CVAI: Matthew McLellan, bass


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Name: Matthew McLellan

Voice type: Bass

From: Kelowna, B.C.

Teachers: Peter Barcza, Rhoslyn Jones, Nancy Hermiston

Education: University of British Columbia


Matthew McLellan, originally from Kelowna, B.C., began voice lessons without the intention of studying opera. It was his first voice teacher, Katherine Van Kampen, who inspired him to pursue it as a career. Matthew graduated with a BMus and MMus from the University of British Columbia, studying under Peter Barcza, Rhoslyn Jones and Nancy Hermiston. Some of his favourite roles are Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro), Leporello (Don Giovanni) and Colline (La bohème).  His hobbies include tennis, skiing, and of course, singing!

What made you decide to pursue studies in opera?

When I began university I had friends who were studying voice. After watching them perform I began taking voice lessons. I didn’t plan on singing operatic repertoire, but my first voice teacher offered to teach me that technique and eventually I became obsessed with how to use the voice in such a demanding and lyrical way.

Do you follow a specific routine before going on stage? 

My routine is not specific, but I do warm up before I perform.  I’m not superstitious and I don’t have diet restrictions.  I don’t want to bind myself to the idea that I have to prepare a certain way or avoid specific foods or activities to sing.  Then, hopefully, my body and mind are free from worries or excuses.

How have you been keeping your voice in shape during the pandemic?

I was lucky to be with the UBC Opera Ensemble during the pandemic and we continued performing within the restrictions.

What are your career goals and how do you plan to achieve them?

My goal is to be able to support myself financially through singing opera. My first big step into that world will be when I move to Europe in the fall of 2022.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


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