Cosí fan tutte programme book 2023

Irish National Opera

Irish National Opera


You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

MOZART<br />

COSÌ<br />





Special thanks to Queen’s University Belfast Music<br />

Department, Artane School of Music, UCD School of Music<br />

and Peter Jordan.


COSÌ<br />





1790<br />


Libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte.<br />

First performance, Burgtheater, Vienna, 26 Janaury 1790.<br />

First Irish performance, Theatre Royal, Dublin, 31 August 1811.<br />


The edition of Così <strong>fan</strong> <strong>tutte</strong> used in these performances was prepared by Faye Ferguson<br />

and Wolfgang Rehm and published by Bärenreiter Verlag, Kassel. By arrangement with<br />

Faber Music, London.<br />

Running time 3 hours with one interval.<br />

#INOCosiFanTutte<br />

PERFORMANCES <strong>2023</strong><br />

Friday 19 May National Opera House Wexford<br />

Sunday 21 May University Concert Hall Limerick CONCERT PERFORMANCE<br />

Tuesday 23 May Gaiety Theatre Dublin<br />

Wednesday 24 May Gaiety Theatre Dublin<br />

Thursday 25 May Gaiety Theatre Dublin<br />

Friday 26 May Gaiety Theatre Dublin<br />

Saturday 27 May Gaiety Theatre Dublin<br />

Monday 29 May Leisureland Galway CONCERT PERFORMANCE<br />

Wednesday 31 May Cork Opera House Cork<br />

Friday 2 June Cork Opera House Cork<br />



MOZART<br />



Mozart’s Così <strong>fan</strong> <strong>tutte</strong> was an early love of mine. When I was<br />

17 and still at school, I got to play viola in the orchestra for a<br />

production of Così at the Royal Irish Academy of Music conducted<br />

by the late Paul Deegan. I had no idea opera could be such fun<br />

and I vividly remember craning my neck up from the pit to try to<br />

see all the antics on stage. The joyous bounce of Mozart’s music,<br />

his heart-breaking arias, hilarious ensembles and whirlwind finales<br />

have been romping around in my head since then.<br />

I’m more than delighted to present this work with Irish National<br />

Opera. It’s an opera without any small roles. It has six big<br />

characters each with lots to do and lots to say. The production will<br />

be seen on stage in Wexford and Cork and in concert in Limerick<br />

and Galway. And, because we are giving six performances in five<br />

days at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre, we have two entirely different<br />

casts for these Dublin shows. This not only gives us a tremendous<br />

opportunity to showcase the exceptional vocal talent of 12 brilliant<br />

artists in total but you’ll really need to think about coming twice to<br />

experience the full panoply of vocal talent.<br />

A big welcome back to eight opera stars whose singing I<br />

particularly love, and who have appeared in previous INO<br />

productions: Anna Devin, Sharon Carty, Gemma Ní Bhriain, Emma<br />

Morwood, Dean Power, Gianluca Margheri, John Molloy and<br />

Milan Siljanov. A very big welcome to those new to the INO roster,<br />

including the wonderful British tenor William Morgan, brilliant Irish<br />

baritone Benjamin Russell, who has been working in Wiesbaden,<br />

Germany, of late, and rapidly-rising Irish soprano Sarah Brady,<br />

who has taken Switzerland and Germany by storm in recent<br />

years. And a particular red carpet for one of Ireland’s most-loved<br />

sopranos and Queen of Cork, Majella Cullagh. Many years ago<br />

when I conducted my first ever opera, Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore,<br />

at the Gaiety Theatre, Majella was on stage as Adina, mentally<br />


showing me the ropes (helping me along with a few glances here and there) and<br />

inspiring me to do better than I ever believed I could.<br />

Although the music of Così <strong>fan</strong> <strong>tutte</strong> is sublime, the plot has divided opinions.<br />

Some find it sexist, many find it implausible. The opera has caused a lot of<br />

argument and directors have gone out of their way to present diverse points of<br />

view, often inspired by the values of our time. Così is a robust opera and it can<br />

take many different approaches.<br />

I always find myself drawn to Mozart’s subtitle La scuola degli amanti – The school<br />

for lovers. I think that, for both the men and the women in the opera, it is about an<br />

opportunity for growing up and understanding the world in a more complex and<br />

nuanced way. But, being an opera, things play out in a way that’s bigger, faster, more<br />

dramatic and more heightened than in real life. And, of course, everyone in the<br />

audience gets to grasp aspects of the plot in ways the characters themselves can’t.<br />

We can see the issues arising and appreciate the inevitability of events. This can be<br />

profoundly funny, amusing or disturbing. It’s impossible not to have a reaction.<br />

I’m excited by the production choices of tonight’s creative team. Director Polly Graham<br />

has chosen to set the opera in pre-revolutionary Ireland in an era that was both fertile<br />

and febrile, where exceptional things could and did happen. Together with designer<br />

Jamie Vartan, video designer Jack Phelan and lighting designer Sinéad McKenna,<br />

she has created a world that is far from Mozart’s Vienna of 1790 where the opera<br />

was premiered, but which serves as a brilliant context for Mozart’s inventiveness.<br />

Irish National Opera’s chorus and orchestra are directed by the (drumroll...)<br />

Olivier Award-winning conductor and INO Artistic Partner, Peter Whelan. I want<br />

to give a special welcome also to INO’s resident conductor Elaine Kelly, fresh<br />

back from triumph at LA Opera, who conducts three of the Dublin performances.<br />

There’s lots to enjoy and definitely a few things to argue about in Mozart’s Così<br />

<strong>fan</strong> <strong>tutte</strong>. I hope you’ll find the experience stimulating and rewarding.<br />






