Our Team

Staff

Fergus Sheil (Artistic Director)

Fergus Sheil

Fergus Sheil is Artistic Director of Irish National Opera.  He has produced many opera, choral and orchestral events, large and small, throughout Ireland and internationally.

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Fergus worked for Opera Theatre Company as conductor for The Lighthouse (1998 & 2001), La cenerentola (2003) and The Marriage of Figaro (2010) before becoming Artistic Director of the company in 2013. Since then he has also conducted The Elixir of Love (2014), Rigoletto (2015) and Don Giovanni (2016) in addition to his artistic oversight of all of the company’s productions. 

While Artistic Director of Wide Open Opera Fergus conducted Tristan und Isolde (2012), Raymond Deane’s The Alma Fetish (2013), Nixon in China (2014), Brian Irvine’s Things We Throw Away and The Barber of Seville (2016) as well as working on co-productions of  major new works such as Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest (with NI Opera) and Donnacha Dennehy’s The Last Hotel (with Landmark Productions).

Fergus has previously worked for Opera Ireland, Wexford Festival Opera, NI Opera, Lyric Opera Productions, Scottish Opera and Welsh National Opera. For Carlow Local Authorities, he produced the opera Shelter Me From the Rain by Brian Irvine (music) and John McIlduff (text) in 2011, the first local authority commissioned opera in Ireland.

Fergus has taken the RTÉ NSO on tour in Ireland with major repertoire such as Beethoven Symphony No 9 (Choral), Mahler Symphony No 2 (Resurrection). He has also involved the orchestra in community and youth initiatives such as Rain Falling Up (2012) and Bluebottle (2014) by Brian Irvine (music), John McIlduff (text) and Matthew Robins (visuals). Fergus has also conducted the Ulster Orchestra, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Northern Sinfonia, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and many others. As well as performances at home, Fergus has conducted in USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, UK, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Portugal.

www.fergussheil.com

Diego Fasciati (Executive Director)

Diego Fasciati

Diego Fasciati is an accomplished arts producer and consultant with over 25 years’ experience working in the cultural sector. 

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Originally from Switzerland he has held executive positions at Boston Lyric Opera Opera Theatre Company The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon and Rough Magic Theatre Company. He occasionally uses his linguistic skills as a freelance translator. He holds an M.Phil. in Irish Literature from Trinity College Dublin.

Sarah Freeman (Head of Corporate Communications & Development)

Sarah Freeman

Sarah has over 18 years communications, media and policy formulation experience. She has worked in the RTÉ Newsroom as a radio and online journalist as well as in the RTÉ Television Press Office. Most recently, Sarah worked as Director of Policy and Communications for Chambers Ireland where she was involved in formulating policy and communications strategies for the business lobbying organisation. 

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With both a PR agency and in-house background, she has wide experience in stakeholder collaboration and policy development with a variety of organisations. As a freelance journalist she has contributed features to The Irish Times, The Sunday Business Post and In Business Magazine. She also practised as a barrister for 8 years.

Gavin O'Sullivan (Head of Production)

Gavin O'Sullivan

Gavin has worked as an opera and music producer, orchestral contractor, concert manager, and music editor.

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A member of the team at the National Concert Hall, Dublin between 1998 and 2011, Gavin was House Manager and also worked in programming, with responsibility for NCH own promotions and special projects.

Gavin has been Director of the Sundays at Noon Concert Series at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane for over 20 years. This weekly series has run since 1976, and is recognised for its support and promotion of both contemporary Irish composers and performers.

Other work has included managing and producing festivals (including Great Music in Irish Houses, the Clandeboye Festival, and New Music Dublin), touring orchestras internationally (Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra and Camerata Ireland), producing choral and early music projects around Ireland with the choir Resurgam, and contracting orchestras for soundtrack recordings.

Since 2012, he has worked primarily as project manager for the orchestra Camerata Ireland touring throughout Europe, the US, China and South America, and as executive producer for Wide Open Opera presenting new opera productions at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Gaiety Theatre, National Opera House Wexford and internationally at the Edinburgh Festival, The Royal Opera House, St Ann’s Warehouse NY and the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg.

