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John O'Brien

John O’Brien is a conductor, director and composer who lives in Cork. He has worked on over sixty different productions of opera and music theatre in Ireland, UK and Canada, and has toured across Europe, Japan and China.

John composed and directed the operas Morrígan – at Cork Opera House in 2022, and The Nightingale and the Rose – which premiered with an Irish tour in 2018. He directed and co-composed music for the play Heart of a Dog at The Everyman and Dublin Theatre Festival. John is acclaimed for directing and conducting the operas FaustDer VampyrOrpheus and Pagliacci at The Everyman.

Other compositions include Ecclesiastes – premiered by the Carducci String Quartet and Derbhle Crotty; Lullaby for the City (In a Time of Pandemic) for chamber orchestra – premiered at Cork Midsummer Festival; 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; as well as music for plays, short films, choral works, piano pieces and numerous operatic, choral and orchestral arrangements.

Other projects include conducting the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra – most recently in a double bill of two Beethoven Symphonies (III and V), as well as concert performances of 13 different operas since 2016 and numerous other concerts. He directed the dance film Inner Landscapes; has been guest conductor with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the National Chamber Choir of Ireland and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and plays piano with Karen Underwood.