Naomi Louisa O’Connell - Mezzo Soprano

Naomi Louisa O’Connell, Mezzo Soprano

NAOMI LOUISA O’CONNELL made her professional debut in 2012, starring on London’s West End as Sharon Graham in Terrence McNally’s Tony Award-winning play Master Class. A singer, actress, and cabaret artist, her recent engagements include recitals at Carnegie Hall, Stanford University, and Rockefeller University; Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony with L’Orquestra Jovem do Estado de Sao Paulo; her one-woman German cabaret FRAU at New York’s Neue Galerie; a workshop of Richard Nelson’s new play Oblivion with Lincoln Center Theater; and performances with Geneva Opera, Opera Omaha, and Spoleto Festival USA.

Last season, she appeared with the Cincinnati Symphony as Mélisande in the Maeterlinck play Pelléas and Mélisande and will return for the same role in the opera of Debussy this October, conducted by Louis Langrée. Notable operatic roles include Monteverdi’s Poppea with Oper Frankfurt, Cherubino with Welsh National Opera and Opera Atlanta, and Offenbach’s La Périchole with Garsington Opera.

As an actress, she made her US stage debut as Rosine/Countess Almaviva in The Figaro Plays of Beaumarchais at the McCarter Theatre and recently played the role of Lilli Vanessi/Kate in Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate. Prizes include 1st Prize in both the Caruso/Altamura International Singing Competition and Concert Artists Guild Competition in 2011.

Hailed by The New York Times as “a natural in the recital format” for her Carnegie Hall debut recital entitled “Witches, Bitches, and Women in Britches” at Weill Recital Hall, she has performed in concert venues across the USA, and maintains an active recital career. A proud graduate of The Juilliard School and Royal Irish Academy of Music, Ms. O’Connell is currently based in New York City.

Opera Repertoire

Composer Opera Role
Adams Doctor Atomic Kitty Oppenheimer
Berg Wozzeck Marie
Bernstein Trouble in Tahiti Dinah
Bizet Carmen Carmen*
Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande Mélisande
Dove The Enchanted Pig Adelaide
Dove Flight The Stewardess*
Gilbert & Sullivan The Gondoliers Tessa*
Handel Ariodante Ariodante*
Handel Giulio Cesare Sesto
Heggie Dead Man Walking Sister Helen
Humperdinck Hänsel und Gretel Hänsel
Langer Figaro Gets a Divorce Serafin*
Lerner & Loewe My Fair Lady Eliza Doolittle
Massenet Werther Charlotte
Monteverdi L'incoronazione di Poppea Poppea*, Ottavia*
Mozart Così fan tutte Despina*, Dorabella
Mozart Don Giovanni Donna Elvira, Zerlina
Mozart Le nozze di Figaro Cherubino*
Offenbach Vert-Vert La Corilla*
Offenbach La Périchole La Périchole*
Porter Kiss Me, Kate Lilli Vanessi/Kate*
Poulenc Dialogues des Carmélites Blanche
Purcell Dido and Aeneas Dido*
Ravel L'heure espagnole Concepción*
Ravel L’enfant et les sortilèges L'enfant*
Sherman/Stiles Mary Poppins Mary Poppins
Straus, Oskar The Chocolate Soldier Nadina
Strauss, Johann Die Fledermaus Prince Orlofsky
Strauss, Richard Ariadne auf Naxos Komponist
Strauss, Richard Der Rosenkavalier Octavian
Susa Transformations #2*
Vivaldi Farnace Selinda*
Walton The Bear Popova
Weill Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny Jenny
Weill Happy End Lillian
Weill Die Dreigroschenoper Polly
* 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
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

O’Connell has a mezzo that, in full Kammersängerin cry, can sound a bit like, well, Kathleen Ferrier, actually… Heavy gold, deep and room-filling, especially on Vaughan Williams’ “Orpheus with his lute” and Berlioz’ “La mort d’Ophélie.”

Then she took on a light number like Virgil Thomson’s “Sigh No More,” and the whole instrument was lighter, more brittle, tossing off the Hey nonny nonny’s. (O’Connell’s research, we were told, led her to a 1611 dictionary that explained this ubiquitous phrase referred to a woman’s place of joy … anyway, depending how you phrase it, Hey nonny nonny can be a euphemism for just about anything. O’Connell’s raised eyebrow implied everything.

Her jazzy “If Music Be the Food of Love” (by John Dankworth), with scat singing, was dancy and vivacious; her “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day” (also Dankworth) smoky and alluring. The voice varies with the sort of tale she has to tell.

Parterre Box John Yohalem -August 10 2018

O’Connell… shaped every phrase and every note in true classical style. Her full lyric mezzo-soprano added richness and depth to her moving and loving aria, “Solo un pianto con te versare”.

Opera News Kevin Hanrahan -April 20 2018

“Naomi Louisa O’Connell returned to Omaha to sing Neris. Her voice and grief stole the show during her second act aria.”

