Ella O’Neill is increasingly in demand across the UK as a pianist for song, opera and chamber music. Last April, she won the Help Musicians UK Accompanist’s Prize in the 64th Kathleen Ferrier Awards at Wigmore Hall. She has since returned to Wigmore Hall to perform in the prestigious venue's International Song Competition with tenor Laurence Kilsby and the finals of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards with mezzo-soprano Rebecca Leggett. Other recent venues include Snape Maltings Concert Hall, the Royal Opera House Crush Room, Cadogan Hall and St Martin-in-the-Fields. In a review of one of her recitals at St Martin-in-the-Fields, appearing with soprano Chanae Curtis, music blog The Cross-Eyed Pianist described her as ‘a masterful accompanist, and [who] has a tremendous future. She navigated the twists and turns of mood in the Beethoven with aplomb, and her handling of the Griffes and the Strauss lieder was delicate and assured’. Ella is currently touring with English Touring Opera, accompanying baritone Julien Van Mellaerts in two of the company's staged productions for solo singer and pianist: Argento's one-man opera A Water Bird Talk and Britten's song cycle Songs and Proverbs of William Blake. Ella is also a Samling Artist.
Away from the concert platform, Ella works as a répétiteur for opera. In 2019, she joined Grange Park Opera as their répétiteur for Verdi’s Don Carlo, as well as some rehearsals for Hänsel and Gretel and Porgy and Bess. She recently recorded a programme of songs for Grange Park Opera with tenor Nicky Spence and mezzo-soprano Kitty Whately for an online video production. Other companies she has worked with include Welsh National Opera (youth department and main house placement), Mid Wales Opera, Operasonic, Barefoot Opera and the Tête à Tête Festival. This August, Ella was due to play for both the rehearsals and performances of Waterperry Opera Festival's production of Hänsel and Gretel in an arrangement for small ensemble, however due to COVID it has been postponed.
Ella graduated with distinction from the Royal College of Music last July, where she studied postgraduate piano accompaniment with Simon Lepper, Kathron Sturrock and Roger Vignoles. During her time there she won the Alasdair Graham Pianist Prize in the RCM Lieder Competition and second prize in the Brooks van der Pump English Song Competition. She also won the Bryan Davies Memorial Piano Accompaniment Prize at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she completed her undergraduate degree with first class honours in 2017.
For a fully up-to-date biography for use in programmes, please contact Ella directly
Photography on this page ©Rowena Mayo