Reviews

For Despina (Cosi Fan Tutte, Lismore Opera Festival): "Lismore regular Sandra Oman as the maid Despina excelled in disguise as a moustachioed notary." Michael Dervan, Irish Times, June 8th, 2016

 

For Despina (Cosi Fan Tutte, Lismore Opera Festival): "Sandra Oman was terrific as the cynical, Pimms-swilling old maid" Cathy Desmond, Irish Examiner, June 8th, 2016

 

For Marcellina (Le Nozze di Figaro, Lismore Music Festival): “Sandra Oman was well cast as a very femme Marcellina; she got to keep “Il capro e la capretta”, and she made it one of the evenings high points.”  Brian Kellow, Opera News Magazine (Published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild, USA) September 2013.

Sandra as Concepcion in Ravel's L'Heure Espagnole, Opera in the Open, 2015

Sandra as Concepcion in Ravel's L'Heure Espagnole, Opera in the Open, 2015

For Marcellina (Le Nozze di Figaro, Lismore Music Festival):  “There were terrific ensemble performances…Sandra Oman came across as a vivid and alarming Marcellina”.  Robert Thicknesse, Opera Now Magazine, September2013.

For Berta (Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Lismore Music Festival): “…una menzione special la merita Sandra Oman, soprano irlandese nei panni di Berta, che, nonostante il ruolo ridotto all’osso dai tagli, ha mostrato un grande talent interpretative (ma non e mancata l’occasione di mostrare anche il suo talent vocale nella Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle).”  Ilaria Gatti, L’Opera (Italy) July/August 2012

For Frasquita (Carmen, Lismore Music Festival): “Oman, recipient of the prestigious Margaret Burke-Sheridan Memorial Award strikes me as a talent to watch."
Opera News Magazine (The Metropolitan Opera Guild affiliated magazine, New York, June 2010

 

Oman, RTÉ NSO/Maloney NCH, Dublin

Applause redoubled when presenter Eileen Dunne congratulated soprano soloist Sandra Oman (right) on her new baby. No one could have guessed that it had been Oman’s first performance after barely a month’s maternity leave.

Her selections took in arias for two of Mozart’s jilted women and Puccini’s Mimi – all roles familiar to this firmly established artist. The Duchess Elena’s bolero, Mercè, dilette amiche, from Verdi’s I vespri siciliani, was thrown in too.

The Mozart items – Elvira’s Ah! chi mi dice mai, from Don Giovanni and Despina’s In uomini, in soldati, from Così fan tutte– were complementary studies in shrewishness.

The former, shorn of its asides from the Don and Leporello, had a fragmentary and somewhat martial feel. In both, however, Oman conjured up all the requisite spite without concession to focus or fruitiness of tone.

Mimi and Musetta, the principal soprano roles of Puccini’s La bohème, are so sharply contrasted that few singers tackle both. Oman does, however, and it would be hard to say which one suits her better. On this occasion, her choice of Mi chiamano Mimi was endorsed not so much by her characterisation of the demure seamstress as by a full-bodied zenith against which the orchestra had little need of holding back.

Taking their cue from Oman’s contributions, the orchestra included the overtures to Don Giovanniand I vespri siciliani. Additionally (and for the third year running in an RTÉ summer concert), there was the ballet music from Gounod’s Faust– not merely the announced excerpts, but all seven movements.

This concert was one of many return visits by Gavin Maloney, who was assistant conductor of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra from 2004 to 2007. The naturalness of his baton technique, and his readiness to seize each musical moment in the right way, continue to impress.  Andrew Johnstone, Irish Times, September 14th, 2009

For Helena (Britten's Midsummer Nights Dream, Opera Ireland)
"Sandra Oman an outstanding Helena". Robert Thicknesse, Opera Now Magazine, March/April 2009

"...Sandra Oman and Nyle Wolfe were charming as Helena and Demetrius".
Ian Fox, Opera Magazine, March 2009

For RTÉCO/Brophy NCH, Dublin: The featured singer at an RTÉ lunchtime concert has only a few minutes to create the desired impression, yet in five short numbers soprano Sandra Oman did so with skill. Arditi's waltz Il bacio (The Kiss) sprang into action with a ready vocal agility that kept wisely within limits at the final cadenza. Novello's We'll Gather Lilacs , despite a sometimes opaque accompaniment, was charming by dint of tasteful rubato, while the melodic contortions of Balfe's I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls seemed convincingly the work of some more eloquent tunesmith. Two vignettes from Puccini were poised and affecting, though Oman's concentrated sophistication wasn't quite as well suited to the entreaties of Liù's Signore , ascolta (from Turandot) as it was to Musetta's provocative Quando m'en vo (from La bohème). That said, for all her tonal brilliance and focused technique, the decisive factor was Oman's expressive and finely modulated manner of directing the performance right at her listeners. Conductor David Brophy generated a keen atmosphere of tranquil tension in the Puccini items, which made also for a beautifully shaped account of the intermezzo from Leoncavallo's I pagliacci. The playing wasn't as highly polished in two hoary dances, a brash and blustery Espana Waltz by Waldteufel, and the clumsily rustic Clog dance by Hérold. Brophy, however, had staked all on a breakneck charge through Smetana's Bartered Bride Overture, and the risk reaped exciting rewards. It was possible too, thanks to the flamboyant brogue of AJ Potter's Finnegan's Wake, to carry away the sense of having heard the RTÉ Concert Orchestra at their sparkling best. ANDREW JOHNSTONE, Irish Times August, 1, 2008

