The Irish tenor Donal J. Byrne was born in Dublin and studied there at the College of Music where he won many prizes including bursaries from the Irish Arts Council to attend masterclasses in Italy with Carlo Bergonzi and Ugo Benelli. Since 1994 he has lived in Bruxelles, Belgium where he became a member of the Opera Studio of the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie. He now studies with the internationally renowned teacher Loh Siew-Tuan.
Most recently Donal has returned from Malaysia where, as part of the Penang Arts Festival, he sang the role of Alfredo in "La Traviata" in both Penang and Kuala Lumpur. Other recent engagements include the role of Ferrando in "Cosi fan Tutte" for the Scène Nationale d'Orléans in France and the role of Orphée in Offenbach's "Orphée Aux Enfers" on tour in the Netherlands. With the Vlaamse Opera in Belgium he has sung the role of Ascanio in a production of "Lo Frate ´nnamorato" (Pergolesi) in Antwerp and Ghent. For the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie he has sung the role of Ernesto in their production of "Don Pasquale" (Donizetti) and Kunz Vogelgesang in "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg". Other productions at the Monnaie include roles in "Le Nozze Di Figaro" , "Il Tabarro" , "Die Zauberflöte" and "Idomeneo" . Some of the renowned conductors he has worked with include Antonio Pappano, Philippe Herreweghe, David Robertson, Marcello Viotti and Bertrand de Billy. He has collaborated with stage directors like Karl-Ernst and Ursel Herrmann, Stein Winge, Christof Loy and most frequently with the young French director François DeCarpentries. With the Opera Studio of the Monnaie he sang the roles of Tamino in "Die Zauberflöte" and Ferrando in their production of "Cosi Fan Tutte" in Belgium, France, Holland and Germany (Deutsche Oper-am-Rhein).
In his native Ireland roles have included Ferrando in Opera Theatre Company's production of "Cosi Fan Tutte". He has worked with Opera Ireland in productions of "Martha" and "La Boheme" and with other companies around Ireland in productions including "Rigoletto" - Duca di Mantova, "Don Giovanni" - Don Ottavio, "Albert Herring" (Britten) - Mayor Upfold, "The Bohemian Girl" (Balfe) - Thaddeus and "Die Lustige Witwe" - Camille, as well as broadcasts on television and radio. In 1994 he made his cinematic debut in "Widows Peak" opposite Mia Farrow.
In concert and oratorio Donal's repertoire includes performances of Bach´s "B Minor Mass" (Paris); Mahler's "Das Lied Von Der Erde" and Bernstein's "Songfest" (la Monnaie, Bruxelles); Handel's "Messiah" and Rossini's "Petite Messe Solennelle" (Dublin). With the Brussels Operettetheater he has sung Symon Rymanowicz in "Der Bettelstudent" (Millöcker) ; Caramello in "Eine Nacht In Venedig" (Strauss) ; Astolf in "Die Verschworenen" (Schubert) and Ange Pitou in "La Fille De Madame Angot" (Lecocq). Future projects include "Le Nozze Di Figaro" at the Monnaie in Bruxelles; "La Pietra del paragone" of Rossini in France and "Carmen" in Spain. Donal is also a founder member of the Belgo-Irish male vocal quartet "Quadrilatère" which specialises in music of the Romantic period.