Lynne McMurtry


Lynne McMurtry



Hailed as “a force of nature” (Toronto Star) and “an actress of immense talent” (Opera Canada), contralto Lynne McMurtry is an exciting and vibrant presence on the concert and operatic stage. Her career spans the breadth of classical music genres, from opera and oratorio through art song and new music. She has sung with the Boston Symphony, the Charleston Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony, and Manitoba Opera, among others, and at many of the major festivals, including Tanglewood, Ravinia, Banff, and Aldeburgh.   Conductors with whom she has performed include Seiji Ozawa, Robert Spano, William Eddins, Kevin Mallon, Wayne Strongman, Ivars Taurins, and Lorraine Vaillancourt. In 2015-2016 she was heard with the Calgary Philharmonic in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and as Emilia in Pacific Opera Victoria’s production of Otello. Ms. McMurtry’s 2016 season included Mistress Quickly in Falstaff for Calgary Opera, and she looks forward to a production with Pacific Opera Victoria in the Fall of 2017.

Ms. McMurtry’s 2014-15 season included Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro for both Calgary Opera and Opera Lyra Ottawa. Other recent highlights include the role of Mistress Quickly in Falstaff for Opera Hamilton, The Old Lady in Candide for Calgary Opera, Bloody Mary in South Pacific for Pacific Opera Victoria and Messiah with the Okanagan Symphony.

In the standard repertoire, her operatic credits include the Slave in Salome with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Arsace in Rossini’s Semiramide with Opera in Concert, Gertrude in Roméo et Juliette with Opera Ontario, Olga in Evgeny Onegin at Aldeburgh, and the Third Lady in The Magic Flute with Manitoba Opera. Her oratorio performances include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Kingston Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem and J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion with Pax Christi Chorale, Messiah with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and the Grand Philharmonic Choir, Elijah with the Newfoundland Symphony, and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Eastman Faculty Players.

Past engagements for Ms. McMurtry include Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana and Ruth in Pirates of Penzance for Edmonton Opera, Mistress Quickly in Falstaff for Calgary Opera and Messiah for the Elmer Iseler Singers. She has been featured by Manitoba Opera in Candide, Opera Lyra Ottawa in Cavalleria Rusticana, Calgary Opera in Faust, Winnipeg Symphony in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and with the Aldeburgh Connection of Toronto. She debuted with the Winnipeg Symphony in songs of Gustav Mahler, and further credits include Symphony New Brunswick (Messiah and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen) and Edmonton Symphony (Glagolitic Mass). She returned to Opera in Concert for Vivaldi’s La Griselda, and recorded both that opera and a disc of Vivaldi’s sacred music with Aradia Ensemble. Her performances of the song repertoire continue to attract attention; a recital, which explored the poetry of Walt Whitman set by composers including Rorem, Bernstein, and Toronto composer James Rolfe, earned her a rave review in the Toronto Star, which stated that “Art doesn’t get any more moving than this.”

Her interest in contemporary music extends across the genres, and her many premieres include the world premiere of Conquering the Fury of Oblivion by Chicago Symphony composer-in-residence Augusta Read Thomas, the Canadian premiere of Ned Rorem’s Evidence Not Seen with the Maplewood Artists Collective, and the North American premiere of Judith Weir’s Voice of Desire. In the last few seasons she has been featured in no less than seven Canadian operas, including three premieres including her highly acclaimed, multi-faceted performances in “Opera to Go” with Tapestry New Opera Works.

Ms. McMurtry grew up in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. She holds a Master of Music degree in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, and an Advanced Master of Music degree in Opera from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, where she was a winner of the Opera Trust Scholarship.   For upcoming performances and additional information, please visit her website at                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

January 2017


Old Lady
Boieldieu Marguerite LA DAME BLANCHE
Gounod Marthe
Handel Arsamene XERXES
Menotti The Mother THE CONSUL
Mozart Dritte Dame
Poulenc Mme. De Croissy/Old Prioress DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES
Puccini La Zia Principessa
Purcell Sorceress DIDO AND AENEAS
Ravel Maman/la tasse chinoise L’ENFANT ET LES SORTILÈGES
Rodgers Bloody Mary SOUTH PACIFIC
Rossini Arsace SEMIRAMIDE
Strauss, R. the Slave SALOME
Sullivan, A. Edith
Lady Jane
Sullivan, T. Mother/Doorkeeper DREAM PLAY
Sweeney Alba/Torc AN TURUS
Tchaikovsky Olga EUGENE ONEGIN
Verdi Mistress Quickly FALSTAFF
Vivaldi Roberto LA GRISELDA
Wagner Erda
Norn I



