Our Artists

Return to Singers in the News...

O'Connor, Kelley Mezzo-soprano
Possessing a voice of uncommon allure, musical sophistication far beyond her years, and intuitive and innate dramatic artistry, the Grammy® Award-winning mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor quickly has emerged as one of the most compelling performers of her generation.

During the 2009-10 season the California native’s impressive calendar includes a return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel; she also will be reunited with Bernard Haitink for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Ms. O’Connor makes her debuts with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in Weill’s SiebenTodsünden, and with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic in Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time. She reprises Neruda Songs with the Atlanta Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the Canton Symphony, and the Alabama Symphony, and takes on Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky at the Festival of the Arts Boca. The American mezzo also performs Beethoven’s Ninth with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall under Sir Roger Norrington, as well as with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Manfred Höneck, the San Diego Symphony, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and on tour with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer. She joins Edo de Waart for Mahler’s Third Symphony with both the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Milwaukee Symphony, sings Bach’s “St. John Passion” with the Calgary Philharmonic, and appears in a gala concert for the New York City Opera.

Ms. O’Connor’s performances during the 2008-09 season included Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1, “Jeremiah,” with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the world premiere of Steven Stucky’s August 4, 1964 with Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, John Adams’s El Niño with David Robertson and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn’s Elias with Ingo Metzmacher and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with James Conlon and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival. She returned to the New York Philharmonic for performances of L'Enfant et les sortilèges under the baton of Lorin Maazel and to the stage of Carnegie Hall for a concert performance of Ainadamar with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s conducted by Robert Spano. Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs highlighted the artist’s prominence as one of the world’s leading concert artists in two significant European debuts: performances with David Zinman and the Berliner Philharmoniker as well as with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. On the opera stage, Ms. O’Connor made her Cincinnati Opera debut in Golijov’s Ainadamar in a realization of the work by director Jose Maria Condemi and her Canadian Opera Company debut as Hippolyta in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a production by Neil Armfield.

The artist’s calendar in the 2007-08 included performances of Dvorák's Moravian Duets with Iván Fischer and the National Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Jiří Bĕlohlávek and the Dallas Symphony, Handel’s Messiah with Norman Mackenzie and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Lieberson’s Neruda Songs with Bernard Haitink and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (performances in Chicago and in New York for her Carnegie Hall debut), Haydn’s Mass in the Time of War with Bernard Labadie and the San Francisco Symphony, Stravinsky’s Les Noces with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and as Meg Page in Falstaff at the Santa Fe Opera. On the recital platform, Ms. O’Connor offered programs in Los Angeles and in New York City for her debut at Weill Hall in a Carnegie Hall presentation.

Ms. O’Connor has received unanimous international critical acclaim for her numerous performances as Federico García Lorca in Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar. Ms. O'Connor created the role for the world premiere at Tanglewood under the baton of Robert Spano and subsequently has joined Miguel Harth-Bedoya for performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Hall. She reprised her portrayal of Federico García Lorca in the world premiere of the revised edition of Ainadamar at the Santa Fe Opera in a new staging by Peter Sellars during the 2005 season, which also was presented at Lincoln Center. For her debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, in Ainadamar, she joined Robert Spano for performances and a Deutsche Grammophon recording: she rejoined Spano and Atlanta in summer 2006 for further performances of Ainadamar, including her debuts at the Ojai and Ravinia festivals. In past seasons, she has bowed as Lorca in performances of Ainadamar at Opera Boston, the Adelaide Festival of Arts, the Barbican Centre, and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Highlights of recent seasons have included performances of Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges with Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem with Louis Langrée and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Brahms’s Songs for Alto, Viola, and Piano with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Chamber Music Society, Berio's Laborintus II with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, concert performances of Hänsel und Gretel with Michael Christie and the Phoenix Symphony, Golijov’s Ainadamar Suite with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Roberto Minczuk at the Barbican Centre, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Edward Gardner and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and a gala concert of opera arias and ensembles to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Santa Fe Opera. Ms. O’Connor enjoys a particularly warm musical collaboration with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra with whom she has sung Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (in Cleveland and at Miami’s Carnival Center), Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1, “Jeremiah,” staged performances of Falstaff (in Cleveland and at the Lucerne Festival), and Stravinsky’s Requiem Canticles.

Recognized by Opera Now on its annual “Young Artists: Who’s Hot?” list of 2006, Ms. O’Connor has a Bachelor of Music degree from USC and received her Master’s degree from UCLA while studying with Nina Hinson.

Bill Palant of IMG Artists:

Buffs Performance(s):
Grants awarded: Symphonie No. 9 (Beethoven)
Ainadamar - Fountain of Tears (Golijov)
Website: http://kelleyoconnor.com/index.php

Return to Singers in the News...