Omaha World-Herald Drew Neneman -April 23 2018

“The best individual performance was by mezzo-soprano Naomi Louisa O’Connell as Neris, the slave of Medea. Most of Act two centered around how she advises Medea to leave the city. When she sang with the dead brother dancing with her or mimicking her movements, Medea’s psychological plight was plainly seen.”

OperaWire Santosh Venkataraman -April 27 2018

Kiss Me, Kate at Opera North

“The troupe bringing us Kiss Me, Kate has some standouts, beginning with Naomi Louisa O’Connell as Lilli/Kate. 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.”

Valley News -July 31 2017

Farnace at Spoleto Festival USA

“Other standout cast members included . . . Naomi Louisa O’Connell, a sweetly manipulative Selinda.”

Wall Street Journal -May 30 2017

“Lit by a single light bulb hanging in her prison cell, the audience finds Selinda, played with grit and complexity by Naomi Louisa O’Connell.”​

Charleston City Paper -May 28 2017

Pelléas and Mélisande (Play) with the Cincinnati Symphony

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

Cincinnati Enquirer -October 01 2016

Figaro Gets a Divorce at Welsh National Opera

“There seemed to be more hope for the younger generation, represented by Rhian Lois’s Angelika and Naomi O’Connell’s Serafin - both played with conviction and sung with clear, clean tone.”

Opera News -February 21 2016

The Marriage of Figaro at Welsh National Opera

“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.”

Reviews Hub -February 19 2016

“Naomi O’Connell (Cherubino) sang earnestly, with admirable expressive depth.”​

Bachtrack -February 22 2016

Le nozze di Figaro at 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

Poppea in L’incoronazione di Poppea at Oper Frankfurt

“The Irish mezzo-soprano Naomi O’Connell as Poppea joins Oper Frankfurt for the first time in a role debut. She is a terrific partner of Nerone, sometimes chillingly calculating, sometimes melting away in passion.”

Feuilleton Frankfurt -December 23 2014

“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 . . .”

Offenbach-Post -December 22 2014

“Naomi O’Connell with an effortless, appealing voice is a Poppea cunningly groomed as an object of male and narcissistic desire.”​

Frankfurter Rundschau -December 22 2014

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

Deutschlandfunk -December 21 2014

Vert-Vert at Garsington Opera

“Yet whenIrish 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

“Naomi O’Connell radiates seductive glamour as a diva of the music halls.”​

The Telegraph -June 11 2014

Beaumarchais Figaro Plays at the McCarter Theatre​

“Naomi O’Connell develops compelling[ly] from the first play as her feisty, resourceful Rosine becomes the elegant, subdued, self-doubting Countess - and eventually rediscovers her youthful spirit.”

The Star-Ledger -April 15 2014

“Naomi O’Connell gorgeously sings the only song which is employed in this Seville.”​

Talking Broadway -April 15 2014

“Witches, Bitches & Women in Britches” recital at Carnegie Hall

“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. . . Ms. O’Connell offered a compelling rendition of Poulenc’s ‘Dame de Monte Carlo,’ her impassioned delivery of the final line embodying the bitterness of the faded female gambler. Her control, shadings and elegant vibrato rendered Arthur Honegger’s ‘Trois Chansons de la Petite Sirène’ a delight.”

The New York Times -March 15 2013

Ravel’s Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé at the 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 Périchole at Garsington Opera

“Making her UK opera debut as La Périchole at Garsington Opera 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.”

Opera News -June 18 2012

“It’s hard to imagine how Geoffrey Dolton’s Viceroy, Naomi O’Connell’s Perichole, and Robert Murray’s Piquillo could be bettered in these parts. . . .this production is O’Connell’s UK operatic debut, and she is a star in the making. Hardly surprising, given that she’s a postgraduate of the Juilliard who will make her Carnegie Hall debut in 2013.”

Music OMH -June 24 2012

“In the title role and looking delectable, Naomi O’Connell’s creamy tone and elegant phrasing ravished the ear.”

Seen and Heard International -June 21 2012

“Naomi O’Connell and Robert Murray are unbeatable in the principal roles of La Périchole 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

Master Class - West End Debut

​“Naomi O’Connell does a spectacular Lady Macbeth, hurling it virtually through gritted teeth as Callas torments her.”

The Times -February 08 2012

“She, and we, are even more rewarded by the turnarounds in Naomi O’Connell’s tremendous performance of the Letter Scene in Macbeth . . “​

WhatsOnStage -February 08 2012

Così fan tutte - MET+Juilliard production

“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

L’incoronazione di Poppea with Juilliard Opera​

“Ottavia, the abandoned empress (Naomi O’Connell, a radiant mezzo-soprano) comes across as a regal and attractive woman, too trusting to see her rapacious husband’s betrayal coming.”

The New York Times -November 18 2010


Al folto bosco - Giuseppe Martucci (La canzone dei Ricordi)

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

Click on a file below to download.


Biography (.pdf)

2017-18 Press Kit