The Australian soprano, actress, pianist, conductor, director and music teacher, Anne-Maree McDonald, began her professional career at age 15 as a singer-songwriter appearing on variety television and as an actor in soaps and advertisements. She then studied classical singing and piano at the Victorian College of the Arts and at Arts and at the University High School Melbourne.
Anne-Maree McDonald joined The Australian Opera as a very young principal soprano. She was Principal Soprano there from October 1980 to October 1988. She performed other leading roles along with many other opera roles in W.A. Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, W.A. Mozart's Don Giovanni, The Mikado (1987), Trial By Jury, La Cenerentola, La Buona Figliuola, Countess Maritza, Gianni Schicchi, Ba-ta-clan, Paganini, Boris Godunov, W.A. Mozart's The Magic Flute. and Prisoner: Cell Block H (1979). She created (and recorded) the role of Belle in Richard Meale’s Voss and appeared in The Merry Widow (1988), Francis Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites, George Frideric Handel's Alcina, and Les Huguenots with Dame Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge. In London she sang at Dame Joan Sutherland’s 70th birthday gala at Australia House. She has appeared at the Sydney Opera House on many occasions, and sung in some of the most famous music halls in London, as well as other parts of the world.
Anne-Maree has performed with all the major Australian symphony orchestras singing the soprano solos in the J.S. Bach's B Minor Mass (BWV 232), J.S. Bach's Magnificat (BWV 243), G.F. Handel's Messiah, Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah and Gabriel Fauré's Requiem. In London she sang the F. Poulenc's Gloria at St. John’s Smith Square and gave recitals at Dulwich Picture Gallery, St Martin-in-the-fields, St James Piccadilly, Holywell Music Room Oxford. She also appeared in cabaret at the famous Pizza on the Park Knightsbridge.
Her music theatre roles include Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (with Dennis Olsen), Chava and Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof (Australian Opera), Anna in The Seven Deadly Sins and Kay Swift in Gershwin the Musical (Melbourne Summer Music Festival). In London she appeared Golden Tunes from the Musicals for the Lord Mayor of London at Mansion House and in several plays with music by Australian composer Warren Wills. Anne-Maree has also performed in many concerts at the Sydney Opera House, Beijing Exhibition Centre Theatre, Sydney Town Hall, Independent Theatre, Art Gallery of NSW and for ABC Classic FM and sang at the Hyatt Regency Coolum with the Queensland Symphony with Anthony Warlow and Tommy Tycho.
Anne-Maree McDonald is also a renowned conductor and musical director. As Music Director/Conductor she most recently worked on Thomas Keneally's Transport music by Larry Kirwan (Black47). She also conducted Jekyll & Hyde (Taiwan tour 2010), Floyd Collins – (City Recital Hall), Hats Off! 2010 & 2011 (Mardi Gras), Shout! (TML), and Mario Lanza – The Final Serenade (UK tour). At the piano she has musically directed the New Musicals Australia Opening Concert (Sidetrack), Trial By Jury (Covent Garden Festival, WAAPA). A Life On Earth with Peter Cousens, God Save The Queen It Isn’t! and A Song to Sing O! with Stuart Maunder (Australia House London, Adelaide Cabaret Festival), Snow White & The Seven Housemates (Endemol Southern Star), Gavin Lockely’s Ballads Of The Bush (City Recital Hall Angel Place and the Australia Day concert in the Sydney Domain). She regularly performs all over Australia with Peter Cousens and Stuart Maunder.
Anne-Maree McDonald is the pianist for a production entitled The Sound of Rodgers (City Recital Hall Sydney, VAC Melbourne), a tribute to Richard Rodgers of the famous Rodgers and Hammerstein pairing, along with another entitled Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye, a concert containing many of the nostalgic and inspiring tunes from the wartime periods. Both of these shows play at theaters around Australia and feature Stuart Maunder, a previous Staff Director Royal Opera for Covent Garden and Executive Producer for Opera Australia. Their daughter, Lucy Maunder, a star of Australian musical theatre, also appears on stage with them. Ms McDonald is an accomplished pianist, often accompanying performers in all manner of musical genres.
Anne-Maree is Teacher of Singing, Vocal coach/repetiteur Music Theatre, Master classes Performance Studies at Australian Institute of Music (AIM) since February 2011. She has also taught at WAAPA, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Brent Street Studios and NIDA . She is a regular adjudicator for the McDonald’s Performing Arts Challenge. She has been Singer, Pianist, Music Director, Producer, Actor at Meredith Shaw Pty Ltd since January 1985; She currently lives in Sidney, Australia.