© Barbara Aumüller
Irish mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy enjoys a busy career working at the highest level in both Europe and the US. 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. Her appearances have also included Stéphano Roméo et Juliette at the Metropolitan Opera, Ruggiero Alcina for Santa Fe Opera, title role Ariodante at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Conception L’Heure Espagnole for the Opernhaus Zürich, Donna Elvira at the Concertgebouw and Idamante Idomeneo for the Salzburg Festival.
© Peter Dazeley
Paula Murrihy debuts as Arsemene in Handel's Serse
Following performances with them earlier this season, Paula Murrihy sings alongside Baroque specialists The English Concert and Harry Bicket once again, as she makes her debut in the role of Arsamene in a concert performance of Handel's Serse.
Paula will be joined by Lucy Crowe as Romilda, Mary Bevan as Atalanta, Neil Davies as Ariodate, Daniele Mack as Amastre, William Dazeley as Elmiro and Emily D’Angelo in the title role.
Paula's 2021-22 season has seen series of engagements with The English Concert orchestra, focussing on the operas and oratorios of Handel. In the autumn Paula performed the role of Micah Samson at St George's Church, Hanover Square in London and returned to the role of Ruggiero Alcina at Los Angeles Opera and the Zellerbach Hall, Berkeley.
Serse tours the UK, US and Europe with performances at the Barbican in London on May 5, Carnegie Hall in New York on May 8, the Baluarte Palacio de Congresos y Auditorio de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain on May 20, and finally at the Sage Gateshead in Newcastle on May 25.
For further information visit The English Concert website.
Mass in B Minor
St John Passion
St Matthew Passion
Symphony No. 9
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)
Giulio Cesare (Cesare)
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]
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.”
Tim Ashley, The Guardian (Nov 2020)
"It’s the title character rather than her devilish nemesis who gets the best tunes in Ariodante, however, and Irish mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy ate them up. Over an aching bassoon obbligato her great lament “Scherza infida” opened on a moment of anger that faltered to practically nothing as she succumbed to grief. By contrast, she delivered the climactic “Dopo notte” with rapturous delight, each florid run coursing like a surge of laughter through her spirit."
Mark Valencia, Bachtrack (Nov 2020)
"Here the role was taken by the Irish mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy who gave an utterly convincing performance of real musical and dramatic stature. Ariodante’s initial confident joy was pushed aside by an anguish that seemed soul-consuming but was itself superseded by ecstasy. Assured and accomplished, Murrihy made the virtuosic passage seem ‘easy’ and natural, the long runs shaped with an impressive evenness, and had apparently boundless stamina."
Claire Seymour, Opera Today (Nov 2020)
"Dressed simply in black Murrihy was a suitably dashing presence as the opera’s hero, even in the concert setting. She tackled all the role’s technical demands with great assurance and facility. Handel’s florid writing held no terrors for Murrihy, and she handled all the most treacherous runs with consummate ease from her opening radiant ‘Qui d’amor’, then the demanding ‘Con l’ali di costanza’ that was the tour de force it must be, to her highlight – for me at least – ‘Scherza infida’ that was intimate, heartfelt, plaintive and quietly resolute as she confronted Ginevra’s apparent infidelity."
Seen and Heard International (Nov 2020)
"Leading the way is Irish mezzo Paula Murrihy in the title role, by turns proud, tender and desperate, tossing off a top note of defiance, or a dying cadence in Scherza infida, beautifully offset by a melancholy bassoon, to touch the heart."
Colin Davison, British Theatre Guide (Nov 2020)
Mahler LIEDER EINES FAHRENDEN GESELLEN / Britten Sinfonia
“Paula Murrihy, at very short notice, stood in for Anna Stéphany, took a lyrical view of the texts, the German words flowed gracefully, and the consonants were treated softly. Her flexible voice gave an Italianate impression of the lyrics and the frustrated lover’s reference to the “sweet bird singing in the green heath” was a touching moment. In the final song, ‘Die zwei blauen Augen’, taken at an unhurried pace, refinement of playing and hushed beauty of melodic line typified Mark Elder’s sensitive view of the music.”
Antony Hodgson, Classical Source (Jan 2019)
“Murrihy slipped into a partnership with the orchestra – with confident, bright-toned, even cheeky, woodwinds to the fore – that let these dialogues of doom unroll in all their strangely exhilarating morbidity. Murrihy wrapped sweetness around anguish in the yearning high notes of “Ging heut’ Morgen über Feld”. She wrung every inch of melodramatic colour from the lurid misery of “Ich hab’ ein glühend Messer”, and sailed powerfully across the sinister orchestral tutti as that song closes. The farewell pathos of “Die zwei blauen Augen von meinem Schatz” signed off the sequence, with the soothing lilt and swing of the instrumental parts undercut by the mezzo’s plaintive lament – like the forsaken call of some widowed forest bird.”
Boyd Tonkin, The Arts Desk (Jan 2019)
Bartók BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE / Irish National Opera
“Murrihy with her crystalline mezzo-soprano perfectly delivered the ambivalent Judith, morbidly attracted to the tenebrous side of her husband and willing to prove him bad at every cost”
Pia Maltri, Bachtrack (Oct 2018)
“Paula Murrihy as Judith is a marvel to behold, giving an impassioned and physically-committed performance, her voice rich and expressive, full of colour.”
GoldenPlec: Live Reviews, (Oct 2018)
Mozart LA CLEMENZA DI TITO / Orchestra of the 18th Century
“Irish mezzo Paula Murrihy, a memorable Octavian at the DNO two years ago, returned to Amsterdam as a fantastic Sesto. Her unaffected, expressive acting and honey-toned mezzo-soprano, warm and agile, fitted the passionate but hapless character as a glove. She made of her Act 1 aria “Parto, parto”, when Sesto announces to Vitellia he is going to get on with it, the pivotal moment of the opera.”
Nicolas Nguyen, Bachtrack (Oct 2017)
“Paula Murrihy’s Ruggiero captured the emotional complexity Alden clearly intended, decoding the young man’s conflicting emotional loyalties.”
Thomas May, Bachtrack, (July 2017)
Bizet CARMEN / Oper Frankfurt
“Paula Murrihy sang and danced with quite versatile magic, conveying herself as a virtuoso of the highest order.”
Hansklaus Jungheinrich, Frankfurter Rundschau (June ’16)
“Paula Murrihy with her vocal magic, presence and precision, ease and sex appeal is an equal to [Joseph Calleja as Don José].”
Josef Becker, Bild Frankfurt (June ’16)