Omar Ebrahim became a chorister at the newly built Coventry Cathedral in 1964 and his subsequent exposure to the vibrant cultural life led him to study singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He served his performing apprenticeship at the Royal Shakespeare Company and in the Glyndebourne chorus, performing the role of Schaunard in La Bohème for Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 1980.
He has been involved with many contemporary opera and concert performances including Nigel Osborne's The Electrification of the Soviet Union and Terrible Mouth, Tippett’s New Year and Birtwistle’s The Second Mrs. Kong for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Berio’s Un re in ascolto and Birtwistle’s Gawain for the Royal Opera House, Jonathan Dove's Siren Song for Almeida Opera, and Punch and Judy (Choregos) for Basel Opera. For Opera Factory he has appeared in roles ranging from Punch through to Don Giovanni. He sang in the highly acclaimed performance of Birtwistle’s Mask of Orpheus at London's South Bank Centre's Birtwistle Festival in April 1996. He has also appeared in John Casken’s God’s Liar for Almeida Opera and La Monnaie Brussels and the premiere of Peter Eotvos’s Angels at the Chatelet Theatre Paris. Other roles have included the lead role in Marschner's The Vampyr for BBC Television.
Omar Ebrahim makes regular appearances with the Ensemble Modern, Ensemble InterContemporain and London Sinfonietta. Other recent concerts include performances with Northern Sinfonia, Musik Fabrik Cologne, Bochum Symphoniker, Netherlands Vara Radio Orchestra, Ensemble Umze at the Huddersfield Festival and Composers Ensemble. In 2005 he premiered James Wood’s oratorio Hildegard 2000 throughout the UK with future performances planned in the Netherlands. He is closely associated with the work Aventures, nouvelles aventures by Gyorgy Ligeti and has performed the piece to critical acclaim with ensembles worldwide as well as recording it for Sony.
As an actor he has performed Schoenberg's Ode to Napoleon, most recently with the Salzburg Camerata during the Salzburg Festival, and Strauss's melodrama on Tennyson's Enoch Arden for IRCAM in Paris and A Survivor from Warsaw (Schoenberg) and The Raft of the Medusa (Henze) with BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Recent successes include premiere’s of The Navigator by Liza Lim with Elision Ensemble in Brisbane and Melbourne, Skellig by Todd Machover at The Sage Gateshead, and Enno Poppe’s Arbeit Nahrung Wohnung at the Munich Biennale which had further performances in Vienna, Stuttgart, Venice, Madrid and Berlin.