Mary O'Hara aged 19
Reviews -Extracts from the International Press. See elsewhere for full unabridged reviews
Exquisite purity and delicacy that almost defies description …. Only a poet could avoid gaucherie in describing, song by song, Mary O’Hara’s recital… and the singing of these songs, when it is done as Mary O’Hara does it, is as demanding of technique and subtle sensitivity as the performances of a Tourel or a Schwartzkopf.... (She) made her American debut in the Phillips Gallery yesterday. I have little doubt that she will soon be heard in many halls throughout the land: and I have every confidence that if we are lucky enough to hear her decades from now she will sound as wonderfully fresh as she did on first hearing. - Washington Evening Star (11.2.’57)
She raised to a new high level the art of folk singing…
- The Washington Post
Every opera singer, every lieder singer, every pop star could have learned something vital from Mary O’Hara last night.
- Seattle Times
Exhilarating… held a full house spell-bound for two hours, with her pure sweet voice and skilful manipulation of the Celtic harp… a performance which many who attended regarded as the most enjoyable concert they had ever attended.
- Courier Mail (Brisbane, Australia)
There is magic and balm for the spirit in her serene art. It would be good for the noisy distracted and confused world to pause and listen to such songs as Mary O’Hara sings.
- The New Zealand Times
A performer of purist joy… consummate skill.
- The West Australian
It is, as it always was, a joy to hear the impeccable intonation of voice and harp and the total ccomplishment of both… She blazed forth in plainsong ‘Rorate Coeli’ stilling our breaths and hearts with the deeply moving dialogue of God and His people… A unique artist – Mary O’Hara’s magic undimmed. As beautiful as her singing was her speaking voice.
- The Irish Times
An aura of genius attends her, something indefinable which goes straight to the heart.
- Evening Press, Dublin
Mary O’Hara is mesmerizing.
- The New York Times
Ae Fond Kiss............
'Singer Without Peer' was how John Paddy Browne described Mary O'Hara's singing in one of her first performances since leaving Stanbrook Abbey and resuming her singing career after 12½ years of monastic silence.
Reviewing the concert for the Southern Evening Echo (24/7/'75), Browne ended his review thus: "There was no pandering to low taste in this recital. Miss O'Hara's art is a high and dignified form of expression, to which she added her own warmth and humour, punctuated at odd moments with a puckish grin or with the most moving tonal variation."
The occasion was a Recital at Wardour Castle as part of the 1975 Salisbury Arts Festival.
Read the full review above.