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WAO Playlist Series Curated by Paul O'Neill

WAO Playlist Series Curated by Paul O'Neill

Paul O'Neill is arguably one of Western Australia's most celerbated opera singers and has starred in many of our West Australian Opera productions from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, to Cosi Fan Tutte and most recently our Opera in the Regions tour. Paul will next be seen in our City of Perth Opera in the Park on February 26 and 27. Stream and read about Paul's playlist below.

Nessun dorma - Turandot 

This is an obvious choice for me. I'd like to personally thank Puccini for writing it and Pavarotti for making it so popular.

You're the Voice - John Farnham

This is the song that got me interested in singing. I remember watching the music video on a small TV in our house and asked Mum and Dad for the album for Christmas. They bought me the LP. I was so young I had to ask them to put it on for me so I wouldn't scratch it. There may be some method in the madness.

Music of the Night - The Phantom of the Opera

I was exposed to Musical Theatre at a young age. Mum went to see Phantom of the Opera, which was only playing in Melbourne when it first came to Australia. She came home with a double cassette which, I'll admit, was played often.

This Is The Moment - Jekyll and Hyde

After listening to Phantom I was exposed to Anthony Warlow who was a big influence of mine. My path into Opera came through Musical Theatre which I briefly studied before switching to classical. This piece is a real favourite.

Mario, Mario, Mario! - Tosca

This is a gorgeous duet. I remember trying to sing it when studying at WAAPA (at home of course! Don't tell anyone!) I rehearsed 'E lucevan le stelle' in a coaching session and was told that I could sing the rest of the role in 10 years when my voice had properly developed. Wise advice I recalled sitting in the opera house in Bielefeld on day one of rehearsal of my debut Tosca. It had been 10 years since that fateful day which felt like the blink of an eye. Cavaradossi is one of my favourite roles to sing.

Vissi d'arte, Vissi d'amore  - Tosca

Ok. It can't always be about the tenor. I love this aria and this particular recording from Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Just listen to the 'Ah' directly after the climactic 'Signor!'. Heaven.

O Terra, addio' addio valle di pianti  - Aida

I was lucky enough to sing this role in St Magarethen in Austria. It was an outdoor event in an ancient Roman Quarry with all the trimmings including a horse and Chariot and a Giant Sphynx. It was an incredible experience but the music OMG!!! Honourable mention goes to: 'Pur ti riveggo, mia dolce Aida' as one of the best entrances ever written.

No, Pagliaccio non son - Pagliacci

I love this part of the opera. Its the climax of the piece and Canio is on the edge of fury and grief. It is just so superbly written and one can feel how Canio is balancing on a knife's edge. Pun intended.

Send in the Clowns - Sarah Vaughn

Something not operatic but totally amazing. I just love the way Sarah uses her voice. Her legato is really fantastic and who doesn't get goosebumps when she sings ' Career!'

Cowboys from Hell - Pantera 

I wasn't always into Opera. Before becoming a singer I loved playing the guitar and particularly loved the playing of Dimebag Darrell R.I.P. When I heard this song for the first time a was blown away. Pantera instantly became the favourite band of my youth and can say with pride that I survived two of their mosh pits.