Caroline O'Connor

Caroline O’Connor has the kind of career most performers dream of.

From Australia to the theatres of New York’s Broadway and London’s West End, and the world’s preeminent concert stages, she remains one of the most respected, admired and sought after triple threats internationally.

In 2020 she was awarded an AM (Order of Australia) for her extraordinary service to Theatre.

Caroline began her professional career as a ballet dancer with the Australian Opera after studying at the esteemed Royal Ballet School in London.

In Australia, Caroline’s credits are firmly stamped in theatrical history. In addition to the recognition she received for her roles as Velma Kelly in Chicago (Mo Award, Green Room Award, Australian Dance Award), Anita in West Side Story (Mo Award, Green Room Award) and Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, Caroline also garnered accolades for her peerless interpreting of Edith Piaf in Piaf (Helpmann Award, Green Room Award), Judy Garland in the world premiere of End of the Rainbow (Helpmann Award, Sydney Stage Award) and Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes (Helpmann Award). She played Fanny Brice in Funny Girl (State Theatre, Melbourne) and created the roles of Polly/ Mary Douvan in Dream Lover, Aurora in Kiss Of The Spiderwoman, Rose in Gypsy (State Theatre, Melbourne) Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 and The Old Lady in Candide (His Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide)

Bombshells was commissioned by Simon Phillips (Melbourne Theatre Company) and written for Caroline by award winning playwright, Joanna Murray-Smith. It played in Australia before touring to sell-out performances at the Edinburgh Festival (Fringe First Award) in America and Canada and the Arts Theatre in London (Laurence Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Play) and was filmed for the ABC.

Renowned Australian playwright David Williamson penned the play Scarlett O’Hara at the Crimson Parrot for Caroline.

Caroline came to world attention as tango dancing Nini Legs in the Air in Baz Luhrmann’s film Moulin Rouge. She played Ethel Merman in the Cole Porter biopic De-Lovely, starred in the Australian film Surviving Georgia and as Sheila Cruz in the ABC’s Carlotta.

On Broadway : Velma Kelly in Chicago at the Schubert and Ambassador Theatres. She originated the role of Miss Shields in A Christmas Story: The Musical at the Lunt Fontanne Theatre and then Madison Square Garden. She performed the musical’s showstopper You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out, at The 67th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall. Caroline created the role of Lily Malevsky-Malevitch in the world premiere of Anastasia the Musical at the Broadhurst Theatre (Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Award Nominee)

US credits include : Sarah Jane Moore in Assassins (Milwaukee Rep), Phyllis in Follies (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Bombshells (Milwaukee Rep), The Hatpin (NYMF) and her solo concert The Girl from Oz at New York’s landmark jazz club, Birdland.

West End: Mabel Normand in Jerry Herman’s Mack and Mabel ( Laurence Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical ) Street Scene and

On the Town for the English National Opera. Romance Romance, Life of the Party, Budgie, Matador, Talent, Hot Stuff, Me and My Girl and Cabaret. Other UK theatre credits include Gypsy, Chicago, West Side Story, Hold Tight it’s 60s Night, Showboat, Baby, Salt of the Earth, Damn Yankees, A Chorus Line, Into The Woods and The Rink , Southwark Playhouse (Best Actress, Off West End Awards)

Caroline became the “toast of Paris” in La Monde when she played Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd at the Chatelet Theatre.

Caroline had the honour of headlining the BBC Proms’ Hooray for Hollywood concert, Stephen Sondheim’s 80th birthday Concert and Kander and Ebb’s Night of 1000 Voices Salute , all at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, London. Caroline’s solo show The Showgirl Within was produced at London’s Garrick Theatre.

Some of Caroline’s Concert performances worldwide: Her one woman show, From Stage to Screen (Sydney Opera House) To Barbra with Love and Burt Bacharach – What the World needs now (both with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra) From Broadway to La Scala, From Broadway with Love (Sydney City Recital Hall), Bernstein’s New York and Gershwin Celebration (both with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House) A Tribute to the Musical (Palermo, Sicily), Hollywood Symphony (Lille, France), Charlie Chaplin’s Smile (Amsterdam) American Songbook – Andrew Lippa and Friends at the Lincoln Center, NY.

Caroline has recorded four solo CDs, What I did for Love, Stage to Screen, A Tribute to Piaf and A Tribute to Garland.