Owen Gilhooly - Tenor/ Director
Owen Gilhooly studied with Jean Holmes at the Limerick School of Music and subsequently at the Royal College of Music and National Opera Studio. He made his Royal Opera House debut singing Fauré Requiem for the Royal Ballet and in 2007 represented Ireland at BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.
Having had a significant career as a high baritone, his voice has now developed into the tenor range with focus on lirico-spinto repertoire including Macduff Macbeth, Don José Carmen, LenskyEugene Onegin, Cavaradossi Tosca. He continues his vocal studies in London with David Pollard. He is currently pursuing Doctoral studies at the Royal Irish Academy of Music where he was recently appointed to the Vocal Faculty.
Recent performances include Robert in the world premiere of Luke Bedford’s Through his Teeth (Royal Opera House Covent Garden); Emilio Il cappello di pagila di Firenze (Wexford Festival Opera); Escamillo Carmen (Opera Theatre Company); Valentin Faust (Everyman Theatre, Cork) and Beethoven's Christus am Olberge in Spain with Camerata Ireland.
He has appeared in principal roles with Opera Ireland, Opera Theatre Company, English Touring Opera, Lyric Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera North, The Opera Group and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He has made frequent appearances at Wexford Festival Opera, Lismore Music Festival, Buxton Festival Opera, Les Azuriales Opera and Musikverkstatt Wien.
In concert, Owen has performed with both national and international orchestras, including the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestras and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, with whom works have included - Berlioz L'enfance du Christ and The Bridegroom The Vanishing Bridegroom, Bill Bobstay HMS Pinafore and Konecký Osud at the BBC Proms.
Owen recently made his operatic tenor debut as Borsa Rigoletto for Opera Theatre Company.
Edel O Brien - Mezzo Soprano
Edel O'Brien comes from Kilrush, County Clare.
At the age of nineteen she won the Margaret Burke-Sheridan Cup at the Dublin Feis Ceoil. After graduating with an Honours Masters Degree in Music and Performance from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Edel was awarded a scholarship to study at Trinity College of Music, London. There she gained Distinction in her Postgraduate Diploma in Vocal Studies as well as winning the Vocal Faculty Prize and the College Gold Medal.
While still at TCM, Edel was offered an Italian Government Scholarship to study for one academic year at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi, Milan.
Having completed her studies in London she was presented with the opportunity to sing in a BBC Masterclass with the opera director David Pountney broadcast from the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. There she sang Suzuki in extracts of Madam Butterfly.
In 2002, Edel was one of seven singers selected out of 200 applicants worldwide to join the Centre de Formation Lyrique, Opera Bastille, Opera National de Paris. There she won the Prix Lyrique which is awarded annually to one male and one female at the CFL.
Edel has much experience in opera having sung various roles with the Opera Bastille, Opera Ireland, the Anna Livia International Opera Festival and Opera de Rouen. In oratorio she has sung as soloist with the Malcolm Sargent Festival Choir, Dartington Festival Choir, St. Paul's Choral Society, Hammersmith; the Culwick Choral Society, Dublin; Goethe Institut Choir, the Dublin Bach Singers, Dublin County Choir, Galway Choral Association, Limerick Choral Society, the Lismore Singers, Maynooth Choral Society, Carlow Choral Society and the RTE National Symphony Orchestra.
In recital, Edel has sung in the Church of St-Martin-in-the-Field, London; Leighton House, Kensington; the Royal Chapel, The Royal Naval College, Greenwich; the National Concert Hall, Dublin; Farmleigh House, Phoenix Park, Dublin; Bank of Ireland Arts Centre, Foster PLace, Dublin,
the Kate O'Brien Weekend, Limerick; Boyle Arts Festival, Co. Roscommon and the National Library of Ireland.
Edel has sung in Masterclasses for Teresa Berganza, Ileana Cotrubas, Jose Van Dam, Alexandrina Miltcheva, Robert Lloyd, Felicity Palmer and Ian Partridge.
Helen Houlihan - Soprano
Helen has enjoyed a busy career in the singing world performing regularly in concert, recital, opera and oratorio. On the concert and recital platform has performed at several of the leading Arts Festivals most notably at Belfast Festival at Queens, Galway arts festival, the Fortune theatre London, the National Concert Hall, the Bank of Ireland concert series, and John field room recital series.
She has worked with Opera Ireland, Wexford Opera, and Opera Theatre Company, and in London at the Holland Park Opera Festival. Helen has been a guest soloist with the RTE Concert orchestra on a number of occasions, both in live performance and in studio broadcast. She recorded the sound track for the Frank McGuiness play “The Carthaginians”, and has appeared as a guest soloist on several live television shows.
Helen has trained with Jean Holmes in Limerick, and in London with Paul Hamburger, James Lockhart, and David Harper.
Irina Dernova - Piano / Academy Accompanist
Irina Dernova graduated in Russia as a pianist and accompanist. Since she came to Ireland in 2006 she has been the organist in St.Nicholas church (Adare) and in St. Michael's church (Limerick). Being an organ scholar at St.Mary's Cathedral, she studies with Trevor Selby at the Limerick School of Music. Irina enjoys performing as solo pianist, organist and accompanist and also teaches piano in Maoin Cheoil an Chlair (Ennis) and privately.
Ian O' Connor - Flute
Eoghan Judge - Guitar