Press Reviews



December, 2010

Oper Frankfurt

"Paula Murrihy as Dido is a powerful magnet. How she, externally scarcely moves, yet more movingly begins to sing, regal in the centre of the stage sitting and lamenting" I am prest with torment," with such impressive clarity that one needs and tolerates no staging concept other than the presence of this singer."

Frankfurter Rundschau | Hans Jürgen Linke | DIDO & AENEAS, Oper Frankfurt,
December, 2010

"It is one of the most poignant moments in operatic history. Dido's Lament. At least as shocking as Isolde's Liebestod. No consolation, nowhere. In Frankfurt, Paula Murrihy makes it a breathtaking moment of suspense."

Die Rheinpfalz | Frank Pommer |
DIDO & AENEAS, Oper Frankfurt,
December, 2010

"The performance of the Frankfurt Opera is impressive, the soloists—Paula Murrihy is an incredibly moving Dido—suit each other vocally, all are commanding, enthusiastic, very present. Kosky's direction is full of fine attention to acting details. The rest is Carydis."

Süddeutsche Zeitung | Egbert Tholl |
DIDO & AENEAS, Oper Frankfurt,
December, 2010

"The soprano Paula Murrihy as Dido is a stroke of luck. With her pure, beautiful soprano she embodies wonderfully the plight of the ancient Queen."

Main-Echo | Bettina Kneller |
DIDO & AENEAS, Oper Frankfurt,
December, 2010

"The psychological complexity in the relationship between man and woman in "Bluebeard" is not reached to the same heights in Purcell's "Dido." But in the figure of the Queen of Carthage, the brilliance of Purcell's music will allow these complexities to come leaking through: the risk to the emotions, the violation of these which in the worst case leads to death. The mezzo soprano Paula Murrihy follows this psychological process with clear, focussed expressive voice impressively."

Frankfurter Allgemeine | Gerhard Rohde |
DIDO & AENEAS, Oper Frankfurt,
December, 2010

"Paula Murrihy really overwhelmed as Dido, with her slender, flexible soprano captivating all Baroque affects impressively."

Giessener Allgemeine | Anita Kolbus |
DIDO & AENEAS, Oper Frankfurt,
December, 2010

"Paula Murrihy sits with her melancholic, compassionate acting and excellently nuanced soprano, a young Dido literally on the ramp"

Der Neue Merker | Friedeon Rosén |
DIDO & AENEAS, Oper Frankfurt,
December, 2010

HARBISON Symphony No. 6 (World Premiere)

Boston Symphony Orchestra

January, 2012

“A masterpiece of mixed emotions, still showing signs of the confident, robust tribute to James Levine that Harbison intended to write,....The Irish mezzo Paula Murrihy delivered Harbison’s well-crafted phrases in a voice that reminded one of ivory—firm, smooth, subtly colored, and readily shaped. And powerful enough to drown out the orchestral accompaniment in the movement’s opening the time she strode off stage left, Murrihy had given an account of the poem that would resonate throughout the work.”

Boston Classical Review | David Wright | HARBISON Symphony No. 6, Boston Symphony Orchestra, January, 2012

“Last night mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy sang with radiant tone.”

The Boston Globe | Jeremy Eichler |
HARBISON Symphony No. 6, Boston Symphony Orchestra, January, 2012

“...Murrihy captivated with her lyrical vibrato, poised singing style, and sparkling-clear diction. Her mastery of Harbison’s often challenging vocal lines was evident as her beautiful singing seemed to echo long into the subsequent movements of the symphony.”

The Tech | Bogdan Fedeles |
HARBISON Symphony No. 6, Boston Symphony Orchestra, January, 2012


October, 2014

LA Opera

"  ....and Dido, performed by the charismatic Irish mezzo Paula Murrihy. Hers was a Dido of supernal serenity, disrupted by volatile outbursts of emotion and desire, held together by a gloriously pellucid voice that riveted our ears to Purcell’s tragic melodies and rendered Dido’s death memorable. "

Opera News | Simon Williams | DIDO & AENEAS, LA Opera, October, 2014

"Irish mezzo Paula Murrihy's aristocratic poise and pearly voice captured Dido's exquisite melancholy, furious anger, and, in her famous lament "When I am laid in earth" and its aftermath, her grisly end-of-life journey of shocking gasps and sighs."

Huffington Post | Rodney Punt | DIDO & AENEAS, LA Opera, October, 2014

"Murrihy (who has appeared in all three previous productions) is remarkable, the embodiment of love turned to pain and ultimately death. Her final lament (as directed by Kosky) provides one of the most heartrending scenes you will ever see."

