Opera Theatre Company Company Executive

Fergus Sheil (Artistic Director)

Fergus Sheil is Artistic Director of Opera Theatre Company and Wide Open Opera. He has produced many opera, choral and orchestral events, large and small, throughout Ireland and internationally.

Fergus worked for Opera Theatre Company as conductor for The Lighthouse (1998 & 2001), La cenerentola (2003) and The Marriage of Figaro (2010) before becoming Artistic Director of the company in 2013. Since then he has also conducted The Elixir of Love (2014), Rigoletto (2015) and Don Giovanni (2016) in addition to his artistic oversight of all of the company’s productions. 

With Wide Open Opera Fergus has conducted Tristan und Isolde (2012), Raymond Deane’s The Alma Fetish (2013), Nixon in China (2014), Brian Irvine’s Things We Throw Away and The Barber of Seville (2016) as well as working on co-productions of  major new works such as Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest (with NI Opera) and Donnacha Dennehy’s The Last Hotel (with Landmark Productions).

Fergus has previously worked for Opera Ireland, Wexford Festival Opera, NI Opera, Lyric Opera Productions, Scottish Opera and Welsh National Opera. For Carlow Local Authorities, he produced the opera Shelter Me From the Rain by Brian Irvine (music) and John McIlduff (text) in 2011, the first local authority commissioned opera in Ireland.

Fergus has taken the RTÉ NSO on tour in Ireland with major repertoire such as Beethoven Symphony No 9 (Choral), Mahler Symphony No 2 (Resurrection). He has also involved the orchestra in community and youth initiatives such as Rain Falling Up (2012) and Bluebottle (2014) by Brian Irvine (music), John McIlduff (text) and Matthew Robins (visuals). Fergus has also conducted the Ulster Orchestra, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the Northern Sinfonia, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and many others. As well as performances at home, Fergus has conducted in USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, UK, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Portugal.


Sorcha Carroll (Marketing & Sponsorship Manager)

Sorcha has a background in the Arts having worked with dha ean Theatre Company, Corcadorca Theatre Company, Blue Raincoat Theatre Company & Graffiti Theatre Company.

She completed a Audience Development Cert Management Practice PT (Ulster University)in 2015, Sorcha also has an MA in Modern Drama Studies (UCD), a BSC in Management (TCD) and AdvDip Marketing (DIT).  Previous PR & Marketing postitions were held at The Hawk's Well Theatre, Audecon Audience Development Agency and Eumark Database Management.

Cate Kelliher (Administrator & Bookkeeper)

Board of Directors

Gaby Smyth

Gaby Smyth is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, and is principal of Gaby Smyth & Company Ltd.

He has been in practice for over twenty years, specialising in the literary, music, film and theatre arts – representing and advising many of the major Irish practitioners in these areas. Gaby has also been involved with many arts organisations in Ireland; he has been the chairman of the boards of Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Corn Exchange Theatre Company, and TEAM Educational Theatre Company.  Until recently he was in the chair at Screen Producers Ireland, and animation company Boulder Media Ltd.; and he is currently chairman of the board of the Audi Dublin International Film Festival. 

Jennifer Caldwell

Jennifer is a former managing partner of both Maples and Calder's Dublin office and Binchys Solicitors.

Admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales in 1980 and in Ireland in 1982 she has over 30 years experience, specialising in corporate finance and mergers and acquisition.
She merged Binchys Solicitors, Dublin with Maples and Calder in January 2006, when she was the managing partner of Binchys. Maples was the first international law firm to set up in Ireland. Post the merger she was joint managing partner of Maples and Calder’s Dublin office and from January 2006 until she retired from practise in 2010 she was head of corporate in the Dublin office
Jennifer’s expertise spans all areas of corporate law including mergers and acquisitions, takeovers, IPOs, joint ventures and debt and equity financing. For many years she represented a number of high net worth individuals, their investment vehicles and entities in which they invested.
Since retiring from practise at the end of 2010 Jennifer has continued to work with Amnesty International, serving as a member of the Executive Committee of the Irish Section of Amnesty from 2005 until 2011, and now serving as a trustee of the Amnesty Foundation, she sat on the Board of Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland Limited (formerly Dolmen Stockbrokers) from January 2011 until the end of 2015 and she currently sits on the board of Opera Theatre Company.

Joseph F. Murphy

Born in Tralee Joe Murphy is a Chartered Civil Engineer by profession and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland. He is a graduate of University College Cork as well as having a post graduate qualification in Finance from the University of Limerick.

He was a founding director of PUNCH Consulting Engineers in 1974.  He retired as a director in 2008 but continues to be active in the firm as a consultant. Joe lives in Limerick and together with his wife Mary are very supportive of music in that city.  Otherwise, their particular interest is hearing live opera performed in the opera houses of the world. In the past Joe has been a corporate supporter both of the Limerick Music Association as well as music in Great Irish Houses.  More recently he has been a Friend of the Irish Chamber Orchestra where his particular interest is baroque music. Joe currently holds a Board of Management position in a palliative care centre.   In leisure time he is a keen supporter of Munster Rugby.

Yvonne Shields

Yvonne Shields is Chief Executive of the Commissioners of Irish Lights. Irish Lights is responsible for the provision of safety and navigation services around the coast of Ireland to meet the Irish and UK governments obligations under the SOLAS – Safety of Life at Sea - Convention.

Yvonne has worked in the marine sector in Ireland for 19 years, previously as Director of Strategic Planning and Development in the Marine Institute and before that held various roles in the public, not for profit and private sector in tourism, aquaculture and in forestry. She has a Masters in Environmental Science from Trinity College, an MBA from DCU and she is a Chartered Director. She is a Council Member of the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities, a Director of SmartBay Ireland Ltd, a member of the European Strategic Advisory Board for Healthy Oceans and previously held various Board and advisory positions in Ireland and internationally. Yvonne is also a Director of the Opera Theatre Company.