How do you write a song? Or an aria? Or an opera? How do you make your voice do THAT?
Join glór’s 2022 artist in residence, singer/librettist Naomi Louisa O’Connell with composer Emma O’Halloran and pianist Gary Beecher for an evening of performance and chat that will reveal the artistic process of writing music that speaks to us today. The evening will include presentations of new material developed at glór for voice, piano, and live electronics, as well as pieces that have inspired the performers throughout their careers.
“Emma O’Halloran makes intensely beautiful (or beautifully intense?) works that scatter the boundary between acoustic and electronic music.” The Washington Post (22 for ’22: Composers to Watch this Year)
“Gary Beecher is a subtle, sophisticated player with a maturity of both technique and interpretive outlook.” Belfast Telegraph
Naomi Louisa O’Connell is a natural in the recital format, winning over the audience with her rich, silvery voice and charming stage presence.” The New York Times
Mezzo-soprano Naomi Louisa O’Connell, an artist widely praised for her versatility on operatic, theatrical and recital stages, will develop a song cycle for voice, piano, and live electronics with pianist Gary Beecher and composer Emma O’Halloran while in residence at glór, Ennis.
Hailed by The New York Times as “radiant,” Naomi made her professional debut in 2012 starring on the West End in Terrence McNally’s play Master Class. Her work encompasses both theatrical and operatic repertoire, ranging from plays to operas, from recitals and cabarets to sound sculptures and virtual reality performances.
Sought after for her interpretations of contemporary opera, she recently created the role of Mrs Van Buren in Intimate Apparel at Lincoln Center Theater, which will be released on PBS Great Performances this autumn. Notable roles include Monteverdi’s Poppea (Oper Frankfurt), Mozart’s Cherubino (Welsh National Opera, Atlanta Opera), Offenbach’s La Périchole (Garsington Opera), and Mélisande in Pelléas et Mélisande — both Maeterlinck’s play and Debussy’s opera — with the Cincinnati Symphony.
Lauded by The New York Times as “a natural in the recital format” for her Carnegie Hall debut recital Witches, Bitches & Women in Britches at Weill Recital Hall, she performs regularly in concerts internationally. A keen performer of chamber music, her nuanced performance of Ravel’s Mallarmé songs at the Marlboro Music Festival was applauded by the Boston Globe as “outstanding.”
A graduate of The Juilliard School and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Naomi was brought up in the Burren and studied in Ireland with Archie Simpson and Mary Brennan. Upcoming performances include engagements with LA Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Irish National Opera, Hong Kong’s ‘Intimate of Creativity’ Festival, and New York’s Prototype Festival.
Emma O’Halloran is an Irish composer and vocalist. Freely intertwining acoustic and electronic music, O’Halloran has written for folk musicians, chamber ensembles, turntables, laptop orchestra, symphony orchestra, film, and theatre. Her work has been described as “intensely beautiful” (Washington Post) and “unencumbered, authentic, and joyful” (I Care If You Listen), and has won numerous competitions, including National Sawdust’s inaugural Hildegard competition and the Next Generation award from Beth Morrison Projects.
O’Halloran’s music aims to capture the human experience, exploring complex emotions felt in specific moments in time. This approach has found a wide audience: her work has been featured at the international Classical NEXT conference in Rotterdam, the Prototype Festival in New York, Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, and MATA Festival. Additionally, her music has been performed by Crash Ensemble, Contemporaneous, Khemia Ensemble, ~Nois Saxophone Quartet, the Refugee Orchestra Project, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, amongst others.
Along with composer Amanda Feery and in collaboration with the Irish National Concert Hall, O’Halloran founded the Creative Lab, a mentorship programme for young composers from traditionally underrepresented groups in music composition. She holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition from Princeton University and is currently working as a freelance composer. Current and future projects include works for F-PLUS, Friction Quartet, an orchestra commission, a largescale work for Crash Ensemble, and an opera called TRADE
Cork pianist Gary Beecher has a varied career as a vocal accompanist, chamber musician and soloist. In 2019 he had several international competition successes, including 1st Prize at the International Nadia and Lili Boulanger Voice-Piano Competition (Paris), the Rudolf Jansen Pianist Prize at the 53rd International Vocal Competition LiedDuo (’s-Hertogenbosch), and 2nd Pianist Prize at the International Helmut Deutsch Lied Competition (Vienna). He was the winner of the Irish Freemasons Young Musician of the Year and has performed as soloist with both the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Venues he has performed in include the Barbican and Wigmore Hall in London, the National Concert Hall and RDS in Dublin, University Concert Hall, Limerick, and Cork Opera House among others. Radio broadcasts include live performances on BBC Radio Three and RTÉ lyric FM.
He completed his MA at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where he was a Fellow and staff vocal coach accompanist, and was also mentored by Julius Drake and Charles Owen. He holds a BMus and MA from the CIT Cork School of Music, where he studied with Susan & Jan Čáp, Michael McHale and Gabriela Mayer; and former teachers include Jacques Rouvier (Universität der Künste Berlin) and John O’Conor (RIAM). Gary currently lives in Cork and is Assistant Lecturer of Piano and Contemporary Keyboards at the MTU Cork School of Music.