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 returned 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 was Noah in Noye's Fludde , and in Albert Herring he performed the role of Vicar Gedge. Peter returned in 2016 as Dr. Bartolo in Rossini's The Barber of Seville and in 2017 performed the role of Stárek in Janáček's Jenůfa. He returns in 2018 as Pizarro in Beethoven's Fidelio.
Peter McGillivray leapt to international attention in 2005 by winning top prizes both at the Montreal International Musical Competition and at the Queen Sonja Competition in Oslo, Norway. He first attracted the national interest of Canadians both as the winner of the 2003 CBC Young Performers Competition and as a member of the Ensemble Studio of the Canadian Opera Company.
In recent seasons he has been seen on opera stages from coast to coast including turns as Dr. Bartolo in both The Barber of Seville (with Opera Lyra Ottawa, Opéra de Québec, and Calgary Opera) and The Marriage of Figaro (with Manitoba Opera and Opera Lyra Ottawa); Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Opéra de Québec and Saskatoon Opera, Vicar Gedge in Albert Herring with both Pacific Opera Victoria and Vancouver Opera, Dr. Falke in Edmonton Opera's Die Fledermaus, Schaunard in Manitoba Opera's La bohème and the Canadian première of Kevin Puts's Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night with Calgary Opera.
In 2019 Peter's engagements include Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola (Vancouver Opera) and Father in Hansel and Gretel (Edmonton Opera).
Of special interest recently was the role of Petrovich in the World Première of The Overcoat presented by Vancouver Opera, Tapestry New Opera Works and Canadian Stage in spring 2018. Peter's 2016/17 season also included Tapestry New Opera Works Dora Award-winning Rocking Horse Winner and Stubb in Moby Dick for Dallas Opera, Messiah with the Elmer Iseler Singers, and Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola for Edmonton Opera.
Peter has released three CDs – Summer Schemes, featuring British, American, German and French Art Songs, performed with pianist Liz Upchurch; Cloud Light: The Songs of Norbert Palej with Michèle Bogdanowicz, Jacqueline Woodley, Lawrence Wiliford & Steven Philcox; and Dark Star Requiem, which was nominated for two 2017 Juno Awards.
Below: Excerpt from a 2010 concert featuring Peter McGillivray and pianist Julien Leblanc.
There's some strong singing, particularly from baritone Peter McGillivray as Dr. Bartolo... McGillivray received the most vocal applause at curtain ... McGillivray is also a gifted comic actor, one of those performers able to project humour and whimsy with a gesture or a look. His turns were among the most enjoyable of the evening.
Adrian Chamberlain, Victoria Times Colonist, Review of The Barber of Seville with Pacific Opera Victoria, 2016.
Peter McGillivray was a robust and energetic Noye, as competent a carpenter and sailor as one might wish to see. His strong, rich baritone which never faltered and confident acting provided a rock-steady base for the excellent but less experienced cast to work with.
Elizabeth Paterson, Review Vancouver, Review of Noye's Fludde with Pacific Opera Victoria, 2013
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.