Colette McGahon-Tosh

Mezzo-soprano Colette McGahon began her studies with Dr Veronica Dunne in DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama in Dublin before being awarded two Arts Council Scholarships enabling her to attend the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio in London. While in London she was a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial competition and won the Miriam Licette Prize which enabled her to specialise in the study of French Song.

Her professional debut was in the Wexford Festival Opera production of Crispino e la Comare. Subsequent operatic roles include Ottavia in L'incoronazione di Poppea; Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro; Kostelnicka in Jenufa; Mrs Grose in The Turn of the Screw; and the title role in Carmen, among others. In the course of her career Colette has worked with, among others, conductors Sir Simon Rattle, Bernard Haitink, Ivor Bolton and has been directed by Sir Peter Hall, Trevor Nunn and Richard Jones.

Roles created for her voice include The Dublin Operas of John Buckley, Raymond Deane and Marion Ingoldsby commissioned by Opera Theatre Company; James Wilson’s A Passionate Man; John Browne’s The Pied Piper of Hamelin; and Raymond Deane’s chamber opera The Wall of Cloud. 

Colette has appeared with Opera Ireland, Opera Northern Ireland, Opera Theatre Company, Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Opera 80, the festivals of Covent Garden, Buxton, Glyndebourne and Longborough and at the BBC Proms. She has given recitals in the Purcell Room and the Queen Elizabeth Hall, both on London’s South Bank, Hugh Lane Gallery, Bank of Ireland Arts Centre, National Concert Hall in Dublin, BT Studio at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast; and she has recorded C.V. Stanford’s Requiem on the Marco Polo label.

Colette McGahon’s recent opera seasons saw her make her highly acclaimed Wagnerian debut singing the role of Waltraute in Götterdämmerung for Longborough Festival Opera. She has added Fricka in Das Rheingold and Die Walküre to her Wagnerian roles.  Colette sang Waltraute with the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland in performances given in the University Concert Hall Limerick and Symphony Hall Birmingham, conducted by Alexander Annissimov. Recent performances include Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder in the Sunday @ Noon recital series at the Hugh Lane Gallery.

In the field of education Colette, an honours Masters graduate of Cork School of Music, is much in demand as a teacher, adjudicator and examiner. With a growing international reputation, her students are among the rising young operatic stars on the international scene.