Biography

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Soprano Siphiwe McKenzie starts the winter 2013 / 2014 season by making her debut at the renowned Oper Leipzig in a new production of Udo Zimermann's Pax Questuosa. This premiere is a joint production with the Ballet and Chor der Oper Leipzig and the Gewandhaus Orchestra conducted by Maestro Anthony Bramall. Following her debut at Oper Leipzig, the soprano then makes a starring appearance on Austrian ORF TV as a guest artist for the well known Austrian charity organization Licht ins Dunkel, moderated by Alfons Haider. She opens the new year in Suntory Hall in Tokyo where she returns to Japan as a featured guest artist with the Orchestra der Wiener Volksoper, performing  throughout the leading concert halls of Japan and Korea in a series of concerts on tour. Shortly thereafter Siphiwe ends the winter season with a return to Helsinki, singing  Musetta at the Finnish National Opera in a new production of Puccini's La Boheme. The Spring season marks a premiere and debut for the soprano in Lisbon, Portugal with the National Ballet of Portugal and the baroque orchestra Il Dovino Sospiro, where she will sing a series of ballet evenings accompanying the National Ballet to the glorious music of Mozart concert arias. The season ends in braveur at the celebrated Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, where Siphiwe makes her premiere and debut singing the lead part in the world premier of Oscar Strasnoy's Requiem for a Nun.

Highlights this past 2012-2013 season in Vienna included three major role debuts. Starting at the Volksoper, Siphiwe sang the leading role of Hanna in Lehar’s Merry Widow, and the title role in Leo Fall’s Madame Pompadour. Following this she made her debut at the famous Ronacher Theater also in Vienna singing the “Diva” role in a unique concert version of Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber's musical hit The Phantom of the Opera. A series of many performances of Verdi's La Traviata then led the soprano to Helsinki, where she recreated the title role in a return to the Finnish National Opera. The spring season also marked a debut for the soprano at the Basel State Opera where she was featured singing the title role in a new production of Massenet’s Manon. On returning to Austria, Siphiwe opened the 2013 summer season singing the role of the fiery Musetta in Puccini's La Boheme, seen on the gigantic stage of the Opera Festival of St. Margarethen (one of Europe's largest outdoor operatic festivals). She ended the season performing with well known conductor Adam Fisher singing the soprano solo in Beethoven's 9th Symphony at the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria.

Siphiwe McKENZIE began her European career at the Nürnberg State Opera Theater in Germany, where she sang more than 20 roles over six consecutive seasons. During her time there she was nominated twice by the prestigious magazine Opernwelt as "Young Singer of the Year". Since then, Siphiwe McKENZIE has been heard around the world performing in the most renowned opera houses, including the Vienna Volksoper, the Teatro Reggio di Parma, the Finnish National Opera, the San Diego Opera, the Basel State Opera, the St.Gallen Opera Theatre and the Baden State Opera. She has also performed at the Rheingau Opera Festival, the Beijing Wagner Festival, the Opera Festival of St.Margerethen, the Nürnberg International Chamber Music Festival, the Singapore Arts Festival and the Hong Kong Arts Festival. Having an extensive concert repertoire, she has also frequently performed in concert and broadcast on radio with the WDR Orchestra in Cologne, Germany and the Vienna Volksoper Symphony Orchestra in Japan.

Professor Alfred Biolek brought in the socially engaged artist as a special guest for his charity gala for the World Population Foundation in Cologne, Germany. She also performed as a special guest artist in a Gala benefit concert for the Parkinson's Foundation in Vancouver, Canada.

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Siphiwe McKENZIE received her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of British Columbia and furthered her studies at the Opera School at the University of Toronto. She then went on to complete her Masters in Music and Operatic Studies at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music and shortly thereafter attended the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.