Naomi Louisa O’Connell - Mezzo Soprano


Naomi Louisa O’Connell, Mezzo Soprano http://www.naomioconnell.com

Hailed by The New York Times as “radiant,” Irish performer Naomi Louisa O’Connell made her professional stage debut in 2012 starring on London’s West End in Terrence McNally’s Tony Award-winning play Master Class in the role of Sharon Graham, an aspiring young opera singer opposite Tyne Daly who portrayed the legendary Maria Callas. The Times called her performance “…spectacular,” and The Independent lauded her “…thrilling rendering of an aria from Verdi’s Macbeth.”

In the 2015-2016 season, Ms. O’Connell makes her debut at the Welsh National Opera in two operas: as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, directed by Tobias Richter, and as Serafin in the world premiere of Elena Langer’s Figaro Gets A Divorce, directed by David Pountney. She also participated in a workshop for The Rivals: A Musical at Pearl Studios and premiered her all-German cabaret FRAU at the Neue Galerie of New York City. In the 2014-2015 season, she made her German debut at Oper Frankfurt in the title role of a new production of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. She also debuted at Atlanta Opera as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and participated in the workshop for Jake Heggie’s new opera Great Scott as Arden Scott in New York City.

In the 2013 – 2014 season, Ms. O’Connell returned to Garsington Opera for Offenbach’s Vert-Vert in the role of man-eating opera diva La Corilla, whose “coloratura tours-de-force simply blew the lid of this performance.” In the USA, she debuted in Stephen Wadsworth’s new adaptation of the Beaumarchais Figaro Plays in the role of Rosine to great critical acclaim. Highlights of her 2012-13 operatic season included: Despina in the MET+Juilliard production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte in fall 2012, under the baton of Alan Gilbert and directed by Stephen Wadsworth; and in spring 2013, she appeared in New York City Opera’s new production of Offenbach’s La Périchole, directed by Christopher Alden.

A gifted musician and natural performer, Ms. O’Connell deftly balances her love of opera with that of art song, musical theater and popular song with repertoire ranging from Schumann, Strauss and Ravel to Bernstein, Gershwin and Randy Newman. Recital appearances include her Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall presented by Concert Artists Guild, entitled “Witches, Bitches & Women in Britches,” where the New York Times hailed her as “a natural in the recital format, winning over the audience with her rich, silvery voice and charming stage presence.” Ms. O’Connell made her recital debut with pianist Brent Funderburk at New York City’s Alice Tully Hall in the Juilliard Vocal Arts Honors Recital in 2011. The duo formed a strong collaboration and have continued to perform together across the USA; notable recital venues include New York’s Alice Tully Hall, Neue Galerie, Merkin Concert Hall, Rockefeller University and the American Irish Historical Society, as well as the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Purdue University Convocations and the Artist Series of Tallahassee.

In the USA, Ms. O’Connell has performed with the Marlboro Music Festival, Steans Musical Institute at Ravinia, the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, MUSE/IQUE in Los Angeles, New York’s Five Boroughs Music Festival, Fabbri Chamber Concerts, The Song Continues and Ensemble for the Romantic Century, the Juilliard ChamberFest and FOCUS! Festivals and the New York Festival of Song. 

Notable past awards include the 2012 Leonard Ingrams Award from Garsington Opera, First Prize in the 2011 Concert Artists Guild and Caruso/Altamura International Voice Competitions, the Novick Career Advancement Grant and Makiko Narumi Award for Outstanding Mezzo-soprano from The Juilliard School, and First Prize in Operetta at the 2008 International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition.

Born to Irish/German parents in County Clare, Ireland, Ms. O’Connell began her studies with Archie Simpson and is an alumna of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, where she studied with voice teacher Mary Brennan. She holds a Master of Music degree and an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies from The Juilliard School where she studied with voice teachers Dr. Robert White and Marlena Malas and acting teacher Stephen Wadsworth. The Irish Arts Council generously supported her studies at The Juilliard School. Her recordings have been broadcasted on WQXR, BBC Three, Bayerischer Rundfunk, RTÉ Television, RTÉ Radio One and Lyric FM.  Ms. O’Connell is currently based in New York City.

