Obituary: Tenor Stephen O’Mara Dies at 60

By Francisco Salazar

American tenor Stephen O’Mara has died at the age of 60.

O’Mara grew up on Long Island, New York to a father who was a drilling contractor. He studied to be a priest from the age of 14 to 21 where he attended Cathedral College and earned a degree in Philosophy. However, after playing a role in the musical, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” he changed his path and moved toward music. He went on to earn a Master’s degree from Fordham University in Social Work and in 1979 moved to Danbury, CT where he managed a restaurant.

At 28-years-old, he decided to take voice lessons and later auditioned for the Light Opera of Manhattan where he was hired. In 1983, he auditioned for New City Opera and then sang in the Metropolitan Opera’s chorus. In 1987 he sang for Beverly Sills and she became his mentor.

O’Mara went on to have a long and distinguished worldwide career, with a repertoire that ranged from most of the Verdi and Puccini canon. He also performed Wagner, Mahler, Schoenberg, and Richard Strauss.

He would make his debut in Europe at the Vienna State Opera in “Carmen” and would sing at the Covent Garden, the Paris Opera, Munich, Stuttgart, Berlin, Rome, Genoa, Bologna, Washington, Houston, Mexico City, and Buenos Aires.