Siphiwe McKenzie, soprano

Canadian soprano Siphiwe McKenzie Edelmann was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. She received her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of British Columbia and furthered her studies at the Opera School in Toronto. She went on to complete her Master’s degree at the renowned Curtis Institute of Music and shortly thereafter attended the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.

In 2000 Siphiwe debuted as Musetta at the Nürnberg State Opera Theatre in Germany. She was engaged as a soloist there for six seasons and sang over 20 roles. After her first season she received a nomination as ‘Young singer of the Year’ from the renowned opera magazine Opernwelt for her portrayal as Madeline in Phillip Glass’ The Fall of the House of Usher. In her last season in Nürnberg she was nominated again by Opernwelt as ‘Singer of the Year’ for her portrayal of Lucia in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. She was met with great acclaim for her portrayal of Adele in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus which she debuted at the San Diego Opera in 2005. Later that year she partook in the first production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle ever to be performed in Beijing, China, where she sang the role of the Rhein Daughter in both Götterdämmerung and Das Rheingold with the Nürnberg State Opera.

Season 2006/2007 brought debuts at the Teatro Reggio di Parma, Italy/Die Zauberflöte (Mozart); in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Arts Festival/Don Giovanni (Mozart); in Mexico City, Ascanio in Alba (Mozart) and a return to San Diego for a new production of Die Zauberflöte. In 2008 she made a concert tour with star tenor Herbert Lippert and Maestro Erich Kunzel with the Vienna Volksoper Symphony Orchestra in Suntory Hall in Tokyo and the Symphony Hall in Osaka, Japan.

In 2008 Siphiwe sang her first Violetta in Verdi’s Traviata at the Opernfestspiele St.Margerethen in Vienna, Austria.  Since then this role has become part of her standard repertoire bringing her debuts at other theatres in other productions of La Traviata at Theater St. Gallen with Maestro Babbacini, and this past season at the  Finnish National Opera conducted by Maestro Pietro Rizzo. This past season  saw debuts in other new roles for the soprano: Gilda in Rigoletto at the Opernfestspiele St.Margerethen, all three ladies in a new production of Les Contes D’Hoffmann at Stadttheater Baden, a debut  at the Vienna Volksoper in a new production and role debut as Princess Laya in Paul Abraham’s Die Blume von Hawaii, and a debut at the Rheingau Festival with the WDR Köln Orchestra in an Operette Gala. 

The Season 2010-2011 brings interesting projects and role debuts for the soprano. In the Fall she sings an Opera and Operette Gala making her debut with the Philharmonische Orchester Ulm at the Stadttheater Ulm under Maestro Drcar. Following this she makes her studio recording debut with the Orchestra L’arte del Mondo on the CPO record label. This recording is a world premiere and concert conducted by baroque specialist Werner Erhardt, marking her role debut as Evandro in the Baroque opera Il Medonte by composer Josef Myslivecek.  Shortly thereafter Siphiwe makes a return to Theater St.Gallen in Switzerland  in a role debut and new production of Massenet’sManon conducted under Maestro David Stern (son of reknown violinist Isaac Stern). Immediately follwing this she returns to the Vienna Volksoper in a remount production of last seasons Operette hit of Die Blume von Hawaii. The latter will be followed by another recording project, this time for Sony Records,  of Haydn’s La Vera Costanza. Her role debut of La Baronessa will be conducted by Manuel Hernández -Silva with the WDR-Rundfunkorchester Köln.

Siphiwe has performed at the Banff Centre of the Arts Festival (Canada), as a young artist at the Santa Fe Opera Festival (U.S.A.), the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival (Canada), the Nürnberg Chamber Music Festival (Germany) and the Singapore Arts Festival. She has sung concerts with the Vienna Volksoper Symphony Orchestra (Japan), the Nürnberg Symphonic Orchestra (Germany), the Vancouver Symphony and Vancouver CBC Radio Orchestras and the Polish Radio Orchestra.