© Barbara Aumüller
Irish mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy enjoys a busy career working at the highest level on both sides of the Atlantic. Previously a member of the ensemble at the Oper Frankfurt, Paula’s roles have included creating the title role Carmen in Barrie Kosky’s iconic production, Octavian Der Rosenkavalier, Dido Dido and Aeneas, title role Pénélope and Polissena Radamisto. Notable appearances have also included Donna Elvira Don Giovanni for the Royal Opera House, the role of Komponist in Katie Mitchell’s production of Ariadne auf Naxos at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, Nicklausse Les Contes d'Hoffmann for the Palau de les Arts, Valencia conducted by Marc Minkowski, Stéphano Roméo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera, title role Ariodante for the Bolshoi Theatre Moscow and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Idamante Idomeneo for the Salzburg Festival.
In the 2023-24 season, Paula makes her role and company debut as Prince Charmant Cendrillon at the Opéra de Paris, returns to Santa Fe Opera as Octavian Der Rosenkavalier and reprises the role of Dejanira in Barrie Kosky’s Hercules at the Komische Oper Berlin, following her highly praised performance in the production premiere at Oper Frankfurt last season.
© Peter Dazeley
Mozart Requiem in Chicago
Paula returns to Chicago to join leading American classical ensemble Music of the Baroque, for performances of Mozart's Requiem, conducted by Dame Jane Glover.
Performing alongside Paula will be soloists Susanna Phillips (soprano), Miles Mykkanen (tenor) and Michael Sumuel (bass-baritone). Concerts will take place on 17 September at the North Shore Center, Skokie, and 18 September at the Symphony Center, Chicago.
Following her time in Chicago, Paula will return to Europe for a solo recital at Oper Frankfurt, accompanied by long time collaborator and pianist Tanya Blaich, and will then go on to Paris, to make her debut as Le Prince Charmant Cendrillon for the Opéra de Paris,
To discover more information about Paula performance of Mozart Requiem in Chicagom visit the Music of the Baroque website here.
Mass in B Minor
St John Passion
St Matthew Passion
Symphony No. 9
Les nuits d'été
Symphony No. 6
Missa in Tempore Belli
The Destruction of Jerusalem
Das Knaben Wunderhorn
Das Lied Von der Erde
Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen
Petite Messe Solennelle
Mass in C
Bluebeard’s Castle (Judith)
Benvenuto Cellini (Ascanio)
Albert Herring (Nancy)
Gloriana (Frances Countess of Essex)
La Calisto (Diana)
Une Education Manquée (Helene)
Ghosts of Versailles (Cherubino)
El Corregidor Y La Molinara
Lucia Di Lammermoor (Alisa)
Roméo Et Juliette (Stéphano)
Hänsel Und Gretel (Hänsel)
Cosi Fan Tutte (Dorabella)
La Clemenza Di Tito (Annio)
Die Zauberflöte (2nd Lady)
Le Nozze Di Figaro (Cherubino)
Les Contes D’hoffmann (Nicklausse)
Hotel Casablanca (Lucy Perez)
The Gambler (Blanche)
La Rondine (Suzy)
Dido & Aeneas (Dido)
The Indian Queen (Teculihuatzin)
L’enfant Et Les Sortileges (La Chatte/ L’Ecureuil)
L’heure Espagnole (Concepción)
Il Viaggio A Reims (Maddalena)
Die Fledermaus (Orlofsky)
Der Rosenkavalier (Octavian)
The Rake’s Progress (Baba the Turk)
Transformations (Good Witch)
Don Carlo (Tebaldo)
Falstaff (Meg Page)
La Traviata (Flora)
Camilla Nylund (soprano), Paula Murrihy (mezzo), Peter Rose (bass), Hanna-Elisabeth Müller (soprano), Michael Laurenz (tenor), Kai Rüütel (mezzo soprano). Dutch National Opera with Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Marc Albrecht. [CHALLENGE RECORDS 2017]
Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester conducted by Ivor Bolton. Cast includes Paula Murrihy (Orontea), Sebastian Geyer (Creonte), Juanita Lascarro (Tibrino, Amore), Guy de Mey (Aristea), Xavier Sabata (Alidoro), Simon Bailey (Gelone), Matthias Rexroth (Corindo), Louise Alder (Silandra). [OEHMS CLASSICS]
Berlioz LES TROYENS / Monteverdi Choir & Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
"Murrihy is a poised and ultra-musical singer, [...] impressive in her transition from infatuation with Énée to vindictive hatred at his betrayal."
Hugh Canning, Operalogue (August 2023)
"Murrihy, in contrast, was poised and regal"
TimeAshley, The Guardian (August 2023)
"Dido is in the spotlight in the later acts, and Paula Murrihy’s portrayal of the doomed queen was one of noble, elegant beauty."
