Lorna MacDonald » Faculty & Staff

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Lorna MacDonald

Vocal Masterclass


Born in Port Morien, Nova Scotia, soprano Lorna MacDonald enjoys a career of distinction as an international performer, Professor of Voice, and she is the Lois Marshall Chair in Voice Studies at the University of Toronto. Her early years in the Cape Breton mining and fishing village provided her with an insatiable love for singing and performance, and a deep respect for teaching. Awards for her singing took her to New York’s Metropolitan Opera, and Graz’ Stephaniensaal, while concerts in Los Angeles’ Disney Hall and studying African singing and drumming in Ghana figure among her musical highlights. She continues to perform, and her solo and operatic performances have taken her to Austria, Germany, France, Taiwan, the Republic of China, Russia, Africa, Wales, Ireland, England, Bermuda, and across North America.

MacDonald’s agile, bright, sensitive voice beautifully illuminated the depth of Giovanni Bottesini’s songs for soprano and double bass and Richard Strauss’ song cycle with piano. (Indianapolis NUVO 2014)

MacDonald’s freshness of tone, her clarity of style and diction, and her beautifully expressive musicianship are served by a perfection of technical mastery (Halifax Herald 2006)

…an absolute jewel (Edmonton Journal 1994) 

Among the multi-media works she has developed and performed are Marrying Mozart, Lois Marshall in Russia, and the Group of Seven. “The Bells of Baddeck – the Alexander Graham and Mabel Bell Story” is her first libretto and large-scale music-drama. Lorna has enthusiastically “come home” to sing many concerts with Début Atlantic, Musique Royale, the St. Cecelia Series, with Coro Cantabile and the Cape Breton Chordsmen, for Opera Nova Scotia, Celtic Colours, Symphony Nova Scotia at the Rebecca Cohn, and to record for CBC Radio.

A recipient of Ontario’s prestigious OCUFA Award for “teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to university teaching”, she created a multi-faceted program in Voice Pedagogy at the University of Toronto in which doctoral, graduate and undergraduate students learn methods of artful voice teaching throughout the human life span. With collaborators at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, she designed a Cochlear-Implanted Singing Study (2010) that uses singing to increase vocal effectiveness for hearing impaired children and adolescents. In building a program for talented singers and emerging teachers, hearing-impaired patients, and creating new performance models, the sharing of song and voice is at the heart of her life’s work.


2016 Masterclasses

Jon-Paul Décosse on Auditioning
Maureen Batt
Dr Vicki St Pierre

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