Marcia Whitehead was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California. She currently lives in the metropolitan New York area, working exclusively with world-renowned vocal instructor, Franco Iglesias. Marcia is an award-winning lirico-spinto soprano, whose vocal gifts were discovered after her college experience in the dramatic arts. She was involved with music at an early age, but her serious pursuit of opera commenced after a choral concert where she stepped in at the last minute for an ailing soloist and an enthusiastic audience member offered to sponsor professional training. Subsequently, her private vocal study has included training with Kathleen Darragh of Los Angeles, and Maestro Franco Iglesias of New York City. Her operatic coaches have included Greg Buchhalter and Luis Menendez of the Metropolitan Opera and international operatic soprano, Juliana Gondek and Ann Baltz of OperaWorks. Additionally, Marcia has studied stage movement with academy award-winning actress Alfre Woodard and language arts with Carmen Brunol.
Marcia was thrilled to perform an aria, composed specifically for her voice, as a guest artist in a production of "Romeo and Juliet," performed at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House. She was also invited to be a guest artist, and sing the role of Abigail in The Crucible for the California State University at Fullerton, California. In addition, Marcia participated in recording the sound tracks for Hanna-Barbera’s Jetsons: The Movie and The Easter Story.
In an Opera Guild of Southern California competition, she was recognized as an unusual talent, as she performed arias, art songs, oratorio selections, recitatives, duets, trios and ensembles in a rigorous contest, for which she was a finalist and award winner.
Marcia’s years in the professional chorus of California’s Opera Pacific gave her several opportunities to sing “bit” roles and occasionally serve as rehearsal cover for roles lead roles in Der Fliegende Hollander, Manon Lescaut, Un Ballo in Maschera and Cavalleria Rusticana. On two occasions, while rehearsing Tosca and Aida, Marcia was heard by general directors David DiChiera and Patrick Veitch (respectively) who both encouraged her to pursue work on the world’s operatic stages. Though Mr. Veitch was aware that Marcia had come to opera late, having already begun a career in an unrelated field, he pronounced her voice “glorious in the extreme” and told Marcia “you have the voice for which the entire operatic world awaits.”
Marcia is the subject of the award-winning documentary film, Laundry and Tosca, which has been honored in international film festivals in Europe, Great Britain and the United States. Marcia was presented the award for “Best Music” in Milan for her work in the film. After experiencing a profound encounter with the Lord, Marcia has chosen to focus all her musical energies with a heart for Christian ministry. In addition to worship concerts, she enjoys presenting both arias and worship music in a faith-based ministry, born out of the film Laundry and Tosca which is a poetic examination of what it means to follow a calling and the abundant living that can result. Ministry opportunities have taken Marcia to Washington DC, New York, California, Oregon, New Mexico, New Jersey, Idaho, Texas and Utah, where Laundry and Tosca was presented at the Windrider Forum at the Sundance Film Festival.
Marcia has performed several classical concert works with choral societies and regional orchestras in California. Her concert repertoire includes works by Verdi, Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, Faure, Saint-Saens, Britten and Rossini. Marcia’s sacred repertoire includes music composed by contemporary Christian artists and gospel in addition to classical sacred works. Marcia has sung with regional opera companies in Oregon, California, New York, and New Jersey and her operatic repertoire includes Aida, Andrea Chenier, Cavalleria Rusticana, The Crucible, The Consul, Manon Lescaut, Tosca and Un Ballo in Maschera.