About Us

“The company looks like becoming an important force in the development of music drama in Ireland in the years ahead.”

OPERA MAGAZINE

Founded as IYO,  the recently re-named Opera Collective Ireland has ushered in a new era for opera production in Ireland. Putting Irish artists centre stage, our critically acclaimed productions have showcased young Irish singers who have subsequently gone on to perform on some of the most prominent opera stages of the world including the Royal Opera Covent Garden, La Scala Milan, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the Maggio Musicale Florence, the Glyndebourne Festival and the Teatro Real, Madrid.

As the only opera company in Ireland with the clearly formulated policy of casting Irish artists, Opera Collective Ireland creates valuable employment opportunities for indigenous artists, making a vital contribution to both their personal and professional development. Uniquely, our repertoire choices are artist led, chosen with care to nurture and showcase the finest young Irish singers. As a result our critically acclaimed work to date has shown beyond doubt that it is viable to mount opera of the highest standard with native talent.

To date the pioneering company has led the way with a series of innovative partnerships both at home and abroad working with, amongst others, Wexford Festival Opera, NI Opera and the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

2017 will see the company expand its horizons to collaborate with the Académie de l’Opéra national de Paris to mount a production by the award-winning Irish director Tom Creed of Benjamin Britten’s compelling opera OWEN WINGRAVE.

Committed to the needs of young Irish artists and Irish audiences alike, Opera Collective Ireland is grateful to the Arts Council of Ireland and all those who continue to support the work of the company.

“Impressive standards were promised and delivered, and that augurs well for the future.”           

THE SUNDAY BUSINESS POST


“I count my time with the company as the single most formative experience as an emerging professional singer thus far…the supportive and demanding environment both encouraged and pushed me to go beyond what I had already achieved to date.”

Rory Musgrave – Junius/THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA 2014


“The company gives you the opportunity to believe in yourself, that it’s going to work for you if you have the right circumstances. And it’s a great experience – you can really dive into the thing.”

Gyula Nagy – Tarquinius/THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA 2014


“The four weeks with the company certainly put me through my paces and tested me on so many different levels – but I came out the other side a changed person… I can already feel and notice the positive impact the experience is having on every aspect of my career. I have a new-found energy and find myself eager to continue learning and explore my horizons beyond what I had originally thought possible.”

Thomas Doyle participant in the IYO mentoring scheme – THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA 2014


“As a young conductor, I found the experience of working on the production of “The Rape of Lucretia” to be a unique and invaluable learning opportunity. The chance to work with a highly regarded international conductor, Stephen Barlow, was hugely beneficial to my professional development and gave me a new insight into the operatic profession, as well as a fresh perspective on my own training as a conductor.”

Killian Farrell participant in the IYO mentoring scheme – THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA 2014


“Thanks to my time with the company I now have a greater confidence and feel like I would not be phased by larger roles in the future. Up until now an experience like this has been largely lacking in Ireland for young singers who are currently at my stage of development.”

Christopher Cull – Collatinus/ THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA 2014


“Firstly, thank you for the opportunity and experience. It was invaluable to have done my first full Handel opera and a joy that it was in Ireland… I was extremely proud to be on stage with such Irish talent and to be a part of an extraordinary show that was so well received across the board.”

Maire Flavin – title role/AGRIPPINA 2015


“Working on Aggrippina with IYO and the ICO has been so enriching. It not only gave me the opportunity to work with fellow international Irish artists with whom I hardly get to perform, but also a platform to perform at home. I loved every minute of it and think this company should be cherished for all the artistic accomplishments it has achieved so far. Many people told me it was the best opera they had seen in Ireland – a serious achievement for a new company.”

Rachel Kelly – Nerone/AGRIPPINA 2015


“Ireland is producing, just look at the biographies of these Agrippina singers, stunning singers. There’s no point in training them to such a standard and not provide an outlet for them… To make audiences laugh and cry whilst singing the most virtuosic music written by Handel is an enormous achievement. These singers should be a cultural beacon for Ireland.”

Alan Ewing – Claudio/AGRIPPINA 2015


“Overall I feel better prepared for the solo professional world and lucky that my first role was with a company as nurturing as IYO, so thank you.”

Dawn Burns – Narcisso/AGRIPPINA 2015


“As someone at the start of their career, Agrippina was a fantastic opportunity to work with some of the best in the business and learn from them throughout the rehearsal period. I was extremely proud to be part of an Irish company producing a Handel opera that would rival productions from any of the well-established European baroque festivals. It just goes to show the level of operatic talent in our country and the incredible need for a national opera company.”

Padraic Rowan – Lesbo/AGRIPPINA 2015