Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Irish National Opera launches

Irish National Opera logo
Whilst most opera lovers have heard of the Wexford Festival, opera provision in the Irish Republic during the rest of the year has proved a little uneven over the years. Perhaps making a virtue out of necessity, the Irish Arts Council has create Irish National Opera by merging existing companies; the first time that there has been a national opera company Ireland. Irish National Opera launched this week with a gala concert in Dublin, and has announced a striking series of plans.

For the remainder of this season there is Mary Plazas in a touring production Thomas Ades' Powder Her Face, and then Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro staged by Patrick Mason with Tara Erraught, Jonathan Lemalu, Ben McAteer, Máire Flavin and Suzanne Murphy; the company's first full production, it will be presented in Wexford and Dublin. In the Summer, Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice is presented in association with the Galway International Festival, with Sharon Carty as Orfeo, directed by Emma Martin.

In the Autumn, Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh’s The Second Violinist is revived at the Barbican Centre in London, and there is a touring production of Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann, then Bartok's Duke Bluebeard's Castle, and Verdi's Aida conducted by Fergus Sheil (who is artistic director of the company) with Orla Boylan and Gwynne Hughes Jones as Aida and Radames.

2018 sees the company touring to 13 venues in Ireland, and it is looking to increase this to 26 venues by 2019. The ambition is also to broaden the repertoire, as well as looking to stage Wagner's Ring Cycle in Dublin for the first time since 1913!.

Full details from the Irish National Opera website.

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