Kathleen O’Rourke, soprano, is an emerging vocal artist renown for her clarity of sound, commanding stage presence and love of languages. A formidable musician and vocal interpreter, Ms. O’Rourke is praised for her vocal flexibility in repertoire ranging from the Baroque era to modern works by living composers, including musical theater.
Kathleen’s most recent credits include the role of Dorinda in Handel’s Orlando and Dinah in Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti. Kathleen, as Dorinda, “charmed the audience with her soprano voice and her quirky, head-over-heels-in-love performance” (The Statesman, 2013). Recent scenes include Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), the title role from Massenet’s Cendrillon, Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) and Servilia (La clemenza di Tito). Kathleen has performed in Croatia, Austria and various locations throughout the continental U.S. Venues include Palais Corbelli (Vienna), Klovicevi dvori (Zagreb), St. Paul’s Chapel and Christ and Saint Stephen’s (both New York City) as well as St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (Bay Shore, NY).
In addition to singing, Kathleen is an impassioned teacher of singing, specializing in vocal diction, ear-training and interpreting song for the stage. The initial emphasis in our weekly coaching time is on the acquisition of developing stronger sight-reading skills, acquiring a basic understanding of vocal technique, and cultivating our musicianship skills. Special attention is given to the energizing and effective use of breath-support in singing. Students are assigned a weekly sight-reading assignment as well as repertoire-specific tasks that usually include: the study of foreign-language diction as well as the review and acquisition of notes and rhythms from your assigned repertoire. Once songs are memorized, the focus moves to stage presence and character research/presentation while maintaining a solid vocal-technique foundation in a fun, upbeat and nonjudgmental environment!
Kathleen has taught as a teaching assistant at Stony Brook University (Fundamentals of Theory; Operetta Music for the Stage; Private Vocal Instruction). She currently serves as a part-time lecturer for Stony Brook’s Young Artist Program and as a Chamber Coach for Stony Brook University’s Community Chamber Music Program. Kathleen is the founder and musical director of Twilight Operetta Ensemble. She also maintains a thriving private vocal studio on Long Island.
Kathleen graduated in 2017 with her D.M.A. from SUNY: Stony Brook, having also completed a M.M. degree in Vocal Performance there in 2013. She was the first recipient of the prestigious Belari Scholarship in 2012. Ms. O’Rourke graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College (Columbia University) with her Bachelor of Music degree. Kathleen was born in Des Moines, Iowa.