One of my all-time favourite operatic trios is Soave sia il vento<br />

from Act I of Così <strong>fan</strong> <strong>tutte</strong>. Da Ponte constructs a simple but<br />

affecting poem for this trio that conveys a message of hope and<br />

a longing for happy endings: May the winds be gentle / May the<br />

waves be calm / And may the elements indulge our desires. The<br />

way the lyrics are matched by Mozart’s seemingly simple melody<br />

creates an extraordinary effect. It’s all to do with the intertwining<br />

and intermingling of the voices, and the way the orchestra<br />

creates the effect of undulating waves. It is essentially a “smooth<br />

sailing!” farewell. Of course our friends in this opera will encounter<br />

some very stormy seas before eventually landing on shore – all<br />

metaphorically, of course – but not without having learned a very<br />

real lesson or two about life and love.<br />

In the course of planning and producing opera we sometimes have<br />

to navigate rough and tricky waters. That is part of the business as it<br />

requires a large team of people, working at the top of their game, to<br />

take an opera from page to stage. Like you, we are now being tossed<br />

and turned by circumstances beyond our control. The inflation<br />

we have all experienced and endured over the last two years is<br />

affecting our work. In particular, the increased costs of transport<br />

and accommodation are impacting on our ability to tour extensively<br />

and we’ve had to adjust our plans accordingly. We will not, however,<br />

increase our ticket prices, as we wish to keep opera accessible.<br />

Rossini’s William Tell and Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier were two of<br />

our most ambitious productions to date. Beyond the obvious vocal<br />

and musical demands, both of these visually striking productions<br />

were difficult to achieve from a technical and production point of<br />

view. Everyone involved was taxed to the limit. The season began<br />

with a hardly less spectacular production, Puccini’s Tosca with<br />

Sinéad Campbell Wallace in the title role. That production won the<br />

Docklands Business Forum Arts Award 2022 and Sinéad received<br />


an Olivier nomination for her portrayal of Tosca at English National Opera. We look forward to<br />

presenting Sinéad in another major role soon.<br />

Director Orpha Phelan and designer Nicky Shaw, the team that created such a magical La Cenerentola<br />

for us in 2019, conjured up another highly entertaining evening. Their take on Donizetti’s Don Pasquale<br />

amused audiences nationwide and went on to be nominated as Best Opera at The Irish Times Irish<br />

Theatre Awards. Orpha and Nicky return to INO this autumn for an opera of an altogether different<br />

complexion, Puccini’s La bohème, with the always moving Celine Byrne as Mimì, one of her signature<br />

roles. We have also just concluded a nationwide tour of Massenet’s Werther with two extraordinary<br />

singers making auspicious role debuts: Niamh O’Sullivan as Charlotte and Paride Cataldo in the title role.<br />

We were delighted to tour Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh’s The First Child, the final<br />

instalment in their trilogy of operas. And in January we revived Brian Irvine and Netia Jones’s<br />

Least Like The Other, Searching for Rosemary Kennedy for a run at the Royal Opera House’s<br />

Linbury Theatre. The production elicited plaudits from the UK press and earned an Olivier<br />

nomination for Best New Opera Production, bringing our tally of Olivier nominations to three,<br />

with one win. Not to blow our own horn too much, but this is an impressive achievement.<br />

Last season, in what we believe is a world first, we also premiered a virtual reality opera,<br />

Finola Merivale’s Out of the Ordinary, that was co-created with communities around Ireland.<br />

Experienced entirely on VR set, this bilingual opera (English and Irish) will be shown nationally<br />

and internationally in the coming months. And now, in Mozart and Da Ponte’s Così <strong>fan</strong> <strong>tutte</strong>,<br />

we’re offering not one but two excellent casts of principal singers.<br />

Our final event of the season is a gala concert featuring our current crop of INO Opera Studio<br />

artists at the Pavilion Theatre in Dún Laoghaire on 18 June. The Opera Studio is bedrock of our<br />

work. Investing in talent is key to ensuring the future of opera.<br />

We thank everyone who supports our company – our principal funder The Arts Council, Culture<br />

Ireland, who support our international work, and the many INO members whose individual<br />

contributions significantly contribute to our growth and success. I’m sure you will be as excited<br />

as we are about our <strong>2023</strong>–24 season, which will be announced next month. Until then, may the<br />

