Biography

Irish soprano Máire O’Brien’s talents have found a home in both contemporary and standard repertoire on the operatic, oratorio and concert stage.  She has appeared in Spain, Italy, Mexico, the United States, and Ireland, in such roles as Violetta (La Traviata), the Marchesa (Verdi’s Un giorno di regno), Adalgisa (Norma), Desdemona (Rossini’s Otello), Alice Ford (Falstaff, with Julius Rudel), First Lady (Die Zauberflöte), and Hanna (The Merry Widow).  Her New York City Opera debut was as Miss Jessel in Britten’s Turn of the Screw.  Performances in the United States also include Barena in Jenufa at the Spoleto USA Festival and La Traviata at the Baltimore Opera.  Her performances as the Duchess in Powder Her Face by British composer Thomas Adès at the Aspen Music Festival, conducted by the composer, and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music under Robert Spano led to engagements at the Mariinsky Theater and the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2008 and 2009.

An experienced concert artist, Ms O’Brien recently performed in Chicago’s Rush Hour at St James series in a program of Spanish repertoire.  She has sung at Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival in Mendelssohn’s Symphony Nr 2, “Lobgesang”, and her performance at the inaugural Make Music Chicago Festival was broadcast live on WFMT.  Ms O’Brien sang Handel’s Messiah with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Boise Philharmonic in 2011, and was a soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mozart’s Requiem, and Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony with the Grammy Award-winning Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center, also touring with the Washington Chorus in Germany and Austria.  She has sung Ravel’s Shéhérazade and Mozart’s Ch’io mi scordi di te at the Aspen Music Festival, and Mendelssohn’s Symphony Nr 2 and Nielsen’s Symphony Nr 3 with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.  Also at the Rush Hour at St James’ Chamber series, she performed with cellists of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras Nr 5 and Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares Españolas.  She has sung Messiah with Chicago’s Apollo Chorus.

Recital appearances in the United States include performances at the Classical Monday Concerts at the Chicago Cultural Center, Meet the Virtuoso Series at the 92nd St Y, at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York, and at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall.

2012-2013 performances include a return to the Messiah with the Boise Philharmonic, and the Rush Hour at St James series, and she will be featured on WFMT radio in the Impromptu program on January 4th, 2013.

On recording, Ms O’Brien is to be heard in Handel’s Deidamia (Nerea), James Adler’s Memento Mori: An Aids Requiem, and Nielsen’s Symphony Nr 3 on the Naxos Label.  Ms O’Brien holds a Bachelors Degree from Trinity College, Dublin and a Masters of Music from the Juilliard School, and trained at the Juilliard Young Artist Program.