Cory McGee, Bass-Baritone
Hailing from Stafford, Virginia, bass-baritone Cory McGee opened his 2023-2024 season performing the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Wolf Trap Opera and making his debut with Opera Philadelphia as Pietro in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. He will also portray Theseus in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Atlanta Opera, as well as Second Knight in Wagner’s Parsifal and the Imperial Commissioner in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, both with Houston Grand Opera. He will sing Colline in a concert of Puccini’s La bohéme with Chattanooga Symphony.
As a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, McGee was seen as Johann in Massenet’s Werther, the Fifth Jew in Strauss’ Salome, Jailer in Puccini’s Tosca, and Dottore Grenvil in Verdi’s La traviata. With his “icy bass, complemented by an immense and sadistic physicality” (Harry Rose, Parterre Box), McGee also sang Caspar in Weber’s Der Freischütz with Wolf Trap Opera.
Highlights of the 2021-2022 season included Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Santa Fe Opera, Basilio in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera on the James, Billy in the world premiere of Thompson’s The Snowy Day, and Virgil in the world premiere of Cohen’s Turn and Burn, the latter two with Houston Grand Opera. McGee was also featured in The Houston Grand Opera’s Studio Showcase and Rienzi Recital Series, producing a full recording of Schubert’s Schwanengesang. He also made his debut with both Michigan Opera Theatre and The Florentine Opera, singing Colline in La bohème.
In the 2020-2021 season, McGee was seen in Lawrence Brownlee’s Giving Voice concert and The Snowy Day documentary, both with Houston Grand Opera; and the Sodbuster in Mazzoli’s Proving Up and Publio in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito, both with Rice Opera Theatre. He was a finalist in both the Pasadena Vocal Competition and the Houston Grand Opera’s 32nd annual Eleanor McCollum Competition. Concerts included Handel’s Messiah with West University Baptist Church, Houston, and a return as a soloist to Unity Church of Houston for its Black History Month Celebration in February 2020.
McGee joined Santa Fe Opera as an Apprentice Artist for the 2019 season, portraying the role of the Gardener in Ruder’s The Thirteenth Child. In 2018, he was seen with Wolf Trap Opera as a Studio Artist, performing the role of La Voce in Mozart’s Idomeneo, and Ranger Nat in Wolf Trap’s commissioned children’s opera, Hanlon’s Listen, Wilhelmina! He was also a soloist in “Bernstein at 100 – A Celebration,” at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center.
Previous engagements include the roles of Elder Ott in Floyd’s Susannah and Sylvano in Cavalli’s La Calisto, both with Rice Opera Theatre; Figaro in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Pandolfe in Massenet’s Cendrillon, both with Oberlin Opera Theatre; and Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Arezzo Opera Festival. Praised by Palm Beach Arts Paper for his “powerful, clarion voice,” McGee has performed several roles with the Miami Music Festival: Colline in Puccini’s La bohème, Simone in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Reverend John Hale in Ward’s The Crucible, Harasta in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, and Lindorf, Coppelius, and Crespel in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann.