Biography - Michael Durkan - Biosecurity Systems' Events Industry Expert
Michael Durkan was born in the heart of Dublin and attended St. Canice’s and O’Connells Schools both run by the Christian Brothers who instilled into him a sense of community spirit and Independence of mind.
Michael currently Executive Producer/Director of Celtic Nights, World of the Musicals, Gaelforce Dance and a number of International Touring Productions. Michael is fortunate to work with a great team of loyal Directors, Choreographers, Musical Directors, and personal staff. His Theatrical Productions have toured the world since 1997, 45 countries to date.
Michael’s own career spans 35 years, both as a performer with the Irish Drovers worldwide and subsequently his own solo singing career. Michael commenced his career in Theatre and show business at the age of 16 and learned his trade as they say firstly as a Redcoat in Butlins and also working with the GATE Theatre (Michael Mac Liamoir and Hilton Edwards). Michael has worked in television for many years, as a performer, a producer and presenter.
A founding member of the Internationally acclaimed Irish Drovers with Myles Mooney Michael toured the length and breadth of Australia and New Zealand many times. The Irish Drovers appeared on Channel 9 Super Flying Fun Show for over 5 years creating a wide and loyal fan base with their songs and music of Ireland/ Australia and beyond. Later working with Chanel 9 as a sports presenter and SBS (Australia’s Multi Cultural Television Station)
Michael has since moved on from his own career as an entertainer to become the producer / Director of many internationally acclaimed productions and has used his talents and experience to create new and exciting shows i.e. Gaelforce Dance, Celtic Nights, The International Magic Tenors, Celtic Angels, World of The Musicals, On Eagle’s Wing and Dance Masters -The Best of Irish Dance to name a few.
All of these productions tour in various territories and to date the shows have played in over 45 countries worldwide in such celebrated venues as
The Royal Albert Hall London, The famous Sala Kongresowa and the Opera Theatre Wilke in Warsaw, Poland’s Premier Opera House, The Iconic Beijing Performing ArtsCentre, as well as many of the Great American Theatres and Prestigious venues in Australia, China, Inner Mongolia, Taiwan, Korea and Europe.
Michael has toured his Productions right across the USA and Canada as well as national tours of Russia , Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Kaliningrad, Holland , Germany , Belgium, Luxemburg, The Czech Republic, China , Taiwan , Korea , Australia , New Zealand, The UK and many more.
“Gaelforce Dance was the first of the productions back in 1997 and had been a passion for some time. Having it brought to the world stage the culmination of much effort on the part of many people was the beginning of the journey. A great story that embodies many emotions i.e. love, hate, hope, passion and repression but finally one of reunification and peace. Strangely enough, these evolving emotions from time to time have become part of the creative process amongst the people involved in the productions. It's because of this that I believe we have such a wonderful raw story to tell through dance, music and song with the shows we produce.
Michael has built up a successful touring roster working with some of the most prominent entertainment agencies worldwide, including Columbia Artist Management - New York, IMG Global Artists, Rockitz Australaia, Makro Concerts Poland, LPO – London, DEAG Germany, and is delighted to be working again with P&C Group – Beijing as well as many other promoters worldwide with whom we have built up great working and personal relationships.
Working with Talented Artists at all levels and genres of music has been a wonderful and fulfilling life experience as cast and crew tour the World.
For many years while living in Australia Michael opened and ran several Pubs in Sydney including The Mercantile Hotel in the famous Rocks … Scruffy Murphy’s. Molly McGuire’s and Kitty O’ Sheas.
Michael also built an impressive events company during this period and presented The Guinness and Oyster Festivals in Sydney drawing in over 300,000 people to the Rocks area of Sydney over a long weekend annually. Other notable events included The World Billiard Championships with Australia’s Eddie Charlton…. broadcast to 56 countries.
Michael was the first person as Chairman of the Sydney, St. Patricks Day Parade , to be allowed to use the Forecourt of the Sydney Opera House for a concert with an audience of 80,000 people in Sydney in 1980.
Michael was a member of The Rocks Chamber of Commerce, Sydney for many years serving on the executive. The Rocks area of Sydney is the most visited Tourist area in Australia taking in The Sydney Opera house, The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Circular Quay.
When Michael emigrated to Australia back in 1974 he quickly went about organising various projects which all came to fruition and continue to this day very successfully.
Michael was the First President and Chairman of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Sydney in 1978 working closely with a wonderful committee of dedicated people after being approached to organise the event with Seamus Byrne.
This Parade now attracts in excess of 1 Million people…. As they say…..From small beginnings great things happen. Michael is very proud of this distinction and to know that all these years later the Sydney St. Patrick’s Day Parade goes from strength to strength.
Michael co-owned a number of Sydney’s most successful pubs … Scruffy Murphys.. The Mercantile Hotel, Molly Maguires, Kitty O’Shea’s
As an Entrepreneur Michael’s business career spans a wide range of interests over the years and has given Michael a unique approach to dealing with people/ businesses while managing any situation which may arise in a very calm and ordered manner. Having completed mediation courses over the years Michael has found this to be an invaluable asset in many facets of his business and personal life.
Listening being the key ingredient…
Michael has been involved over the last 5 years with various community projects in Ireland through Right2Homes and HomeOptions, working to keep people in their homes and stem the ever increasing rise in Homelessness.
Currently Michael has been busy during COVID once again building a new and exciting business with a number of colleagues with Global network and expertise across a range of multi-faceted projects.
Michaels motto is.
The answer is Yes, What’s the question...
So lets get on with it ...
Be happy, healthy and laugh a lot….