LA Daily News | Jim Farber | DIDO & AENEAS, LA Opera, October, 2014

Bluebeard’s Castle

Irish National Opera

Oct 15, 2018

"The music is matched in performance by the Kerry-born mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy as Judith in a rare Irish interlude from her burgeoning American and European career. From the softest whisper to her high C at the opening of the castle’s fifth door, and in Bartók’s deliberate mismatch between Judith’s initial optimism and the dark oppression of the orchestra, Murrihy thrills with her voice while fully inhabiting her symbolic assignment with her presence."

Irish Times | Michael Dungan |
Bluebeard’s Castle, Irish National Opera,
Oct 15, 2018

"Musically, the show was pure joy. It’s seldom that you go to a performance where the singing flows in a such perfect way that you take it for granted. This was one of those times. One could not have possibly imagined two better interpreters than Joshua Bloom and Paula Murrihy for the roles of Bluebeard and Judith ... Murrihy with her crystalline mezzo-soprano perfectly delivered the ambivalent Judith, morbidly attracted to the tenebrous side of her husband and willing to prove him bad at every cost."

Bachtrack | Pia Maltri |
Bluebeard’s Castle, Irish National Opera,
Oct 15, 2018

Where “Bluebeard’s Castle” soars is in its sublime singing and a superb performance of Bartók’s dark and electrifying score. Bass Joshua Bloom, and mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy, are both outstanding, mastering the demands of singing in Hungarian as if it were a second language, as well as negotiating the demands of Bartok’s endless recitativo. Throughout, Murrihy owns the stage, and under Walsh’s astute direction exudes an irresistible allure as the confident and insistent Judith who should have been more careful of what she wished for.

The Arts Review | Chris O’Rourke |
Bluebeard’s Castle, Irish National Opera,
Oct 15, 2018

St. Matthew Passion

OAE, Royal Festival Hall, London

April 2015

“..the outstandingly focussed and eloquent mezzo Paula Murrihy..”

The Times UK | Hilary Finch | St. Matthew Passion, OAE, April 2015

“...Paula Murrihy's mezzo-soprano was rich and yet subtle and nuanced.”

Music OMH | Sam Smith |
St. Matthew Passion, OAE, April 2015

De Nationale Opera, Amsterdam

September 2015

"Paula Murrihy was an entirely credible Octavian; young and impetuous with a well controlled, warm mezzo."

Opera Magazine | Erna Metdepenninghen
Jan 2016

Oper Frankfurt May 2015

"The singing is, without exception, uniformly at the highest niveau. Amanda Majeski, even in her most intense moments, exudes a fine fragility. She harmonizes wonderfully with Mezzo-Soprano Paula Murrihy, who presents a passionate and impulsive Octavian. Together with Christiane Karg's certainty in the upper register as Sophie, Paula Murrihy and Amanda Majeski succeed in offering a deeply moving trio of love and relinquishment shortly before the end of Act III."

Frankfurter Neue Presse | Michael Delith


De Nationale Opera, Amsterdam

September 2015

“Brilliant, electrifying and youthfully vital was the Octavian of Paula Murrihy. The young singer also captivated scenically as a committed credible Rosenkavalier.”

Opernglas | M. Fiedler | Sept 2015


Oper Frankfurt

May 2015

“Octavian was shiningly sung by Paula Murrihy…with her lustrous, soprano-ish mezzo”

Opera Magazine | Hugh Canning | Sept 2015


Oper Frankfurt

May 2015

"Dream casting in the title role is the svelte, characterful and vocally versatile Paula Murrihy as Octavian."

Frankfurter Rundschau |
Hans Klaus Jungheinrich


Oper Frankfurt

May 2015

“From the homogeneous ensemble of singers Paula Murrihy as Octavian stood out. With her warm richly coloured mezzo she wowed the audience. In addition she sang with clear intelligibility of text and was scenically the central point of this performance."

Maintal Tagesanzeiger | Lars Erik Gerth


Oper Frankfurt

June, 2016

“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.”

Deutschlandradio Kultur | Natascha Pflaumbaum

“Paula Murrihy sang and danced with quite versatile magic, conveying herself as a virtuoso of the highest order.”

Frankfurter Rundschau | Hansklaud Jungheinrich

“In Paula Murrihy, Kosky has found his ideal Primadonna. The Irish mezzo-soprano not only has an irridescent voice, but is also a gifted dancer and actress.”

