RISING soprano Elena O'Connor made her European debut this June with the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden in the title role of Tosca. The following month she was called as a last-minute cover for Sondra Radvanovsky as the title role in Aida at the Chorégies D'Orange Festival; in August she appeared in both performances of Paul-Émile Fourny's production on the stage of Orange's 7,300-seat ancient Roman theater alongside tenor Marcelo Álvarez, led by Paolo Arrivabeni.
In October she appeared in the role of Clytemnestra in the New York debut of Vittorio Gnecchi’s opera Cassandra, presented by Teatro Grattacielo under the baton of conductor Israel Gursky. Praised by Meche Kroop of "Voce di Meche" who called her portrayal "stunning," Eli Jacobsen said in his review of the opera, "O’Connor’s dusky spinto with its scintillating top register proved a knockout." John Yohalem of Parterre Box wrote: "[Elena O’Connor’s] luminous soprano gleamed in furious majesty… O’Connor showed us a queen to be reckoned with before Straussian insomnia and guilt ravaged her. The lady sings Tosca, which would be fun to hear."
In concert, Ms O'Connor has sung the soprano solos in numerous Bach Cantatas, Poulenc's Gloria, Mendelssohn's Elijah, the Requiem masses of Brahms and Verdi. She is a frequent guest of the Philharmonic Orchestra and Oratorio Society in her hometown of Rochester, New York.
Ms O’Connor has received honors and awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Mobile Opera’s Rose Palmai-Tenser Competition, and the Palm Beach Opera International Vocal Competition where she was a prize-winner in two consecutive years. Additionally, she is a winner of the Aspen Music Festival’s Vocal Concerto Competition. In Aspen, she has been featured as Musetta in La bohème and Micaela in Carmen under the baton of Julius Rudel and the direction of Ed Berkeley.
An art song enthusiast, Ms O’Connor has been a participant of the Ravinia Festival’s prestigious Steans Institute Program for Singers under the auspices of James Conlon and Margo Garrett, where she studied and performed works of Schumann, Rachmaninoff and Poulenc with the likes of Pierre Vallet, Malcolm Martineau, and Rudolph Piernay. Also at the invitation of Maestro Conlon, Ms O’Connor was the youngest ever featured soloist in the long history of the Cincinnati May Festival, where she performed the soprano role in Bach’s Cantata No. 21, Cincinnati’s Enquirer calling her “a young star to watch.”
Ms O'Connor divides her time between Germany and her hometown of Rochester, New York, where she serves on the board of directors for the M K Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence.