Naomi Louisa O’Connell, Mezzo Soprano http://www.naomioconnell.com
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 JeremiahSymphony 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.
|Trouble in Tahiti
|Pelléas et Mélisande
|Gilbert & Sullivan
|Dead Man Walking
|Hänsel und Gretel
|Figaro Gets a Divorce
|Lerner & Loewe
|My Fair Lady
|L'incoronazione di Poppea
|Così fan tutte
|Donna Elvira, Zerlina
|Le nozze di Figaro
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.
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”.
“Naomi Louisa O’Connell returned to Omaha to sing Neris. Her voice and grief stole the show during her second act aria.”
“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.”
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.”
Farnace at Spoleto Festival USA
“Other standout cast members included . . . Naomi Louisa O’Connell, a sweetly manipulative Selinda.”
“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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
“Naomi O’Connell (Cherubino) sang earnestly, with admirable expressive depth.”
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.”
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.”
“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 . . .”
“Naomi O’Connell with an effortless, appealing voice is a Poppea cunningly groomed as an object of male and narcissistic desire.”
“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.”
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.”
“Naomi O’Connell as the singer La Corilla takes the stage by storm with a beautifully rich yet silvery voice.”
“Naomi O’Connell radiates seductive glamour as a diva of the music halls.”
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.”
“Naomi O’Connell gorgeously sings the only song which is employed in this Seville.”
MediaAl 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
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