Mark Donnelly received his early musical training in voice, oboe, and conducting in Canada. At the age of six, he successfully auditioned for the Men and Boys Choir at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Ottawa. By the age of thirteen, Mark was head chorister, had won first place and gold trophies in several music competitions, had received first-class honours for his examinations at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and he had made two solo CD recordings that include works by Purcell, Bach, Handel, Schubert, Wolf, Stanford, Britten and a work by Canadian composer Derek Holman that was commissioned for him. He performed and recorded as a chorister and soloist throughout Canada, and on tours that included well-known cathedrals and concert venues in the US, the UK, Europe and Asia. Mark has been interviewed and has sung on live national radio and television broadcasts. He studied at leading universities in Canada and South Africa, and with voice teachers including Jan Simons (McGill University), Bruce Pullan (University of British Columbia), Laurence Ewashko (University of Ottawa), Virginia Davids (University of Cape Town), Sarita Stern (South African College of Music), and Selena James (Victoria Conservatory of Music).
Mark Donnelly has performed as a soloist across Canada at festivals, venues, and with ensembles including the Thirteen Strings (comprised of principal members of the National Arts Centre Orchestra), Les Violons du Roy, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the National Gala performance of the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors, Studio Musique Ancienne de Montreal, Seventeen Voyces, Pacific Baroque Festival, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, at Place des Arts (Montreal), the Orpheum (Vancouver), and at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (Vancouver.) He sang in concert productions directed by conductors including Ivars Taurins, Georg Grün, Maria Guinand, Lydia Adams, Julian Wachner, Johannes Prinz, Boris Brott, Jon Washburn, Diane Loomer, Patrick Wedd, Anthony Leach, Kevin Reeves, Ken Fleet, Mark Sirett, Timothy Vernon, Kevin Mallon, Brian Law, Matthew Larkin, and Lars Kaario.
Mark Donnelly’s recent opera and oratorio performances have attracted critical acclaim, and include Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA, Oberon in Britten’s MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, Sorceress and Spirit in Purcell’s DIDO AND AENEAS, Toby in Menotti’s THE MEDIUM, Monteverdi’s 1610 VESPERS, Pergolesi’s STABAT MATER, Purcell’s HAIL! BRIGHT CECILIA, SOUND THE TRUMPET and SOUND THE TRUMPET, BEAT THE DRUM, WELCOME TO ALL THE PLEASURES, FAIRY QUEEN, KING ARTHUR, Bach’s MAGNIFICAT, MASS IN B MINOR, ST. MATTHEW PASSION, ST. JOHN PASSION, CHRISTMAS ORATORIO, VERGNÜGTE RUH, BELIEBTE SEELENLUST, ICH HABE GENUG, Handel’s MESSIAH, ISRAEL IN EGYPT, JUDAS MACCABEUS, DIXIT DOMINUS, FOUNDLING HOSPITAL ANTHEM, Didymus THEODORA, David SAUL, Vivaldi’s GLORIA, MAGNIFICAT, NISI DOMINUS, Charpentier’s TE DEUM, MESSE DE MINUIT POUR NOËL, Pärt’s PASSIO, and Orff’s CARMINA BURANA. Mark’s recent concert and recital performances have included excerpts from Handel’s GIULIO CESARE, RINALDO, RODELINDA, ALCINA, PARTENOPE, Gluck’s ORFEO ED EURIDICE, Britten’s CANTICLES (Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac), and works by Monteverdi, Purcell, Scarlatti, Dowland, Merula, Hahn, Schubert, Vaughan Williams, and Britten.
In the summer of 2019, Mark Donnelly attended the International Baroque Academy at Musiktheater Bavaria, Germany, founded by Richard and Rolann Owens. He had masterclasses and lessons with Christopher Robson, Avi Stein, Alon Sariel, Ellen Hargis and he performed lead opera and concert roles by Monteverdi, Purcell, Handel and Merula in Germany and Austria.
Mark is passionate about extending the countertenor repertoire and he enjoys engaging audiences through innovative collaborations with conductors, composers, choreographers, and performers. He has recently been a soloist in several world premieres, including ROSA MYSTICA, a Christmas Cantata by Canadian composer John Burge, performed with instrumentalists from the National Arts Centre Orchestra.