From Ireland, Paul McNamara is an honours music graduate of University College, Cork. He has been the recipient of many prizes and awards, including the Opera scholarship of the Royal College of Music in London and the Bayreuth Bursary of the British Wagner Society. Furthermore he was one of eight finalists in Seattle Opera’s inaugural International Wagner Competition 2006.
Currently based in Berlin, he has sung in several German theatres where his many notable successes have included his critically acclaimed début at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in Braunfels’ Szenen aus dem Leben der Heiligen Johanna and the title roles in Wagner’s Tannhäuser & Parsifal at the Mainfranken Theater Würzburg, for both of which he was nominated as “Singer of the Year” in the German magazine “Opernwelt”. Elsewhere he has appeared at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Stadttheater Bern, OTC, Opera Ireland, Cape Town Opera, at the Janácek Festival in Brno and at the Opera Lesna in Sopot (Poland). In December 2010 he appeared at the National Opera in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where he sang Tannhäuser in the first ever production of a Wagner opera in Central Asia.
In addition to Wagner’s Erik, Loge, Tannhäuser, Tristan and Parsifal, McNamara’s extensive repertoire encompasses roles such as Mozart’s Idomeneo, Max in Weber’s Der Freischütz, Lenski in Tchaikovsky’s Eugen Onegin, Canio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Barinkay in Johann Strauss’s Der Zigeunerbaron, the Prince in Dvorák’s Rusalka, Tichon in Janácek’s Káta Kabanová, Guido Bardi in Zemlinsky’s Eine florentinische Tragödie, the Tambourmajor in Berg’s Wozzeck, the title role in Britten’s Peter Grimes and Harold Mitchell in André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire.
Also a keen recitalist and concert singer, in December 2001 he made his début at the Berlin Philharmonie singing Finzi’s cantata Dies Natalis with the Deutsches Kammerorchester. Other concert engagements include appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, the Neubrandenburger Philharmonie, the SWR-Rundfunkorchester, the Staatskapelle Halle and the Stavangar Symfoniorkester.
McNamara’s furture engagements include productions of Wagner's Tannhäuser in Kassel and South America, Wagners The flying Dutchman in Belfast and his return to the Deutsche Oper Berlin in the acclaimed Schlingensief production of Braunfel's Szenen aus dem Leben der Heiligen Johanna.
Wagner “Tannhäuser” Mainfranken Theater Würzburg
“An Irish hero shines on the Wartburg”
The Mainfranken Theater Würzburg impressively demonstrated that they are truly on top of things with Tannhäuser, at least as far as the notoriously difficult title role is concerned. On Saturday last, Irish tenor Paul McNamara delivered a truly inspirational role debut. What a Heldentenor!
… first among them Paul McNamara, who was not only dramatically convincing, but also never seemed run out of steam and, after all the exertions, sang so vividly of “mercy and salvation” that one almost felt one had arrived in Wagnerian tenor heaven.
Fränkischer Tag, May 2009
Paul McNamara’s interpretation of the title role is compelling. Initially somewhat reserved, then later with haunting intensity. I have rarely experienced such a sensitive, even fragile Tannhäuser.
Bayern 5, May 2009
After a brilliantly sung Venusberg scene, Paul McNamara was understandably careful to husband his resources in order not to compromise the difficult third act with the “Rome Narration”. This he accomplished with superb results and his singing maintained its appealing, expressive tone and penetrating force right to the very end.
Das Opernglas, July 2009
The Würzburg Theatre showed a lucky hand in the choice of its guest singers. The Irish-born Paul McNamara made a powerful début as Tannhäuser.
Opernwelt, June 2009
Braunfels “Jeanne d’Arc – Szenen aus dem leben der Heiligen Johanna”, Deutsche Oper Berlin
…There was some unimpeachable singing to be heard at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, especially from Paul McNamara as St. Michael.
Opera News, July 2008
…The high tenor role of St. Michael was fearlessly taken by Paul McNamara.
Opera, August 2008
… with a glorious richly coloured top – Paul McNamara (St. Michael)
RBB Kulturradio, May 2008
…Paul McNamara as Saint Michael sings with a vividness and beauty of tone that gives one the impression that there are also excellent schools of singing in Heaven and not only in Ireland.
Berliner Morgenpost, April 2008
Zadnja sprememba: 2012-08-24, 05:58 EDT (Paul McNamara)