MY FAIR LADY
OPERA AUSTRALIA/GORDON FROST
The role of Eliza Doolittle involves a narrative arc that is as complex as it is well known. O’Byrne brings a compelling freshness to the role, nailing both the cockney and polished accents as well as a journey between the two. Revealing a talent for comedy, O’Byrne is hilarious at Ascot…O’Byrne’s singing of the role is glorious.
Simon Parris, Man in Chair
Anna O’Byrne sings with enchanting beauty, and eventually crisp diction, as Eliza Doolittle…she nails both the transformation – memorably imagined through the tango The Rain in Spain – and the hilarious scene at Ascot, done to perfection here, where her punter origins break out amid a stiff milieu of upper-crust racegoers. Her revenge on Higgins, too, is accomplished with steely grace.
Cameron Woodhead, The Age
…while her singing performance seems to morph into a young Julie Andrews, her acting choices are very now. In O’Byrne’s incarnation of Eliza, her post-makeover dignity and refusal to allow her cockney past and friends to be demeaned is raw, empowered and powerful, and very contemporary.
Chris Hook, Daily Telegraph
Anna O’Byrne stars as a spirited, inspiring Eliza. Her agile voice shifts from the melodic Wouldn’t It Be Loverly? to a feisty Just You Wait and Show Me to the sweetness of I Could Have Danced All Night while her acting is never less than first rate.
Catherine Lambert, Herald Sun
O’Byrne completes that transformation perfectly in both voice and physicality, but Eliza’s drive — for the dignity and respect that’s owed to her — remains constant throughout. And while she has a gorgeous soprano, her focus is much more on characterisation than beautiful singing. O’Byrne is simply radiant, and almost everything in her performance is perfectly judged — she’s funny, moving, and resilient. Andrews must be very proud.
Ben Neutze, Daily Review
As Eliza, Anna O’Byrne is very much her own woman…she’s excellent at the physical comedy, capturing a pugnacious quality…Vocally, she’s confident in the lower register required for working-class Eliza, neatly developing the sweeter soprano tones that come with elocution…
Clive Paget, Limelight Magazine
As Eliza, Australian musical star Anna O’Byrne gives an enticingly sophisticated performance as she transforms convincingly from unkempt common flower girl to elegant fair lady. Layers of natural charm accompany O’Byrne’s performance and, whenever she sings, she does so…with a keen sense of expressive outlay and gleaming purity of voice…O’Byrne’s ability to take the text, mould it and dance with it is a delight to watch…
The cast is just extraordinary…Sweet-voiced Anna O’Byrne – one of the finest I have heard and seen in more than 30 years covering the medium – is an outstanding choice as Eliza.
Alex First; The Blurb Magazine
LMTO, CADOGAN HALL 2017
Soprano Anna O'Byrne handles the demanding vocal range of Cunegonde magnificently, most notably in the show-stopping Glitter and Be Gay which begins solemnly but breaks into a finely nuanced comic piece filled with coloratura.
Mark Ludmon, BritishTheatre.com
As Cunegonde, Anna O’Byrne was sensational. Her exceptional range was showcased to perfection, particularly in the solo Glitter and Be Gay which brought members of the audience to their feet in the middle of the act. She rendered me absolutely speechless and left me with tears streaming down my face in disbelief of the phenomenal vocal I had just heard. Throughout the evening, she was a scene-stealing marvel.
Harriet Langdown, WestEndWilma.com
Anna O’Byrne as Cunegonde stands out as the star of the evening: she’s an absolute powerhouse of a performer, both vocally and dramatically. Wonderfully versatile, entirely committed and truly exceptional. Her Glitter and be Gay won her a standing ovation mid-act – which was entirely deserved. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for her in future.
Felicity Carol, arthursseat.net
Despite a stage brimming with talent the night belonged to Anna O’Byrne. Having played among others the role of Christine in The Phantom of the Opera everyone knew she could sing and you could feel the anticipation in the audience before her Glitter and Be Gay number. What no one was expecting was the performance she delivered with unbelievable ease. Incredible! The mix of comedy, musical theatre and the pure stratospheric operatic mastery resulted in a performance that I will never forget. If you ever get the chance to hear her sing this song grab it with both hands.
Rhys Scrivener, Carnstheatrepassion.com
Australian soprano Anna O’Byrne – on a busman’s holiday from playing Eliza Doolittle in Julie Andrews’ production of My Fair Lady Down Under – was absolutely delightful as Cunegonde…All ears were on her much-anticipated Glitter and Be Gay and she didn’t disappoint, picking off those top E-flats effortlessly, or so it seemed to me and the very appreciative audience.
Craig Glenday, musicaltheatrereview.com
West Side Story
State Theatre, MELBOURNE, 2015
Melbourne-born, London-based Anna O’Byrne delivered a compelling Maria, singing beautifully and morphing her character from innocence to despair as her world collapsed around her.
- THE AUSTRALIAN
Anna O'Byrne and Gareth Keegan are very fine as star-crossed lovers Maria and Tony... O'Byrne has a glorious voice...
