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Heralding a move to the dramatic repertoire of Wagner and Richard Strauss, Orla Boylan made her role debut as Senta (The Flying Dutchman) for English National Opera and as Chrysothemis (Elektra) for West Australian Opera. She has also appeared as Sieglinde (Die Walküre) in Phyllida Lloyd’s staging for ENO and in David McVicar’s staging for Opéra National du Rhin under Marko Leontja. Other roles have included Aufseherin (Elektra) at the Salzburger Festspiele under Daniele Gatti and Elisabeth (Tannhäuser) for Teatro Communale di Bologna. A series of title roles (Arabella, Ariadne auf Naxos and most notably the British stage-premiere of Die Liebe der Danae) for Garsington Opera under Elgar Howarth established Orla Boylan as a respected interpreter of Richard Strauss. 

In the current season she appears as Senta in Der fliegende Holländer for New Zealand Opera under Wyn Davies and with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko; she will also perform the role of Gutrune with Opera North in their semi-staging of Götterdämmerung.

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“Orla Boylan as Senta and Peter Auty as Erik were fine exponents, commanding the stage with magnificent performances.” (Lindis Taylor, The Listener, September 2013)

“As the opera goes on, Senta’s music seems to get higher and higher and Boylan seemed to get louder and louder as it did so – her final outcries really pinning the listener to the back of their seats with their sheer amplitude. A very exciting singer indeed.” (Simon Holden, Bachtrack, September 2013)

"Orla Boylan's Senta does not strive for sweet innocence; her conception of the role, full-voiced and forthright, adds urgency as well as the human touch." (William Dart, The New Zealand Herald, October 2013)

"Orla Boylan as Senta dominated with an edgy ferocity." (Charles Bisley, The Dominion Post, September 2013)

"Orla Boylan, as Senta, began her Act 2 appearance in dreamy distraction, saving full engagement until later. She sang the Ballad of Act 2 with rich fully-coloured vocal sound, reaching her most impressive moments in the thrilling climactic moments of Act 3, where she vocally towered above the full orchestra." (The Sydney Morning Herald, July 2013).

"Orla Boylan (Chrysothemis) could not have been better; her ‘Ich kann nicht sitzen’ was powerful and pitiful.” (Elektra, West Australian Opera, Opera Magazine, April 2012)

“Orla Boylan as Ellen was outstanding and brought fragility to the role that was (purposely) missing from the rest of the characters. Ellen was the softest character and Boylan was beautiful in the role.” (Australian Stage, February 2010)

“Best of all, however, is Orla Boylan, who plays the title role convincingly, and whose soprano soars gloriously.” (The Guardian, August 2008)