SOPRANO Elena O'Connor made her European debut in 2017 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; that August she appeared in both performances of Paul-Émile Fourny's production on the stage of Orange's 7,300-seat ancient Roman theater led by Paolo Arrivabeni. She reprised the role at Oper Dortmund in the premier performance of Giacopo Spirei’s Aida, followed by the premier of Joan Anton Rechi’s Aida in Detmold and a debut with Opera Naţională Română in Cluj-Napoca as Leonora in Il Trovatore.
In the US, she sang 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. Of her performance, John Yohalem of Parterre Box wrote: "[Elena O’Connor’s] luminous soprano gleamed in furious majesty [and] showed us a queen to be reckoned with... The lady sings Tosca, which would be fun to hear." Ms O’Connor made her role debut as Tosca with Union Avenue Opera in St Louis, an opportunity that launched her professional career.
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. With Finger Lakes Opera, she sang the role of Rosalinda in their production of Die Fledermaus, led by conductor Gerard Floriano, and was a featured guest in their 10-year anniversary gala in the summer of 2022. In the summer of 2023, she sang the title role in Finger Lakes Opera's production of Aida.
As a young singer, Ms O’Connor received honors and awards from numerous competitions, including the Palm Beach Opera International Vocal Competition where she was a prize-winner in two consecutive years. Additionally, she was 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. 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 her homes in Rochester, New York, and North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, where she lives with her husband and infant daughter.
Photo by Brandon Vick.