Soprano Maureen McKay is praised and celebrated for her silvery soprano and dynamic character portrayals. Maureen’s 2022-2023 season features multiple assignments with The Metropolitan Opera, singing the Second Niece in Peter Grimes and covering Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. She creates the role of Laila in the world premiere of A Thousand Splendid Suns at Seattle Opera, based on the critically acclaimed novel.
Last season’s assignments with The Metropolitan Opera included singing Echo in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos and covering the leading roles of Pamina in The Magic Flute, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 at Damrosch Park. She also performed at the Distinguished Leadership Awards in Washington, D.C. honoring Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, and sang Mahler’s 4th Symphony with conductor Fabio Luisi and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in a private concert in New York City. During the summer of 2022, she again collaborated with the Dallas Symphony and Maestro Luisi for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at Bravo!Vail.
During the COVID-19 impacted 2020-2021 season, her engagements included her return to the Bayerische Staatsoper as Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel (cancelled), a return to The Metropolitan Opera as the First Sprite in Rusalka (cancelled), and an appearance on the PBS Television series One Voice: The Songs We Share (performed). Original engagements during the COVID-19 shortened 2019-2020 season included performances of Barbarina and covers of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with The Metropolitan Opera (performed), where she also planned to cover Sophie in Werther. McKay also planned to sing with Festival Chamber Music at the Museum of Jewish Heritage at Battery Park as part of their Auschwitz Exhibit, featuring music by Lori Laitman (cancelled), and perform American art songs with The American Pops Orchestra at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History (cancelled). Other collaborations included a concert with Music by the Glass, featuring works by Dowland and Schubert (performed), and an online appearance with OmniARTS Foundation (performed).
After making her much-anticipated Metropolitan Opera debut as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel in the 17/18 season, Ms. McKay returned the following season as Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica. Her other recent notable engagements include her debut with Lincoln Center for their Mostly Mozart Festival as Pamina in Barrie Kosky’s acclaimed production of Die Zauberflöte, her mainstage debut with Seattle Opera in her role debut as Léïla in Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles, appearances with San Diego Opera as Nannetta in Falstaff and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Opera Colorado as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and Despina in Così fan tutte, Virginia Opera as Rose in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte in returns to Gran Teatre del Liceu and Komische Oper Berlin, as well as The Chekhov International Theatre Festival at The Bolshoi Theatre in the production where she originated the role in 2012 with Barrie Kosky and "1927".
As a previous member of the ensemble at the Komische Oper Berlin, McKay sang leading roles in the premieres of several new productions that include Blanche in Dialogues des carmélites, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and Marzelline in Fidelio. Also with the company, she sang Mozart’s Requiem in performances conducted by music director, Henrik Nánási, as well as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Norina in Don Pasquale, and Musetta in La bohème. She returned as a guest to reprise the role of Elisa in a concert performance of Il re pastore.
Among her other previous engagements are Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel with Bayerische Staatsoper, Opera Philadelphia, Portland Opera, and Tulsa Opera, Nannetta in Falstaff with the Saito Kinen Festival, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Gran Teatre del Liceu, Washington National Opera, Edinburgh International Festival, Portland Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Opera Colorado, Anne Trulove in The Rake's Progress with Portland Opera, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Cleveland, a return to the Opera Company of Philadelphia for Eurydice in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice, Lightfoot McLendon in Cold Sassy Tree and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance with The Atlanta Opera, Lilla in Una cosa rara and Elisa in Il re pastore with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Zerlina in Don Giovanni with New Orleans Opera, Despina in Così fan tutte, and Caroline Gaines in Richard Danielpour's Margaret Garner with New York City Opera, Opera Saratoga in her debut as Zémire in Zémire et Azor, Musetta in La bohème with Opera Omaha, Norina in Don Pasquale with Anchorage Opera, Lisa in La sonnambula with Washington Concert Opera, and Laurey in Oklahoma! with Central City Opera. She joined Seiji Ozawa for the Sandmännchen and Taumännchen in Hänsel und Gretel in his Ongaku-juku Opera Project throughout Japan and made her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte conducted by Leonard Slatkin at the Hollywood Bowl.
The soprano’s concert performances include Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with The Cleveland Orchestra, Schmidt’s Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln with the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, The Danish National Symphony Orchestra for performances of Händel's Messiah and the Choir and Orchestra of Teatro Carlo Felice in Génova for Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, both under the baton of Fabio Luisi, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic for Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Barber's Prayers of Kierkegaard, Mozart’s Requiem and Debussy’s La demoiselle élue with the Utah Symphony, a program of Viennese music by Lehár and Johann Strauss with the Saint Louis Symphony, Carmina Burana with the National Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and Utah Symphony, Grieg’s Peer Gynt with the Oregon Symphony and Louis Andriessen’s The New Math(s) with the Seattle Chamber Players. With Seattle’s Music of Remembrance, she premiered Lori Laitman’s song cycle I Never Saw Another Butterfly and sang Aninku in Tony Kushner’s adaptation of Hans Krasa’s Brundibár; a recording including both Brundibár and Laitman’s song cycle is available on the Naxos label. Ms. McKay joined Judith Clurman for The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary Festival at the Mozarteum in Salzburg to perform a program of Rogers and Hammerstein classics.
Ms. McKay is a former member of Seattle Opera's Young Artists Program and was a Filene Young Artist with Wolf Trap Opera Company, where she sang Johanna in Sweeney Todd, Ismene in Telemann’s Orpheus, and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. She earned her Bachelor of Music at Columbus State University in Georgia (summa cum laude) and her Master of Music at The Ohio State University.