Biography

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 Maria Callas. The Times called her performance “…spectacular,” and The Independent lauded her “…thrilling rendering of an aria from Verdi’s Macbeth.”

Highlights of her 2016-17 season include performances with the Cincinnati Symphony and Maestro Louis Langrée as part of the CSO’s Pelléas Trilogy, and in Brazil with the Orquestra Jovem do Estado de São Paulo, singing Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony under the baton of George Stelluto. In recital, she sings in New York three times: a return to NYFOS in February at Merkin Concert Hall; a repeat of her German cabaret, FRAU, at the Neue Galerie; and Irish songs at Weill Recital Hall for a special concert on the CAG series.  Additional recitals across the US include performances at Stanford University, CA, Reston, VA, Pittsburg, KS and a special performance at Festival Napa Valley. On the theatre stage, Naomi performs the role of Harriet da Ponte in a workshop of Richard Nelson’s new play Oblivion at Lincoln Center Theatre and the leading role of Lilli Vanessi in Kiss Me, Kate at Opera North.  On the operatic stage, she sings with Geneva Opera in Figaro Gets A Divorce, Opera Omaha in Jonathan Dove’s Flight, and makes her Spoleto Festival debut in the US premiere of the Vivaldi opera, Farnace, with director Garry Hynes.

In 2015-2016, Naomi made her debut at the Welsh National Opera in Le nozze di Figaro and Figaro Gets A Divorce, directed by David Pountney. New York recital performances included her ‘Bird in a Gilded Cage’ recital as part of the MET Museum series and her cabaret, FRAU, at the Neue Galerie.  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 and her Atlanta Opera debut as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro.  In the 2013-2014 season, Naomi 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 adaptation of the Beaumarchais Figaro Plays as Rosine to great critical acclaim.

A gifted musician and natural performer, Naomi 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. This versatility led to her First Prize victory at the 2011 Concert Artists Guild International competition, and at her subsequent Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall—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.”  Her strong partnership in recital with pianist Brent Funderburk began in 2011 for her debut at Alice Tully Hall in the Juilliard Vocal Arts Honors Recital, and has continued with collaborative recitals across the US, including such notable series as: Neue Galerie, Merkin Concert Hall, Rockefeller University and the American Irish Historical Society, as well as Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Purdue University Convocations and the Artist Series of Tallahassee.

In the US, Naomi has performed with the Marlboro Music Festival, Steans Musical Institute at Ravinia, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, MUSE/IQUE in Los Angeles, NYC’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 awards include Garsington Opera’s 2012 Leonard Ingrams Award, First Prize at the 2011 Caruso/Altamura International Vocal Competition, 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, Naomi Louisa 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. Naomi is currently based in New York City where she lives with her husband and enjoys writing, yoga, telling terrible jokes and yearning after her neighbor’s dogs.

Audio

Wagner: Schmerzen, from Wesendonck Lieder, WWV 91

Francis Poulenc: La dame de Monte Carlo

Havelock Nelson: Dirty Work

Ravel: Trois Poemes de Stephane Mallarme, Placet futile

Rudolf Nelson: Die Dame von der alten Schule

Chris Berg: Introducing that Most Marvellous Human Freak, the Bearded Lady Miss Lupin

Arthur Schwartz: Make the Man Love Me, from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Video

  • See video Rossini: La Regata Veneziana

    Rossini: La Regata Veneziana

  • See video  Komm, komm, Held meiner Träume - Oscar Straus (Der tapfere Soldat)

    Komm, komm, Held meiner Träume - Oscar Straus (Der tapfere Soldat)

  • See video  Hello Central, Give Me No Man's Land - Jean Schwartz/Sam M. Lewis & Joe Young

    Hello Central, Give Me No Man's Land - Jean Schwartz/Sam M. Lewis & Joe Young

  • See video  Ah, que j'aime les militaires - Offenbach/Meilhac & Halévy (La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein)

    Ah, que j'aime les militaires - Offenbach/Meilhac & Halévy (La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein)

Press

  • Quotes

    “Again Naomi O’Connell totally captivates with her zest and eventual joy.”
    – Theatre in Wales

    “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

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

    “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

    “At the centre are two first-rate performances from the ingenue leads, Naomi O’Connell’s Perichole and Robert Murray’s Piquillo. Both of them sing with grace and style, she suitably sharp-witted and streetwise; he – something of a James Corden lookalike in a rumbustious comic performance – softer and more vulnerable. Between the two of them, they take every trick that comes their way.”
    -The Stage

    “a title role performance with real star quality”
    “The word “charm” applied particularly to the performance of Naomi O’Connell in the title role. O’Connell may not have the biggest voice you’ll ever hear, but it’s lovely to listen to (in tune, nicely lilted and unmarred by sharpness or excessive vibrato) and she has stage presence and magnetism to burn, helped by a gorgeously soft Irish accent. She also did a great job of the dance numbers – everything from the Spanish ones to a brief jig straight out of Riverdance.”
    – Bachtrack – David Karlin

    “Feisty Irish singer-actor Naomi O’Connell is cast as Périchole, and Sams lets her and Robert Murray’s delightful Essex-boy Piquillo loose on a world of cut-glass accents and social snobbery.”
    -The Guardian – Tim Ashley

    “…it’s hard to imagine how Geoffrey Dolton’s Viceroy, Naomi O’Connell’s Périchole 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 Juillard who will make her Carnegie Hall debut in 2013.”
    – Music OMH

    “In the title role and looking delectable, Naomi O’Connell’s creamy tone and elegant phrasing ravished the ear”
    – Seen and Heard International, Robert J Farr

