“Powerhouse mezzo” (Albert Williams, The Chicago Reader) Caitlin McKechney is quickly making a name for herself as a dynamic singing actress. Caitlin’s 2017 season proved quite varied, spanning from the title role in Offenbach’s La Perichole with Tacoma Opera (described as “marvelous, a lush mezzo with low notes like pools of water and just the right mix of long-suffering and flirty…” – Rosemary Ponnekanti, The News Tribune) to playing guitar and belting out U2 at the Bucks County Center for the Performing Arts for Frank McCourt’s The Irish and How They Got That Way. Caitlin will round out 2017 as Maddalena in Rigoletto with Opera Connecticut as well as a lecture about pants roles with the Metropolitan Opera Guild, where Caitlin will sing Arsace’s arias from Rossini’s Semiramide (For tickets, click here.). Caitlin returns to Tacoma Opera and the title role in Carmen in February of 2018.
Caitlin returned to Opera Memphis in April of 2016 as the title role in Peter Brook’s Tragedie de Carmen, for which she was hailed by John W. Sparks of the Commercial Appeal for her “captivating vocals and powerful expressions that flash with mischief, anger, joy, confidence and sadness, vividly showing vulnerability and intelligence.” Later that month, Caitlin returned to New York City to revisit the role of Virginia Woolf in a staged version of Dominik Argento’s Pulitzer Prize winning song cycle, “From the Diary of Virginia Woolf,” with The Secret Opera, under the direction of Marcus Guy.
In 2015, Caitlin returned to Nashville Opera for Phillip Glass’s politically charged and critically acclaimed production of Hydrogen Jukebox. She was also the soloist in Manuel de Falla’s ballet, El sombrero de tres picos, with the Tulare County Symphony. In 2014, Caitlin reprised the role of Inez Serrano in Andy Vores’s operatic treatment of Sartre’s existential masterpiece No Exit as a part of Florida Grand Opera’s Unexpected Opera in Unexpected Places series and made her role debut as Suzuki in Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. Additionally, Caitlin was seen as Flora in La Traviata with Opera North while also covering Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, and also covered the role of Fenena in Nabucco and performed the role of Myrtal in Thais as a part of the prestigious Florida Grand Opera Young Artist Program.
Other credits include Tisbe in La Cenerentola and Third Lady in The Magic Flute with Nashville Opera, Maddalena in Rigoletto with Opera Memphis, the title role in Carmen with New York Lyric Opera (described as “excellent” by Stephen J. Dubner of “Freakonomics”), Lola in Martha Cardona Theater’s Cavalleria Rusticana, Cousin Hebe in HMS Pinafore with Opera New Jersey (“well-sung” – philly.com), and Hansel in Amore Opera’s production of Hansel and Gretel. Also well versed in musical theater and operetta, Caitlin has been seen as Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, Lilli Vanessi in Kiss Me Kate, the Witch in Into the Woods and Tessa in The Gondoliers.
A champion of new music, Caitlin is currently a member of Hotel Elefant, a New York City based ensemble that focuses on performing the works of living composers. Caitlin has performed the works of Paola Prestini, Chinary Ung, Kirsten Volness, George Crumb and many others. In recital, Caitlin has presented Dominik Argento’s Pulitzer Prize winning song cycle, “From the Diary of Virginia Woolf” with the cycle that inspired it, Schumann’s “Frauenliebe und Leben” with pianist and conductor Zoe Zeniodi. Also a painter, the recital was accompanied by a selection of Caitlin’s own paintings inspired by these cycles and their expression of the female voice.
Caitlin grew up outside of Chicago, IL and started singing while playing the guitar with her father, Tom, falling in love with the blues and rock ‘n’ roll. Synthesizing her former life as a rock singer with her operatic training, Caitlin is a founding member of the group The Opera Cowgirls, a “band” that brings opera to Brooklyn hipsters and other operatic neophytes, showing them how cool opera, the ultimate “retro,” really is. The Cowgirls have performed all over New York City, Chicagoland and in concerts and gala event with Cedar Rapids Opera Theater and NightBlue Theater in Illinios.