With a voice described as having a “rich vocal range full of inviting nuance,” Malcolm MacKenzie is quickly capturing attention in the dramatic baritone repertoire. Opera News recently praised him as a “confident, commanding Count di Luna… of robust tone, ardent address, arching phrases and genuine baritonal squillo.” Mr. MacKenzie has been heard at leading opera houses throughout the U.S. and Europe, appearing at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Paris Opera (Bastille), Finland’s Savonlinna Festival, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera, Fort Worth Opera, and Pittsburgh Opera, in roles including Simon Boccanegra, Iago, Tonio, Don Giovanni, Count di Luna, Renato, Jack Rance, Marcello, Germont, and Count Almaviva.
Current engagements include creating the role of Roger Chillingworth in Opera Colorado’s world premiere of The Scarlet Letter by Lori Laitman; Stubb in Moby-Dick with Los Angeles Opera; Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Eugene Opera; and a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Dancaïre in Carmen.
Recent engagements for Mr. MacKenzie have included his Metropolitan Opera debut as Dancaïre in Carmen; George in Of Mice and Men with Phoenicia Festival; Giorgio Germont in La traviata with Virginia Opera; the title role in Simon Boccanegra with Kentucky Opera; Schaunard in La bohème, and Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with San Diego Opera; Iago in Otello with Nashville Opera; Count di Luna in Il trovatore with Arizona Opera; Alfio/Tonio in Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci with Arizona Opera; and Jack Rance in La fanciulla del West with Nashville Opera.
Other performances have included La traviata with Glimmerglass Opera, where Opera News described him as “a stentorian Germont, singing with a steely beauty that matched the character’s resolve;” Schaunard in La bohème for San Diego Opera; Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Sacramento Opera; Sharpless in Madama Butterfly for San Diego Opera; the baritone soloist for Horatio Parker’s rarely performed Hora Novissima with the Pacific Master Chorale; and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Reno Philharmonic.
On the concert stage, Mr. MacKenzie has performed frequently as the baritone soloist for Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, most recently with Los Angeles’ New West Symphony, the Symphony Orchestra of the University of California, Davis and the Savannah Symphony. The UC Davis performance is available on YouTube and has received over 13 million views. He has also appeared with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Pacific Chorale, the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, and the Madison Symphony.
Suggested Operatic Repertoire
|Bizet||The Pearl Fishers||Zurga|
|Donizetti||Lucia di Lammermoor||Enrico|
|Gounod||Roméo et Juliette||Mercutio|
|Leoncavallo||I Pagliacci||Tonio, Silvio|
|Mozart||Così fan tutte||Guglielmo|
|Mozart||Don Giovanni||Don Giovanni|
|Mozart||Le nozze di Figaro||Count Almaviva|
|Puccini||La fanciulla del West||Jack Rance|
|Verdi||Un ballo in maschera||Renato|
|Verdi||Simon Boccanegra||Simon Boccanegra|
|Verdi||Il trovatore||Count di Luna|
Arizona Opera – Il trovatore
“Malcolm Mackenzie is a strong and incisive Conte di Luna, combining the elegance and the legato of a true Verdian baritone.” – ConcertoNet, March 2013
“Some of the best singing in this delightful performance came from the villain, Count di Luna, portrayed by Malcolm MacKenzie. He phrased with great artistry and his sound was pure gold.” – Opera Today, March 2013
The Metropolitan Opera – Carmen
“As the smugglers Dancaïre and Remendado, Malcolm MacKenzie and Keith Jameson sang cleanly and exhibited the good humor that radiates from people who love their jobs.” – Opera News, December 2012
Nashville Opera – La fanciulla del West
“Baritone Malcolm MacKenzie’s strong voice certainly grounded his sharp portrait of Sheriff Jack Rance, but his acting was equally impressive. That’s important to note because an inferior actor might give us a rather one-note villain when Rance’s character is more complex; his unrequited love for Minnie and his jealousy of Johnson drive the negative aspects of his words and actions, so he’s not a bad guy through-and-through. MacKenzie reveals his character’s inner turmoil and makes us appreciate Rance’s humanity.” – Nashville Arts, April 2012
Opera Charleston – Carmen
“Malcolm MacKenzie as a charismatic Escamillo burst onto the stage with vigor. His “Toreador Song” was a highlight, his rich baritone voice ringing clearly through the space.” – Post and Courier, March 2012
“As the toreador Escamillo, Malcolm MacKenzie blended serious acting skills with his rich, rolling baritone, making for a convincing portrayal with just the right touch of ego-laden swagger.” – Charleston City Paper, March 2012
Fort Worth Opera – Il trovatore
“Malcolm MacKenzie’s confident, commanding Count di Luna raised the level of dramatic intensity whenever he strode onstage. His musical performance reached its apex in an “Il balen” of robust tone, ardent address, arching phrases and genuine baritonal squillo.”- Opera News, September 2011
“Malcolm MacKenzie makes his Fort Worth Opera debut by singing the role of the Count. Visually, he is everything a villain should be: thin, pale and goateed. Musically, he backs that up with a deep, rich baritone. Far too often, it is easy in opera to make the bad guy a tintype cliché; MacKenzie easily moves beyond that stereotype and makes the role of the Count quite human, with his conflicts and doubts roiling beneath the surface.” – Theaterjones, May 2011
Glimmerglass Opera – La traviata
“Malcolm MacKenzie brought his hardy baritone voice and dramatic authority to the role of Alfredo’s father, Germont.” – New York Times, August 2009
“Malcolm MacKenzie was a stentorian Germont, singing with a steely beauty that matched the character’s resolve.”- Opera News, November 2009
San Diego Opera – Carmen
“No wonder Carmen falls for Malcolm MacKenzie’s Escamillo. With every word, MacKenzie’s voice caresses her. His strutting machismo, played up by the production’s rock-star treatment – the chorus waving lighters during the “Toreador” song – makes him Carmen’s true soul-mate.”- San Diego Union-Tribune, March 28, 2006
“As the charismatic bull fighter, Malcolm MacKenzie had a burly, robust voice and a macho swagger. His presence dominated the scenes in which he appeared.”
– Music and Vision, April 2006
New York City Opera – Carmen
“If one were updating “Carmen,” one might cast Malcolm MacKenzie’s Escamillo as a NASCAR racer: he had the right charismatic, slightly coarse flair and a burly voice to match”- New York Times, March 28, 2005