The enduring appeal of high brasswinds combined with voice goes back several centuries, to the days when trebles and tenors of the Venetian performed from the balconies of St. Mark’s in Venice.
Music Network's April tour showcases the lasting appeal of this pairing through the combined talents of a trio made up of some of the country’s most sought-after artists.
Claudia Boyle soprano
Niall O’Sullivan trumpet
Conor Linehan piano
Leading this line-up is soprano Claudia Boyle, a national treasure whose stellar international career has taken her to the four corners of the globe in collaboration with the likes of Riccardo Muti, Paavo Järvi and Kent Nagano. Equally at home on opera and concert stages—or even in front of a film camera—Boyle’s crystalline voice intertwines with the world-class musicianship of Irish trumpet virtuoso Niall O’Sullivan in an eclectic programme that includes Mozart, Handel and Haydn alongside Donizetti, Kurt Weill and Piazzolla.
Weaving together the clarion call of these two trebles is the renowned pianist Conor Linehan, whose impressive pedigree completes this trio of consummate artists to enthral and enchant audiences everywhere.
A former member of the Salzburger Festspiele’s prestigious Young Singers Project, Irish Soprano Claudia Boyle has won both 1st Prize and the Critics Award at The Maria Callas Competition in Verona where the Callas Estate presented her with the miraculous medal once owned and worn by the legendary singer. She was also chosen by acclaimed film director Mike Leigh to star in his first ever venture for the operatic stage as the leading heroine Mabel in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance in London’s Coliseum.
Career highlights have included the roles of Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and Komische Oper Berlin, Alice in Alice’s Adventures Underground at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden under Thomas Adès, Adina in L’elisir d’Amore at Semperoper Dresden and Den Norske Opera, Leila in The Pearl Fishers for English National Opera, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream conducted by James Conlon at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, and Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor with Danish National Opera.
Claudia appeared with the New York Philharmonic at the Metropolitan Opera’s Lincoln Centre, singing the role of Cecily Cardew in Gerald Barry’s The importance of Being Earnest. She performed the four roles of Olympia, Antonia, Giulietta and Stella in Les Contes d'Hoffmann for Irish National Opera and as a testament to her linguistic strengths, made her debut as Verdi’s Gilda in Rigoletto at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma to overwhelming audience and critical acclaim.
Her blossoming concert career has taken her further afield to Tokyo, Sao Paolo and Ankara. She has appeared at the Salzburger Festspiele in Cherubini’s Chant sur la mort de Joseph Haydn under Riccardo Muti, with NHK Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No.8 under Paavo Järvi, and in Henze’s Nachtstücke und Arien with NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover under Eivind Gullberg Jensen. Claudia joined Kent Nagano and Ensemble Modern in the role of Dede for the premiere performance of a new chamber version of Bernstein’s A Quiet Place at Konzerthaus Berlin, subsequently joining Nagano and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal for further performances and a CD recording for DECCA.
Claudia collaborated with playwright Enda Wash and composer Donnacha Dennehy on their first opera The Last Hotel which received critical acclaim at The Dublin Theatre Festival, The Edinburgh Festival and The Prototype Festival in New York. This was subsequently filmed by Sky Arts and recorded by Cantaloupe Music record label.
Niall has performed baroque & classical works for trumpet and orchestra with the National Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Ireland and several other ensembles throughout Ireland including a performance of Vivaldi’s Double Trumpet Concerto with trumpet legend Crispian Steele-Perkins. As an arranger, he has performed his own unique arrangements of iconic works with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra for live radio broadcasts and concert performances. Niall and his wife, vocalist Shóna Henneberry, have toured the USA extensively with their sell out show My Funny Valentine. As a featured guest, he has performed with Josh Groban, The Priests and The Unthanks and as a sideman he has shared the stage with Tom Jones, Amy Winehouse, Jose Carreras, Andrea Bocelli, Michael Bublé, Dionne Warwick and Sinead O’Connor. He has performed for every president in Ireland since 1990 and was principal trumpet for the Pope’s Irish visit in 2018.
Conor Linehan is a composer, pianist and teacher based in Dublin. As a pianist Conor is a regular performer with both the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and performs a wide range of solo and chamber music. He is a member of the piano faculty of the Royal Irish Academy of Music where he also teaches courses in improvisation.
Much in demand as a composer, Conor has composed theatre scores for the all of the major Irish companies as well as The Royal Shakespeare Company, The National Theatre and many other British theatres. Recent commissions include Joyce's Women (Abbey Theatre), The Tin Soldier (Gate Theatre and Galway International Arts Festival), Gravity (Bottom Dog Theatre Company), Three Short O'Casey Comedies (Druid Theatre) and Backwards Up A Rainbow (Landmark).
Other compositions include The Patient Women (Irish National Opera), An Autumn Night's Dream for Cello Quartet (Music Network) and piano pieces Intermezzo, for the Dublin International Piano Competition and Roadshow for pianist Joanna MacGregor.
Conor is also a member of the WhistleBlast Quartet who present composition workshops and perform concerts in schools and venues throughout Ireland.
‘The brilliant Claudia Boyle…who seemed to take every vocal demand in her stride’Opera Magazine
‘O’Sullivan's Piazzolla brought the audience to their feet’The Irish Times
‘Boyle’s plaintive soprano in particular shines’Gramophone
‘Niall O’Sullivan’s playing was bright, breezy, delicate, joyous and stylish’The Irish Examiner