Orpha Phelan | Director


Orpha Phelan

Don Pasquale


Based in London, Orpha Phelan hails from Co. Kilkenny. She has most recently directed the world premiere of Michael Zev Gordon’s Raising Icarus, Jake Heegie’s Dead Man Walking (Norwegian National Opera), Rossini’s La Cenerentola, an Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards Best Production nominee 2020 (Irish National Opera), Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights (Opéra national de Lorraine), Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites (RNCM) and Bernstein’s A Quiet Place in The Netherlands (Place de l’Opéra Award for Best Opera 2018), as well as the world premiere of Tom Smail’s Blue Electric. For Royal Danish Opera, she directed Thomas Adès’s Powder Her Face (Reumert Award Best Opera Production 2016) and Dead Man Walking (Reumert Award Best Opera Production 2017). Recent seasons saw her direct a highly acclaimed production of Britten’s Billy Budd for Opera North and Beethoven’s Fidelio for Longborough Festival Opera. Upcoming seasons include her German debut with Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, as well as her debut at Wexford Festival Opera. Orpha has enjoyed tremendous successes in Sweden at Malmö Opera with Fiddler on the Roof, Puccini’s La bohème, Offenbach’s Les Contes d'Hoffman and Janáček’s Jenůfa. Her 2012 production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte with Opera Theatre Company marked her first production in her native Ireland. At The Barbican she has directed Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and the UK premiere of Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream, first collaboration with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. She has directed Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi for Opera North and Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House, under the baton of Richard Bonynge.

May 2022