Othalie Graham

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Othalie Graham is a Canadian American dramatic soprano, whose operatic roles to date include the title roles of Puccini's Turandot and Tosca, Verdi's Aida, and Strauss's Ariadne Aux Naxos.

Early years[edit]

Graham was born in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.[1] Her father, a Jamaican born Canadian, instilled in Graham a strong identification with Jamaican music and culture.[1] When Graham was young, her father sparked her interest in opera by taking her to see a Leontyne Price recital.[1] Her passion in opera grew while attending high school at the Etobicoke School of the Arts. While in Canada, Graham was awarded first place in the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques Competition and received the coveted Jean Chalmers prize in the Canadian Music Competition.[2]

Othalie attended Philadelphia's prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts, or AVA [3] after studying under Lois McDonall.[4] At AVA, she studied under Bill Schuman and continues to study with him.[1] Graham has won the Opera at Florham voice competition [5] as well as the Liederkranz Society's annual competition, where she made her New York City recital debut.[6] She was also the New Jersey district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a finalist in the Palm Beach Opera Competition.[2] Graham also spent a summer training under the widely admired Italian opera singer Renata Scotto at the Renata Scotto Opera Academy at the Music Conservatory of Westchester.[2][3]


Graham continues to receive critical acclaim throughout North America. Widely known for her commitment to Wagnerian repertoire and her interpretation of the title role in Turandot, The Boston Globe' noted that her "timbre and power were thrilling – steely ring from top to bottom – and her path from imperiousness to passion was convincing."

Recent and upcoming engagements have included the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos with Festival Opera; the title role in Aida with Opera Carolina, Toledo Opera, and at the Teatro Greco di Siracusa in Sicily; and Minnie in La Fanciulla del West with Nashville Opera, and Indianapolis Opera. She has performed the title role of Turandot with Nashville Opera, Opera Carolina, Orquesta Filhamónica de la UNAM, Opera de Nuevo León, Arizona Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Columbus, Opera Delaware, Utah Festival Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera, Pensacola Opera, Sacramento Opera, Boston’s Chorus Pro Musica, the Westfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Harrisburg Symphony.

Recent and upcoming concert highlights include a Wagnerian concert with the Orquesta Filarmonica de la UNAM, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Philadelphia Orchestra; an all-Wagner program with the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center and in Lima, Peru; the Verdi Requiem with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and Mississippi Symphony Orchestra; Serena in Porgy and Bess with the Jacksonville Symphony and with the Toledo Opera; Isolde in Tristan und Isolde in Zagreb, Croatia; and the Britten War Requiem with the Fondazione Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi.

Additional appearances have included Odabella in Attila with Sarasota Opera, the title role in Aida for the inaugural performance of the Istanbul International Opera Festival, Leonora in Il Trovatore with Utah Festival Opera, the title role in Tosca with Festival Opera, and the title role in Elektra at Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts. Emerging into the Wagnerian repertoire, Ms. Graham’s notable roles also include Senta in Der Fliegender Holländer, Brünnhilde and Sieglinde in Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and Elisabeth in Tannhäuser.

Other concert highlights include a New York recital debut with the Liederkranz Society; a Wagner concert co-sponsored by the Wagner Society of Washington, D.C.; Isolde in Tristan und Isolde with the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra in California; Brünnhilde excerpts from Die Walküre for the L’Opéra de Montréal gala; Elijah with Bryn Terfel and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; a featured appearance with Eve Queler at the Dahesh Museum of Art; as well as opera galas for Pacific Opera Victoria, Vancouver Opera, Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa, and Canada’s Oakville Symphony.

Ms. Graham was the first-place winner of the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition in the Wagner Division, the first-place winner of the Joyce Dutka Competition, a recipient of the Sullivan Foundation Grant, and the first-place winner in the Wagner Division of the Liederkranz Competition, and winner of the Edward Johnson Competition.[7]


  • First place in the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques Competition
  • Jean Chalmers prize in the Canadian Music Competition
  • Winner of Edward Johnson Competition
  • Winner of Opera at Florham Voice Competition
  • Winner of Liederkranz Society Competition in Wagner division
  • New Jersey district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions
  • Finalist in Palm Beach Opera Competition
  • Sullivan Foundation Grant recipient
  • First place winner in the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition in Wagner Division
  • First place winner of the Joyce Dutka Competition


  1. ^ a b c d Shengold, David. (October 28, 2004) Citypaper.net. Othalie Graham.
  2. ^ a b c The Festival Opera Association. (2006) Othalie Graham bio. Accessed July 19, 2007.
  3. ^ a b North, Cheryl. (July 6, 2006) The Oakland Tribune Can't go wrong with a masterwork by Puccini. Section: Cheryl North.
  4. ^ http://www.schmopera.com/talking-with-singers-othalie-graham/
  5. ^ Bugman, Cathy. (July 18, 2002) The Star-Ledger. Celebration for cancer survivors; Around town. Section: In the towns; Page 1.
  6. ^ Othalie Graham website. Biography, Othalie Graham, soprano. Accessed July 19, 2007.
  7. ^ Othalie Graham website. Biography, Othalie Graham, soprano. Accessed October 31, 2015.

External links[edit]