Paula Murrihy

Paula Murrihy


Representation: General Management

Photo: Barbara Aumüller


Irish mezzo soprano Paula Murrihy is part of Opera Frankfurt’s prestigious ensemble.   She has a close relationship with North America, where she studied and where she has worked with Los Angeles Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, the Handel & Haydn Society and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, to name a few.     Paula is quickly becoming greatly sought after by major opera companies and concert promoters in Europe,   she has appeared at Covent Garden, English National Opera, The Edinburgh Festival, Wexford Festival and Opéra de Nice and with the RTÉ orchestra and Nederlandse Programma Stichting.


Full Biography

Irish Mezzo-Soprano Paula Murrihy received her Bachelor in Music from DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama in Dublin before continuing her studies in North America at the New England Conservatory.  Paula has also participated in the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, was an apprentice at Santa Fe Opera and also part of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program.

After being spotted at the Neue Stimmen Competition by Frankfurt Opera’s General Director, Paula was asked to join their acclaimed ensemble.   Her numerous appearances have included Annio La Clemenza di Tito, Medoro Orlando Furioso, Dido Dido and Aeneas,  Lazuli L’étoile,   Dorabella Cosi fan tutte, Orontea and Octavian Der Rosenkavalier, Hänsel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, and Polissena in Radamisto. She made her role debut as Carmen to critical acclaim with the highly successful team behind Dido & Aeneas – Barrie Kosky and Constantinos Carydis.  Paula maintains a close connection with the United States and has appeared as Ino in Semele for Boston Lyric Opera, 2nd Lady Die Zauberflöte at Santa Fe Opera, Annio at the Chicago Opera Theater, Cherubino Ghosts of Versailles for Opera Theatre St Louis and Dido for Los Angeles Opera.  In Europe, Paula made her debut at Covent Garden as Tebaldo Don Carlo, and returned as Mercedes Carmen.  She has appeared as Annio at the Théâtre Capitole Toulouse,  as Medoro at Opéra de Nice, as Ascanio in Terry Gilliam’s production of Benvenuto Cellini at English National Opera, and more recently as Octavian Der Rosenkavalier at De Nationale Opera Amsterdam and the Staatsoper Stuttgart.

On the concert platform, Paula’s extensive repertoire includes Vivaldi’s Gloria, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Schubert’s Mass in C, Bach’s St John Passion, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem.   She has appeared regularly with the Handel & Haydn Society in Boston and with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where she premiered John Harbison’s Symphony No. 6.  She recently appeared with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris in Handel’s Messiah,  the Nederlandse Programma Stichting in Handel’s Solomon, Alexander’s Feast and Honneger’s Judith, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the St Paul Chamber Orchestra in performances of Bach’s St Matthew Passion  and made her debut at the BBC Proms in Haydn’s Paukenmesse.  Last season Paula sang Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro with MusicAeterna and Teodor Currentzis,  and joined the conductor this summer for a performance of Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and Hindemith’s Die Junge Magd at the Diaghilev Festival in Perm.  An accomplished recitalist, Paula has performed at Aldeburgh Festival and with the Irish Chamber Orchestra in the Shannon International Music Festival and the Chancellor’s Concert at the University of Limerick.  She recently gave a recital in Frankfurt with accompanist Malcolm Martineau.

Recent career highlights include her debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York as Stéphano Roméo et Juliette, appearances at Santa Fe Opera as Ruggiero in Alcina and Orlofsky Die Fledermaus as well her debut at Opernhaus Zürich as Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro.  On the concert platform Paula appeared with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Beethoven Missa Solemnis), North Carolina Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven Symphony 9), the Handel and Haydn Society (Juno/Ino in Semele) and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (Elijah). She also joined Teodor Currentzis and MusicAeterna for performances of Purcell’s Indian Queen, and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.

