Michael Gallen is an Irish composer, writer and performer. Works of note include Wilde Stories, a suite for the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and Cór na nÓg responding to Oscar Wilde's fairy tales; What You Forget, a large-scale choral work commissioned for the Ireland 2016 project and Session, a co-creation with dance artists Colin Dunne and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui which toured across the main stages of Europe in 2019/20, including an Irish premiere at the Abbey Theatre. Michael also recently created and directed At a Loss, an opera-film starring soprano Orla Boylan, for Irish National Opera’s “20 Shots of Opera” project.
Michael founded the Straymaker company in 2019 with the goal of creating innovative multidisciplinary and music-theatre projects rooted in an Irish idiom. His opera Elsewhere, the company’s maiden production, premiered at the Abbey Theatre in November 2021 to critical acclaim, created in co-production with the Abbey, Once Off Productions and French ensemble Miroirs Étendus. The opera was nominated for the 2021 Fedora Prize. Other Straymaker projects in development include multi-platform music-theatre work The Curing Line and an operatic feature film entitled Ways of Disappearing.
Michael has been a recipient of a numerous Arts Council awards including a Next Generation Bursary, as well as several prestigious national and international residency opportunities. He was a National Trailblazer for Culture Night 2020 and was one of the artists selected to participate in the flagship Platform 31 bursary scheme. He will be the Artist-in-Residence at La Brèche Festival in 2023, creating a new work for the festival, and has been commissioned to compose an evening-length piece for the Orchestre Nationale de Bretagne in 2024.
Michael was the lead vocalist and songwriter with Irish band Ana Gog and performs as a solo artist under the moniker Sudden Wells, with a new album due for release in Autumn 2022.