Opera Repertoire

Composer Opera Role
Bernstein Dinah Trouble in Tahiti
Bizet Carmen* Carmen
Debussy Melisande Pelleas et Melisande
Dove Adelaide The Enchanted Pig
Dove The Stewardess Flight
Gilbert & Sullivan Tessa* The Gondoliers
Handel Ariodante* Ariodante
Handel Sesto Guilio Cesare
Humperdinck Haensel Haensel und Gretel
Langer Serafin* Figaro Gets a Divorce
Lerner & Loewe Eliza Doolittle My Fair Lady
Massenet Charlotte Werther
Monteverdi Poppea*, Ottavia* L'incoronazione di Poppea
Mozart Dorabella, Despina* Cosi fan tutte
Mozart Donna Elvira, Zerlina Don Giovanni
Mozart Cherubino* Le nozze di Figaro
Offenbach Title role* La Perichole
Offenbach La Corilla* Vert-Vert
Poulenc Blanche Dialogues des Carmelites
Purcell Dido* Dido and Aeneas
Ravel L'enfant* L'enfant et les sortileges
Ravel Concepcion* L'heure espagnole
Sherman/ Stiles Mary Poppins Mary Poppins
Strauss, J. Prince Orlofsky Die Fledermaus
Strauss, O. Nadina The Chocolate Soldier
Strauss, R. Octavian Der Rosenkavalier
Susa #2* Transformations
Walton Popova The Bear
Weill Jenny Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny
Weill Lillian Happy End
* Indicates role performed

Concert Repertoire

Composer Composition Role
Berlioz L’enfance du Christ Op. 25
Les nuits d’été Op. 7
Bernstein Symphony No. 1: Jeremiah
Arias and Barcarolles
Chausson Poème de l’amour et de la mer
Duruflé Requiem Op. 9
Elgar The Music Makers Op. 69
Ravel Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé
Shéhérazade
Chansons madécasses
Mahler Rückert Lieder
Symphony No. 4
Mozart Mass in C Minor K 427 (Sop II)
Poulenc La dame de Monte-Carlo

Press Acclaim

Kiss Me, Kate: Opera North

“The troupe bringing us Kiss Me, Kate has some standouts, beginning with Naomi Louisa O’Connell as Lilli/Kate. O’Connell, born in Ireland of Irish and German parents, is in her first season with Northern Stage, but let us hope that it is not her last. She has a supple, bright voice and star quality, but perhaps more important, for this piece, she has comic chops, that extra something that makes you pay attention when she comes on stage.”

Nicola Smith, Valley News -July 31 2017

Kiss Me, Kate: Opera North

“George Dvorsky and Naomi Louisa O’Connell were delicious as the warring Fred and Lilli. Dvorsky had the requisite machismo theatrically and vocally, while O’Connell, offered a beautifully rich soprano and a delightful feistiness – plus a touch of romance.”

Jim Lowe, Rutland Herald -July 30 2017

Figaro Gets a Divorce: Welsh National Opera

“Figaro Gets a Divorce: Welsh National Opera “Again Naomi O’Connell totally captivates with her zest and eventual joy .”

Theatre in Wales -February 22 2016

The Marriage of Figaro: Welsh National Opera

“Naomi O’Connell is a full toned and hilariously gawky Cherubino , perfectly capturing the youth not yet fully in control of his body or libido.”

Backstage Pass -February 20 2016

“As Cherubino , O’Connell, too, gives a brilliant performance - cheekily bouncing off the other characters and playing the page as minstrel, soldier and lady with light-hearted wit and charm.”

The Reviews Hub -February 19 2016

“Naomi O’Connell brings a superb characterization to the role. Her subtle comedy is a joy to watch and her ‘radiant mezzo-soprano ’ a joy to hear.”

Theatre in Wales -February 19 2016

Le nozze di Figaro: Atlanta Opera

“... with mezzo-soprano Naomi O’Connell in the trouser role of the amorous youth Cherubino as an early standout. She’s a delight, a fine singer as well as an impressively alert and supple comedienne. She turns the largo passages of “Non so piu” into a dreamy show-stopper , and her “Voi che sapete” had real longing and depth.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution -April 07 2015

“In the pants role of Cherubino, we got Naomi O’Connell , whose dark-hued mezzo voice had just the right youthful quality ... Her energetic portrayal mixed comedy with sympathy and conveyed the innate awkwardness of adolescence.”

