Shaun McGrath, who has been described as having a “rich, resonant voice and a commanding presence,” (Ann Griffin, Mesa, AZ) made his stage debut in the Portland Opera Chorus’ production of Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer in 2007. Since then, he has kindled a love of Wagner and was invited to perform the work again with the Seattle Opera Chorus. While in Seattle, he sang in Verdi’s Aida and also performed as a soloist under the baton of Marvin Hamlischin Seattle Symphony’s 2010 production of The Music Man. His most memorable time on stage in Seattle was in a performance of Star Wars in Concert directed by Dirk Brossé. Now residing in Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. McGrath performs regularly with Cleveland Opera Theater as well as with other local companies.
His most recent engagements have included an Act study performance of Tristan und Isolde in Mentor, OH. Mr. McGrath was also seen performing in the 2018 Chicago Columbus Day Parade, the Tenor Solos in the Messiah with the Marietta College Choir, scenes from Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, and Die Walküre in Reno in the American Wagner Project, a concert in Chicago with Sarah Heitman (mezzo-soprano) and Pedro Yanez (piano), Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors with Cleveland Opera Theater, Peter, the Father (cover/apprentice) in Hänsel and Gretel with Nightingale Opera Theatre, Dottore Grenville in La Traviata with The Cleveland Opera, Uscire in The Cleveland Opera’sRigoletto, and in 2013, he was also seen on stage in Italy helping to pilot a new summer program, Lingua e Canto. After his apprenticeship with Nightingale Opera Theatre in 2014, Mr. McGrath began the process of transitioning from baritone to Heldentenor.
Note from Shaun: Wagner wrote some of the most relatable characters that exist in opera today. To get the opportunity to study this role in depth is absolutely a monumental endeavor. For me, working on the role of Tristan is less about performing, and more about becoming the character and feeling the anger and joy he feels, or as in the case of act 3, the absolute despair that ripples through his bones. To be with a group of people who are as passionate about this music is something so incredibly rare for our types of voices. I am excitedly looking forward to exploring the depths of emotions these characters go through with a fantastic group of artists who share my passion for Wagner's music!