 For Kitty Hart (Dead Man Walking, Opera Ireland); "The four members of the two victims families were excellently characterized by Sandra Oman, Deirdre Cooling-Nolan, Martin Higgins and Eugene Ginty." Opera Magazine March 2008

For Eunice Hubbell (A Streetcar named Desire): "There were also sharp performances from...Sandra Oman as hear-all neighbour Eunice Hubbell." Sunday Business Post, November 26, 2007

For Kitty Hart (Dead Man Walking, Opera Ireland); "Irish singers excelled themselves as the parents...Sandra Oman...all made telling contributions." Sunday Business Post, November 25, 2007

For Elvira (Don Giovanni, Cork Opera 2005): "There are passages which are pure magic and some outstanding performances... Sandra Oman (Donna Elvira)... a delight." Irish Examiner, October 5, 2007

For Elvira (Don Giovanni, Cork Opera 2005): "...commendable performances from Riccardo Simonetti as Don Giovanni and Sandra Oman as Donna Elvira." Evening Echo, October 4, 2007

 For Despina (Cosi Fan Tutte, Opera Ireland): "Sandra Oman (Despina) proved once again that she has the secure voice, confidence and stage craft to be noticed in the best of company. This was an important and meaty role and Oman did it full justice". Sunday Business Post, June 3, 2007

For Despina (Cosi Fan Tutte, Opera Ireland): "Despina the maid, played by Sandra Oman, owns the stage whenever she is on it." Metro, May 30, 2007

For Despina (Cosi Fan Tutte, Opera Ireland): "Sandra Oman plays the maid Despina with style and alacrity." The Irish Times, May 29, 2007

For Opera Gala, National Concert Hall (Culwich Choral Society): "Of the six principal singers involved, only the aforementioned O'Brien and soprano Sandra Oman impressed....Oman gave a moving account of Mimi's Act One Maria from La Boheme and soared lyrically in the Lucia sextet." The Irish Times, May 2, 2007

For Micaela (Carmen): "Impressive, once again, was soprano Sandra Oman as the ditched Micaela. Oman has natural stage craft that never strives for attention yet always captures it. Her singing of the heart-breaker Micaela's aria was a highlight." Sunday Business Post, February 18, 2007

For Elvira (Don Giovanni): "Sandra Oman as Elvira showed great virtuosity, as in her fiery Handelian aria and in the Quartet, superbly enhanced by her convincing portrayal of the deluded enamorata." Malcolm Miller, Music "sion, October 10, 2006

For Elvira (Don Giovanni): "Sandra Oman brings Irish fire to the role of the jilted Elvira". Gloucestershire Echo, June, 2006

For Tisbe (La Cenerentola): "Irish sopranos Sandra Oman and Eimear McNally as the not-so-ugly sisters avoided the temptation to descend into pantomime and did full justice to their limited singing duties." Sunday Business Post, April 30, 2006

 For Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro): "Dublin soprano Sandra Oman has made a huge impression with audiences in recent years and her starring role as the hard-worked (in aria terms) Susanna in Lyric Opera's production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro at Dublin's National Concert Hall last month will have won her many new admirers....she performed with elan." Sunday Business Post, March 12, 2006

For Mimi (La Boheme): "Sandra Oman...was one of the stars of La Boheme in the role of Mimi. Not only does the young soprano possess a wonderful and effortless range, her acting skills are also impressive. Sandra's Mi Chiamano Mimi was one of the highlights of this opera". Waterford News and Star, January 27, 2006

For Flora (La Traviata): "Sandra Oman was an impressive Flora". Opera Magazine, March 2006

For Despina (Cosi Fan Tutte): "Sandra Oman was a wonderful servant girl and minx as Despina". Waterford News and Star, February 10, 2006.

For Flora (La Traviata): "Sandra Oman sparkled among the lesser roles. The Dublin soprano's lightness of touch perfectly suited the flighty Flora." Sunday Business Post, December 4, 2005.

For Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro): "Irish soprano Sandra Oman's Susanna dominated the ensemble. Her strongly enunciated, characterful singing, coupled with a confident stage presence was one of the best features of the evening." Opera Now magazine, July/August, 2005.

For Papagena (Magic Flute): "The excellent cast had much to do with the success:..Steffen Kubach's Papageno was all one could wish for - lively, witty and excellently sung; and Sandra Oman was a fine foil as Papagena." Opera magazine, June 2005 and Sunday Tribune, April 17, 2005

 For Papagena (Magic Flute): "There is good work from...Sandra Oman's perky Papagena". The Sunday Times, April 17, 2005.