winds be gentle and may the waves be calm.<br />



MEMBERS <strong>2023</strong><br />



Henry Cox & Michael D. Kunkel<br />


Anonymous [1]<br />

William Earley<br />

Ian & Jean Flitcroft<br />

Howard Gatiss<br />

Tiernán Ó hAlmhain<br />

Gaby Smyth & Company<br />


Gianni & Michael Alen-Buckley<br />

Jennifer Caldwell<br />

Mareta & Conor Doyle<br />

Silvia & Jay Krehbiel<br />

Karlin Lillington & Chris Horn<br />

Rory & Mary O’Donnell<br />

Patricia & John O’Hara<br />


Valerie Beatty & Dennis Jennings<br />

Noel Doyle & Brigid McManus<br />

Florrie Draper<br />

Anne Fogarty<br />

Maire & Maurice Foley<br />

Roy & Aisling Foster<br />

Genesis<br />

Gerard Howlin<br />

M Hely Hutchinson<br />

Timothy King & Mary Canning<br />

Kintsukuroi<br />

Stephen Loughman<br />

Tony & Joan Manning<br />

Sara Moorhead<br />

Máire O’Connor & Simon O’Leary<br />

John & Mary O’Conor<br />

Joseph O’Dea<br />

Geraldine O’Sullivan<br />

James & Marie Pike<br />

John Schlesinger & Margaret Rowe<br />

Dermot & Sue Scott<br />

Matthew Patrick Smyth<br />


Anonymous [2]<br />

Desmond Barry & John R. Redmill<br />

Breda Cashe<br />

Maureen de Forge<br />

Eric & Christina Haywood<br />

Julian Hubbard<br />

John & Michele Keogan<br />

Catherine Kullmann<br />

Stella Litchfield<br />

Lyndon MacCann & Claire Callanan<br />

R. John McBratney<br />

Petria McDonnell<br />

Ann Nolan & Paul Burns<br />

Helen Nolan<br />

FX & Pat O’Brien<br />

James & Sylvia O’Connor<br />

Paul & Veronica O’Hara<br />

Peadar O’Mórdha<br />

Frances Ruane<br />


Anonymous [7]<br />

John Armstrong<br />

Alastair Boles<br />

Cathy Dalton<br />

Ciaran Diamond<br />

Matthew Dillon<br />

Veronica Donoghue<br />

Noel Drumgoole<br />

Michael Duggan<br />

Stephen Fennelly & Niamh O’Connell<br />

Hugh & Mary Geoghegan<br />

Niall Guinan<br />

Mary Holohan<br />

Nuala Johnson<br />

Paul Kennan & Louise Wilson<br />

Michael Lloyd<br />

Maria Loomes<br />

Dara MacMahon & Garrett Fennell<br />

Aibhlín McCrann & Peter Finnegan<br />

Patricia McCullagh<br />

Katherine Meenan<br />

Jane Moynihan<br />

Fiona Murphy<br />

Joe & Mary Murphy<br />

Kay Murphy<br />

Anne O’Shea<br />

Philip Regan<br />

Jim Ryan<br />

Catherine Santoro<br />

J & B Sheehy<br />

Charlotte & Dennis Stevenson<br />

Michael Wall & Simon Nugent<br />

Judy Woodworth<br />


Anonymous [7]<br />

Karen Banks<br />

Ann Barrett<br />

Lisa Birthistle<br />

Catherine Bunyan<br />

Cillian Copeland<br />

Jack Doherty<br />

Dr Beatrice Doran<br />

Josepha Doran<br />

Devidyal Givens<br />

Matthew & Máire Harrison<br />

Gabriel Hogan<br />

B. Howard<br />

Mr Trevor Hubbard<br />

Helen Kelly Jones<br />

Ita Kirwan<br />

Ciaran P. Lynch<br />

Bernadette Madden<br />

Cróine Magan<br />

Sandra Mathews<br />

Andrew McCroskery<br />

Niall McCutcheon<br />

Abbey McGiff<br />

Michael McGowan-Hannon<br />

John & Mary Miller<br />

Jean Moorhead<br />

Siobhan O’Beirne<br />

Dorrian O’Connor<br />

Liam O’Daly<br />

John & Mary O’Gorman<br />

Mary O’Kennedy<br />

Prof Desmond O’Neill<br />

Marion Palmer<br />

Lucy Pratt<br />

Hilary Pyle<br />

Susan Reidy<br />

Prof Sarah Rogers<br />

Linda Scales<br />

Olivia Sheehy<br />

Liam Shorten<br />

Jim Smith<br />

Mary Spollen<br />

Vivian Tannam<br />

Philip Tilling<br />

TU Dublin Operatic Society<br />

Brian Walsh & Barry Doocey<br />

Breda Whelan<br />

Niall Williams<br />

Maureen Willson<br />




Irish National Opera is Ireland’s leading producer of opera at home and<br />

on great operatic stages abroad. We are passionate about opera and its<br />

power to move and inspire. We showcase world-class singers from Ireland<br />

and all over the world. We work with the cream of Irish creative talent,<br />

from composers and directors to designers and choreographers. We<br />

produce memorable and innovative performances to a growing audience<br />

and we offer crucial professional development to nurture Ireland’s most<br />

talented emerging singers, directors, composers and répétiteurs.<br />

We aim to give everyone in Ireland the opportunity to experience the<br />

best of opera. We are a young company, still only in our fifth year, yet<br />

we have presented over 100 performances and won popular praise<br />

and industry awards both nationally and internationally for our groundbreaking<br />

work. Through our productions, concerts, masterclasses,<br />

workshops, lectures, broadcasts and digital events, we have reached<br />

an audience of over half-a-million worldwide.<br />

We want to do more, and we need your help to do it.<br />

Become an Irish National Opera Member to unlock exclusive, behindthe-scenes<br />

events, including backstage tours, masterclasses with worldrenowned<br />

singers, INO Opera Studio performances, artist receptions and<br />

much more. Your invaluable help will ensure that Irish National Opera<br />

can continue to widen access to opera in Ireland, provide professional<br />

development to some of Ireland’s most talented singers and that we can<br />

carry forward our commitment to provide an accessible platform for our<br />

digital output. To support Irish National Opera’s pioneering work, please<br />

get in touch or visit our website irishnationalopera.ie<br />

Contact: Aoife Daly, Development Manager<br />

E: aoife@irishnationalopera.ie T: +353 (0)85–2603721<br />

Image: Soprano Claudia Boyle in the title role in Gerald Barry’s<br />

Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. ©ROH 2020. Photo: Clive Barda.<br />






Così <strong>fan</strong> <strong>tutte</strong> is Mozart’s comedy which tells the story of two men<br />

who are obsessed with proving the idea that their girlfriends will<br />

always be faithful. With their misanthropic friend Don Alfonso, the<br />

men make a bet and devise a trick. They pose as soldiers recruited<br />

for war, and leave their girlfriends to believe they are alone. In<br />

actual fact the men return immediately, disguised as two other<br />

men. In these new guises they attempt to seduce each other’s<br />

girlfriends. Initially this proves difficult (and they feel vindicated),<br />

but as the day progresses, the girls betray their original lovers with<br />

these “new men”. The men abruptly end the trick by staging their<br />

return and then feigning discovery of the illicit new relationships.<br />

They use this evidence to chastise and shame their girlfriends<br />

before settling down to live the rest of their lives with them. The<br />

title, roughly translated from the Italian, means “all women act like<br />

this”. It implies a judgment and a position of authority.<br />

“No opera is quite so forthright in its contempt for women” is<br />

writer and New Yorker music critic Alex Ross’s view. He is right.<br />

Lorenzo Da Ponte, Mozart’s librettist, offered a tagline, maybe to<br />

win back the 50 percent of his potential audiences who may have<br />

been alienated by the subtitle – “La scuola degli amanti,” “The<br />

school for lovers”. Is that what it is? “A school for how to uphold<br />

a long tradition of putting women in their place,” more like. In<br />

creating this new production for INO, I’ve flipped the lens, with the<br />

objective of interrogating the agency of the female characters at<br />

the centre of the story. Their power at the beginning of the opera<br />

is very small compared to the men who are playing with the lives<br />

of these women. However, once the two girls believe in and start<br />

to relate to the new lovers, there is a shift. A brilliant effect starts to<br />

