From Ireland, Paul McNamara is widely acknowledged to be one of the most versatile dramatic tenors of his generation.
Based in Berlin, he has sung in theatres throughout Europe where his many notable successes have included his recent debut in Venice at La Fenice as Wagner’s Tannhäuser conducted by Omer Meir Wellber and critically acclaimed performances at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in Braunfels’ Szenen aus dem Leben der Heiligen Johanna. Further afield, the tenor won widespread approbation for his North American debut with the American Symphony Orchestra under its chief conductor Leon Botstein, where his performance in Max von Schillings’ opera Mona Lisa was hailed by the audience and critics alike.
Appearances elsewhere include the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, NI Opera, Cape Town Opera, the Opera Leśna in Sopot (Poland), Opera Ireland, the Janáček Festival in Brno, the National Opera in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the Theatro Municipal, Rio de Janeiro, and with the Salzburg Festival at the Beijing Music Festival. Concert engagements have taken him to many of the world’s leading venues including the Berlin Philharmonie, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and New York’s Carnegie Hall.
In addition to Wagner’s Claudio, Erik, Loge, Tannhäuser, Tristan and Parsifal, Paul McNamara’s extensive repertoire encompasses roles such as Mozart’s Idomeneo, Max in Weber’s Der Freischütz, Vasco da Gama in Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine, Lenski in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Canio in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, the Prince in Dvořák’s Rusalka, Herodes in Strauss’ Salome, Bacchus in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, Tichon in Janáček’s Kát’a Kabanová, Guido Bardi in Zemlinsky’s Eine florentinische Tragödie, the Tambourmajor in Berg’s Wozzeck, the title role in Britten’s Peter Grimes, Baron de Laubardemont in Krzysztof Penderecki’s The Devils of Loudun and Harold Mitchell in André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire.
A keen recitalist, Paul McNamara is also a highly regarded concert singer. He has received invitations from, amongst others, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, the SWR Radio Orchestra, the Stavanger Symfoniorkest, the RTÉ NSO, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the Irish Chamber Orchestra.
Recent appearances include debuts with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin at the Telemann-Festival in Hamburg, at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, at Theater Bonn in Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer and at the Oper Leipzig in Richard Wagner's Das Liebesverbot and Richard Strauss’ Arabella. Elsewhere, McNamara reprised his much lauded interpretation of Herodes at the Landestheater Linz and appeared as Tannhäuser at the Wartburg zu Eisenach as well as in new productions of this opera in Aachen, Innsbruck and Venice.
Future plans include role debuts as Chairman Mao in John Adam's Nixon in China and as Laca in Janáček's Jenůfa as well as further performances as Tannhäuser, Peter Grimes and the Heilige Michael in Braunfels' Szenen aus dem Leben der heiligen Johanna. In April 2018 the tenor will appear for the first time in Berlin's newest concert hall, the Pierre Boulez Saal, while other concert engagements will take him throughout Germany, Austria and Ireland.
An alumnus of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Paul McNamara is an honours graduate of the University College Cork, the Cork School of Music and the Royal College of Music London. Furthermore, he is a founding director and CEO of Opera Collective Ireland and a faculty member at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz.