Biography

American mezzo-soprano Emma McDermott has been described as a "spectacular prima donna" by BelCanto.ru, as having a "big voice that carried easily over the orchestra" by the Washington Post, and as having a "great talent as an actress... with intense emotional participation". She is comfortable in a wide range of repertoire ranging from the rich Baroque roles for alto to the dramatic soprano and mezzo roles of Verdi and Puccini, to the high, dramatic zwischenfach roles of Wagner. 

In Wagnerian repertoire, McDermott's voice truly stands out and has won awards from the Elizabeth Connell Prize in Sydney, Australia, The Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York City, and the Wagner Societies of New York, of Berlin-Brandenburg, and of Washington D.C. She has performed in distinguished music venues around the world including Lincoln Center in New York, the Tchaikovsky Conservatory and the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, and Teatro Antico di Taormina in Sicily.

Recently McDermott made her debut in Germany as the Witch in Hänsel und Gretel. Other roles and scenes performed include Santuzza, Eboli, Amneris, Suzuki, 2nd Witch in Dido and Aeneas, Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Kundry, Ortrud, Venus, Fricka. She has also performed the dramatic soprano roles of Tosca and Aida.

McDermott was a member of the prestigious Georg Solti Accademia di Bel Canto in Castilgione della Pescaia in 2017 and studied voice and Russian language in Moscow while working as the English diction coach at the young artist program of the Bolshoi Theater during the 2013/14 season. She received her master's degree in piano and vocal performance from George Mason University in 2013, and a professional studies certificate in opera from Manhattan School of Music in 2016.

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