Oskar McCarthy

Oskar McCarthyOskar McCarthy trained originally as a horn player, studying at the Junior Guildhall of Music and Drama and playing in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Upon taking up a choral scholarship to study English and Modern Languages (French and Portuguese) at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, his focus shifted towards the theatre. Since graduating, his interests have mainly converged on opera, whilst he has also become actively-involved in actor-musician projects, both as a horn player and singer. His professional operatic roles include Uberto (La serva padrona), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) and Taddeo (L’italiana in Algeri) for Pop-Up Opera; Falke (Die Fledermaus) and Binnacle/Garibdis (Ulla’s Odyssey) for OperaUpClose; Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas) and Secrecy (The Fairy Queen) for Barefoot Opera; Donner (Das Rheingold – cover); Dottorre/Marchese (La traviata), Angelotti/Sciarrone (Tosca), Escamillo (CarMen) and Orest (Elektra) for Secret Opera; Leporello (Don Giovanni), Angelotti (Tosca), Bello (La fanciulla del west) for Midsummer Opera; Trinity Moses (Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny) for King’s Opera; and Arsamenes (Serse) and Edmund Bertram (Mansfield Park) for Hampstead Garden Opera. He will perform the role of Pausanias in Chabrier’s Une Education Manquee  with Pop-Up Opera at Wilderness Festival 2016.

Recent concert work includes the role of Zurga in Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles; Mozart and Duruflé’s Requiems  for the Brandenburg Choral Festival; Handel’sMessiah for the National Portrait Gallery; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem for the Angel Orchestra; and an ongoing collaboration with the Basement Orchestra. Recital work includes Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and the UK premiere of Othmar Schoeck’s Buried Alive for the London Month of the Dead, and the world premiere of John Whittaker’s Shakespeare Songs for Opera Anywhere.  Oskar has developed Buried Alive into a semi-staged theatre piece – (“Tinged with cool gothic morbidity, and with a deft, light and effective theatrical tough” **** London City Nights) – and he will be touring new venues with it in the autumn.

Oskar sings regularly for professional choirs in and around London. He is a principal member of The Portrait Choir, with whom he has performed at The Globe’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and Latitude Festival, and is part of the Philharmonia Chorus Professional Singer Scheme. He has recorded Britten’s War Requiem with the Stuttgart Festivalensemble, under Helmuth Rilling, undertaken session work with London Voices, and performed live on BBC Radio 3’s In-Tune as well as on The Archers with Pop-Up Opera.

As an actor-musician, Oskar has performed in Secret Cinema‘s immersive productions of The Shawshank Redemption and Brazil, and alongside aerial theatre artists Ockham’s Razor as part of the 2013 London International Mime Festival. Other recent projects include the role of Wilfred Owen in Where Then Shall We Start?, a semi-operatic multimedia theatre piece by Jennifer Leach, performed at the Queen’s House, Greenwich, in November 2014, and Re:Sound‘s After Party, a new play with music by Katharine Armitage, commissioned by the Oxford Lieder Festival 2014 as part of The Schubert Project. After Party won the 2015 Buxton Fringe award for New Writing. In autumn 2015, Oskar worked on Dance Umbrella and The Egg Theatre’s 16 Singers, a devised music theatre piece for 0-18 month year olds, incorporating dance, puppetry and song, which toured to venues in London, Manchester and Durham (as part of the TakeOff Festival). He also performed in this year’s You Me Bum Bum Train.

Oskar has been training with and devising innovative cross-genre work as a core company member of ERRATICA since 2013.The company’s first show Triptych, performed in spring 2014 at the Print Room Notting Hill and the Spitalfields Music Festival, received warm praise from The Observer, The Times and Time Out, among many others. Other recent projects include a staged version of David Lang’s the little match girl passion, performed at Shapes in Hackney Wick, and La Celestina, a new site-specific video opera, which premiered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in March 2015. Oskar’s ongoing interest in broadening his skillset as a performer has led him to taking masterclasses in clowning at The Comedy School, and attending Jonathan Kay’s Nomadic Academy for Fools, most recently at the Théâtre de Pézenas in France.