The 2017-18 season sees Paula return to Opernhaus Zürich for Concepcion L’Heure Espagnole and Maman L’Enfant et les sortilèges. She will make her house debut at Teatro Real, Madrid as Frances, Countess of Essex in David McVicar’s new production of Gloriana, and will return to the Nationale Opera Amsterdam as La Muse/Nicklausse Les contes d’Hoffmann. On the concert platform Paula sings Christmas Oratorio with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with Boston Baroque, and Bach Cantatas with Les Violons du Roy, Canada.  She makes her role debut as Sesto La Clemenza di Tito, with the Orchestra of the 18th Century on a concert tour of the Netherlands.

Artist Website:

Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to ensure that you receive the most up to date version.
Email: Evie Parker



Advent Concerts this Christmas

November 20th, 2017

Take a look at the festive programmes coming up this December with Hazard Chase.

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Pauly Murrihy returns to Santa Fe

July 14th, 2017

This summer Paula Murrihy sings Ruggiero in Alcina and Prince Orlofsky Die Fledermaus with Santa Fe Opera

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Paula Murrihy makes Met debut

February 10th, 2017

Irish mezzo will sing Stéphano in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette

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Paula Murrihy in Purcell’s The Indian Queen

September 1st, 2016

Mezzo-soprano takes the title role in Peter Sellar’s semi-staged production

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BBC Proms 2016

April 14th, 2016

Hazard Chase artists featuring in the BBC Proms this season

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Mozart LA CLEMENZA DI TITO – Orchestra of the 18th Century

“Irish mezzo Paula Murrihy, a memorable Octavian at the DNO two years ago, returned to Amsterdam as a fantastic Sesto. Her unaffected, expressive acting and honey-toned mezzo-soprano, warm and  agile, fitted the passionate but hapless character as a glove. She made of her Act 1 aria “Parto, parto”, when Sesto announces to Vitellia he is going to get on with it, the pivotal moment of the opera.”

Nicolas Nguyen, Bachtrack (20 Oct 2017)


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Handel ALCINA  – Santa Fe Opera

“There was a good deal of excellent singing. Mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy, in her house debut, was superb as Ruggiero. She brought the total package to the part both vocally and dramatically: beautiful timbre, gorgeous phrasing, sophisticated singing technique, sensitivity to what we understand of Baroque style. Her aria “Mi lusinga il dolce affetto” was a showstopper of an Andante (or an Andante-larghetto, as Handel called it), so captivating that one could almost ignore Alden’s overlay of extraneous activity. Ditto her top-drawer performance of “Verdi prati,” which confirmed her mastery of sustained line. She was splendid in florid singing, too, as in her aria “Sta nell’ircana pietrosa tana,” where she negotiated challenging coloratura and even inflected some of it with surprising staccatos.”
James M. Keller, Santa Fe New Mexican, (30 July 2017)

“As Ruggiero — the latest victim of Alcina’s predatory romantic practices and in many ways the opera’s protagonist — the Irish mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy gave an especially impressive performance, marked by understated expressivity and vibrant tone.”
Joshua Kosman, SFGate, (31 July 2017)

“Paula Murrihy’s Ruggiero captured the emotional complexity Alden clearly intended, decoding the young man’s conflicting emotional loyalties.”
Thomas May, Bachtrack, (30 July 2017)


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Handel SEMELE (Handle & Haydn Society, Boston)

“The versatile mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy pulled her weight and more, singing the role of Semele’s sister Ino with innocent grace and soft-edged phrases and transforming into the imperious Juno with rage written on her face and venom lacing her voice.”
Zoë Madonna, Boston Globe (May 2017)

CARMEN – Frankfurt Opera

“Paula Murrihy sang and danced with quite versatile magic, conveying herself as a virtuoso of the highest order.”
Hansklaus Jungheinrich, Frankfurter Rundschau (June ’16)

“Paula Murrihy with her vocal magic, presence and precision, ease and sex appeal is an equal to [Joseph Calleja as Don José].”
Josef Becker, Bild Frankfurt (June ’16)

“Paula Murrihy threw herself with great passion in her debut, and showed plenty of character, mischievous spirit and even deliberate provocation.”
Musik Heute (June ’16)

