Artist of the Week 15 Qs for Danielle MacMillan

by | Mar 27, 2024 | Artist of the Week, Featured, News

The Artist of the Week is Canadian-Italian mezzo soprano Danielle MacMillan. She is currently in Toronto in rehearsals for Opera Atelier‘s upcoming production All is Love, running at Koerner Hall from April 11-14 (info and tickets here)

Comfortable in repertoire from Baroque to contemporary, Danielle has performed Wellgunde in Das Rheingold with Opera Nashville,  Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Palm Beach Opera, Second Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes with the Canadian Opera Company, and Agni in Against the Grain Theatres production of Kopernikus by Claude Vivier.

Danielle is an alumni of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, Palm Beach Opera’s Benenson Young Artist Program, York UniversityIstituzione Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto, in Italy and The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music. Currently she is making an album with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra which will be released shortly. More details are below.

We sat down with Danielle to chat about what she is currently reading, directors that she has worked with that have inspired her artistic journey, and how she defines happiness: “We look to high for things close by. Stop searching, never mind it; for happiness, like something lost, is always where you find it.”. Read on to find out more.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
That I’m an Italian Citizen. My mom’s family is from Benevento and Rome and my dad’s side of the family is from Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland; our ancestors were from Glasgow, Scotland.

If you could be stuck in an elevator with one person, who would it be?
A Thyssencrupp or Otis engineer with a satellite phone

What book are you reading at the moment?
I have three on the go; at the moment I’m reading, “The Essential Wayne Dyer Collection,” Mitch Albom’s (one of my favourite authors) “The Little Liar,” and Tim Grover’s book “Winning

Drink of choice?
Hot lemon water with ginger, cayenne and honey.

Coffee or tea?
Espresso macchiato.

Favourite place?
Anywhere in Italy really or by the ocean.

Favourite city that you’ve worked in?
Palm Beach.

Tent or hotel?

What are you afraid of?
Syringes. Anything to do with drawing blood or getting needles. Although, I often go to acupuncture (very different type of needles).

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
2011, Spoleto Italy, my friend Jessica and I had this gorgeous plate of risotto which was presented to us on a trolley rolled to our table in a copper pot next to a mountain of truffles freshly shaved onto our risotto paired with a bottle of Grechetto bianco.

Do you enjoy cooking? 
It’s one of my favourite things to do. Lately I’ve been making this amazing mung bean curry with roasted pumpkin. I’m known for my sugo though.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?
“Don’t let other peoples opinions of you become your reality.” My boyfriend Daniel said this to me; he heard it at one of Les Brown’s talks.

What is one thing that you cannot live without?
Oxygen, hehe.

Were there any directors in the past that have really inspired you?
Many of them; Brent Krysa, Tom Diamond, Joel Ivany, Marshall Pynkoski, Valerie Kuinka, John Hoomes, Stephen Lawless, Rob Herriot…thank you all for believing in me and trusting my artistry.

What is happiness for you?
When I was a child I had this plaque on a shelf in my room, for as long as I can remember, with two kids holding flowers (they looked like ‘precious moments’ characters) – I think it must’ve been something of my mom’s from when she was younger. I would read this quote, everyday, not knowing who said it, but it stuck with me and the older I got the more sense it made: “We look to high for things close by. Stop searching, never mind it; for happiness, like something lost, is always where you find it.” I believe that happiness is ultimately a choice. I choose to find it in the everyday matters, big or small.

Any exciting projects you want to mention?
I finally get to say that I’m making an album with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra (it’s been in the works for the past 2+ years). This project is based on the theme “hope through adversity.” There is a broad range of texts, from the Medieval masters Dante Alighieri and St. Thomas Aquinas, to new words centered around the theme of hope, by all Canadian composers: Gerry Thornton, Leela Gilday, Kye Marshall, Shreya Jha, Rachel McFarlane, Ted Runcie, Bruno Degazio, Daniel Mehdizadeh, Elienna Wang, Anika-France Forget and Ronald Royer. There are a variety of musical styles, and it’s all being composed to appeal to a worldwide audience. The album launch concerts are on April 26 and 27; and will be recorded for the Akashic Classics record label and will be distributed by Universal! This project is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council the Toronto Arts Council, RBC Foundation, TELUS Foundation, and the SOCAN Foundation.

©Anthony Popolo
Das Rheingold, Opera Nashville,
©Bob Tinker 
Cosi fan tutte, Manitoba Opera,

All is Love
Opera Atelier

April 11 -14

DIRECTOR: Marshall Pynkoski
CHOREOGRAPHER: Jeanette Lajeunesse Zing 
CONDUCTOR: David Fallis
REHEARSAL PIANIST: Chris Bagan / Ben Cruchley
SET DESIGNER :Gerard Gauci

HEAD OF WARDROBE: Michael Legouffe
WARDROBE ASSISTANT: Carrie Cooley-Barbour
CAST: Colin Ainsworth, Measha Brueggergosman-Lee, Jesse Blumberg, Meghan Lindsay,  Danielle MacMillan, Cynthia Smithers, Karine White,  Douglas Williams


ALL IS LOVE is a brand new thematically based program celebrating love in all its splendour through the juxtaposition of music of the French Baroque with French 19th and 20th Century repertoire. Opera Atelier invites you to experience a world where Amour – Love itself – propels the action and emotions, for better or for worse, of all of the protagonists.

The 75-minute program includes:
ALL IS LOVE – a mix of Henry Purcell and Reynaldo Hahn, created specifically for Measha Brueggergosman-Lee by Christopher Bagan
La Nuit – M.A. Charpentier
Nuit d’étoiles – Claude Debussy
Pelléas et Mélisande, opening scene – Claude Debussy
L’heure Exquise – Reynaldo Hahn
Mi Lusinga – G.F. Handel
O Sleep, Why dost thou leave me? – G.F. Handel
Where’er you walk – G.F. Handel
Lay your doubts and fears aside – G.F. Handel
Inception – Edwin Huizinga
Curtain Tune – Matthew Locke
Music for a While – Henry Purcell
Entrance of Swans – Henry Purcell
Two Daughters – Henry Purcell
Passacaille from King Arthur – Henry Purcell
Entrance of Mercury – J.P. Rameau
Plus J’observe – J.P. Rameau
Enchantment of Renaud – J.P. Rameau
Minuets from Les Indes Galantes – J.P. Rameau

Opera Canada depends on the generous contributions of its supporters to bring readers outstanding, in-depth coverage of opera in Canada and beyond.
Please consider subscribing or donating today.


We tell OPERA stories with a CANADIAN twist. If you have a news that fits that description, please email with your tip. The people behind these posts are Elizabeth Bowman, Editor-In-Chief, and Cait Wood, Digital Specialist.



No event found!