Hailed by The New York Times as “radiant,” Irish actor/singer Naomi Louisa O’Connell made her critically acclaimed stage debut opposite Tyne Daly on London’s West End in Terrence McNally’s play Master Class, produced by Sonia Friedman at the Vaudeville Theatre in 2012. The Times called her performance “…spectacular,” and The Independent lauded her “…thrilling rendering of an aria from Verdi’s Macbeth.”
Naomi trained at The Juilliard School as a singer, and graduated in 2013 from the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies program (the only intensive acting program for singers in the world) under the tutelage of director Stephen Wadsworth. In the USA, she headlined the 2014 McCarter Theatre productions of the Beaumarchais Figaro Plays, playing the role of Rosine/Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville. In 2016, she joined the Cincinnati Symphony for their Pelléas Trilogy, playing the role of Mélisande in a new translation of the Maeterlinck play Pelléas & Mélisande. She returned the following year to play the same role in the opera of Debussy, conducted by Louis Langrée, where she was hailed as a “wistful, other-worldly Mélisande” by Musical America.
Her international operatic credits include leading roles at Frankfurt Opera, Welsh National Opera, Geneva Opera, Atlanta Opera, Garsington Opera, Opera Omaha, Spoleto Festival USA, and New York City Opera. Notable roles performed include Monteverdi’s Poppea and Ottavia, Ravel’s L’Enfant, Debussy’s Mélisande, Mozart’s Cherubino and Despina, Purcell’s Dido, and Offenbach’s La Périchole and La Corilla. An enthusiastic proponent of contemporary music, Naomi has created the role of Serafin in the world premiere of Figaro Gets A Divorce (Elena Langer/David Pountney) with Welsh National Opera, Anna in The Flood (Korine Fujiwara/Stephen Wadsworth) with Opera Columbus, and recently premiered Irish composer Emma O’Halloran’s monodrama Mary Motorhead with Beth Morrison Opera Projects.
A gifted musician and natural performer, Naomi deftly balances her love of the stage with that of song, with repertoire ranging from Mozart, Strauss and Ravel to Tom Lehrer, Kurt Weill 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‘—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.”
In 2014, she made her debut at New York’s Neue Galerie with an all-German cabaret of songs and monologues entitled ‘FRAU’, and has returned there for four consecutive seasons, most recently last December with her sold-out cabaret program ‘The Cheater’s Almanac’. Her strong partnership with pianist Brent Funderburk began in 2011 for their debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in the Juilliard Vocal Arts Honors Recital, and has continued with collaborative recitals across the United States. Naomi has performed in venues including Carnegie Hall, Brazil’s Sala São Paulo, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, Stanford University, Detroit Institute of Arts, Merkin Concert Hall, Rockefeller University, and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Her recital performances have been broadcasted on WQXR, PBS, and the Metropolitan Museum Live Arts Series.
Notable awards include the Makiko Narumi Award for Outstanding Mezzo-soprano from The Juilliard School, Garsington Opera’s 2012 Leonard Ingrams Award, First Prize at the 2011 Caruso/Altamura International Vocal Competition, and First Prize in Operetta at the 2008 International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna.
Born to Irish/German parents in County Clare, Ireland, Naomi Louisa O’Connell is a proud alumna of the Royal Irish Academy of Music and The Juilliard School. She 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.