take place, where the two girls accept the new reality and step into<br />

it, embracing power through their newly awakened emotions, with<br />

their original boyfriends struggling to win it back. In rehearsals we<br />

call this the “Frankenstein effect” because as the men conduct<br />

this experiment on their girlfriends, there is a radical shift in power,<br />

just like Victor Frankenstein and the monster he creates.<br />


I was interested in the idea that the girls undergo a process of self-liberation as they begin to take<br />

joy in renouncing the values of their past lives, and choose new lovers. This made me wonder what<br />

other changes the two women could experience. We have located the action in an Anglo-Irish<br />

stately pile in the 1910s. We are riffing off this period, and using its rich palette to elaborate the<br />

story. This pre-revolutionary Ireland, as Roy Foster describes so eloquently in his <strong>book</strong> Vivid Faces,<br />

posited so many visions of the future as part of the burgeoning debate for nationhood. Feminism,<br />

socialism, romanticism, Bolshevism are just some of the ideas which intersected in the zeitgeist of<br />

the era. This situation has allowed us to push the comedy of the piece.<br />

What if two dimwitted, landed West Britons seriously underestimated their fiancées? What if they<br />

stupidly assumed the characters of two far more interesting men – Dion Boucicault-inspired artistes<br />

(based on the “O’Kalem” company, who were making early silent films in Ireland at this time) – to<br />

test the fidelity of their lovers? What if, in leaving their two girlfriends free to think for themselves, the<br />

girls tune into and absorb the possibilities of the socio-political movements of the time? What if these<br />

two upper middle-class ingénues not only discover a new emotional identity in their new-found desire<br />

with their new boyfriends, but also a new-found intellectual and social mojo? What if, by the end of the<br />

opera, these girls become Constance Markievicz-inspired political radicals?<br />

We have developed this theme of the Anglo-Irish stately pile as a kind of constructed container<br />

for the two cloistered, naive young women, and there’s a parallel between the house and<br />

the land which it is inhabiting, and their own bodies, which they initially try to lock away from<br />

society and turn into fortresses, before going on a journey of discovery. There’s a parallel<br />

between Nora in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, and the transformation of Fiordiligi and Dorabella.<br />

The values which confine them at the start of the opera fall away as they listen to the forward<br />

thinking ideas of Despina, who we have loosely modelled on the radical trade unionist<br />

and feminist Louie Bennett. Despina encourages Fiordiligi and Dorabella to reframe their<br />

understanding of love. Once they start rethinking that idea for themselves, the floodgates open,<br />

and all inherited assumptions about reality are up for debate, leading the two women to the<br />

question which must prompt all revolutions: does reality have to be like this?<br />

As Despina says to the girls in Act I “vi par, ma non è ver”, “it seems so but it is not true”. The O’Kalems<br />

are actually fakes, the constancy of a lover is as fragile as the autumn leaves, and the capability and<br />

agency of the two young women at the centre of the story, which is assumed by the men around them<br />

to be nil, only continues to grow as they discover new versions of themselves. Instead of Da Ponte’s<br />

tagline, I might suggest: All changed, changed utterly. A terrible beauty is born.<br />



