Performing regularly as a soloist with symphony orchestras, chamber music groups and choirs throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia, tenor Paul McMahon is one of Australia’s finest exponents of baroque and classical repertoire, particularly the Evangelist role in the Passions of J. S. Bach.
Career highlights include Bach’s Johannes-Passion with the Australian Chamber Orchestra under Richard Tognetti; Bach’s Matthäus-Passion under Roy Goodman; Haydn’s Die Schöpfung under the late Richard Hickox, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor under Masaaki Suzuki and Mozart’s Requiem with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under Manfred Honeck. Paul’s collaborations include recitals with the renowned pianists Bengt Forsberg and Kathryn Stott, the New Zealand String Quartet and the Australia Ensemble. Paul has appeared as soloist in the festivals of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and has given concerts for broadcast on ABC Classic FM and the MBS network. He was a member of The Song Company from 1997 to 2001, touring regularly with this ensemble throughout Australia, Asia and Europe.
Paul’s discography includes a 2018 Decca double-cd set of artsongs by Calvin Bowman which reached number two on the Aria Core Classical Album chart (Real and Right and True), a solo album of English, French and Italian lute songs entitled A Painted Tale; a CD and DVD recording of Handel’s Messiah; Handel’s Semele; Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo; Purcell’s The Fairy Queen; Mozart’s Requiem and Idomeneo; Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Fauré’s La Naissance de Venus. He is featured on Swoon – A Visual and Musical Odyssey and The Swoon Collection Gold Edition; the Christmas discs Perfect Day, Silent Night and Glorious Night; Prayer for Peace; Eternity; Danny Boy; Ye Banks and Braes; Praise II and the soundtrack to the Australian feature film The Bank. These recordings are available through iTunes, Spotify, ABC Online, JB Hi-Fi, and buywell.com.
Paul accepted a Churchill Fellowship in 2002 to undertake intensive study in baroque repertoire under the tutelage of Marius van Altena at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, Netherlands. He holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts degree from the University of Southern Queensland, a Graduate Diploma of Music from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and a Master of Music (Performance) degree from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Awarded a Griffith University Postgraduate Research Scholarship, Paul completed his PhD examining Handel’s vocal music and the delivery of baroque performance practice in higher education. His academic research includes publications on works by Handel and Draghi, vocal pedagogy and historical performance practice. Paul was a member of the academic staff at the University of Newcastle from 2005–2012; he is currently Deputy Head of School, Senior Lecturer in Music and Convenor of Performance at the Australian National University, Canberra.