Cate Kelliher (Office and Finance Manager)

Cate Kelliher

Cate Kelliher has more than 18 years’ experience in the cultural sector. She worked as Director of Development at Rubicon Gallery covering all national and international events and exhibition with particular responsibility for client communication and support and for all financial management and reporting. 

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She joined Opera Theatre Company in 2014 where she was responsible for the financial, contractual and reporting function on all productions. She holds a Bsc. Hons. in Human Resource Management & Certificate in Marketing (DIT).

Sorcha Carroll (Marketing Manager)

Sorcha Carroll

Sorcha has a background in the Arts having worked with dha ean Theatre Company, Corcadorca Theatre Company, Blue Raincoat Theatre Company & Graffiti Theatre Company.

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Sorcha has an MA in Modern Drama Studies (UCD), a BSC in Management (TCD) and AdvDip Marketing (DIT), and she completed an Audience Development Cert Management Practice PT (Ulster University)in 2015, Previous PR & Marketing postitions were held at The Hawk's Well Theatre, Audecon Audience Development Agency and Eumark Database Management.

Sarah Halpin (Digital Communications Manager)

Sarah Halpin

Sarah is a classically trained musician now working in digital communications. She has a BMus in music performance from the Royal Academy of Music, London, an MMus in music performance from DIT and a diploma in marketing and management from DIT. 

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After many years performing with some of Ireland and the UK's top orchestras, she has recently embarked on a new career in digital marketing. She has spent the last two years working on the digital team at Edelman PR, one of the world's largest marketing communications firms. Keen to apply her new learning to the arts sector, she took up a position with Irish National Opera in 2018.

Muireann Ní Dhubhghaill (Artistic Administrator)

Muireann Ní Dhubhghaill

Muireann has worked in administration with the Hallé and RTÉ National Symphony Orchestras, and is currently Coordinator of the Association of Irish Composers.

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She has also worked as a flautist with the Irish Defence Forces, and a music teacher in schools around Dublin. 

Muireann holds a MMus from the Royal Northern College of Music, and an MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management from UCD.

Board

Gaby Smyth (Chair)

Gaby Smyth

Gaby Smyth is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and is principal of Gaby Smyth & Company Ltd.

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He has been in practice for over twenty years, specialising in the literary, music, film and theatre arts – representing and advising many of the major Irish practitioners in these areas. Gaby has also been involved with many arts organisations in Ireland; he has been the chairman of the boards of Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Corn Exchange Theatre Company, and TEAM Educational Theatre Company.  Until recently he was in the chair at Screen Producers Ireland, and animation company Boulder Media Ltd.; and he is currently chairman of the board of the Audi Dublin International Film Festival.

Jennifer Caldwell

Jennifer Caldwell

Jennifer is a former managing partner of both Maples and Calder's Dublin office and Binchys Solicitors.

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Admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales in 1980 and in Ireland in 1982 she has over 30 years experience, specialising in corporate finance and mergers and acquisition. She merged Binchys Solicitors, Dublin with Maples and Calder in January 2006, when she was the managing partner of Binchys. Maples was the first international law firm to set up in Ireland. Post the merger she was joint managing partner of Maples and Calder’s Dublin office and from January 2006 until she retired from practise in 2010 she was head of corporate in the Dublin office Jennifer’s expertise spans all areas of corporate law including mergers and acquisitions, takeovers, IPOs, joint ventures and debt and equity financing. For many years she represented a number of high net worth individuals, their investment vehicles and entities in which they invested. Since retiring from practise at the end of 2010 Jennifer has continued to work with Amnesty International, serving as a member of the Executive Committee of the Irish Section of Amnesty from 2005 until 2011, and now serving as a trustee of the Amnesty Foundation, she sat on the Board of Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland Limited (formerly Dolmen Stockbrokers) from January 2011 until the end of 2015 and she currently sits on the board of Irish National Opera. 

