Geoffrey McDonald

Geoffrey McDonald is a vibrant and versatile conductor at the forefront of an evolving American opera scene. Current and recent seasons mark many company conducting debuts for McDonald, with productions at Opera Philadelphia, Wolf Trap Opera, Curtis Opera Theatre, Opera Omaha, Atlanta Opera,  Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Saratoga, Toledo Opera, and the Caramoor Festival. As Music Director of New York City’s On Site Opera, he continues to marshal performances of the highest musical standard while adapting to immersive and logistically challenging settings.

Highlights from past seasons include appearances as guest conductor with The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Gotham Chamber Opera, American Symphony Orchestra, the Bard Festival Players, collaborat ions with director R.B. Schlather and the International Contemporary Ensemble on Händel operas , and performances with the historical instrument ensemble Grand Harmonie. In the spring of 2017, McDonald made his German theater debut with Theater und Orchester Neubrandenburg/Neustrelitz, and led the West Bohemian Symphony Orchestra in Prague in a performance of Smetana’s  Ma Vlast .

In addition to his active freelance career, he has already established an impressive record as an engaging conductor-educator, serving as Music Director of the Longy Conservatory Orchestra in Cambridge, Massachusetts; the Bard College Orchestra; the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra; and the Columbia University Bach Society. 

McDonald earned his masters in orchestral conducting at Mannes College of Music, and his bachelors degree from Princeton University in musicology. He studied piano, cello, and voice, and is a sought-after vocal coach, working with accomplished singers who appear on the world’s top stages.

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