Arts Atlanta -April 06 2015

L’incoronazione di Poppea: Oper Frankfurt

“Naomi O’Connell as Poppea gives a remarkable debut. .. To ensnare Nerone is Naomi O’Connell ‘s Poppea, also vocally the command, worth a sin anytime” ... (Translated from the German.)

“Naomi O’Connell , dressed at first in a black midriff-exposed devil’s outfit, is extremely enchant ing in showing the art of seduction. The strong-voiced Iris mezzo-soprano uses expressions and gestures familiar to film and TV.” (Translated from the German)

Deutschlandfunk -December 21 2014

Vert-Vert: Garsington Opera

“Murray ‘s proxy-parrot Vert-Vert apart, there is a palpable star of this show. Irish soprano Naomi O’Connell - now hugely in demand in America - is the feisty popular singer La Corilla , whose coloratura tours-de-force at the Lion d’Or - the grenadiers ’ tankard-clinking taven - simply blew the lid off this performance.”

Music & Vision -June 22 2014

“Naomi O’Connell ‘s turn as the man-eating La Corilla had everyone eating out of her hand.”

The Times -June 20 2014

“...When Irish mezzo Naomi O’Connell opens her mouth as the popular chanteuse La Corilla, the whole musical experience zooms onto a whole new level. Coloratura to the gills, O’Connell is, inescapably, the big hit of this production.”

The Arts Desk -June 11 2014

“Naomi O’Connell as the singer La Corilla takes the stage by storm with a beautifully rich yet silvery voice.”

Music OMH -July 09 2014

“Witches, Bitches & Women in Britches” recital

“Ms. O’Connell, who recently finished graduate studies at Juilliard , proved a natural in the recital format, winning over the audience with her rich, silvery voice and charming stage presence.”

The New York Times -March 15 2013

Cosi fan tutte: MET+Juilliard

“Bass-baritone Evan Hughes and mezzo Naomi O’Connell could easily take their Alfonso and Despina straight to the stage of the “big house” a block downtown.”

Opera Canada -January 01 2013

“Naomi O’Connell , a rich mezzo-soprano and a student at Juilliard, makes a sassy Despina, the maid to the sisters. This is a Despina who reads newspapers knows how the real world works and thinks her bosses a little ridiculous.”

The New York Times -November 15 2012

Ravel’s Trois Poemes de Stephane Mallarme: Marlboro Music Festival

“Naomi O’Connell was the outstanding mezzo-soprano , her voice cool, precisely controlled, and perfect for this music.”

The Boston Globe -August 07 2012

La Perichole: Garsington Opera

“Naomi O’Connell and Robert Murray are unbeatable in the principal roles of La Perichole and Piquillo. Their sometimes tempestuous relationship is beautifully observed, and their singing is a joy to listen to. This is O’Connell ‘s UK operatic debut, and she’s very definitely a name to watch.”

The Oxford Times -June 20 2012

“Making her U.K. opera debut as La Perichole was the Irish, Juilliard-trained mezzo Naomi O’Connell, her streetwise manner and gift for vivid dialogue enhancing a performance that was notable for warmth , clarity and cleanness . Tenor Robert Murray matched her in vocal style and grace [and] both seized their vocal and dramatic opportunities fully throughout.”

Opera News -June 18 2012

Ravel’s Chansons madécasses: SongFusion concert

“Mezzo-soprano Naomi O’Connell’s rich voice beautifully conveyed the sensuality and passion of these wonderful Ravel songs.”

New York Concert Review -October 07 2011

“O’Connell, a mezzo-soprano, was superb in her role and performed Fauré’s Chanson with alluring beauty.”

Cincinnati Enquirer -October 01 2016

Media

Komm, komm, Held meiner Träume - Oscar Straus (Der tapfere Soldat) Internationale Meistersinger Akademie, Germany in 2013

Tipsy Aria - Jacques Offenbach (La Périchole) Garsington Opera, UK in 2012

When You Were Sweet Sixteen - James Thornton Metropolitan Museum Live Arts Recital Series, USA, 2016

And Her Golden Hair Was Hanging Down Her Back - Felix McGlennon & Monroe H. Rosenfeld Metropolitan Museum Live Arts Recital Series, USA, 2016

Placet futile – Ravel (Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé)

Make the Man Love Me – Arthur Schwartz

Press Kit

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Headshot

Biography (.pdf)