American soprano Christine McMasters has been singing for as long as she can remember. Since making her professional debut with conductor John Nelson and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, she has enjoyed a multifaceted international career performing in North and South America, Asia and Europe.
Although Ms. McMasters is primarily a singer of opera, oratorio and recital repertoire, she also enjoys occasional forays into jazz and musical theater. Examples of her diversity include the role of Violetta in La traviata with the Kiev National Opera (for which she received Ukraine's Golden Fortune Medal), Mozart's Exsultate, jubilate with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Russian opera arias with the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra in Moscow, a jazz concert with pianist Makoto Ozone at the Sony Open Golf Tournament in Hawaii, and a four-week run of the musical revue Vienna to Broadway with Between Friends Music Theatre in Ontario, Canada.
On the operatic stage, Ms. McMasters has been equally successful as an actress and singer. In praise of her portrayals of such roles as Mimi and Musetta in La bohème, Violetta in La traviata, Gilda in Rigoletto, and Micaëla in Carmen, press reviewers have described her as having "gorgeous sonority," "awesome skill," "great musical sensitivity," and acting ability which is "consistently poignant" and "moving." She has worked with stage directors Matthew Lata, Gary Race, Roger Brunyate and Mary Charbonnet, among others.
She also has sung extensively in concert and oratorio, having appeared with such orchestras as the Moscow Radio Symphony, Japan Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony, Edmonton Symphony and Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela, to name only a few. Conductors have included Julius Rudel, John Nelson, Fiora Contino, Richard Kapp, Mykhailo Dutchak, Chosei Komatsu, Eiji Oue and Grant Cooper.
In 1992, Ms. McMasters made her Moscow debut singing Tchaikovsky arias with the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra in an opera gala concert in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses for an audience of more than 5,000. She was the first American to sing with that orchestra after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Her performance was praised enthusiastically as being "in the finest tradition of the Bolshoi Theatre." She has since returned to Russia to appear with the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and Bolshoi Theatre Sextet. European engagements have taken her also to Poland, Ukraine, England, Denmark and Germany.
Ms. McMasters first sang in Tokyo in 1996, with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in Casals Hall, and she has since appeared as the featured soloist with many of the major Japanese orchestras. She has presented numerous concerts in Japan, including a song recital at Nagoya’s new Munetsugu Hall during its inaugural season in 2007. In addition, she has participated in eight chamber music tours in Japan and, for three consecutive summers, performed and taught at the Takefu International Music Festival as an artist-in-residence.
For eleven years Christine McMasters lived in Canada, where she performed with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Festival of the Sound, Between Friends Music Theatre, Canadian Chamber Ensemble and throughout Canada on the CBC Radio network. Her debut CD with American pianist Barry Snyder was recorded in CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. It features a program of art songs in Russian, German, French, Japanese and English.
For a decade, she was a professor of voice at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where she received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Teaching activity also has included lecture recitals at Moscow State University (Russia) and Kunitachi School of Music (Japan), and master classes in Japan, China, Canada, Costa Rica and the United States.
In addition, she produced and costumed Madama Butterfly in 2005, for the National Opera Company (Compañía Lírica Nacional) of Costa Rica, which presented nine performances at the National Theater in San José to sold-out audiences and rave reviews. In recognition of her work on that production, she was named Artist of the Year by Costa Rica’s La República newspaper.
Christine McMasters currently lives in California.