Getting to know... soprano Mary McCabe

Soprano Mary McCabe is the star of La Voix Humaine, part of Northern Ireland Opera's Salon Series at the MAC. Kicking off the series on 19 October with this one-woman opera, Mary, accompanied by David Quigley on piano, takes us on an emotive journey through the anguish of losing love in real time. We got to know Mary a little better by asking her to tell us 4 simple things...

Describe your perfect weekend

My perfect weekend would be a beautiful combination of relaxation, family time, and performing. I don’t think of my profession as ‘work’ because it is one of my greatest passions and it is always so thrilling to communicate incredible music with an appreciative audience.

Pick three dream dinner guests and explain why.

Even though they are no longer with us, it would be a total dream to dine with the legends of opera, Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti. As a third choice, I think Freddie Mercury would be the best craic! From the living, my favourite actresses, Meryl Streep and Kate Mulgrew (I’m a huge Trekkie fan) and the iconic Lady Gaga… All incredibly strong and inspirational women.

Mary McCabe performing La Voix Humaine
Mary McCabe performing La Voix Humaine

All-time favourite live performance or someone you wish you'd got to see live but never have?

I never got to hear Pavarotti live before he passed away and this would have been amazing. There is an iconic performance recording from La Scala of Mirella Freni and Pavarotti singing in a production of La Bohème at La Scala… what a dream that would have been to experience live!

Why should people come to see your show at the MAC?

La Voix Humaine is a one-woman opera that is so intense, heart-wrenching and also not too long! If anyone wants to be impacted by such a perfect combination of drama, incredible music, and visual luxury… then this bite-size opera is a must-see! In my premiere of the opera, the atmosphere was electric and I felt the entire audience was locked into every moment and intensely feeling the drama as my tragic character revealed her pain and passion.

Book your tickets now at Northern Ireland Opera: The Salon Series: La Voix Humaine

About Mary McCabe

Mary McCabe is a soprano hailing from Downpatrick, N.Ireland. Mary has been connected with Northern Ireland Opera since its inception, beginning as a Young Artist and later an Associate Artist.

She sang as ‘Mademoiselle Silberklang’ in their production of ‘The Impresario’ as part of The Walled City Festival. She has also performed in their production of Puccini’s Turandot as ‘First Maiden’ (Grand Opera House) and as ‘Belinda’ in their concert performance of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Most recently Mary featured in the award-winning short film ‘Old Friends and Other Days’ directed by Cameron Menzies, NI Opera. She also performed in a live recorded concert recently on Sky Arts in ‘Live at the Waterfront’ with NI Opera. In their latest production of La Traviata, Mary covered the role of Violetta and performed the role of ‘Elle’ in their production of ‘La Voix Humaine’.

Mary graduated First Class in Music and French from The Queen’s University of Belfast and with Distinction in her Masters degree from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Whilst studying in Scotland, Mary was awarded First Prize in the Norma Grieg French Song Competition. More recently, Mary was a winner of the New York International Opera Project Competition and awarded first place for singing Bellini in the Italian Concorso Internazionale Lions Canto Lirico.

Mary has been generously supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland throughout the years through grants and awards. An award-winning performer on the operatic, oratorio and recital platforms, Mary has performed both nationally and internationally to critical acclaim.