ACT I<br />

Don Alfonso dismisses the naïveté of his<br />

young friends Gugielmo and Ferrando. He<br />

mocks their belief in the constancy of their<br />

girlfriends, the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella.<br />

To prove his point, Don Alfonso proposes a<br />

bet, challenging the friends to test the loyalty<br />

of their lovers. He advises Ferrando and<br />

Guglielmo to pretend to go off to war. Later,<br />

Don Alfonso surprises Fiordiligi and Dorabella<br />

with news that their boyfriends must go to war<br />

immediately. The sisters watch the military<br />

boat sail away. Despina, a maid, encourages<br />

the sisters to enjoy themselves while their<br />

lovers are away. Don Alfonso enlists Despina’s<br />

help and instructs her to introduce two suitors<br />

disguised as strangers into the sisters’ home.<br />

Fiordiligi and Dorabella are startled to find<br />

unfamiliar men in their midst, especially when<br />

the men start making wild declarations of<br />

love. Don Alfonso declares that these men<br />

are his old friends and urges the sisters to<br />

entertain their advances. However, Fiordiligi<br />

remains steadfast in her loyalty to Guglielmo.<br />

The two disguised suitors then drink what<br />

appears to be poison as a demonstration<br />

of their desperate love. Don Alfonso and<br />

Despina rush to find a doctor, leaving Fiordiligi<br />

and Dorabella to care for the supposedly<br />

dying men. A disguised doctor, who is actually<br />

Despina, arrives to revive the suitors. As they<br />

recover, the suitors declare their love for the<br />

sisters even more ardently.<br />

ACT II<br />

Despina convinces Fiordiligi and Dorabella<br />

that some recreational flirtation would help<br />

pass the time. Dorabella chooses to engage<br />

with the disguised Guglielmo, while Fiordiligi<br />

selects the disguised Ferrando. Fiordiligi<br />

takes a walk with Ferrando, while Guglielmo<br />

pursues Dorabella. Dorabella eventually<br />

succumbs to Guglielmo’s advances,<br />

betraying her loyalty to Ferrando. Fiordiligi<br />

continues to resist Ferrando and he leaves.<br />

Devastated by the news of Dorabella’s<br />

quick betrayal, Ferrando makes a second<br />

attempt to break Fiordiligi’s resolve. Much<br />

to Guglielmo’s horror, Fiordiligi finally gives<br />

in to her desires. Despina orchestrates a<br />

double wedding for the sisters and their new<br />

lovers. A military chorus signifies the “return”<br />

of Ferrando and Guglielmo from battle. The<br />

suitors and the notary, again Despina in<br />

disguise, hide as Ferrando and Guglielmo<br />

appear in uniform, pretending to be surprised<br />

by the cold reception they receive. When<br />

they discover the marriage contract and the<br />

notary, they swear revenge on their unfaithful<br />

fiancées and their suitors. Finally, the men<br />

reveal their trick and expect a reconciliation<br />

with their original girlfriends.<br />


A TIME<br />


Photographer: Frank Doring<br />

Historian Roy Foster’s <strong>book</strong>, Vivid Faces, influenced<br />

director Polly Graham to an Irish take on individual<br />

growth and the empowerment of women in Così <strong>fan</strong><br />

<strong>tutte</strong>. Michael Dervan talks to him about his love of<br />

opera and the artform’s place in Irish society.<br />

When I ask Roy Foster about how opera came to him, his reply is<br />

shocking. “Probably real opera came to me when I went to live in London<br />

in the Seventies,” he says. “I remember during the three-day week going<br />

to the Royal Opera House when it was very cheap, and half the lights<br />

were out, and Hildegard Behrens was singing Salome. If the Western<br />

world is coming to an end, this is the way to go.”<br />

But it turns out Salome was far from his first opera. He grew up in<br />

Waterford when the city’s Festival of Light Opera was very vibrant. “We<br />

used to be dragged along to that. My mother took a very grand attitude<br />

towards it and thought it was idiotic stuff. She never brought us to<br />

Wexford, interestingly, but she said this was better than nothing. So I<br />

suppose that was my initial start.”<br />

He remembers “bad productions of Tosca” and other things from his time<br />

in Dublin. London was a turning point and, recently, he says, “it’s not just<br />