For Papagena (Magic Flute): "The comic characters are given hyperactive rolls and turns, which Steffen Kubach's Papageno and Sandra Oman's Papagena bring off to good effect." The Irish Times, April 4, 05.

For Liu (Turandot): "As the tragic Liu, Sandra Oman had the one verifiable Puccini role around and she delivered with conviction. Her second aria, notable for exquisite and flawless control on the top notes was heart-rendingly effective. A fine performance."  Sunday Business Post, Feb 13, 2005

For Liu (Turandot) : "Sandra Oman, as the slave-girl Liu, sang her two arias with poised serenity and consistently sweet tone ; and she more than held her own in the Act 3 confrontation with the merciless Princess." Irish Times, February 9, 2005

For Mabel (Pirates of Penzance): "Sandra Oman was remarkable in 'Poor Wandring One', with extra coloratura compliments of Donizetti. Indeed the singing was excellent throughout ". Sunday Tribune, September 5, 2004.

 Also for Mabel (Pirates of Penzance) : "There were good vocal and acting performances from Sandra Oman and Paul Byrom as the young lovers. Both were at their best in the tender second act love duet " Irish Times, August 27, 2004.

 For Rychtarka (Jenufa):  "Et des seconds roles, on distinguera surtout la femme du maire, la jeune soprano irlandaise, Sandra Oman" Opera International, Juin 2004.

For Gilda (Rigoletto): "The bigger challenge, perhaps, was for Irish soprano Sandra Oman as Gilda, Rigoletto's doomed daughter. Oman was also having the bar raised to a personal best, this being her most important operatic role so far. She sailed over impressively, even thrillingly, confidently overcoming the demanding three-in-a-row challenge at the end of act one when she sings duet with Rigoletto, then with the Duke and ends with the famous lovelorn aria Caro Nome - which she delivered superbly." The Sunday Business Post, March 7, 2004.

Also for Gilda (Rigoletto): "Sandra Oman was well able to match him with a convincing portrayal of Gilda, musically and dramatically".these sterling performances". The Sunday Tribune, March 14, 04

Also for Gilda (Rigoletto): "Sandra Oman, by contrast, offered a fully rounded character, both vocally and dramatically, maintained a steady flow of secure lyric soprano singing. Her coloratura in 'Caro Nome' was neatly negotiated and she conveyed a genuine feeling of pathos in her death scene". The Irish Times, March 1, 2004.

For Clothilde (Norma): "Sandra Oman and ..were impressive comprimario choices. Opera Magazine, March 2004. Also The Sunday Tribune, November 30, 2003

 For Clothilde (Norma): "As Clothilde, Sandra Oman also added to a growing reputation". The Sunday Business Post, November 30, 2003.

 For Clothilde (Norma): "like Sandra Oman as Clothilde... was vocally reliable and always good to listen to". The Irish Times, November 21, 2003.

For Musetta (La Boheme): "Sandra Oman was a splendidly pert Musetta". The Sunday Tribune, November 1, 2003.

For Recital in Bank of Ireland Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland: "Of all the elements that go to make up a successful song recital, the most important ones are tonal beauty, assured musicianship and, above all, good communication. These three were delivered in abundance by soprano Sandra Oman and pianist Mairead Hurley at the Bank of Ireland on Tuesday. Oman's facility with italianate cantilena was immedialy made evident by her smooth singing in the opening selection of four Bellini songs. In the Richard Strauss set that followed, this smoothness was augmented by a richness in the singer's lower register that was matched by the pianist's addition of extra tonal warmth to her already authoritative playing. The passion engendered, especially in the central numbers Wiegenlied and Allerseelen, bordered on the overwhelming. Some of Rachmaninov's finest music is found in his songs, and the three offered here restored a sense of calm to the proceedings. In the second of them, the one known in english as How Fair this Spot, Oman's execution of the difficult leap up to the soft high B natural was exquisite. .. The concert ended in humorous mood with a splendid rendering of Bernstein's droll mini-cycle I hate music in which Oman's comic gift matched the clear delivery of words that had served her well, in five different languages, throughout the evening." The Irish Times, September 22, 2003.

For Musetta (La Boheme): "Director Michael Hunt must take credit for some inspired casting, particularly in Sandra Oman as Musetta. Sandra Oman supplied all the colour, warmth and humour necessary". Declan Townsend, Irish Examiner, June 18th, 2002

For Recital in Armoury Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland: "Sandra Oman sang with plenty of passion".She brought to Strauss 'Die Nacht, Schlechtes Wetter, Wiegenlied, Zueignung and Allerseelen' a poise and restraint that gave these songs a sense of freshness and innocence that they seldom attain, well known as they are"Duparc's Chanson Triste was quite seductive in its curving vocal line, and the singer, here as elsewhere, was eager to communicate the message of the words". The Irish Times, September 20th, 2002.