John O'Brien

is a conductor, director and composer who lives in Cork.

He has worked on over fifty different productions of opera and musical theatre in Ireland, UK and Canada, and has toured across Europe, Japan and China.

John is acclaimed for directing & conducting Faust, Der Vampyr, (both nominated for Best Opera - Irish Times Theatre Awards) Orpheus, and Pagliacci (winner Best Opera - ITTA) at the Everyman Theatre.

Compositions include the celebrated opera, The Nightingale and the Rose, which he also directed, and which premiered with an Irish tour in 2018; Easter 1916 - premiered by Fiona Shaw and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra; scores for the feature films Tree Keeper and Shem the Penman Sings Again (premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh); music for the plays Levin & Levin, Sisters of the Rising and Lovers at the Everyman; as well as other short films, choral works, piano pieces and numerous operatic, choral and orchestral arrangements.

Other projects include conducting the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra; directing the dance film Inner Landscapes; conducting a recording with the National Chamber Choir of Ireland; playing piano with Karen Underwood; and guest conductor with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.

The Concert Opera series with John conducting at the Cork Opera House continues with 'The Marriage of Figaro' on 24 March, 'Pirates of Penzance' on 2 June and 'Tosca' on 3 November.


John will direct a concert performance of Brian Byrne's new musical 'Angel of Broadway' at the National Concert Hall, Dublin on 12 & 13 June.


John received funding from the Arts Council of Ireland to present his new song cycle, 'Lilith' with text by Éadaoin O'Donoghue, commissioned by Cork Midsummer Festival and starring Karen Underwood.

John will co-curate (with Wayne Jordan) and conduct two of the concerts at the Cork Proms with the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra 21 - 23 June.

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