London. It’s Garsington, it’s Longborough, it’s Glyndebourne if somebody<br />

else takes me. And then English Touring Opera which always starts in<br />

the Hackney Empire, which is a wonderful place to hear opera. James<br />

Conway has done terrific productions there.”<br />

I ask about his taste in opera. “An American friend unkindly says I’m a<br />

schmalz maven,” he tells me. “I love Strauss and verismo opera, Verdi,<br />

of course. But one thing I really like about Irish National Opera is the<br />

way they’re introducing brand new operas into the repertoire, along<br />

with the classics. I think they’re doing that very adroitly and very well.<br />

I am fairly omnivorous, I would think. I’m starting to like Britten much<br />

more than I did. I used not to. Now I’m getting into it. What I’ve come to<br />

like is a harshness of works like Turn of the Screw and Peter Grimes. I<br />


find them very strong and uncompromising. And,<br />

in a certain sense, un-English. They’re not pretty,<br />

they’re not folky. At least not obviously folky.”<br />

I broach the issue that opera is not very well<br />

knitted into the fabric of Irish society. “No. It’s<br />

not. But didn’t Opera Theatre Company [one<br />

of the companies that formed INO] put on<br />

Eithne, an opera in Irish by Robert O’Dwyer?<br />

Which was a complete revelation to me, and<br />

I’m supposed to know about that period. It was<br />

absolutely new to me. James Joyce, of course, is<br />

saturated in opera. Themes from Don Giovanni<br />

run through Ulysses, as is well known, obviously<br />

infidelity among them. I’m just trying to think<br />

of Irish cultural works that privilege opera.<br />

Kate O’Brien’s beautiful novel, As Music and<br />

Splendour, is about two young Irish women<br />

opera singers studying in Rome and falling in<br />

love with each other. It’s a very transgressive<br />

novel in many ways. But it puts opera at the<br />

centre of their existence. And their own life in<br />

a way replicates a great romantic opera. It’s<br />

very obviously not set in Ireland, though they<br />

have escaped Ireland, escaped religion, and are<br />

finding themselves in Italy, the home of opera, of<br />

that kind of opera.”<br />

He demurs when I suggest that official Ireland<br />

has long been more or less in denial about a<br />

rich strain of European culture. “I think that’s a<br />

slight overstatement, but it’s certainly got a lot<br />

of truth to it. It’s partly because of the nationalist<br />

agenda of cultural revival in the late 19th century<br />

– just when Joyce was having the opportunity,<br />

ironically, to hear all these operas in late Victorian<br />

Ireland – was when the great claim was being<br />

made by the avatars of Irish national culture to<br />

search back into our own native past, or “rock<br />

and hill,” as Yeats put it. To excavate from that<br />

the realities of a modern culture.<br />

“At the same time, and this is too often forgotten,<br />

the Abbey Theatre was, in Yeats’s and John<br />

Millington Synge’s minds, certainly, somewhere<br />

that they hoped to put on avant-garde European<br />

culture. They’d both been to see avant-garde<br />

theatre in Paris in the 1890s. They’d seen<br />

Alfred Jarry’s plays, they’d seen Axël by Villiers<br />

de l’Isle-Adam, Yeats had, anyway. And they’d<br />

certainly gone to the Théâtre Libre and seen the<br />

productions that were put on there. Yeats wanted<br />

to bring Sudermann and Hauptmann and the<br />

work of other people to Dublin, as well as to<br />

rediscover – or in fact actually invent – a native<br />

Irish form of drama. There was a consciousness,<br />

among the avant-garde, that there was a<br />

European connection, a European parallel to be<br />

exploited out there.<br />

“One thing I found when writing a kind of cultural<br />

profile of the revolutionary generation in Vivid<br />

Faces, was that the young revolutionaries I was<br />

interested in weren’t really going to The Abbey<br />

very much. They rather disapproved of Yeats.<br />

They loved Cathleen ni Houlihan, but after that<br />

it all got suspect. And they certainly weren’t,<br />

with a couple of exceptions, very interested in<br />

avant-garde European culture. Their cultural<br />

vectors ran much more along the lines of ballad,<br />

story and rann, as Yeats would put it. Traditional<br />

versions of Irish history delivered through<br />


popular journalism, popular balladry and agitprop<br />

theatre, which they were interested in.<br />

“All this excludes, I think, the world of opera,<br />

especially of grand opera. Though, again,<br />

Yeats was conscious of Wagner, though Yeats’s<br />

musicality is a very complex business. In some<br />

ways tone-deaf and unmusical, in others he<br />

had an extraordinary sense of rhythm. And he<br />

himself believed that music was very important.<br />

He certainly saw the assonances between what<br />

Wagner was doing, trying to recreate and project<br />

a national myth through drama and music<br />

at Bayreuth. Maud Gonne was a passionate<br />

Wagnerian, as you might not be surprised to hear.<br />

She certainly looked the part. So Yeats saw the<br />

assonances between what he ideally would like the<br />

Abbey Theatre to do and what Wagner was doing<br />

at Bayreuth. But, of course, the Abbey diverged<br />

from Yeats’s original hopes of it, into something<br />

much more echt-nationalist and predictable.”<br />

I ask about how complete Yeats’s tone-deafness<br />

was. “It’s an impossible question to answer<br />

unless you had him in the room, intoning<br />

his poems for you. I think he had a sense of<br />

musicality and an extraordinary sense of rhythm.<br />

Because, of course, he composed his poems<br />

out loud, which is one reason why they have<br />

such a powerful beat to them. At the same time,<br />

his wife, who was very musical, as were both<br />

their children, said he could literally not tell the<br />

difference between one tune and another.”<br />

Foster sings the praises of Caroline Staunton’s<br />

INO production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute,<br />

which he wrote about enthusiastically in the<br />

Times Literary Supplement. “I really liked it,<br />

with the kind of Irish-inflected, 18th-century<br />

Ascendancy slant that it took.” It led him to<br />

think of other operas that could have Irish<br />

makeovers, “like Rigoletto in Dublin gangland or<br />

Ballo in maschera at the court of Charles James<br />

Haughey. There are fertile ways in which classic<br />

operas could be re-imagined for Irish contexts.”<br />

He’s had conversations with Polly Graham about<br />

the revolutionary period in Ireland in which her<br />

new production is set, “a period where Irish<br />

women are embarking upon a sense of liberation<br />

from the constraints of family and sexual and<br />

social expectations. One such revolutionary,<br />

Rosamond Jacob, writes in her diary that<br />

‘promiscuity in both sexes is much better than<br />

the double standard of morals’. That could be<br />

said by Despina, couldn’t it, straight from Così?”<br />

The great thing about diaries, like Rosamond<br />

Jacob’s, he says, “is that every day she went<br />

home and wrote down what she had done.<br />

And often it involved going around and talking<br />

about sex with friends. She writes about it very<br />

frankly, and she herself had an unabashedly<br />

overpowering desire for sexual life outside the<br />

constraints of heterosexual marriage. Judging by<br />

that unusual window into her life, many of her<br />

friends felt the same. You could say in a sense<br />

Roger Casement’s diaries give you equally an<br />

unusual window into a life, a very controversial<br />

one, but still a fascinating insight into an<br />

alternative sexual life at a time when such things<br />

were supposed by many people not to exist.”<br />



IN DUBLIN IN 1894<br />

Based on list from Bronze by Gold, The Music<br />

of Joyce, edited by Sebastian DG Knowles<br />

AUBER: Fra Diavolo<br />

BALFE: The Bohemian Girl 2 PRODUCTIONS<br />

BENEDICT: The Lily of Killarney<br />

BERLIOZ: La damnation de Faust<br />



DONIZETTI: La fille du Régiment 2 PRODUCTIONS<br />

DONIZETTI: Lucia di Lammermoor<br />

FLOTOW: Martha<br />

GLUCK: Orfeo ed Euridice 2 PRODUCTIONS<br />

GORING THOMAS: Esmeralda †<br />


GOUNOD: Roméo et Juliette<br />


MASCAGNI: Cavalleria rusticana 3 PRODUCTIONS<br />

MASCAGNI: L’amico Fritz<br />

