Born in Ireland, Paul McNamara studied singing in Dublin and London. After gaining first experience in England and Ireland, he settled in Berlin, held engagements in Kiel and Neustrelitz, and appeared in numerous successful productions at theatres such as the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oper Leipzig, Oper Bonn and the Nationaltheater Mannheim. This was followed by his debut in New York's Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra, singing the demanding role of Giovanni di Salviati in Max von Schilling’ s opera "Mona Lisa".
After making his debut as Tannhäuser at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice under Meir Wellber, he has since sung the role in Schwerin, Kassel, Aachen, Innsbruck, as well as in the first staging of a Wagner Opera in Central Asia, at the Kazakh National Opera in Almaty. In addition, he has regularly appeared at the historic Wartburg Festsaal in Eisenach. During the past seasons, Paul McNamara has repeatedly returned to the Mainfrankentheater, singing the title roles in Wagner's "Tannhäuser", "Tristan und Isolde" and "Parsifal", as wlel as Vasco da Gama in Meyerbeer's "L’Africaine" and Mao in John Adams' "Nixon in China". Here, Herodes in "Salome" also became a central part of his repertoire, a role which he later sang at the Landestheater Linz and at the Theatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro. Further international engagements have taken him to Opera Ireland, Northern Ireland Opera, Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Janáček Festival in Brno, the Forest Opera in Sopot, Poland, and to the Beijing Music Festival with the Salzburg Osterfestspiele.
His commitment to the next generation of opera stars led to the founding of Opera Collective Ireland, an initiative which offers young Irish artists the opportunity to make a name for themselves in their home country. He was a guest lecturer at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz during the summer of 2017, and was subsequently appointed to the summer programme teaching faculty in 2018.
This season, he makes his role debut as Laca in "Jenufa" at the Hessian State Theatre of Wiesbaden.