Rebecca Franks, The Times, (August 2023)
"Paula Murrihy’s Dido was primarily lyrical, touching in the simplicity of her singing"
Richard Fairman, Financial Times (August 2023)
"Paula Murrihy was moving as Queen Dido"
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph (August 2023)
"From Act III onwards we were in Carthage, watching as the great love story between Paula Murrihy’s commanding, eloquent Dido and Spyres’ Aeneas played out. […] The duet in which they celebrate their “night of rapture” was particularly ravishing as they melded their voices into each other, giving the sinuous melodies full resonance. Like Coote’s Cassandra, Murrihy’s Dido was no victim, but an intelligent complex woman fighting to play her part in a rapidly disintegrating world."
Rachel Halliburton, The Arts Desk (August 2023)
Handel HERCULES / Oper Frankfurt
"Paula Murrihy as Dejanira is sensational. Her powerful colouraturas are an expression of her psychological instability between depression, exaltation, hysterical jealousy and love campaign. She has a thousand corresponding faces and indulges in a tour de force of changing emotions.”
Bernd Künzig, SWR 2 Kultur (May 2023)
“In Frankfurt, it is first and foremost a triumphant evening for Paula Murrihy (Dejanira) and for the opera choir.”
"In Frankfurt ist es in allererster Linie ein triumphaler Abend für Paula Murrihy (Dejanira) und für den Opernchor."
[...] Paula Murrihy, the queen of the evening (that is so particularly tragic: no one doubts her), is also a normal, modern woman. Her great voice copes with the technical virtuoso of the sprawling game as first-class as with the required multifaceted feelings. Already in Karlsruhe it was an experience to hear Dejanira almost speak, scream, sigh and groan, Murrihy also offers rich expression in this regard in Frankfurt.”
"Auch Paula Murrihy, die Königin des Abends (das ist ja so besonders tragisch: keiner zweifelt an ihr), ist zugleich eine normale, moderne Frau. Ihre große Stimme wird mit dem technisch Virtuosen der ausufernden Partie ebenso erstklassig fertig wie mit dem erforderlichen facettenreichen Gefühlen. Schon in Karlsruhe war es ein Erlebnis, Dejanira fast sprechen, schreien, seufzen und ächzen zu hören, Murrihy bietet auch in dieser Hinsicht in Frankfurt reichen Ausdruck."
Judith von Sternburg, Frankfurter Rundschau (May 2023)
"..mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy as Hercules' wife Dejanira received the greatest ovations. She managed to authenticate Dejanira's feelings from the beginning of jealousy to fits of rage, madness and deepest depression with a powerful voice, gripping chants and unconditional passion. How Kosky choreographed the 'Jealousy Choir' drooling after her as a rising wave of hatred is one of the most impressive things to be seen at the Frankfurt Opera this season.”
Crescendo Magazin (May 2023)
“The focus is not on the eponymous demigod, but on his wife Dejanira, who the viewer experiences at the beginning in anxious expectation of the hero who has gone to war, then in exuberant joy at his return and immediately afterwards in raging jealousy and snippy aggression against the husband. Paula Murrihy is the perfect cast to authenticate this emotional roller coaster ride with facial expressions and music. The way the Irish mezzo-soprano sculpts the portrait of a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown is nothing short of breathtaking. Her acting excellence comes together with a musical creative power, which on the basis of a noble-herb timbre voice expresses the text even in technically unassailable embellishments and coloratura, without making musical compromises. If you were able to experience that, then you know why Barrie Kosky cites working with Paula Murrihy as one of the motives for accepting this directing contract.”
"Im Mittelpunkt steht nicht der titelgebende Halbgott, sondern dessen Gattin Dejanira, die der Zuschauer zu Beginn in banger Erwartung des in einen Krieg gezogenen Helden, sodann in überschwänglicher Freude über dessen Rückkehr und gleich darauf in rasender Eifersucht und schnippischer Aggression gegen den Gatten erlebt. Zur mimischen und musikalischen Beglaubigung dieses Wechselbads der Gefühle ist Paula Murrihy die perfekte Besetzung. Wie die irische Mezzosopranistin das Porträt einer Frau am Rande des Nervenzusammenbruchs formt, ist geradezu atemberaubend. Ihre darstellerische Exzellenz kommt mit einer musikalischen Gestaltungskraft zusammen, welche auf der Basis einer edel-herb timbrierten Stimme selbst in technisch unangreifbar ausgeführten Auszierungen und Koloraturen den Text expressiv umsetzt, ohne musikalische Kompromisse einzugehen. Wenn man das erleben durfte, dann weiß man, warum Barrie Kosky als eines der Motive für die Annahme dieses Regieauftrags die Zusammenarbeit mit Paula Murrihy angibt."
