Coatesville native Duane McDevitt’s path to becoming an international opera sensation wasn’t part of his original plan, writes Kim Douglas for Main Line Today.
In high school, McDevitt was “dead set” on going to military college and pursuing computer science. But that all changed when he won a vocal scholarship to West Chester University. He started to enter competitions and realized he could sing professionally.
Throughout his career, he has performed across the U.S. and more than 100 countries. He has had roles in operas such as The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro, and Die Fledermaus. His wife, Michele McConnell, is also a professional opera singer. The couple often performs as a duo aboard cruise ships.
However, McDevitt’s talent doesn’t end in opera. His current role in the off-Broadway murder mystery Warren Manzi’s Perfect Crime, isn’t a singing one. His role is Lionel McAuley, a suspected murderer in the New York theater scene’s longest running play.
The Perfect Crime has brought its offbeat performance to the stage for 35 years.
“In this business, everything is so specific—and at the same time, there’s always overlap. I build scenery and stage manage, because in a way it’s all the same thing. You’re either right or not right for a part. I turned out to be good enough for this one—although I’m not sure what to make of playing the crazed Lionel “so well,” according to some friends,” said McDevitt.
Read more about the Coatesville opera singer’s new role in Main Line Today.