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Born in Wales of Irish and Welsh parents, Dennis O'Neill is one of the world's leading tenors and a specialist in the works of Verdi.
He has enjoyed a long association with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where his many roles have included Rodolfo (La bohème), Duca (Rigoletto), Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Macduff (Macbeth), Gustavo (Ballo in Maschera), Foresto (Attila), Otello, Don Carlos, Radames (Aida), Aroldo (in concert), Carlo (Giovanna d’Arco), and Jacopo (I due Foscari).
For the Metropolitan Opera he has appeared as Alfredo (La Traviata), Radames (Aida) – conducted by Levine and Domingo - La Bohème, Rigoletto Turiddu (Cavalleria Rusticana) and Canio (I Pagliacci). Other North American engagements have included Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco, San Diego, Vancouver Opera and concerts with the Philadelphia, Cleveland, Montreal, and Ottawa Symphonies, and for the Cincinnati Festival. He has appeared in São Paolo and Santiago.
A frequent guest at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, his debut in Ballo in Maschera was followed by a new production of Manrico (Il Trovatore), Der Rosenkavalier, Tosca, Lucia, Gabriele Adorno (Simon Boccanegra), Aida and the title role in Otello. Elsewhere in Europe he has visited the opera houses of Vienna, Berlin, Bonn, Cologne, Hamburg, Nice, Zurich, Paris, Oslo, Brussels, Barcelona, Oviedo, the Arena di Verona and Turin. He enjoys a close relationship with Welsh National Opera.
Dennis O'Neill is also a very busy concert artist and is well known for his performances of Verdi's Requiem which he has televised no less than seven times, and has sung throughout Europe with conductors including Muti, Sir Colin Davis, Sinopoli, Simon Rattle and Sir John Pritchard. Notable concert performances have included Idomeneo with Sir Charles Mackerras at the BBC Proms, Oberto at the Edinburgh Festival, Aida in Tel Aviv with Mehta, Le Damnation de Faust in Paris with Dutoit, Tosca in Cleveland with Slatkin and The Dream of Gerontius in London with Svetlanov. He has given recitals at Covent Garden and La Monnaie in Brussels.
Dennis O'Neill's own television series for the BBC were enormously popular (the accompanying recording went to the top of the classical record charts) and he has subsequently completed a television film on Caruso another featuring famous movie themes. His many recordings include solo albums, videos of Der Rosenkavalier with Solti, Die Fledermaus with Kiri te Kanawa conducted by Domingo, Macbeth with Sinopoli, and Mefistofele from San Francisco. Recent releases include La fanciulla del West with Slatkin and Verdi's Requiem with Sir Colin Davis, both for BMG/RCA, Tosca, La bohème, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci and a solo disc of operatic arias, all for Chandos, and an anthology of Italian Song for Collins Classics, starting with CDs of Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi. Recordings of Aida and Turandot (Chandos) will be released later this year.
He has recently sung performances Cav and Pag in Sydney and Perth, Australia, Otello in Hamburg and Munich, Lucia di Lammermoor in Munich, Ballo in Lisbon and Munich, La Gioconda in concert for ENO, Turandot at the Met and Covent Garden, Il trovatore and Tosca for Opera Australia, a tour of Verdi Requiem with La Scala and Muti, Ballo in Rome, Aida in Munich and Catania, and The Dream of Gerontius in Munich with Mehta and in London with Elder, Norma in Barcelona and I Pagliacci at Covent Garden. Future commitments include Aida in Munich, Dresden and with the Deutscher Oper Berlin, Otello (Mehta) and Ballo in Munich, Il trovatore for Opera Australia in Sydney, and Turandot and Cav and Pag for WNO.
Dennis O’Neill was awarded the CBE in the 2000 New Year’s Honours list.
Ingrid Surgenor is one of Britain's busiest and most successful pianists and is internationally renowned for her work as official accompanist for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
Following study at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and with the legendary accompanist Gerald Moore, Ingrid Surgenor began her career at the Glyndebourne Festival. In addition to a continuing association with Welsh National Opera, she has worked at the Buxton, Hong Kong, Taormina and Vienna Festivals. She spent eight years at the Bayreuth Festival, four as head of music preparation for Parsifal, conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli and directed by Wolfgang Wagner.
Ingrid Surgenor has travelled widely to accompany many singes includign Sir Thomas Allen, Nuccia Focile, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Dennis O'Neill and Bernd Weikl. She has given recitals at the Aix-en-Provence, Belfast, Cardiff, Corinthischen Sommer, Edinburgh and Passau Festivals and at opera houses in Barga, Brussels, Marseille, Munich, Oslo, at the Teatro Amazonas, Manaus and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Her many radio and television performances have included documentaries about her career and range from song recitals and the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition to cookery, quiz and discussion programmes.
In addition Ingrid Surgenor is an adjudicator, gives masterclasses, is a coach at the National Opera Studio in London and is principal opera coach and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music. She has been awarded Honorary Fellowships by the University of Wales and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and is a national advisor to the Arts Council of Wales. In June 2000 she was awarded an MBE for services to music.