Bursary is sweet music to Megan’s ears

Megan O’Neill: “The last few weeks have been absolutely incredible and I am honoured”

A hugely talented Killarney soprano, who is in the second year of a Doctor in Music Performance Degree at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, has been announced as the 2022 winner of the €15,000 RDS music bursary.

Megan O’Neill, 25, from Kilcummin, has received the single largest annual classical music award in Ireland and one of the largest in Europe. She qualified for the award by winning the Gervase Elwes Memorial Cup in this year’s Feis Ceoil.

Megan is currently studying with Professor Mary Brennan and Dr Andrew Synott and she completed a Masters in the Royal Irish Academy of Music with a first-class honour’s degree following her undergraduate studies in Maynooth.

A multiple prize-winner at the Feis Ceoil in recent years, Megan has performed in many opera productions and she will play the lead role in the world premiere of the film Dreamcatcher by Kevin O’Connell and RIAM Opera in 2023 as well as participating in Wexford opera Festival in the role of Cinderella.

Megan will use the €15,000 RDS music bursary to pay for the third and fourth years of her degree before auditioning for opera studios in Europe.

An engagement with the National Symphony Orchestra and a recital at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris are part of the award.

A delighted Megan said she is still in shock to have received the bursary.

“The last few weeks have been absolutely incredible and I am honoured to be the winner of the RDS music bursary this year. I couldn’t have done it without my family, teachers and friends support,” she said.

RDS Chief Executive. Geraldine Ruane, remarked: “”We are delighted to award Megan O’Neill this year’s RDS music bursary. She really impressed the judges and undoubtedly is a performer with a very exciting career ahead of her”.

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