“Paula Murrihy sings and plays a sadistic Carmen. Fantastic! …Murrihy brings to the role a flexible, versatile voice – sometimes big, particularly strong, soft and supple – a voice in which one can detect emotion at every second. Murrihy sings this Carmen like a song, a fine embodiment of the role, on one long breath, word perfect.”
Natascha Pflaumbaum, Deutschlandradio Kultur (June ’16)

“The focused, often imploringly soft and whispering Paula Murrihy… is a perfect medium and a willing projector for Kosky’s at times operatic, at times tragic variation on the legendary archetype we think we know.”
Manuel Brug, Die Welt (June ’16)

“…The singers were on top form throughout, with Paula Murrihy foremost in the title role – her ‘femme fatale’ character not too forced, rather quite naturally interpreted.”
Michael Dellith, Frankfurter Neue Presse (June ’16)

“Paula Murrihy in the title role is a harmonious and balanced vocal powerhouse, with a full, warm mezzo-soprano timbre which continually emphasises the undertones of the character.”
Stefan Michalzik, HNA (Hessische-Niedersächsische Allgemeine) ((June ’16)

“Irish mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy, with her flexible and well guided timbre, took centre stage. Her agile performance left nothing to be desired. She presented an exceptional theatrical interpretation of Carmen, which set new standards.”
Lars-Erik Gerth, Maintal Tagesanzeiger (June ’16)

“Paula Murrihy as Carmen must be declared a triumph, bringing full vocal expressive potential to the reduced orchestral score, showing that Carmen can be more than erotic – so much more.”
Bernd Zegowitz, Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung ((June ’16)

“Paula Murrihy is found on stage non-stop in the title role, apart from countless rapid movements and scene changes which illustrate the complexity of the production. She remains relentlessly in the spotlight with eloquent expressiveness – hunting, creeping, crawling over the stage, dancing with the ensemble and singing easily and flexibly, just as is required of the role. She embodies an almost inexhaustible range of characteristics: sexy, saucy, lascivious, seductive, cold blooded, self-centred, stubborn, strong. Her greatest and most convincing success is that central Carmen characteristic – eroticism, which radiates from her at every moment.”
Christiane Franke, Opernnetz (June ’16)

DER ROSENKAVALIER – De Nationale Opera, Amsterdam

“Brilliant, electrifying and youthfully vital  was the Octavian of Paula Murrihy . The young singer also captivated scenically as a committed credible Rosenkavalier.”
M. Fiedler, Opernglas (Sept 2015)


“Octavian was shiningly sung by Paula Murrihy…with her lustrous, soprano-ish mezzo”
Opera Magazine (Sept 2015)


“Murrihy was especially affecting with a penetrating mezzo that was agile and rich.”
Matthew Richard Martinez, Bachtrack (October 2014)

“Murrihy is remarkable, the embodiment of love turned to pain and ultimately death. Her final lament (as direct by Kosky) provides one of the most heartrending scenes you will ever see.”
Jim Farber, LA Daily News (October 2014)

BENVENUTO CELLINI – English National Opera

“Yet Paula Murrihy almost stole the show. bringing trouser-role swagger to Ascanio and singing with a focused mezzo and enough vocal dash to hold the stage in her ebullient solo”
John Allison, Opera Magazine (August 2014)

“Paula Murrihy’s ringingly pure-toned Ascanio”
Michael Church, The Independent (6th June 2014)

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Discography & Repertoire


A live recording from Frankfurt Opera with Paula Murrihy (Orontea), Xavier Sabata (Alidoro), Simon Bailey (Gelone) and Louise Alder (Silandra).  Ivor Bolton conducts the Monteverdi Continuo Ensemble

OEHMS (2017)

Mendelssohn COMPLETE SONGS, VOL. 2

Malcolm Martineau (piano) with a line-up of singers including Kitty Whately, (mezzo), Paula Murrihy (mezzo), Sophie Bevan (soprano) and Benjamin Appl (baritone)

Champs Hill Records (2016)

Artist Manager

Sue Nicholls (Cambridge)
01223 706023

Assistant Artist Manager

Evie Parker (Cambridge)
01223 706414