On Dec. 1, 2015 I got the chance to see Tony award winning actress, Kelli O’Hara. She came to Oklahoma to receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Oklahoma City University, where she graduated and to speak at an event called Esther Women.
I was at the Esther Women event, which started off with a video honoring O’Hara. Then the woman herself was introduced onto the stage, while I knew she was going to speak, I was not expecting her to sing.
She opened singing “Getting To Know You” and “Shall We Dance” from “The King and I,” a musical she is currently starring in on Broadway and won her first in Tony as “Best Leading Actress In A Revival.” Once she was done with those numbers, she went on to speak of how much it meant to her to be in the musical. She said it was about two cultures coming together, which we are having trouble with today in our world.
O’Hara started her speech talking a bit about growing up in Oklahoma. She then went on to give a lot of credit to her voice teacher from Oklahoma City University. She said her teacher would see her in New York City whenever she was in a musical. It was very obvious how much love and respect she had for her. She also spoke of when she first moved to the city and how different it was there.
She sang a couple of songs that she wrote herself. One of them is about her son, titled “I Love You the World.”The pieces were so beautiful and I love that she not only sings, but writes music, especially ones with meaning. It shows a lot about how much she loves her family.
At nearly the end of her speech/concert, she went on to sing “Silver Bells” with one of her good friends who was in the audience. Their performance was absolutely beautiful. Both voices were fantastic, with O’Hara singing soprano range and other woman (I forgot her name) singing in, what I believe was an alto range.
One of the people O’Hara gave credit to was the man playing the piano (again, forgot the name) while she sang. She said he has played with her at concerts through most of her career.
To close, she sang “O Holy Night,” which was by far the hilight of the entire event. Her voice shone and was jaw droopingly beautiful. She made belting in a soprano range look effortless. I was in awe.
Overall, the event is one that I will never forget. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience to hear Kelli O’Hara sing. She seems like she has a great personality, which she showed while speaking.
My mother, grandmother, a friend from church and I all agreed that “O Holy Night” was our favorite she sang and it was the BEST version we have ever heard. We loved it and we will never forget it.
My grandma and I were still talking about O’Hara and her voice later that evening. We thought she was absolutely wonderful. I loved it and was so glad I got the chance to go.