Musik Heute | Bettina Boyens

“Paula Murrihy with her vocal magic, presence and precision, ease and sex appeal is an equal to [Joseph Calleja as Don José].”

Bild Frankfurt | Josef Becker

“Paula Murrihy’s presence could not have left anyone untouched, either on stage or in the auditorium… She managed not to wallow in cliché or kitsch, but always remained natural; she rarely gave in to the lyrical side, instead favouring clarity of diction, and set the voice free in favour of linguistic colour… [She] showed a new, discreetly seductive Carmen who does want obviously infatuated men, but weaves her magic with subtle charm.”

Bachtrack | Stephan Eckel

“…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.”

Frankfurter Neue Presse | Michael Dellith

“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.”

HNA (Hessische-Niedersächsische Allgemeine) | Stefan Michalzik

“Paula Murrihy 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 |

“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.”

Maintal Tagesanzeiger | Lars-Erik Gerth |

“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.”

Die Welt | Manuel Brug |

“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.”

Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung | Bernd Zegowitz |

La Clemenza
di Tito

Netherlands Tour

October, 2017

Orchestra of the 18th Century

"The orchestra made a very successful choice in engaging Paula Murrihy, an Irish mezzo, with a light but spicy timbre who gave Mozart’s most beautiful trouser role the full monty. She also combined beautifully with the lighter Rosanne van Sandwijk,…"

Opus Klassiek | Paul Korenhof | La Clemenza di Tito, Netherlands Tour, October 2017

"For the Irish soprano Paula Murrihy it proved no problem to gloriously express all the different emotions that Mozart weaves in to the Sesto part. She reached her summit with the colossal aria Parto…"

Opera Magazine Netherlands |
Franz Straatman | La Clemenza di Tito, Netherlands Tour, October 2017

"The creamy and pure mezzo Paula Murrihy is as the ideal Sesto a discovery, excelling in beautiful arias, that underscore the important stature of this opera, like ‘Parto ma tu ben bio’ and ‘Deh per questo istante solo’"

NRC | Mischa Spel | La Clemenza di Tito, Netherlands Tour, October 2017

"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."

Bachtrack | Nicolas Nguyen | La Clemenza di Tito, Netherlands Tour, October 2017

"...the big star of the evening was the Irish mezzo Paula Murrihy (Sesto) who in both her big aria’s sang breathtakingly fine, strong and sonorously. A sound to fall in love with immediately."

Trouw | Peter van der Lintj | La Clemenza di Tito, Netherlands Tour, October 2017


Santa Fe Opera

July/August 2017

"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.”

Santa Fe New Mexican | James M. Keller |
Alcina, Santa Fe Opera, July/August 2017

"...the Irish mezzo-soprano was a sensation as Ruggiero. As the warrior who is magically besotted with Alcina, she produced a crisply articulated but flowing sound in runs as well as a seamless, satiny legato. The latter made her rendition of the aria “Verdi prati” a moment of almost spiritual repose."

The Classical Review | Charles T Downey |
Alcina, Santa Fe Opera, July/August 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.”

SFGate | Joshua Kosman |
Alcina, Santa Fe Opera, July/August 2017

Benvenuto Cellini

English National Opera

June, 2014

"Mezzo Paula Murrihy cut a physically dashing, vocally stylish figure as Cellini's personal assistant, Ascanio. "

Opera News | George Hall |
Benvenuto Cellini, English National Opera,
June, 2014

"Paula Murrihy is delightfully ebullient as Cellini’s assistant Ascanio"

The Telegraph | Rupert Christiansen |
Benvenuto Cellini, English National Opera,
June, 2014

"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’."

Opera magazine | John Allison |
Benvenuto Cellini, English National Opera,
June, 2014

Pénélope / Fauré

Oper Frankfurt

Dec/Jan 2020

“As in so many other Frankfurt productions, the Irish mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy also gave this title role the depth that Faure's opera requires. Complex and haunting, she created a character of Pénélope, whose dreams and fears were fully experienceable and understandable. Instead of distant coolness, she filled the figure with life, not least thanks to her radiant warm timbre, with elegant and intelligent declamation. In this way she more than lived up to Faure's work, which puts his wife at the center of the action, not Odysseus.”

Bachtrack | Alexandra Richter |
Pénélope, Oper Frankfurt, Dec 09, 2019

“Paula Murrihy, however, does not sing a despairing Pénélope. She gives the faithful woman a powerful, big voice- one with strength and drama whenever she stands up for her old love, and lyrical in the passages in which Pénélope’s loneliness and seclusion from the world breaks out.”