- THE AGE
I defy anyone not to have fallen totally in love with Anna O’Byrne (Maria) and Gareth Keegan (Tony) long before they get to “One Hand, One Heart”, which reduced this tough old bird to tears. Both are superb, beautiful singers (O’Byrne’s soprano is like crystal water, so pure, and Keegan held his own in their duets), truthful actors, and charismatic stage presences.
- STAGE WHISPERS
Maria (... the stunning and extremely talented Anna O'Byrne) was played with true conviction. O'Byrne played to the strengths of the character, giving Maria a sense of childlike abandonment and then a sense of maturity in moments of passion and deep emotion, especially evident in that of the final scene. Vocally, she was flawless and sung with such skill, highlighting the beauty in the score, soaring into the heavens in numbers such as Tonight and One Hand, One Heart.
Returning to her hometown from her burgeoning career on London’s West End, O’Byrne is nothing short of divine as Maria. The role showcases O’Byrne’s angelic soprano perfectly, also drawing on her dramatic and comic skills as an actress. O’Byrne conveys the wonder and guileless naivety of a teenage girl, breaking hearts all the more when this trusting innocence is so brutally destroyed.
- SIMON PARRIS
The standout star was Maria, played by Anna O’Byrne. She had an operatic quality to her voice, and her years of training were evident from her precise technique. Her rendition of ‘I Feel Pretty’ at the beginning of act two was a definite audience favourite...
- THE AU REVIEW
Anna O’Byrne’s pretty, classical vocal tone is ideal for the role of Maria… Keegan and O’Byrne’s duet of the thrilling song, Tonight, is moving and passionate...
- HERALD SUN
Melbourne-born, London-based Anna O’Byrne has a superb, sweet voice and strong stage presence as Maria.
- THE BLURB
Anna O'Byrne is a lovely Maria with a soaring singing voice...
A Little night music
Palace Theatre, 2015
Sondheim musicals provide many wonderful parts for women; some of the best roles for women in the entire musical genre can be found in works with which Sondheim is associated. But there are a few roles which are incredibly difficult to pull off, even for the most gifted performer… Anne Egerman is such a role… Strumpet and virgin; child and wife; petulant and indulged; flighty and humiliated… Anne is a tough gig. But here, in the hands of Anna O’Byrne, Anne Egerman was a complete triumph, the glittering centrepiece of Act One.
Enchanting in every way, O’Byrne took her cues for the character from the text, especially You Must Meet My Wife, and created a rare songbird of exquisite vocal and physical beauty, one that felt trapped, but did not quite know why, who could see the possibilities that freedom offered, but trilled and bounced around her refined cage in a pretence of joy to keep her master pleased. She did not make the mistake of using a quirky character voice for the dialogue and then forgetting it for song; her scenes with Fra Fee’s confused and slightly idiotic Henrik were delightful. But it was her work with [Joanna] Riding that saw her truly sparkle. Every Day A Little Death was the vocal and emotional highpoint of the production. As the song says – the woman was perfection.
- BRITISH THEATRE
O'Byrne's Anne [Egerman] was a gifted creation… O'Byrne managed the complex combination of fear, manipulation and outright lustful passion for Fredrik's son Henrik perfectly. Her magical soprano tone belied her talent and with a supreme understatement, O'Byrne gloriously realised the comic potential of her character.
- JONATHAN BAZ
Chichester Festival Theatre & Cameron Mackintosh, 2013
Also pitch-perfect is Anna O’Byrne as Jenny Lind – not only does she sing breathtakingly well, but her beauty dazzles and entrances and she has a deft hand for comedy too. It is quite easy to see why Barnum thinks about leaving his perfect wife for this magnificent Swedish Nightingale.
- BRITISH THEATRE
Anna O'Byrne sings magnificently while balanced on a trapeze.
- DAILY MAIL
Anna O’Byrne as Jenny Lind blends comedy with a superb voice.
- MUSICAL THEATRE REVIEW
LOVE NEVER DIES
REGENT THEATRE & CAPITOL THEATRE, 2011 - 2012
Ben Lewis as the Phantom and Anna O'Byrne as Christine achieve a blazing emotional intensity.
- Charles Spencer, DAILY TELEGRAPH
The new production has a spectacular Gothic theatricality that heightens, deepens and darkens those emotions. It is performed with a matching intensity by a cast led by Ben Lewis as the Phantom and Anna O’Byrne as Christine and is finally ready for Broadway.
- Mark Shenton, SUNDAY EXPRESS
Anna O'Byrne's Christine is a sustained portrayal of a troubled figure, and she performs Love Never Dies, the climactic showstopper, with passion and grace.
- STAGE WHISPERS
Anna O'Byrne is utterly lovely as Christine, her crystal-clear soprano soaring in a glorious rendition of the show's title song.
- THE TELEGRAPH
Anna O'Byrne looks ravishing and has a bell-like clarity to her voice… O'Byrne's thrilling soprano rings beautifully throughout.
- SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
Her Majesty's Theatre, 2012
Perfect: With movie-star looks and a beautiful voice, Anna O'Byrne is worth watching.
- Baz Bamigboye, THE DAILY MAIL