Irish stage director Orpha Phelan’s recent production of Bernstein’s A Quiet Place at Opera Zuid in Maastricht has been awarded the prestigious Place de l'Opera prize for Best Opera 2018 in The Netherlands. For two years running she was the recipient of Denmark's most prestigious arts prize, the Reumert Award for Best Opera Production, for Thomas Adès’s Power Her Face in 2016 and Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking in 2017, both for the Royal Danish Opera.
She has enjoyed tremendous successes in Sweden at Malmö Opera with Bock’s Fiddler on the Roof, and Puccini’s La Bohème (released by Naxos on DVD), Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann and Janáček’s Jenůfa (released by Arthaus Musik on DVD). Recent seasons also saw her direct a highly acclaimed production of Britten’s Billy Budd for Opera North and Beethoven’s Fidelio for Longborough Festival Opera. She made her French debut at Opéra National de Lorraine with Bernard Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights in May.
Her production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte for Opera Theatre Company in 2012 marked her first production in her native Ireland. She directed Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo at The Barbican, a collaboration with Richard Egarr and The Academy of Ancient Music, and her staging of the UK premiere of Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream marked her first collaboration with Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. She makes her Irish National Opera debut with Rossini’s Cinderella/La Cenerentola.