Praised for her vivid portrayals as well as for her expressive voice, Franco-American soprano Valérie MacCarthy has found success and critical acclaim in a wide range of genres, from Verismo opera to contemporary works.
She recently made her Théâtre du Châtelet debut when she stepped in at the last minute to sing the role of Mrs. Maurrant in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene. Other operatic appearances include performances with Florentine Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera, Kentucky Opera, Chicago Opera Theater (both in Chicago and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music), and the Théâtre de Caen. In January 2013 MacCarthy made her Châtelet debut stepping in at the last minute as Mrs. Maurrant in Street Scene. In 2008 MacCarthy performed with the English National Opera as Renee/Alice in Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth’s Lost Highway (an adaptation of the David Lynch movie), featuring a libretto by Nobel Prize-winning writer Elfriede Jelinek. She also created the role of La Seconde in the world premiere of Jacque Lenot’s J’étais dans ma maison et j’attendais que la pluie vienne at Le Grand Théâtre de Genève; and she has sung roles in a number of modern operas such as Ravel’s L’heure espagnole at the Tanglewood Music Center. In 2014 MacCarthy will perform the role of Magda Sorel in The Consul at the Théâtre de Herblay.
Equally at home in the concert hall, she has sung with many prestigious festivals and orchestras, including the Tanglewood and Ravinia Festivals, the Holland Park Festival (London), the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Pasadena Symphony, and l’Opéra Français de New York, working with distinguished conductors such as Seiji Ozawa, Andrew Litton, and Jane Glover. She made her European recital debut at Amsterdam’s renowned Concertgebouw – Kleine Zaal.
She created and performed a one-woman show, Off The Hook, which showcased her interpretations of Menotti’s The Telephone and Poulenc’s La Voix humaine. The work received its premiere at New York’s Alliance Français, and she subsequently presented the piece with the Charlemagne Chamber Orchestra in Brussels.
MacCarthy has also performed on Broadway, as Musetta in Baz Luhrman’s acclaimed production of La bohème.
Her current repertoire includes classic Puccini and Verdi heroines, such as Mimì, Tosca, Butterfly, Liù (Turandot) Amelia (Un ballo in maschera), and Leonora (La forza del destino); several Wagnerian roles (Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, Elsa in Lohengrin, and Sieglinde in Die Walküre); as well as Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (Tatiana) and Pique Dame (Lisa), and Massenet’s Le Cid (Chimène) to name just a few.
MacCarthy graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University. After college, she studied in Italy at the academy run by noted soprano Renata Scotto. A winner of the Licia Albanese–Puccini Foundation Competition, MacCarthy was also a finalist in the Loren L. Zachary Society National Vocal Competition.
Born in New York City, MacCarthy currently divides her time between New York and Paris.
In addition to her singing career, MacCarthy runs a successful jewelry business. She is an accomplished jewelry designer and has authored two books on the subject.