  • Reviews

Repertoire

  • Programs

    WITCHES, BITCHES & WOMEN IN BRITCHES
    FEMALE PORTRAITS IN SONG

    WOMEN OF THE WOODS

    La Belle Dame Sans Merci Charles Stanford

    And’res Maienlied (Hexenlied) Felix Mendelssohn

    Elfe Hermann Zilcher
    Die Musikantin Hermann Zilcher

    Das Köhlerweib ist trunken Hugo Wolf
    Ich hab’ in Penna einen Liebsten wohnen Hugo Wolf
    IN THE OCEAN’S EMBRACE

    La Dame de Monte Carlo Francis Poulenc

    Trois Chansons de la Petite Sirène Arthur Honegger

    Chanson des Sirènes
    Berceuse de la Sirène
    Chanson de la Poire
    THE IRISH ROSE GROWS A THORN

    Dirty Work Havelock Nelson
    Song to the Seals Granville Bantock
    The Irish Ballad Tom Lehrer

    ‘Saints or Witches’ Chris Berg

    Her Kind
    Can I Fly, Too?
    Introducing that Most Marvellous Human Freak, the Bearded Lady Miss Lupin

    DAUGHTERS OF THE REVOLUTION

    Die Kleptomanin Friedrich Hollaender
    Die Dame von der alten Schule Rudolf Nelson
    Raus mit den Männern aus dem Reichstag Friedrich Hollaender
    Ich Bin Von Kopf Bis Fuss Auf Liebe Eingestellt Friedrich Hollaender
    WHAT WOMEN WANT

    Animal Passion Jake Heggie
    Make The Man Love Me Arthur Schwartz
    Modest Maid Marc Blitzstein

    FRAU: A Cabaret

    Ein Neandertaler – Günter Neumann

    Die geschiedene Frau – Kurt Tucholsky / Ich hol’ dir vom Himmel das Blau – Franz Lehar/Ernst Welisch

    Stoßseufzer einer Dame, in bewegter Nacht – Theobald Tiger (Kurt Tucholsky)

    Ideal und Wirklichkeit – Hanns Eisler

    17 Millimeter fehlten mir zum Glück – Hans Hammerschmid/Hildegard Knef

    Sie, zu ihm – Rolf Alexander Wilhelm/Kurt Tucholsky

    Demontage – Georg Kreisler

    Mutter Beimlein – Hanns Eisler/Bertolt Brecht

    Als ich dich gebar – Hanns Eisler/Bertolt Brecht

    Die Hungerkünstlerin – Friedrich Hollaender

    Mein Mann will mich verlassen – Georg Kreisler

    Eine Frau denkt – Kurt Tucholsky / Aus! – Bernhard Eichhorn

    Ich kann tanzen – Georg Kreisler

    Und endlich – Hanns Eisler/Peter Altenberg

    Oh, Mond – Friedrich Hollaender

     

    LESSONS IN LOVE

    Four Songs (Op. 12)
    Hermann Zilcher
    Frühgang
    Zu spät
    Leuchtende Tage
    Glückes genug
    Six poèmes de Guillaume Apollinaire:
    Extraits de “Alcools”
    Arthur Honegger
    A la “Santé”
    Clotilde
    Automne
    Saltimbanques
    L’Adieu
    Les Cloches
    GOING TO HEAVEN

    Selections from Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson
    Aaron Copland
    Nature, the gentlest mother
    Why do they shut me out of Heaven?
    The world feels dusty
    Heart, we will forget him
    Going to Heaven!
    The Chariot

    INTERMISSION

    BIG FEELINGS, LITTLE WISDOMS

    Alfred Bachelet
    Chère Nuit

    Eric Satie
    Daphénéo

    Hugo Wolf
    Anakreon’s Grab
    Auch kleine Dinge
    Er ist’s

    Michael Head
    The Estuary

    Frank Bridge
    Love went a-riding
    LIFE EXPECTANCIES

    Memories
    Charles Ives
    a) very pleasant
    b) rather sad

    Selections from Cabaret Songs
    William Bolcom

    Love in the Thirties
    Can’t Sleep
    At the Last Lousy Moments of Love
    Lady Luck
    George
    Waitin

    A BIRD IN A GILDED CAGE

    VIENNA & PARIS

    Komm’, komm’, Held meiner Träume (Der tapfere Soldat)
    Oscar Straus/Rudolf Bernauer & Leopold Jacobson

    Vilja-Lied (Die lustige Witwe)
    Franz Lehár/Victor Léon & Leo Stein

    Griserie (La Périchole)
    Jacques Offenbach/Henri Meilhac & Ludovic Halévy

    Ah! que j’aime les militaires (La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein)
    Jacques Offenbach/Henri Meilhac & Ludovic Halévy
    FALLING IN LOVE WITH NEW YORK

    And Her Golden Hair Was Hanging Down Her Back
    Felix McGlennon & Monroe H. Rosenfeld

    My Sweetheart’s the Man in the Moon
    James Thornton

    Bedelia
    Jean Schwartz/William Jerome

    You Will Have to Sing an Irish Song
    Albert Von Tilzer/Jack Norworth

    When You Were Sweet Sixteen
    James Thornton
    OFF TO WAR

    Stay Down Here Where You Belong
    Irving Berlin

    Hello Central, Give Me No Man’s Land
    Jean Schwartz/Sam M. Lewis & Joe Young

    Au Revoir But Not Good-Bye, Soldier Boy
    Albert Von Tilzer/Lew Brown

    Adieu, mein kleiner Gardeoffizier!/Goodbye
    Robert Stolz/Walter Reisch/Harry Graham