Deutschlandfunk Kultur | Natascha Pflaumbaum |
Pénélope, Oper Frankfurt, Dec 1, 2019

“Irish Mezzo-Soprano Paula Murrihy in the title role is the real event of this performance. Vocally confident in the slim as in the larger tones, and thanks to her extremely precise and differentiated body language and facial expressions, she is able to give this Pénélope a profile that is touching, thoughtful and never lets go.“

RWV Bamberg | Monika Beer |
Pénélope, Oper Frankfurt, Dec 6, 2019

“Her music is not ascetic or bloodless: Paula Murrihy masters both the song-like tone of Faure - reminiscent of the Verlaine songs or the "Mélodies" - and, effortlessly and brilliantly, the rarer but impressive dramatic outbursts.”

Allgemeine Zeitung | Karsten Mackensen |
Pénélope, Oper Frankfurt, Dec 4, 2019

“Paula Murrihy is fantastic. With a beautiful, flattering soprano, she sings about her fate and the hope that a ship with her hero will appear on the horizon. Indeed, she acts as a proud pityful woman who can delight with a blossoming beautiful song at any time”

Online Merker | Friedeon Rosén |
Pénélope, Oper Frankfurt, Dec 16, 2019

Don Giovanni
Donna Elvira

Netherlands Tour

Orchestra of the 18th Century

October 2019

“Undoubtedly, the evening’s strongest vocal performance came from the Irish mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy who conveyed Donna Elvira’s quasi hysteria with fiery diction and honey-coloured tone.”

Bachtrack | Nicolas Nguyen | Orchestra of the 18th Century, Netherlands Tour, Oct 16, 2019

“The revelation of the evening, however, is the Irish mezzo Paula Murrihy, who plays a very dramatically invested Donna Elvira, alternately pitiful and aggravated in her character as the deceived wife. Vocally, she confounded in the ease of her production, homogeneous throughout all the registers, in a tessitura which often tests ...”

Opera Online | Emmanuel Andrieu |
Orchestra of the 18th Century, Netherlands Tour, Oct 19, 2019

Hercules / Handel

Oper Frankfurt

Apr/May 2023

“Sensational Dejanira”

“Paula Murrihy as Dejanira is sensational. Her powerful colouraturas are an expression of her psychological instability between depression, exaltation, hysterical jealousy and love campaign. She has a thousand corresponding faces and indulges in a tour de force of changing emotions.”

SWR 2 Kultur | Bernd Künzig |
Hercules, Oper Frankfurt, Apr/May 2023

““The focus is not on the eponymous demigod, but on his wife Dejanira, who the viewer experiences at the beginning in anxious expectation of the hero who has gone to war, then in exuberant joy at his return and immediately afterwards in raging jealousy and snippy aggression against the husband. Paula Murrihy is the perfect cast to authenticate this emotional roller coaster ride with facial expressions and music. The way the Irish mezzo-soprano sculpts the portrait of a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown is nothing short of breathtaking. Her acting excellence comes together with a musical creative power, which on the basis of a noble-herb timbre voice expresses the text even in technically unassailable embellishments and coloratura, without making musical compromises. If you were able to experience that, then you know why Barrie Kosky cites working with Paula Murrihy as one of the motives for accepting this directing contract.”

Der Opernfreund | Michael Demel |
Hercules, Oper Frankfurt, Apr/May 2023

““In Frankfurt, it is first and foremost a triumphant evening for Paula Murrihy (Dejanira) and for the opera choir.”

“Paula Murrihy, the queen of the evening (that is so particularly tragic: no one doubts her), is also a normal, modern woman. Her great voice copes with the technical virtuoso of the sprawling game as first-class as with the required multifaceted feelings. Already in Karlsruhe it was an experience to hear Dejanira almost speak, scream, sigh and groan, Murrihy also offers rich expression in this regard in Frankfurt.”

Frankfurter Rundschau | Judith von Sternburg |
Hercules, Oper Frankfurt, Apr/May 2023

“Paula Murrihy has shown excessive longing and ebullient reunion happiness, but the way she taunts Hercules is sensational. The Irish soprano punches coloratura chains into the air, which hit her husband like whiplash, and embraces him with false tenderness, which already burns his skin like the Nessus shirt later on.

The Frankfurt production is brilliantly cast in every role, and exclusively from the ensemble. The former long-standing ensemble member Paula Murrihy stands out once again. Her dejanira is the event of the evening. Not only because of her expressive singing, but also because of Barrie Kosky's sophisticated and excessive leadership.” | Bernd Feuchtner |
Hercules, Oper Frankfurt, Apr/May 2023