Caitríona O’Leary

Caitriona O'Leary by Ruth O'Leary

Caitríona O’Leary Vocalist

Caitríona O’Leary is a multi-talented singer with a passion for exploring less well known or forgotten music and bringing it back to life in new and fascinating ways. she is the music director and arranger for the three groups that she has founded, dúlra, ex and anakronos.

She is known internationally for her intense and passionate performances of Traditional Irish song and Early Music. Her recording of The Wexford Carols, an album of traditional Irish Christmas carols, with producer Joe Henry & featuring guest artists Tom Jones, Rosanne Cash, Rhiannon Giddens, Dónal Lunny & an all-star band reached #1 on the Billboard charts.

She has recorded over twenty critically acclaimed albums with her band Dúlra and the celebrated early music ensembles Sequentia, The Harp Consort, Joglaresa and eX (the Irish-based Early Music ensemble she founded with Eric Fraad in 2006). These have been for EMI Virgin Classics, BMG Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Heresy Records/Naxos, Vox and Avie.

Caitríona has worked closely with many of early music’s leading artists including Christopher Hogwood, Ben Bagby, Andrew Lawrence King, Konrad Junghaenel, Pedro Memelsdorff, Hille Perl, Lee Santana and many others. She is also active as a soloist in contemporary music productions and recordings (in November 2016 she played leading roles in Roger Doyle’s electronic opera, Heresy) and is also known for her Irish language interpretations of the songs of Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell for IMRAM (Féile Litríochta Gaeilge). Always a champion of unaccompanied song and ever-interested in alternative performance formats, Caitríona has been a regular artist at the Cáca Milis Cabaret and was a weekly performer at Le Dernier Paradis.

Caitríona has toured and performed around the world, including such venues as the Royal Albert Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, Cité de la Musique and the National Concert Hall, Dublin to name a few. She regularly performs at festivals throughout Europe and beyond including Halle Handel Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Tage Alter Musik Herne, Utrecht Early Music Festival, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg, Festival Montalbâne, Festival Cervantino Guanajuato (Mexico), Festival Interceltique de Lorient, Concerts Spirituels Geneva, Zagreb Summer Evenings Festival, Split Summer Festival (Croatia), Dublin Theatre Festival, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Belfast Festival at Queen’s, etc.

Recordings for 2020 include:

Both Sides Now (Ón Dá Thaobh)

Digital single of Joni Mitchell’s iconic song Both Sides Now in an Irish translation by the poet Gabriel Rosenstock sung by Caitríona O’Leary accompanied by guitarist Dick Farrelly. Released 24th January 2020 on all digital platforms (Heresy Records)
Listen here

The Red Book of Ossory

Debut of early music/jazz ensemble Anakronos. First recording of 14th century manuscript in imaginative new recording. Featuring Caitriona O’Leary (Voice), Nick Roth (Saxophones), Deirdre O’Leary (Clarinets) Francesco Turrisi (Percussion/Keyboards). Release 26th June 2020 (Heresy Records) Available on CD and all digital platforms.

Strange Wonders, The Wexford Carols Volume 2

Produced by Ethan Johns, featuring Caitríona O’Leary, Alison Balsom, Seth Lakeman, Clara Sanabras, John Smith, Olov Johannson, the choir Stile Antico and others. Release 16th October 2021 (Heresy Records) on 12” vinyl, CD and all digital platforms.


“Surely, national treasure status cannot be far away… Soprano Caitriona O’Leary, an enigmatic performer with otherworldly qualities that thrives in areas of the unusual and unreal” – Dick O’Riordan, Sunday Business Post

“Caitriona O’Leary’s wonderfully eclectic career is an ode to her talent for resurrecting timeless verse, rescuing it from obscurity, infusing it with innovative music and giving it contemporary context.” – Lori Lander Murphy and Owen Murphy, Irish

“Her voice exudes beauty … The songs were frenetically celebrated by a carefree and cheerful audience. The élan of O’Leary’s impressive presence simply cannot be escaped.” – Mittelbayerische Zeitung