For performance and recording of Simon O’Connor and Michelle O’Rourke’s             Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows:

“...propelled by the hypnotically elastic voice of O'Rourke..." Mel Clarke, The Sunday Times

"A searingly sad tribute to the 1916 widows...The music, composed mostly by Simon O'Connor and performed by soprano Michelle O'Rourke, both attached to the Ergodos contemporary music label, has a taut, elegiac quality laden with emotion. O'Rourke's soprano vocals provided an irresistible soaring beauty - think Kate Bush - and never relaxes its grip." Dick O'Riordan, Sunday Business Post 

“O’Rourke’s sweet, operatic vocals glided over bare-bones arrangements from the O’Connor-led band, delivering an unmistakable sense of longing, pining, and loss contained in the stories of these women.” – Joe Masden, The Thin Air

“The whole was held together by O’Rourke and the extraordinary beauty of her voice.” – Michael Dervan, The Irish Times

“O’Rourke’s fine technique serves her well as she unassumingly moves from one style to the next, bringing a range of colours to the music. The affecting lyricism of Your face through time (Kathleen’s song) and the deeply soulful blues of From the waters (Muriel’s song) are particular highlights, contrasting strongly with the full-on belting of Holidays (Lillie’s song) – which proves a liberating moment, the singer firmly smothering the now-redundant microphone in her hand.” – Michael Lee, goldenplec.com


For performance with Ergodos Musicians on the album Songs

“Inevitably the focus is on singer Michelle O’Rourke, whose clean, easy technique allows her the flexibility to adapt to a wide range of musical styles…” – Michael Lee, goldenplec.com

“Nothing could better exemplify the continued vitality of the song tradition.” ★★★★ ‘CD Choice’ – Cormac Larkin, The Irish Times

“There’s a bewitching hushed quality throughout in thoughtful re-workings exquisitely mined for lyrical elegance and emotional eloquence by vocalist Michelle O’Rourke…” ★★★★★ – Michael Quinn, Classical Ear


For performance with Ergodos Musicians on the album I Call To You:

“…perhaps the most important record of new Irish music released this year.”  ★★★★★ – Paddy Kehoe, RTÉ Ten

“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, RTÉ Ten

“…characteristically intelligent, inquisitive and full of altogether beguiling sounds. With Baroque sensibilities left intact, the overall tone here is contemplative and quietly celebratory… one of the year’s most beautiful and moving discs…” ★★★★★ – Classical Ear


For performances at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2012:

“In the scrum of HCMF’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 by Andrew Hamilton] was both exhilarating and maddening, and Crash [Ensemble], especially the hard-worked mezzo soprano Michelle O’Rourke, made it sound like the ride of a lifetime.” – Michael Dervan, The Irish Times


For performance of Judith Ring’s Mouthpiece for solo voice and playback:

“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