"Elena O’Connor, a soprano of grace and vocal beauty. A very special timbre in the voice, which is so important for the style of a certain role. A stroke of luck for every opera house that has [Aida] on the docket. She is almost always on stage, has the most difficult arias and duets to sing, and the emotions and inner conflict no other actor wants to have; with Elena O’Connor, Oper Dortmund has found great cast for this extremely demanding role. It was with “Ritorna Vincitor” that the impression was overwhelming, and that increased every minute throughout the course of the opera. Congratulations to the American soprano, in whom even Verdi himself would be pleased.”
- Das Opernmagazin
"Elena O’Connor has adapted the title role [of Aida] with a flexible soprano that has great volume in both the dark passages and the highs. Thus, both her aria in the first act, “Ritorna Vincitor,” as well as her great aria “O Patria Mia” in the third act are musical highlights of the evening.”
- Online Musik Magazin
"Elena O’Connor is a magical Aida… With the quiet dignity of the oppressed and cleverly controlled singing, the American soprano unfolds the conscience conflict of the imprisoned princess who must betray either her father or her lover.”
"Wiesbaden's theater can be congratulated for having discovered [American soprano Elena O'Connor] for Europe. The great voice of this young woman does justice to both the soft and the highly dramatic sides of the title role [of Tosca]."
- Wiesbadener Kurier
"It’s difficult to imagine anyone else [as Tosca] after seeing the statuesque African-American soprano assume the role for Union Avenue Opera’s 2016 season. She was a force to be reckoned with onstage – and had to bow three times before the standing ovation in her honor subsided... The sheer tone of her voice elicits awe and splendor."
- The St Louis American
"[Filling in for Sondra Radvanovsky,] O'Connor presents herself as anything but a pure understudy; her Aida can be heard and reign on its own."
- Oper! Das Magazin
"[As Aida] O’Connor made a vulnerable heroine under the practiced, careful baton of Arrivabeni. Her young voice has a luminous top... Her performance was a brave achievement."
- Opera News
"The American soprano reveals a voice stronger than her appearance suggests and is endowed with an elegant vibrato, precise and cordial... The artist, particularly touchingly, makes her début [as the title role in Aida] on the dreaded stage of the Chorégies and will get public's sincere applause."
- Forum Opéra
"With its large orchestral and choral forces often operating at high decibels, Cassandra requires solo voices that can cut through... Spinto soprano Elena O'Connor had no such problems, ringing out with a huge top and a strong, verismo-style chest register that offered real dramatic tension."
- Opera News
"And then there's Elena O'Connor making her brilliant Union Avenue debut as Tosca... She's a striking and magnetic stage presence – which is exactly what Tosca should be. She made me believe Scarpia could be totally captivated by her. And the scene in which she stabs Scarpia and then curses him as he dies was totally satisfying... Her scenes with tenor Mathew Edwardsen had real chemistry and passion."
- Stage Left
"Elena O'Connor in the title role [in Tosca] has a tall, slim frame, yet she filled the room with singing that was astonishing in its intensity and high volume. She nailed the many emotional outbursts... going from a whisper to an agonized cry without a hint of stress. Even in an Olympic stadium she wouldn't need a microphone. At the same time she was able to put across the famous aria 'Vissi d'arte' with gentleness and affection."
- St Louis Post-Dispatch
"I've never seen more passionate chemistry between [Tosca and Cavaradossi] than O'Connor and Edwardsen's."
- Two on the Aisle
"Elena O'Connor sings the role of Tosca. She is a strikingly lovely, tall graceful woman with an astonishingly powerful voice. In the memorable 'Vissi d'arte' aria, where Tosca sings of her piety, she echoes the suffering of Job – even Christ's words from the cross. Ms O'Connor delivers this aria with a conquering power and clarity that makes it one of the most memorable moments of the evening."
- KDHX, St Louis
"As Clitennestra [in Cassandra], New York native Elena O’Connor, looking like the model Iman, rocked a skin-tight black leather sheath gown. O’Connor’s dusky spinto soprano with its scintillating top register also proved a knockout; let’s see and hear more of this talent soon."
- Gay City News
"[In Cassandra] Elena O’Connor, slim and alluringly gowned, sang Clitennestra [sic], which, rather than Cassandra, is the big role in this opera. Gnecchi has given her queenly authority... [H]er luminous soprano gleamed in furious majesty, and continued to blaze to the end of Part 1. (She is mostly off stage in Part 2.) O’Connor showed us a queen to be reckoned with before Straussian insomnia and guilt ravaged her... [Baritone Shea] Owens and O’Connor burned up the stage."
- Parterre Box