A Little About Bill
With more than forty operatic roles to his credit, baritone Bill McMurray has been described as “a baritone with warm, rich tones and superb stage presence” by the Durham Herald Sun. Such roles include “Figaro” in Il Baribiere di Sivigila,“Count Almaviva” in Le nozze di Figaro and “Escamillo” in Carmen. Walter Marini of the New Buffalo Times is quoted as saying his portrayal of “Marcello” in Puccini’s La Boheme as “a powerful actor who brings great elegance to the role. His singing is as fine as anything being heard in major opera houses today.”
He has sung with noted companies like Florida Grand Opera, Opera North, Knoxville Opera, Skylight Music Theater, Opera Company of NC, Mobile Opera, Opera Carolina, Central City Opera and Opera on the James.
Recent engagements include his return to Chicago Opera Theater to perform the role of “Mr Gedge, the Vicar” in Albert Herring, his debut with Opera San Antonio as “Marullo” in Rigoletto, “Ibn Hakia” in Tchaikovsky’s Russian opera Iolanta, “The Father” in the Midwest premiere of Stefan Weisman’s opera The Scarlet Ibis, the Narrator in The Snowman with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and as the bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Apollo Chorus. Other solo highlights include a Porgy and Bess concert, as well as performances of the Mozart Requiem with the Chicago Bar Association and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in his debut with South Bend Symphony Orchestra.
The 23-24 season will feature a return to Opera San Antonio to sing the “Pirate King” in Pirates of Penzance, Messiah performances with Michigan City and the Apollo Chorus, his debut with Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, baritone soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Illinois Philharmonic and the baritone soloist in the Bruckner Te Deum.
Equally successful on the concert stage, Bill has sung solos in sacred works such as Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. He has also been the featured soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs and the Faure Requiem. He was the baritone soloist in Michael Tippett’s oratorio A Child of Our Time, conducted by Barbara Schubert with the University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Other solo orchestral appearances include the New Philharmonic Orchestra, Elmhurst Orchestra and Choral Society, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Skokie Valley Symphony, Elgin Symphony, Chicago Civic Orchestra and Waukegan Symphony. At the Ravinia Festival he was the bass soloist in the final movement of Haydn’s Creation, conducted by former Metropolitan Opera Music Director, James Levine. He is a previous first place winner of the National Association Teachers of Singing competition and was one of eight singers selected to the Winners Circle of The Classical Music Vocal Competition. In 2021 Bill received a Grammy award as a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus for their work on the recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13, Babi Yar.
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