Vocal coach at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, Dearbhla Collins is also Assistant Head of Music at the National Opera Studio in London. Since 2005, she has been the Executive Artistic Director of the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition in Dublin.
She is highly regarded internationally as a song pianist; performances include concerts with sopranos Juliane Banse, Anna Devin and Fatma Said; mezzo-sopranos Tara Erraught, Rachel Kelly, Ann Murray and the late Bernadette Greevy; tenors Dean Power, Paul McNamara and Mark Padmore; baritones Benjamin Appl and Will Thomas. These performances include recitals throughout Ireland, the UK and Europe. She has also toured the US with Tara Erraught and given masterclasses and recitals in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan in China.
Dearbhla was the moving force behind the 2003 Dublin Hugo Wolf Festival, when under her artistic direction the complete songs of the Austrian composer were performed for the first time in Ireland. Other notable projects under her direction include the acclaimed performance of the three operas known as the “Irish Ring” at the Royal Dublin Society, for whom she was opera consultant. She also founded the Dublin Song Series in 2013 and continues to curate it in partnership with the National Concert Hall and the Hugh Lane Gallery.
Dearbhla regularly plays for classes and masterclasses with Dame Ann Murray, Brigitte Fassbaender and Sir Thomas Allen.
As Artistic Director of the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition, Dearbhla has worked alongside such guest jury members as Richard Bonynge, Peter Carwell, Ileana Cotrubas, John Gilhooly, Olga Kapanina, Marie MacLaughlin, Steven Naylor, Tobias Truniger and Diane Zola. Past prizewinners of the competition have included Nadine Sierra, Fatma Said, Will Thomas, Sarah-Jane Brandon, Tara Erraught, Simon O’Neill and Pumeza Matshikiza.
Dearbhla was a member of the Board of the National Concert Hall, Dublin from 2010 – 2015, having previously served two terms on the Board of Culture Ireland. In October 2017 Dearbhla was awarded an honorary doctorate for her services to music in Ireland from the National University of Ireland.