Bach, J.S. Johannes Passion
Mass in B minor
Mass in A
Mass in G
Cantatas 164, 169
Beethoven Missa Solemnis
Symphony No. 9
Brahms Songs for Voice & Viola op. 9
Alto Rhapsody
Duruflé Requiem
Elgar Sea Pictures
Handel Messiah
Haydn Missa in tempori belli
Ives The Celestial Kingdom
Janáček Glagolitic Mass
Mahler Das Lied von der Erde
Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
Rückert Lieder
Des Knaben Wunderhorn
Symphony No. 2
Mendelssohn Elijah
Mozart Requiem in D minor
Pergolesi Stabat Mater
Prokofiev Alexander Nevsky
Raminsh Magnificat
Rorem Evidence of Things Not Seen
Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle
Schubert Mass in G
Thomas, R.A. Conquering the Fury of Oblivion
Vivaldi Gloria


“Mistress Quickly, sung by contralto Lynne McMurtry, helped machinate the plot like a master puppeteer.” [Falstaff, Manitoba Opera], Holly Harris

“Les quatre belles commères…le contralto Lynne McMurtry (Mistress Quickly), brillent par leur charme et leur espièglerie. Quatre voix superbes et quatre actrices exceptionnelles, elles chantent et jouent avec une grande complicité. [Falstaff, Manitoba Opera]
La Liberté, Pierre Meunier

“Lynne McMurtry est d’un comique irrésistible.” [Falstaff, Manitoba Opera] La Liberté, Pierre Meunier

“As Mistress Quickly, Lynne McMurtry was superb in her various duets with Falstaff, the humour broad, but always staying within the bounds of taste and wit. She has an excellent voice-strong in the lower register and with excellent character throughout.”
Calgary Herald – Kenneth Delong

“McMurtry turned from good to ravishing in Beckwith’s Night Blooming Cereus. As Mrs. Brown, Lynne McMurtry was close to perfect at one point, holding our attention in her complete control for what must have been 15 minutes of uninterrupted solo performing.”
The Globe and Mail, Robert Harris

“Lynne McMurtry as Roberto who managed to inject a honey smooth fluidity into Vivaldi’s verbal gymnastics.”
(Opera in Concert’s GRISELDA)
Classical 96.3 FM, Paula Citron

“Lynne McMurtry was the vocal star of the afternoon as the queen, and again later in Beckwith’s main role.”
(Harry Somer’s THE FOOL and J. Beckwith’s Night Blooming Cereus)
Toronto Star, John Terauds

“Lynne McMurtry was distinctly impressive as Sister Constance whose pure soul, clairvoyance and childlike candour shone forth from her tender voice.”
Ken Winters

“The stand-out singer was mezzo-soprano McMurtry who possess a big dramatic voice and many shades of nuance. She is also an actress of immense talent.” (Tapestry New Opera Works, OPERA TO GO – ‘MOTHER EVEREST’)
Opera Canada, Wayne Gooding

 “McMurtry is a force of nature…this young artist has pipes of steel, an assured technique and great stage presence, which bode a great future.”
Toronto Star, John Terauds

“Lynne McMurtry has a rich, mezzo-soprano tone, which retains its strength and focus in the low register.”
The Daily Courier (Okanagan), Charles Velte

“Lynne McMurtry …possesses a powerhouse voice with wonderful breath control and a controlled sense of line.”
(Gustav Mahler’s Rückert Songs, 1902)
Winnipeg Free Press, Holly Harris

“The songs McMurtry chose covered a wide spectrum…a range she exploited fully with her rich, flexible and large voice. Her singing style remains easy and fluid even as she penetrates deep into our psyches. The program itself was a master stroke of careful pacing and stylistic counterpoint.”
Toronto Star, John Terauds

“The stand-out singer was mezzo-soprano McMurtry, who possesses a big, dramatic voice and many shades of nuance. She is also an actress of immense talent.”
Opera Canada

“Much of the stage time belongs to Mrs. Brown superbly sung by McMurtry, whose velvet-toned mezzo captured the right mood and who somehow made her difficult vocal part seem effortless. One can only hope to see much more of this wonderful young singer on our stages.”
Toronto Star