Bernard McDonald has worked with major opera companies in North America, Europe, and the Far East. International appearances have included engagements at the New National Theatre Tokyo, the Netherlands Opera, the Netherlands Radio Choir, the Dutch National Opera Academy in Amsterdam and The Hague, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, and productions of Carmen, La bohème, Die Zauberflöte, and Le nozze di Figaro for Opera Kelowna in British Columbia.
Upcoming engagements include his Opera Orlando debut with Rusalka and Rigoletto and Le villi at Mobile Opera, where he has also conducted La Bohème, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, Il tabarro, Tosca, and La rondine.
McDonald conducted the US staged premiere of Montemezzi’s L’incantesimo for Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, where he also conducted productions of Gianni Schicchi and Le nozze di Figaro. Additional appearances include work for the Aspen Music Festival, Pittsburgh Opera, Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, the Central Iowa Symphony, and the Bay View Music Festival.
Professional training at the San Francisco Opera Merola Program led directly to an invitation to join the music staff of the New York City Opera. He was subsequently Head of Music and Chorus Master at the Florida Grand Opera in Miami. As Chorus Master at Glyndebourne, he prepared over twenty-five productions to great critical acclaim for a group of internationally renowned conductors including Idomeneo with Sir Simon Rattle, Die Zauberflöte with Sir Charles Mackerras, and Otello with Vladimir Jurowski.
He has worked as a vocal coach or conductor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), Manhattan School of Music, Indiana University Opera Theater, and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), among others.
Born in Scotland, he studied piano and collaborative piano at the RCS; opera coaching and accompanying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, and at CCM; musicology at the University of Glasgow; his doctorate is from Indiana University.
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