Michael Demel, Der Opernfreund (May 2023)
“Paula Murrihy has shown excessive longing and ebullient reunion happiness, but the way she taunts Hercules is sensational. The Irish soprano punches coloratura chains into the air, which hit her husband like whiplash, and embraces him with false tenderness, which already burns his skin like the Nessus shirt later on.
[...] The Frankfurt production is brilliantly cast in every role, and exclusively from the ensemble. The former long-standing ensemble member Paula Murrihy stands out once again. Her dejanira is the event of the evening. Not only because of her expressive singing, but also because of Barrie Kosky's sophisticated and excessive leadership.”
"Die Frankfurter Produktion ist in jeder Partie glänzend besetzt, und das ausschließlich aus dem Ensemble. Daraus ragt das frühere langjährige Ensemblemitglied Paula Murrihy noch einmal heraus. Ihre Dejanira ist das Ereignis des Abends. Nicht nur durch ihren ausdrucksvollen Gesang, sondern auch durch Barrie Koskys ausgefeilte und bis ins Exzessive gehende Personenführung."
Bernd Feuchtner, Klassikinfo.de (May 2023)
Bartók BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE / Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra
“The Irish mezzo-soprano creates the essence of Judith with wonderful luminosity and intensity”
Katharina von Glasenapp, Neue Vorarlberger Tageszeitung (January 2023)
“the Irish mezzo-soprano gives a vocally assured and self-confident Judith”
A. Mika, Kronen Zeitung (January 2023)
Bizet CARMEN / Irish National Opera
"Paula Murrihy’s Carmen does a fine brazen version of the Habanera in Act 1, infusing that aria with an uncommon strength."
Katy Hayes, The Independant (March 2022)
"Elsewhere there is much to savour, above all in how mezzo Paula Murrihy inhabits the title role. She and soprano Celine Byrne – as love-rival Micaëla – are captivating in their solos."
Michael Dungan, The Irish Times (March 2022)
"The eponymous heroine was played by Irish mezzo Paula Murrihy. Possessing a golden, malleable voice she was at her most impressive descending with languor the melody of the Habanera. Here an adroit balance was struck between power and feminine allure that helped explain her sway over all the men and women, as she divested herself of suitably extraneous parts of her costume. Murrihy brought feistiness to the fore in her depiction of this strong-willed Carmen. Her berating and mocking of Don José’s desire to do his duty and return to the army was brilliantly and naturally done."
Andrew Larkin, Bachtrack (March 2022)
"You need more than just voice to deliver a fully formed Carmencita, of course, and Murrihy has all the presence and rhythm needed in her playful, irrepressible, spirited, and irreverent incarnation."
Alan O'Riordan, Irish Examiner (March 2022)
Offenbach LES CONTES D'HOFFMAN / Palau de les Arts
"Irish mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy sang the double role of La muse/Nicklausse. She possesses a rich voice with a fair vibrato, modest volume, but secure in the high register. This she elegantly displayed in the several ringing B naturals that she sang during the performance. The mezzo’s role is significantly expanded in this critical edition thanks to the addition of numerous new pieces. These include two arias as well as large interventions within ensemble numbers. Murrihy sang this demanding part easily and portrayed a young energetic companion of the aloof Hoffmann."
Mauricio Villa, OperaWire (Feb 2022)
"As excellent was Paula Murrihy as La muse, Niklausse showing a beautiful mezzo timbre that perfectly suited Hoffmann's mentor, although the stage direction opted so that on many occasions she did not lose her feminine perspective by dressing the male character as a woman. Her final song, again as muse, beginning the chorale Des cendres de ton coeur, réchauffe ton génie , was of enormous impact."
Javier del Olivo, Platea Magazine (Jan 2022)
"And also very good Paula Murrihy (more characterized by Erath as Musa than as Nicklausse) showing off a smooth and elegant phrasing."
Rafael Diaz Gomez, Mundoclasico.com (Feb 2022)
"The Muse took shape through the crystalline voice of the Irish soprano Paula Murrihy, who had something spectral in her performance, perhaps somewhat static, probably because the stage director conceived the character as an entity outside the plot. In any case she sang exquisitely."
Pedro Valbuena, Opera World (Feb 2022)
Handel SAMSON / The English Concert
"we believed every word she sang, and each phrase was beautifully, intelligently, and emotionally shaped. It helped that she sang with warm, well-modulated tone and her contribution to the final mourning sequence for Samson provided a movingly dignified conclusion to a very fine performance indeed."
Robert Hugill, Opera Today (Oct 2021)
“as Micah, Paula Murrihy revealed a beautiful, brilliantly controlled and impeccably phrased sound.”
Sam Smith, MusicOMH (Oct 2021)
Handel ARIODANTE / Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
“In the title role, Paula Murrihy has both the immaculate sense of line needed for Scherza Infida and a superb coloratura technique that makes Dopo Notte quite dazzling.”