of the Canadian Opera Company, he made his professional debut as Aeneas in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and as Schlendrian in a staged production of Bach's Coffee Cantata in 2003. Performances in past seasons with the Canadian Opera Company have included turns as Sid and as the Vicar in Britten's Albert Herring, and as Schaunard in La bohème. He was seen as Demetrius in a critically-acclaimed production of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts and as Sid in Albert Herring for the Aldeburgh Festival. He was critically acclaimed for his commanding performance in the premiere of Omar Daniel's The Shadow with Tapestry New Opera. He has appeared with opera companies in Calgary, Saskatoon, Hamilton, Québec City and Victoria as well as in concert with the Calgary Philharmonic, Edmonton, Regina, Windsor and Winnipeg Symphonies, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.
Peter has recently released a CD, Summer Schemes, featuring British, American, German and French Art Songs, performed with pianist Liz Upchurch.
Mr. McGillvray is a graduate of the University of Toronto's Opera Division, where he was a student of soprano Lynn Blaser and mezzo-soprano Patricia Kern. He also holds an honours degree in Canadian History and Literature from the U of T's University College. Having previously performed at the Ravinia, Aldeburgh and Aspen Music Festivals, he has been awarded substantial grants from both the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts. He was the 2006 Stockey Young Artist at the Festival of the Sound, and he has been a finalist and prize-winner at the Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, at the Lotte Lenya Singing Competition and at the Robert Schumann International Competition for Piano and Lied.
AUDIO: Hear excerpts from Peter McGillivray's CD Summer Schemes.
Below: Excerpt from a 2010 concert featuring Peter McGillivray and pianist Julien Leblanc.
He has developed a rich, beautiful baritone, backed by a solid technique that allowed him to sing the top notes with assurance, not to speak of exemplary musicality and intelligence. There is a sincerity and directness of communication to his singing that is striking — this is a singer with something to say to his audience.
La Scena Musicale
McGillivray's rich and blooming baritone is ... always keenly focused, rock steady, with nary a wobble, and his enunciation is impeccable at every turn.