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People: Alumni

Emily Magee, Westminster Choir College ’87

By Adam Grybowski

Tick off a list of the major opera houses around the world – London, Vienna, Milan – and soprano Emily Magee WCC ’87 has sung there. Residing in Boulder, Colo., Magee has appeared on this country’s most prestigious stages too, from San Francisco to Chicago to New York. She recently made her debut at the Met, in the role of Foreign Princess in Rusalka, Dvorák’s fairy-tale opera. 

In addition to Dvorák, the Westminster Choir College graduate has appeared in the operas of Verdi and Puccini, Tchaikovsky and Strauss, Korngold and Janacek, among many others. She counts as colleagues the conductors Daniel Barenboim, Franz Welser-Möst, Riccardo Muti and Donald Runnicles. 

Magee also studied at Indiana University before making her professional debut in 1995 at the Lyric Opera in Chicago. After that performance as Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, she returned to Lyric to sing in Faust, Turandot and Peter Grimes. 

The recent Met performance wasn’t her first encounter with Rusalka. In August 2008 she debuted at the Salzburg Festival also singing the role of Foreign Princess. 

Her audio and video recordings have received critical acclaim. Two performances from the Zurich Opera House, as Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos and Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes, are available on DVD, as well as two from the Berliner Staatsoper, as Desdemona in Otello and the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro. Magee can be heard on CDs that feature her as Else in Lohengrin at the Staatsoper Berlin and as Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg at the Bayreuth Festival. She received a Westminster Alumni Merit Award in 2010 in recognition of her musical excellence and achievements as a singer on opera stages around the world. 

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