Head of Vocal Studies & Company Director
Deirdre Masterson currently acts as Performing Arts Dean for Irish American University and director of The Irish College of Music Theatre, leading the introduction of Music Theatre into the Irish institution’s suite of educational offerings. Ms Masterson has an extensive background in performance- opera, operetta, recital, concert and recordings to critical acclaim.
A native from Gorey, Co. Wexford, Deirdre started her music studies at a young age in the Wexford School of music under the direction of Alan Cutts. She made her Wexford International Opera Festival debut at the tender age of twelve playing the part of the “spirit,” in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Deirdre received a full scholarship to study opera and drama at third level with Dr. Veronica Dunne and graduated from DIT with an MMus. She made her professional operatic debut with Opera Ireland at eighteen playing the parts of “Sandman,” and “Dewfairy,” in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. She has many awards and accolades to her credit including the title of being the youngest singer ever to win the Gervase Elwes award at Feis Ceoil Dublin and winning a scholarship to study with the renowned Wagnarian soprano Astrid Varnay in Munich. Deirdre is a seasoned concert artist performing from our National Concert Hall to Carnegie Hall to critical acclaim.
A founding member of “The Irish Sopranos,” Deirdre has performed to sell out tours on both sides of the Atlantic over the last decade and enjoyed chart success with both their album releases “A Time for Us,” and “Believe.” Deirdre is a featured artist on many recordings including “Faith of our Fathers,” “Who fears to speak,” and her own album entitled “My Song.”
Recently Deirdre featured on American College Dublin’s single release of Phil Coulter’s “Scorn Not His Simplicity” reaching Number 1 in the Irish iTunes charts where all proceeds were donated to Down Syndrome Field of Dreams project.
In 2011, Deirdre formed The Irish College of Music Theatre – Ireland’s first Musical Theatre College providing fully accredited third level courses in business partnership with Dublin Institute of Technology. The Irish College of Music Theatre (IMT), currently boasts operating successful branches at The National Opera House and home town Gorey, Co. Wexford, nurturing young talent wishing to audition for the profession and/or progress onto third level performing arts programmes. Further developments include the delivery of The Young Artists Programme in association with The National Opera House, which is a specially designed course for aspiring young Irish classical singers wishing to embark on an international operatic career. This chosen cohort will officially be presented in Wexford’s International Opera Festival 2020 Fringe Event. Another exciting addition to the institution is the launch of IMT’s Youth Production Company, commencing January 2020 aimed at 13-21 year students, presenting adaptations of ‘Mamma Mia’ and Guys and Dolls’ at The National Opera House.
Deirdre is also very passionate about her vocal rehabilitation work, collaborating with ENT Surgeon Mark Rafferty and Speech and Language therapist Dr Ciaran Kenny promoting the well-being of vocal health care.
Deirdre is a regular guest speaker and tutor to visiting institutions including Trinity College Dublin and very much enjoys performing in operas, concerts and recitals outside of her academic commitments.
Aileen holds a BA Hons from Trinity College, Dublin and a post-graduate from The Royal Academy of Music, London. She is an inaugural candidate on American College Dublin’s Master of Fine Arts programme. Having received a distinction for her post-graduate studies at The Royal Academy of Music, Aileen was awarded the prestigious D’Oyly Carte Singing Award.
Aileen embarked on her professional career singing the role of Rose in Kurt Weill’s One Touch of Venus at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and subsequently; Carmen, La Boheme and Cosi Fan Tutte at the Royal Festival Hall.
In London’s West End, Aileen performed for five years in the smash-hit musical Wicked at the Victoria Apollo Theatre. As a cast member, she received an Olivier Award for Best Ensemble Performance and won West End Eurovision. Other West End Shows include; Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Mrs Potts/Madame de la Grande Bouche/Sugar Bowl) and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s, The Phantom of the Opera at her Majesty’s Theatre, Haymarket, London. Aileen played the lead role of Donna in the internationally successful Mamma Mia at The Point, Dublin and in Paris, Lisbon, Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.
Aileen played the leading role of Trilby in the premiere production of Svengali, on board QE2 World Cruise. She was cast by Les Miserables composers; Alain Boublil and Claude Michel-Schonberg in their original production of Marguerite in London and also by Michel LeGrand and lyricist Don Black as an original cast member of the musical The Count of Monte Cristo at The Players Theatre, London.
In Ireland, Aileen has played the iconic role of Evita, Florence in Chess and Violet in Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5, all at The National Opera House of Ireland. Her one-woman show A Date with Doris will be touring Ireland again in 2017. The show, which Aileen co-produced has enjoyed great reviews and sold out shows at The National Concert Hall, Dublin and The Cork Opera House, The Mill Theatre Dundrum. For more information and upcoming dates see: www.adatewithdoris.com.