MASSÉ: Galathée ‡<br />

MASSENET: La Navarraise<br />

MEYERBEER: Les Huguenots<br />

MOZART: Don Giovanni<br />

TASCA: A Santa Lucia §<br />

VERDI: Falstaff<br />

VERDI: Il trovatore 2 PRODUCTIONS<br />

VERDI: La traviata<br />

WAGNER: Die Meistersinger<br />

WAGNER: Lohengrin 2 PRODUCTIONS<br />

WAGNER: Rienzi<br />

WAGNER: Tannhäuser 2 PRODUCTIONS<br />


* Procida Bucalossi (1832–1918) and his son Ernest<br />

Bucalossi (1863–1933) were both British-Italian<br />

composers of light music whose published music<br />

usually just carried their surname. They are now best<br />

remembered for The Grasshopper’s Dance by Ernest.<br />

† Arthur Goring Thomas (1850–1892), English composer<br />

whose Esmeralda (1883) is dedicated to the the French<br />

mezzo-soprano and composer Pauline Viardot; the first<br />

performance, at Drury Lane in London, featured Irish<br />

tenor Barton McGuckin in the role of Phoebus.<br />

‡ Victor Massé (1822–1884), a Prix de Rome-winning<br />

French composer who composed Galathée in 1852.<br />

§ Pierantonio Tasca (1858–1934), Italian opera<br />

composer whose A Santa Lucia dates from 1892.<br />

He’s optimistic about the health of opera. “I think<br />

it’s at a pretty vibrant stage. I think it appeals to a<br />

broader base of people than it used to. My children<br />

are in their thirties and their forties now. When I<br />

was their age opera was for older people, generally<br />

speaking. Now I think there’s a younger audience who<br />

are availing themselves of it. I notice this at English<br />

Touring Opera at the Hackney Empire. it’s full of young<br />

people in hoodies. Opera Up Close, mounting radically<br />

reduced versions of classic operas in London pubs,<br />

brings in a young audience. The same is true of INO<br />

performances, especially of the new operas, Least Like<br />

The Other, for instance.<br />

“It’s a different take on opera to the audiences of<br />

Glyndebourne or I think I would have to say Wexford,<br />

as well. There is a spread of appeal. I’m not sure why<br />

this is. It’s partly because I think mixed dramatic forms,<br />

what could roughly be called musical theatre, is very<br />

alive and very lively and being canvassed very widely at<br />

the moment, even in fringe theatre. Much more so than<br />

when I first began going to the theatre half a century<br />

ago. There is an appeal to the operatic form that is<br />

more widely distributed.<br />

“At the same time, there are things working against<br />

it. Most of all, perhaps, the huge expense, especially<br />

of putting on a conventional large opera. The cost of<br />

putting on a Don Carlo one can hardly begin to imagine.<br />

At the same time that is where increasing the repertoire<br />

into small-scale modern operas seems to me a very<br />

important development, as with the collaborations with<br />

Enda Walsh that INO have been doing. I think there<br />

is a liveliness and a future to it. There are moments<br />

when you find opera crossing into a popular form<br />

which I think you can isolate as key. Think of the very<br />


fashionable movie of maybe 30 years ago Diva.<br />

That foreground opera to the kind of audience<br />

that would have been seeing this very trendy,<br />

very slick, very young film. It would have made<br />

quite an impression. And of course there was<br />

‘Nessun dorma’ and the Three Tenors at the<br />

World Cup. The first time I really cottoned<br />

on to Così, I suppose, was when I saw John<br />

Schlesinger’s wonderful film, Sunday, Bloody<br />

Sunday, where ‘Soave sia il vento’ is the theme<br />

tune. It’s about a triangular relationship. This<br />

wonderful trio pulses through the film. It wasn’t<br />

the place one expected to encounter a Mozart<br />

opera. But it brought it to the fore.”<br />

What would be on his dream repertoire list for a<br />

company like INO? “I’d just like them to do my<br />

favourite operas, obviously. I’d like them to do<br />

Don Carlo, and maybe there would be a way of<br />

shaping it to some Irish historic situation. I’d like<br />

them to do some Britten. It would be interesting<br />

to see Britten played in Ireland. Perhaps you<br />

could transpose Peter Grimes to Irish village life<br />

rather than Suffolk village life”. He follows up,<br />

by e-mail, with Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová, which<br />

“would transpose very well to an Irish setting”.<br />

He describes the use of Vivid Faces to inform a<br />

production of Così <strong>fan</strong> <strong>tutte</strong> as “very gratifying.<br />

Polly had read my <strong>book</strong> very closely. She had<br />

picked out in it the things that I was glad to have<br />

concentrated on myself, like the difficulties of<br />

and the rewards of exploring sexual dissidence<br />

against conventional morality as part of the<br />

revolutionary generation’s reactions.<br />

“One thing that I was very struck by when writing<br />

Vivid Faces was the extent to which so many of<br />

the people I was studying were revolting against<br />

their parents as much as against the British<br />

state. The British state stood in for their parents,<br />

and vice versa. I was also very struck by the shift<br />

of attitudes towards conventional morality that<br />

that implied, and the way that people changed<br />

their names. We always think of people who give<br />

themselves names in Irish as just saying that<br />

he or she is a passionate Gaeilgeoir. It’s also a<br />

rejection of the name your parents had given<br />

you. It’s a rejection of the identity your parents<br />

had given you.<br />

“Polly had picked up on those subversive<br />

elements in that generation. I like her idea – I<br />

haven’t seen rehearsals – to project those<br />

subversivenesses or those subversions into her<br />

version of Così, which conveniently is set when<br />

there’s a war for the two lads to go off to. As there<br />

was in the just pre-revolutionary generation.<br />

And with women who, when freed from the<br />

trammels of expectations, end up behaving in an<br />

unconventional and liberated way.<br />

“That’s not the way that Da Ponte or I suspect<br />

Mozart would have seen them behaving. I like<br />

the thought of them not behaving as weak and<br />

corruptible vessels, but as women grabbing their<br />

agency for themselves when they see a bit of<br />

freedom.”<br />

Roy Foster’s Vivid Faces, The Revolutionary<br />

Generation in Ireland, 1890–1923, is published<br />

by Allen Lane.<br />




1943–<strong>2023</strong><br />

The morning after conducting the opening<br />

night of Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier at the<br />

Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in March, I woke to<br />

the unexpected news of the death of Kenneth<br />

Montgomery at his home in Amsterdam.<br />

I only got to know Kenneth towards the end<br />

of a career that included recordings for EMI<br />

and RCA in the 1970s, Schoenberg’s Moses<br />

und Aron at the Holland Festival in the 1980s,<br />

and a much-praised Haydn L’isola disabitata<br />

in Amsterdam just months before his death.<br />

I knew that he was born in Belfast in 1943,<br />

that among Irish conductors his career was<br />

rivalled in the 20th century only by another<br />

Northern Irish musician, Hamilton Harty,<br />

who had led the Hallé Orchestra to glory in<br />

the 1920s and 1930s. That he had trained<br />

under giants, Adrian Boult in London, Hans<br />

Schmidt Isserstedt in Hamburg and Sergiu<br />

Celibidache in Siena. That his career saw<br />

him work at Glyndebourne, Sadler’s Wells<br />

and Bournemouth, and in major orchestral<br />

and choral posts in the Netherlands. That he<br />

was the first Irishman to become principal<br />

conductor of the Ulster Orchestra, and that<br />

he was also the first artistic director of Opera<br />

Northern Ireland.<br />

I encountered his work in the 1990s when I<br />

saw Opera Northern Ireland’s production of<br />

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Grand<br />

Opera House in Belfast. It was an opera I loved<br />


from CD, but this was my first time to encounter it live. I vividly remember his way of<br />

handling the string sound in the sorrowful prelude, the rhythmic spring of the waltz<br />

and polonaise, and the tragedy of the opera’s conclusion. When we launched Irish<br />

National Opera in 2018, Kenneth was high on the list of people I wanted to work with.<br />

