Maria McDaniel Willathgamuwa, mezzo-soprano, found her passion and talent for classical singing during high school and developed her niche on the opera and musical theater stage during her undergraduate studies at Millikin University in Illinois (BM 2003). She received a full fellowship in Voice and Opera from Georgia State University (MM 2007).
Maria has since performed in leading, supporting, and chorus roles in numerous operas and oratorios in multiple languages ranging from Mozart and Verdi to contemporary composers.
In addition to singing opera, she has performed as soloist in concert works with local symphony orchestras and churches throughout the Southeast, including the Atlanta Symphony, Cobb Symphony, and the Savannah Philharmonic. She has also travelled the country as a recitalist sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs. Internationally, she made her debut with the Chinese National Symphony in 2011 with the prestigious musical exchange program I Sing Beijing.
As a member of the renowned Atlanta Opera Chorus from 2007-2011, she made her professional operatic debut as a soloist in 2008 and has since appeared in many concerts and outreach events with the company. She has performed as a soloist with North Carolina Opera and Chautauqua Opera in New York, where she completed two summers in the nationally recognized Young Artist Program.
She continues to appear regularly in principal supporting operatic roles with the Atlanta Opera on both the main stage and in concert. She has also won prizes in several vocal competitions throughout the country, including 2009 Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
She is active as a master class clinician, guest instructor, and church musician. With her many years of performance and teaching experience, she offers her students an expertise and competitive edge that is reflected in her voice students’ numerous achievements.