Eric McEnaney enjoys a multifaceted career as one of America’s foremost opera pianists and vocal coaches. Known for his expertise in contemporary opera, Dr. McEnaney has assisted in the creative process of several revival productions and newly commissioned works, collaborating with distinguished composers Dominick Argento, Ricky Ian Gordon, Paul Moravec, Kevin Puts, Bright Sheng, and Robert Ward, among others. Young artist and professional singers frequently seek his knowledge of bel canto style, particularly in the operas of Donizetti, and Dr. McEnaney’s breadth of musical understanding and passion for opera education has garnered regular invitations to serve as guest lecturer for various companies’ performance previews. Twin Cities audiences often find him presenting innovative programs at the Ordway Center for the Arts in Saint Paul as part of Minnesota Opera’s Opera Insights series.
As a member of the music staff for opera companies throughout the country, Dr. McEnaney has assisted on the preparation of more than 90 productions, with repertoire ranging from Orfeo ed Euridice to Silent Night. He maintains active associations with Florentine Opera Company as Principal Pianist and Coach, Minnesota Opera as Master Coach, and Central City Opera as Assistant Conductor, and has worked as a guest coach for such companies as Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Virginia Opera, Opera Southwest, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Skylark Opera, and Lyric Opera of the North.
A dedicated advocate for the creative training of young singers, Dr. McEnaney is frequently in demand as faculty coach for summer opera festivals and as master clinician at colleges and universities in the Midwest and beyond. He served as Director and Principal Coach for the ECCO Program, a joint young artist program between Minnesota Opera and The University of Minnesota School of Music from 2013-2016. Additionally, he designed and administrated a new young artist program for Fargo-Moorhead Opera. Begun in 2014, the Gate City Bank Young Artist Program gives four highly talented singers the opportunity to hone their craft in pursuit of a singing career by presenting numerous performances throughout the community. The program regularly serves over 2,000 K-12 and collegiate students each season and has become a permanent part of the opera company’s offerings.
Dr. McEnaney’s private vocal coaching studio is a mainstay of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul arts scene and many of his clients appear onstage with the region’s most prominent companies. Members of his studio are frequent competition winners and are regularly accepted into leading summer festivals, year-round training programs, and collegiate institutions. Recent client successes include invitations to Merola, Glimmerglass, Chautauqua, Des Moines Metro Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Sarasota Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Colorado, Wolf Trap Opera Company, Castleton Festival, SongFest, Music Academy of the West, Royal Academy of Music, New England Conservatory, and University of Cincinnati-CCM.
As a recitalist, Dr. McEnaney has appeared with singers from the rosters of the nation’s leading opera companies. He has served as orchestral pianist with Minnesota Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Civic Symphony and the opera orchestras of Minnesota Opera and Central City Opera. His performances have been broadcast locally and nationally on American Public Media, Minnesota Public Radio, Colorado Public Radio, Twin Cities Public Television, KSTP-TV’s Twin Cities Live, and WCCO-TV’s Mid-Morning. He has assisted many of the most renowned vocal artists of our time in masterclasses and private sessions, including Christine Brewer, Anna Christy, David Daniels, Elizabeth Futral, Denyce Graves, Marilyn Horne, Thomas Hampson, Frank Lopardo, Susanna Phillips, Patricia Racette, John Relyea, and Carol Vaness. Additional collaborations include work with former Tonight Show Bandleader Doc Severinsen and with Minnesota humorist and playwright Kevin Kling.
Dr. McEnaney is an alumnus of young artist programs at Music Academy of the West, Wolf Trap Opera Company, Des Moines Metro Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, and Minnesota Opera, where he worked four seasons as Resident Artist Coach/Accompanist. He holds degrees in piano performance and collaborative piano from Eastern Illinois University, The University of Iowa, and the University of Minnesota, and divides his time between the cities of Minneapolis and Milwaukee.