McDonald, Audra (Ann )
- Sylvia Stoner-Hawkins
(b Berlin, Germany, July 3, 1970). American singer and actress. She was raised in Fresno, California, and received classical vocal training from the Juilliard School. She debuted on Broadway as a replacement in the role of Ayah in Norman and Simon’s The Secret Garden (1991). As Carrie Pipperidge in the revival of Rodger and Hammerstein’s Carousel, McDonald won the Tony as Best Featured Actress in a Musical (1994). Momentarily shifting away from musical theater, McDonald appeared as Sharon Graham, the soprano who sings Verdi’s “Vieni t’affretta” in Terence McNally’s play Maria Callas: Masterclass (1996), for which she won the Tony as Best Featured Actress in a Play. Throughout her career, McDonald has performed successfully as a crossover artist and has also acted frequently on television and film. Stephen Holden of the New York Times observes that her vocal abilities “glide so seamlessly between a semi-operatic lyricism and a pop-blues gutsiness.” McDonald returned to the Broadway musical as Sarah in Flaherty and Ahrens’s ...