Born in Wales of Irish and Welsh parents, Dennis O’Neill is one of the world’s leading tenors and a specialist in the works of Verdi.
He has enjoyed a long association with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where his many roles have included Rodolfo (La bohème), Duca (Rigoletto), Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor), Macduff (Macbeth), Gustavo (Ballo in Maschera), Foresto (Attila), Otello, Don Carlos, Radames (Aida), Aroldo (in concert), Carlo (Giovanna d’Arco), and Jacopo (I due Foscari).
For the Metropolitan Opera he has appeared as Alfredo (La Traviata), Radames (Aida) – conducted by Levine and Domingo – La Bohème, Rigoletto Turiddu (Cavalleria Rusticana) and Canio (I Pagliacci). Other North American engagements have included Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco, San Diego, Vancouver Opera and concerts with the Philadelphia, Cleveland, Montreal, and Ottawa Symphonies, and for the Cincinnati Festival. He has appeared in São Paolo and Santiago.
A frequent guest at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, his debut in Ballo in Maschera was followed by a new production of Manrico (Il Trovatore), Der Rosenkavalier, Tosca, Lucia, Gabriele Adorno (Simon Boccanegra), Aida and the title role in Otello. Elsewhere in Europe he has visited the opera houses of Vienna, Berlin, Bonn, Cologne, Hamburg, Nice, Zurich, Paris, Oslo, Brussels, Barcelona, Oviedo, the Arena di Verona and Turin. He enjoys a close relationship with Welsh National Opera.
Dennis O’Neill is also a very busy concert artist and is well known for his performances of Verdi’s Requiem which he has televised no less than seven times, and has sung throughout Europe with conductors including Muti, Sir Colin Davis, Sinopoli, Simon Rattle and Sir John Pritchard. Notable concert performances have included Idomeneo with Sir Charles Mackerras at the BBC Proms, Oberto at the Edinburgh Festival, Aida in Tel Aviv with Mehta, Le Damnation de Faust in Paris with Dutoit, Tosca in Cleveland with Slatkin and The Dream of Gerontius in London with Svetlanov. He has given recitals at Covent Garden and La Monnaie in Brussels.
Dennis O’Neill’s own television series for the BBC were enormously popular (the accompanying recording went to the top of the classical record charts) and he has subsequently completed a television film on Caruso another featuring famous movie themes. His many recordings include solo albums, videos of Der Rosenkavalier with Solti, Die Fledermaus with Kiri te Kanawa conducted by Domingo, Macbeth with Sinopoli, and Mefistofele from San Francisco. Recent releases include La fanciulla del West with Slatkin and Verdi’s Requiem with Sir Colin Davis, both for BMG/RCA; Tosca, La bohème, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, Aida and Turandot, and a solo disc of operatic arias, all for Chandos. His anthology of Italian Song featuring songs by Verdi, Bellini and Donizetti have recently been re-released on Naxos.
He has recently sung performances of Otello, Cav and Pag, Tosca, Il trovatore, Turandot, Il tabarro and Un ballo in maschera for Opera Australia and Cav and Pag in Perth, Australia and Canio for Netherlands Opera, Otello in Hamburg, Munich, Brazil and for Welsh National Opera, Lucia di Lammermoor in Munich, Aida in Munich and Dresden, Ballo in Lisbon and Munich, La Gioconda in concert for ENO, Fidelio for WNO, Turandot at the Met and Covent Garden, Ballo in Rome, Aida in Munich and Catania, Norma in Barcelona and I Pagliacci and Halévy’s La Juive for Covent Garden and the Netherlands Opera; a tour of Verdi Requiem with La Scala and Muti as well as performances with the Netherlands Philharmonic and The Dream of Gerontius in Munich with Mehta and in London with Sir Mark Elder.
In September 2011, he became Director of the new Wales International Academy of Voice at the University of Wales.
He was awarded the CBE in the 2000 New Year’s Honours list.