Peter graduated from Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in 2002 with a BA Honors as an Actor/Musician. Previous to this he gained a Higher National Diploma in Theatre Practice at Stratford-Upon-Avon college, Coventry University. He has worked as an actor and a musician in various genres. Some of his experiences include: In 2005 he was in New York as Blueman in the ‘Blueman Group’. He played the lead role of Arthur Seaton in the Award winning ‘Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’ in Nottingham. He has toured nationally in the UK with Robert Powell in ‘Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell’ for Bath Theatre Royal. He played Baloo in ‘The Jungle Book’ for Oxfordshire Theatre Company touring Nationally and Internationally. One of his favourite Jobs was with the Rude Mechanicals Theatre company in summer of 2006 where he tour along the South Coast of the UK acting and playing music in A Commedia Dell’arte show at various open air theatres/venues. He also toured the Uk no 1 theatres with The Birmingham Stage Company in ‘Danny the Champion of The World’ as Mr Rabbetts. Previous to this playing Templeton the Rat in ‘Charlottes Web’ in a Uk no 1 Tour. He premiered the character of Kinesies ies in Ranjit Bolt’s modern version of ‘Lysistrata’ directed by Sarah Esdaile. His first professional role was at the RSC Swan Theatre as Arial in ‘Prospero’s Journey’ which was directed by Sean Holmes.
Peter played the lead part of Bob in the mini feature film ‘Grey Matter’. He was The Soldier in Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Ballad of Reading Jail’ for Channel 4. He was also lucky to be part of the Heineken UEFA Champions League worldwide advertising campaign for 2009-2010/2011-2012 seasons.
Along with his fellow drama students Peter formed the Test Tube theatre company writing and performing in work such as ‘I can’t stop Singing- the Musical’ an award winning piece which played at various festivals in the UK.
He has extensive voice over work, voicing documentaries like ‘Did we land on the Moon’ ‘ Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle’, ‘ Manchester United: The Munich Air Crash’, ‘Hitler’s secret plot to Bomb America’, ‘Bomb Patrol’ season 1&2 and ‘ The real Inglorious Bastards’ for Channel 5. He also narrated the series ‘Beast Legends’ for Sky H2.
Recently he played the Part of Uncle Louie in The multi Award winning play ‘Lost in Yonkers’ for Bridge Drama.
Peter plays and teaches the Guitar, Drumkit and Percussion, Flute and Bass Guitar and has played at least one of these instruments in most of his theatre work. He is currently working with Irish Playwright/Musician/Song writer Billy Roche as the Drummer/Percussionist/Backing Vocalist on his Red Red Guitar Tour. He is studying for his MFA in live performance at ACD and will be performing in a new one man stage adaptation of Billy Roche’s Novella ‘The Diary Of Maynard Perdu’, which he he’s adapting in collaboration with the Author. Peter has been an Acting and Voice tutor since graduating from Drama School
Kelli-Ann Masterson hails from Co. Wexford and holds a B.Mus Ed. Teaching degree from Trinity College, Dublin and Masters in Music performance (MMus) from DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, from which she obtained first class honours. Kelli-Ann is a member of the Northern Ireland Opera studio 2018/19. In Spring 2019, Kelli-Ann was this year’s winner of the Dramatic Cup and Margaret and Tony Quigley Awards at Feis Ceoil and was also selected as a ‘Rising Star’ by UCH Limerick.
Kelli-Ann recently made her debut with OCI singing the role of Vespetta in the Irish premiere of Pimpinone at Killaloe Chamber music Festival. Other operatic roles include Chloé in Daphnis et Chloé (Northern Ireland Opera), Edith in Pirates of Penzance (Cork Opera House), Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte (Clyde Opera Group, Glasgow), Papagena in Die Zauberflöte (LOS Weimar), Daniel in a staged portrayal of Handel’s Susanna (DIT opera ensemble) and Adele in Die Fledermaus, Amour in Pygmalion, Amour in Orphée et Eurydice and The Sandman/Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel (Opera In The Open).
A regular oratorio performer, performances include Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Handel’s Messiah and Vivaldi’s Gloria with Dun Laoghaire choral society; Saint-Saëns Oratorio de Noël with DIT choral society; and ‘Messiah on the Street’ and ‘Handel Highlights’ with Our Lady’s choral society conducted by Proinnsias O’ Duinn.
Upcoming engagements include chorus for Don Quichotte and the role of La Fée in Viardot’s Cendrillon for Wexford Festival Opera.
