Monday 18 September 2023

Irish National Opera in Éna Brennan's Breathwork and Gounod's Faust plus much more at the Dublin Theatre Festival

Éna Brennan's Breathwork with a libretto by David Pountney
The Dublin Theatre Festival (28 September to 1 October 2023) has as its mission to present a programme of exceptional theatrical experiences that will appeal to the diverse communities and visitors that make up the city. It is Europe’s first theatre festival and still one of the leading ones, presenting the best of international and Irish theatre (also dance and opera). Some of this year's highlights include two pieces from the Irish National Opera, the premiere of Éna Brennan's dystopian chamber-opera Breathwork and a new production of Gounod's warhorse Faust.

Éna Brennan is a Dublin-based composer, arranger, violinist and graphic designer, originally from Brussels. Her most recent commissions include a micro-opera for the Irish National Opera project '20 Shots of Opera' which has led to her participation in INO’s artistic development programme. Her new piece, Breathwork with a libretto by David Pountney is an intimate chamber opera lasting around 20 minutes, a statement of horror and protest in response to the destruction of our environment. It is a companion work to a larger composition Hold Your Breath by Éna Brennan and David Pountney which has been commissioned by Bregenzer Festspiele.

Gounod's Faust will be directed by Jack Furness [who gave a brilliant, poet reimagining to Dvorak's Rusalka at Garsington last year, see my review], so expect something intriguing and striking, and conducted by Elaine Kelly (the company's resident conductor), with American tenor Duke Kim in the title role, and Irish soprano Jennifer Davis as Marguerite.

Elsewhere are the festival Junk Ensemble present Powerful Trouble, Shaune Dunne presents The Solution, a theatrical hybrid mixing dance, theatre and new music, there is a new dance performance for audiences age seven and over from Theatre for Children, whilst Luke Murphy's Volcano blurs the lines of experimental theatre, contemporary dance and psychological sci-fi thriller in live performance made for the Netflix era

Full details from the festival website.

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