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Based in London, Orpha Phelan hails from Co. Kilkenny, Ireland. She has just been nominated as Best Director in The Irish Times Theatre Awards, which will be held in March 2023.

Orpha has directed Don Pasquale for Irish National Opera (Irish Times Theatre Award Nominee: Best Opera) Lalla-Roukh for Wexford Festival Opera (Irish Times Theatre Award Nominee: Best Opera), La Cenerentola for Irish National Opera (Irish Times Theatre Award Nominee: Best Production) A Quiet Place for Opera Zuid (Winner of Place de l'Opera: Best Opera Award Netherlands), Powder Her Face and Dead Man Walking for Royal Danish Opera (both Winners of The Reumert Award: Best Opera Production), Billy Budd and I Capuleti e i Montecchi for Opera North, Fidelio for Longborough, Jenufa (released by Arthaus Musik on DVD), Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Fiddler on the Roof and La Bohème (released by Naxos on DVD) for Malmö Opera, Wuthering Heights for Opéra National de Lorraine, Dialogues des Carmelites  RNCM, and Così Fan Tutte for OTC as well as world premieres of Raising Icarus by Michael Zev Gordon for Barber Opera and Blue Electric for The Playground Theatre.

Orpha has also directed l’Orfeo at The Barbican, a collaboration with Richard Egarr and The Academy of Ancient Music. Her staging of the UK premiere of Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream, also at The Barbican, marked her first collaboration with Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. She has also directed I Capuleti e i Montecchi for Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House, under the baton of Richard Bonynge.
Orpha was awarded the Audience Prize (Ring Award 2005), for her concept of Le Nozze di Figaro with Graz Oper, Austria and Wagner Forum Graz; she was also a winner in the European Opera Directors’ Award 2003 for her concept of Hans Heiling for Strasbourg Opera in association with Opera Europa. She lives in London with her husband and their two sons.

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