Conor McCarthy hails from Limerick and began his piano tuition at Limerick school of Music. Conor then went on to study at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama and graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education (B.Mus.Ed) from both Trinity College Dublin and the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. Conor furthered his studies by obtaining Diplomas in Piano Performance with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (DipABRSM) and the London College of Music (ALCM).
Conor actively works as a musical director and accompanist in the Dublin and South-East area. Conor has worked with societies such as Gorey Musical Society, Carnew Musical Society, Wexford Light Opera and Arklow Pantomime Creations. He has also worked with schools such as Glenstall Abbey in Limerick and Louis Highschool, St. Columbas and Loretto Foxrock in Dublin.
Conor works as a piano teacher in Dublin and Wexford and is an accompanist for examinations, concerts, weddings and other events.
Megan began her professional dance training at The College of Dance, Monkstown, after which she was awarded a scholarship to study for a BA (Hons) Degree in Dance at the Institute of the Arts, Barcelona. Since graduating, Megan has choreographed for events in Dublin on behalf of Raw Marketing as well as performing in corporate events for Sintonizart in Barcelona and the Pepitos Brothers in Menorca. Last year she was contracted to perform in Scandinavia as a cruise production dancer on board the MS Silja Serenade with Quickstep Productions. Megan has just recently returned home from Barcelona where she has been performing with the Barcelona professional cheerleaders, Dream Cheers both at home in Camp Nou and Palau Blaugrana and internationally in Leon and Monaco under the direction of Eva Martínez. Megan also featured in the video production “Languages Connect” in connection with the Post Primary Languages Initiative and in the music video for Sacred Animals’ single “Mono”.
Megan’s first musical theatre production as choreographer was for Gorey Community School’s 2012 production of “Footloose”. Since then she has worked with them on their productions of “Grease” in 2014, “Disco Inferno” in 2016 and most recently “Les Miserables” in 2018. She was awarded Best Choreography at the Bord Gais Energy Student Theatre Awards in 2015 for her work on “Grease”. Megan has over 10 years teaching experience having taught in schools across Ireland and Spain including Aine Kavanaghs School of Dance, Studio 55, Escola Color Dansa and Patinaje Artístico de Sitges where she has taught jazz, tap, musical theatre, lyrical, ballet and commercial dance.
Irish born Tenor Ross Scanlon trained at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama where he was awarded the Michael McNamara Gold Medal of excellence in performance and at the Royal Academy of Music, London.
Ross is a Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM) and is also an Alumni of the Royal Academy Opera School. At the Royal Academy of Music, Ross worked with some of the finest Opera directors, conductors and coaches including Sir Colin Davis, John Copley
CBE, Paul Curran, Stephen Barlow, Trevor Pinnock CBE, Jonathan Papp and Maria Cleva. His roles included Lurcanio Ariodante, Masino La vera Costanza, Monostatos Die Zauberflöte and Scaramuccio Ariadne auf Naxos.
Elsewhere, his roles have included Le Thérière L’Enfant et les sortlièges with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Barbican, London, Hot Biscuit Paul Bunyan for Welsh National Opera, Irus The Return of Ulysses for Opera Collective Ireland, Male Chorus The Rape of Lucretia for Opera Collective Ireland, Ed A Belfast Opera for NI Opera, Bookkeeper The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny for OTC, Dublin, Remendado Carmen for Lyric Opera, Dublin, Bill A Hand of Bridge, Remendado Carmen and Tamino Die Zauberflöte for Glasthule Opera.
Ross sings widely in concert, his engagements including Alexander’s Feast, Messiah and The Creation with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Messiah at the Halle Festival, Germany, at the Handel Music Festival, Dublin, and with the Irish Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as performances with choral societies through the UK and Ireland. Other oratorio’s include Britten Saint Nicolas, Dvořák Stabat Mater, Handel’s Alexander’s Feast and Coronation Anthems, Haydn Die Jahreszeiten, The Creation and Missa in Tempore Belli, Mendelssohn Elijah and St Paul, Stainer Crucifixion, Mozart’s Vesperae Solemnes de Confessore and Coronation Mass Schubert’s Mass in B flat, Jenkins ‘The Armed Man – A Mass for Peace’ , Goodall Eternal Light – A Requiem (Irish Premiere), Goodall Invictus: A Passion (Irish Premiere)
Recent and future engagements include performing for HRH, Prince of Wales, with The Ulster Orchestra, Belfast, Tenor solo for the Irish Premiere of Howard Goodall’s Invictus: A Passion with Bray and Wicklow Choral Societies, creating the role of John Pyne for the World Premiere of Raymond Deane’s new opera Vagabones for Opera Collective Ireland and a solo recital of The John McCormack Songbook at the National Concert Hall, Dublin. Ross is a member of the Vocal Faculty at the American College, Dublin.