Precipice at The Grange Festival, August 2020

O'Neill's use of the differing landscapes is wonderfully original... The whole thing is a wonderful example of what the imagination can accomplish in difficult times


Tim Ashley, The Guardian (4/5 stars)

A mirror of our times in mixed art forms... an event that's innovative, ambitious and responsive to conditions.

David Karlin, Bachtrack (4/5 stars)


Il barbiere di Siviglia (revival) Glyndebourne Festival, 2019

Happily revival director Sinead O’Neill has succeeded

in calming down the staging while preserving its joyful energy...

Amanda Holloway, The Stage (4/5 stars)

A magnificent performance of a superb production of a glorious opera. 

William Hartston, The Express (5/5 stars)


Revival director Sinéad O’Neill has taken Figaro’s razor

and sharpened up the stage action.

Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack (4/5 stars)

'Director's Choice' Sinéad O'Neill in Irish Times April 2019

Senza mamma has resonated in my life since childhood.

I first heard the song in Inspector Morse... Morse’s sorrowful nature and his obsession with opera got all mixed in with my feelings about family, love and loss.


It’s a song that seems to contain all the sorrows of every parent and every child, every love and every death. Watching that Morse episode again recently, I saw that Senza mamma was sung by Janis Kelly. I have the honour of working with Janis for the third time this summer, and now I discover that it is her voice that has haunted me for all these years – perhaps it’s true that everything returns to us in time.


 Pelléas et Mélisande: Glyndebourne Festival at the BBC Proms

 (semi-staging by Sinéad O'Neill) July 2018

This was a strange, yet fascinating, evening. Undoubtedly the best-ever semi-staging of an opera at the Proms. 


Jim Pritchard, Seen & Heard International

Played without some of the distractions and accretions of Stefan Herheim’s concept this performance smouldered with ever-increasing intensity; the extended silence in the Hall at the end was testament to that... Sinéad O’Neill was perhaps a tad more faithful to Maeterlinck whilst keeping the theatrical best of the cast. 

Alexander Campbell, Classical Source

Sinéad O'Neill on Trendfem, 2018

The music makes you want to dance and laugh, so that's what we do!

It’s a real ensemble piece – everyone’s contribution is equally important and we really have to work as a close-knit team. Anyone can propose; everyone must react. The rehearsal room is full of energy and laughter and movement all the time.  


I was an intern at Wexford Festival Opera when I experienced my first ever opera rehearsal. I was completely blown away by the extraordinary power and beauty of the singing, and I knew absolutely that all I wanted to do was work in opera and experience that sensation. I still feel that intense joy and amazement when people sing.


The advice I wish I had been given was: don’t wait! Don’t wait for the right time, the right moment, the right preparation – just go ahead and do the things you’re planning.


Also, make lots of friends. Opera is the ultimate collaborative activity – you just can’t do it on your own – so make those connections and keep the creative conversations flowing.


Responses to On the Axis of this World


Every bit was so evocative, the snow flakes, the magnificent large landscape, the aurora, the animals, the waves and sea birds.


 I was incredibly moved by the poetry of the music and the poignancy of the words. 


New and spectacular... the piece was so evocative of our trips South.


 'a thoroughly entertaining evening of comic opera'


A simple set of archways, curtains, and chairs are entirely enough to convey the nature of the Geronimo household and the action – the entrances and exits essential for a farcical set of misunderstandings and even a fist fight between the two sisters – is well choreographed by director Sinéad O’Neill. 

Owen Davies, Plays to see

Director Sinead O’Neill deserves much credit for getting her team to put in so much creativity and love - and get so much fun and enjoyment out. The audience clearly loved it. 

David Winskill, Ham & High

The Secret Marriage at Jackson's Lane, November 2018


Responses to The Barrington Hippo


I think it is really good because it has dramatic sounds and you get to actually see what is going on on the stage. It made me feel very excited when I was watching it.

And London Burned at Temple Church October 2016

And London Burned, fulfilled its brief with striking musical originality and considerable visual flair... Lit in half-shades from below, the atmosphere of the darkened church did the rest, and director Sinéad O’Neill made imaginative use of the space — characters declaiming from the pulpit; lovers glimpsed embracing in an archway; the Law Student’s shadow thrown by candlelight against wood panels.

Richard Bratby, Spectator 

It was indeed eerie - and for the history lovers, exciting - to hear And London Burned in the Temple Church... Director Sinéad O'Neill made great use of the Temple Church interior, placing voices above and around the audience, as though the listeners were at the heart of the action.

Jenna Douglas, Schmopera


Sketches by audience member Sam Motherwell at On the Axis of this World