Stella Litchfield

Stella Litchfield

Born in Dublin, Stella Litchfield originally trained as an opera singer at the College of Music and worked with many opera companies across Ireland and the UK.

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She spent fourteen years as a member of Chorus of Scottish Opera before embarking on a career offstage. 

She is now Director of Development at National Theatre of Scotland.

Sara Moorhead SC

Sara Moorhead SC

Sara Moorhead was called to the Bar in 1989 and practiced as a Junior Counsel from 1989 to 2004. She has been a Senior Counsel from 2004 to 2017.

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She was a Member of the Bar Council between 1995 and 1999 and a Member from 2013 to 2017. In that role she was the Treasurer of the Bar Council and responsible with the Finance Director for the finances of an organisation involving two thousand three hundred members. She is keenly interested in the area of governance and is a director of a number of the companies operated by the Law Library. She was involved in the renegotiation of the debt of the Law Library and has extensive experience in the area of governance of boards.

Sara Moorhead has a life- long interest in the arts. She is a regular opera and theatre goer in Ireland. She also regularly attends opera and theatre in London and New York. She is a patron of Rough Magic and is also actively involved in the Irish Georgian Society.  

She has a proven track record in relation to Volunteer activity. All the activities listed have been undertaken on a non-remunerative basis over a number of years.

Joseph F. Murphy

Joseph F. Murphy

Born in Tralee, Joe Murphy is a Chartered Civil Engineer by profession and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland. He is a graduate of University College Cork as well as having a post graduate qualification in Finance from the University of Limerick.

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He was a founding director of PUNCH Consulting Engineers in 1974.  He retired as a director in 2008 but continues to be active in the firm as a consultant. Joe lives in Limerick and together with his wife Mary are very supportive of music in that city.  Otherwise, their particular interest is hearing live opera performed in the opera houses of the world. In the past Joe has been a corporate supporter both of the Limerick Music Association as well as music in Great Irish Houses.  More recently he has been a Friend of the Irish Chamber Orchestra where his particular interest is baroque music. Joe currently holds a Board of Management position in a palliative care centre. In leisure time he is a keen supporter of Munster Rugby.

Ann Nolan

Ann Nolan

Ann Nolan is a former Second Secretary General of The Department of Finance.

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Ann worked in financial services for nine years, before that she worked in both the expenditure and tax divisions of the Department. She has served on a number of State Boards including the Pensions Authority, the SBCI, the State Claims Agency and the Legal Aid Board.

Yvonne Shields

Yvonne Shields

Yvonne Shields is Chief Executive of the Commissioners of Irish Lights. Irish Lights is responsible for the provision of safety and navigation services around the coast of Ireland to meet the Irish and UK governments obligations under the SOLAS – Safety of Life at Sea - Convention.

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Yvonne has worked in the marine sector in Ireland for 19 years, previously as Director of Strategic Planning and Development in the Marine Institute and before that held various roles in the public, not for profit and private sector in tourism, aquaculture and in forestry. She has a Masters in Environmental Science from Trinity College, an MBA from DCU and she is a Chartered Director.

She is a Council Member of the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities, a Director of SmartBay Ireland Ltd, a member of the European Strategic Advisory Board for Healthy Oceans and previously held various Board and advisory positions in Ireland and internationally. 

Michael Wall

Michael Wall

Michael Wall is a practising barrister specialising in construction, planning and environmental law. He is chairman of the Irish Georgian Society and a member of the board of the Abbey Theatre. 

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Michael is a member of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland and the Irish Planning Institute and teaches at UCD on masters’ degree programmes in planning, urban design and landscape architecture.

Since April 2010 he has served as a member of the NAMA Planning Advisory Committee and is a member of the board of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) since May 2015.  

In addition to qualifications in architecture from DIT and TCD, he has a master’s degree in planning from UCD, an MBA from the Smurfit Business School at UCD and BL from the Honorable Society of the King’s Inns. Michael is also qualified and practises as a Mediator and Arbitrator. He is a board member/trustee of Simpson’s Hospital in Dundrum, Dublin.