“Most striking perhaps was the performance of mezzo Michelle O’Rourke, intensely staring down the audience like the embodied figure of music herself, only there to disappear
with the last note of her song.” (Liam Cagney, musicalcriticism.com)
“Michelle O’Rourke’s majestic singing is of the kind one associates with Górecki’s Symphony No 3, or Symphony of Sorrowful Songs.” (Paddy Kehoe, RTE Ireland)
“In the scrum of HCMF’s [Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival's] Free Monday, there were exquisite moments: the Shaker simplicity of Cage’s Experiences No 2, as sung by Michelle O’Rourke…” (Anna Picard, The Independent UK)
“It [music for people who like art - Andrew Hamilton] was both exhilarating and maddening, and Crash, especially the hard-worked mezzo soprano Michelle O’Rourke, made it sound like the ride of a lifetime.” (Michael Dervan, The Irish Times)
“Michelle O’Rourke accompanied by Kate Ellis on cello gave an impressive and thoughtfully programmed ‘Shorts’ programme including two stunning pieces by Judith Ring and Garrett Sholdice alongside some John Cage.”
(Ailis NiRiain – for the Contemporary Music Centre Review of HCMF* 2012)
Michelle O’Rourke is an Irish singer currently based in Dublin & Berlin. Her natural, direct sound and unaffected expressivity make for a performer of rare dynamism.
In recent years Michelle has found most inspiration in the work of living composers. She has been involved in the commission, premiere and touring of works by Linda Buckley, Garrett Sholdice, Benedict Schlepper-Connolly, Judith Ring and Andrew Hamilton, amongst others.
Michelle performs regularly with Ergodos musicians (I call to you released 2013). She has also performed as vocalist with the lauded Crash Ensemble, and as alto soloist with the RTE Concert Orchestra.
Recent projects have included a song cycle for voice and chamber ensemble, titled Here I am, commissioned from Linda Buckley with support from the Irish Arts Council and Recueillement, a chamber opera by Garrett Sholdice.
At the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2012, Michelle was one of five selected artists to perform a Huddersfield Short. Her performance of music for voice and tape was singled out as an ‘exquisite moment’ in the UK Independent. Her dynamic vocal performance in Hamilton’s demanding music for people who like art with Crash Ensemble at HCMF was also singled out in the Irish times.
Michelle is currently the recipient of a Music Bursary award from the Irish Arts Council.