On June 9, Kelli O’Hara, Tony Award-winning singer and actress and current co-star of the HBO Max hit The Gilded Age, will be the featured performer in Kelli O’Hara Sings Broadway with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO). This is the CSO’s 31st Annual Corporate Night, a fundraising event presented by the CSO Association (CSOA) and the CSOA’s League and Overture Council. O’Hara shares insight into her current roles and what sparked her interest in the stage.
What can we look forward to with the upcoming performance of Kelli O’Hara Sings Broadway with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra? Will the program include any songs from shows you’ve been in? The show will absolutely have songs from shows I have done on Broadway as well as shows that Steven [Reineke, conductor] and I have performed together with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall. With such a gorgeous orchestra, we want to take advantage of some beautiful, classic orchestrations for these songs but also include newer ones as well.
When did you know you wanted to become a performer? When I was about 10, I sang for the first time in front of a crowd at school and never looked back.
You are currently one of the stars of the acclaimed series The Gilded Age. What do you like most about playing your character, Aurora Fane? I love that Aurora has her hands in all the pots. There is a lot of variety, and she isn’t afraid to get her hands a little dirty.
What are some of the things you like most about being on The Gilded Age? Sets? Costumes? Fellow castmates? All of the above. It was an extraordinary combination of beauty, style, artistry, and mentorship.
Any inside scoop you can share with us about season two? None at all! If I told you, I’d have to kill you, and that’s not my style.
As an award-winning actress on both screen and stage, what do you like most about live performances? I love the relationship between artist and audience. It is a collaboration for sure. We need each other to make that theater magic. But having said that, the rehearsal process is probably my very favorite part—preparing for that first curtain up.
What have been some of your very favorite roles and why? I loved Francesca in The Bridges of Madison County because it was a project we built together. I loved Clara in Light in the Piazza because she challenged me and gave me a real start. So many more. I loved them all.
Is there anything special you’re looking forward to doing while you’re in Chicago? Having some deep-dish pizza.
For more information, visit cso.org.