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Possessing a voice of uncommon allure, musical sophistication far beyond her years, and intuitive and innate dramatic artistry, the Grammy-winning mezzo-soprano KELLEY O’CONNOR quickly has emerged as one of the most compelling performers of her generation. During the 2010/11 season the California native’s impressive calendar includes performances of Berio’s Folk Songs with Daniel Harding and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Berlin Festival, excerpts from Roussel’s Padmâvatî with Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony Orchestra, Bach’s Missa Brevis in F Major with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra, Lieberson’s Neruda Songs with Stéphane Denève and the Seattle Symphony as well as with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony both with David Robertson and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and with Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony, and Britten’s Spring Symphony with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The artist returns to the New York Philharmonic for staged performances of Janá?cek’s The Cunning Little Vixen under the baton of Alan Gilbert and she joins Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic on an international tour offering performances of Bernstein’s “Jeremiah” Symphony. O’Connor makes her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the company’s new production by Neil Armfield conducted by Rory Macdonald. In the spring of 2011, she will make her debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and will perform Ravel’s Shéhérezade at the 2011 Edinburgh International Festival with Esa-Pekka Salonen in her Philharmonia Orchestra debut.
Highlights of the past season include Lieberson’s Neruda Songs with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Weill’s Die sieben Todsünden with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Bernard Haitink and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as on an international tour with Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra. Kelley O’Connor joined Edo de Waart for Mahler’s Third Symphony with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and made both a Proms Festival debut with Jir?í Be?lohlávek and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Eighth Symphony and an Edinburgh International Festival debut with James Conlon and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in John Adams’s El Niño.
O’Connor has performed Bernstein’s “Jeremiah” Symphony with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Adams’ El Niño with David Robertson and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn’s Elias with Ingo Metzmacher and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges with Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic, Haydn’s Mass in the Time of War with Bernard Labadie and the San Francisco Symphony, and Stravinsky’s Les noces with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The artist enjoys a particularly warm musical collaboration with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra with whom she has sung Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (commercially available on Deutsche Grammophon), Bernstein’s “Jeremiah” Symphony, staged performances of Falstaff (in Cleveland and at the Lucerne Festival), and Stravinsky’s Requiem Canticles.
Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs has 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. Additionally, the work served her Carnegie Hall debut in a performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bernard Haitink.
Kelley O’Connor has received unanimous international critical acclaim for her numerous performances as Federico García Lorca in Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar. 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 Concert 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. O’Connor made her Cincinnati Opera debut in Ainadamar in a realization of the work by director Jose Maria Condemi. Additional operatic engagements include her Canadian Opera Company debut in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the role of Meg Page in Falstaff at the Santa Fe Opera.
Additional information is available on the artist’s website: kelleyoconnor.com.