I offered him a choice of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in 2019 or Bizet’s Carmen<br />

in 2020, and he opted for Carmen because he felt this was a score that he could<br />

usefully bring his interest in historical research to bear on. His meticulous approach<br />

was evident from the first rehearsal. He was steeped in the ideals of historically<br />

informed performance practice, but there was not the slightest hint of doctrine about<br />

his music-making. His approach was always collaborative and collegial.<br />

The 2020 performances were scuppered by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.<br />

But, wonderfully, we managed to bring the team back together two years later, and<br />

Kenneth’s goal of viewing the opera through a classical rather than a romantic lens<br />

did eventually get realised. He created wonderfully lithe, transparent orchestral<br />

sounds. He revealed the full texture of the score with apparently effortless ease, and<br />

he allowed space for the singers to shape phrases as Bizet notated, without having<br />

to constantly battle to be heard. He reversed the layout of the first and second violins<br />

in the pit, and divided the four double basses, two on each side of the orchestra.<br />

His motivation was to increase orchestral clarity by responding to his analysis of the<br />

acoustic characteristics of the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.<br />

It was an honour to have had this collaboration with him, and a personal pleasure<br />

to get to know himself and his husband Jan. Kenneth was always upbeat, positive<br />

and encouraging – not for nothing was he a major teacher of conducting in the<br />

Netherlands. He enriched his colleagues as well as his pupils. He will be sorely missed.<br />

I speak for everyone at INO when I say we feel a great sense of loss when we think with<br />

fondness of his joie de vivre, his continual curiosity and his unending drive for making<br />

music. We extend our deepest sympathy to Jan, for whom his loss is unimaginable.<br />




BEING MA<br />



I remember it well, because, as you know, Cork<br />

has a great tradition of opera in the city. A lot of<br />

touring companies would come. It was whatever<br />

the version of Irish National Opera was then, the<br />

Dublin Grand Opera Society probably. They came<br />

around Easter time. They did their spring season<br />

and brought it to Cork Opera House. My father<br />

loved classical music. He played symphonic<br />

music and he played his operas. My mother was<br />

more of a Frank Sinatra woman. Mum wasn’t<br />

particularly interested in seeing the opera with<br />

Dad. So, when I was 11, Dad deemed I was old<br />

enough to accompany him. We went to see Verdi’s<br />

La traviata. I cried all the way home in the car<br />

afterwards. He swore at the time that he’d never<br />

bring me to another opera. I totally got into the<br />

story. I remember, towards the end when Violetta<br />

was dying, she fell and Alfredo had to catch her.<br />

She must have been a large woman, because I<br />

remember, just for a split second, coming out of<br />

the story and thinking, “O my god, she’s going to<br />

crush him!” Then I got straight back into the story<br />

again. At the time, operas were obviously more<br />

traditional. So during the overture, the curtain was<br />

always down. I got used to going to these operas,<br />

so that you’d have this 11-year-old, 12-year-old<br />

sitting there. And people always had their little<br />

boxes of chocolates. During the overture they’d be<br />

opening their Dairy Milk or whatever. But the little<br />

11-year-old was going SHUSH! I just remember<br />

bawling my eyes out in the car on the way home,<br />

because Violetta had died, and I was so engrossed<br />

in the story that I really believed it.<br />





Gosh! I was extraordinarily fortunate. A lot<br />

of people go to music college and do music<br />

in university. I went straight from school<br />

into work, a job. And at the time there were<br />

a lot of amateur dramatic musical societies<br />

and I always joked that I killed off amateur<br />

dramatic work in Cork, because I got the tail<br />

end of that. I appeared as a solo “artiste”<br />

in about ten different productions in three<br />

years. That’s a lot, Gilbert and Sullivan, and<br />

Cara O’Sullivan [Cork soprano, 1962–2021]<br />

and myself were in a Lehár operetta. By the<br />

time I went to the National Opera Studio<br />

in London, I was the only one not to have<br />

come out of full-time music education. But<br />

in a way I was more advanced. Because I’d<br />

learnt by treading the boards with people<br />

like James N Healy [1916–93, Cork actor,<br />

writer and producer] in Gilbert and Sullivan,<br />

and lots of other people. By the time I had<br />

my first professional engagement, I was a<br />

pretty seasoned performer. And one of the<br />

very, very first professional engagements<br />

I had was singing Musetta in Puccini’s La<br />

bohème for Opera Ireland, after I came out<br />

of the National Opera Studio. Which, hold on<br />

to your seat, was in 1993. Little did I know<br />

then that, 30 years later, I’d still be singing<br />

and performing. I’m so proud of that. Regina<br />

Nathan was Mimì. It was just wonderful. The<br />

chorus at the time was a mixture, more or<br />

less an amateur chorus. There were stalwart<br />

singers like Frank O’Brien around. They<br />

were so encouraging, so proud that here was<br />

another young Irish singer on the way. I did a<br />

lot of Musettas then and then not again for ten<br />

years. And one of my scariest moments was<br />

doing the role in the Royal Albert Hall, directed<br />

by Francesca Zambello. It was opera in the<br />

round with roller-skating waiters, set in Paris<br />

around 1947. I had the amazing, Lana Turneresque<br />

hair and had to walk on a table singing<br />

“Quando m’en vo”. I would put out my foot<br />

and a table would appear by the time I put my<br />

foot down. I walked across the middle of the<br />

Albert Hall not seeing anything in front of me,<br />

but walking, and the table would miraculously<br />

appear each time I put my foot down.<br />



There were lots of little moments along the<br />

way, for different reasons. One of the best<br />

pieces of advice was to shut up, basically. I<br />

was singing Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux for<br />

Opera Holland Park, and Richard Bonynge<br />

was conducting. When I was in my dressing<br />

room, warming up my voice, I’d hear a little<br />

knock at the door. Richard Bonynge would be<br />

there with his finger up to his mouth, going<br />

“Shush”. Basically telling me not to keep<br />

singing. Because it’s something that singers<br />

do. Once you warm up your voice, you should<br />

be done, and you should be cooked, and you<br />

should just relax. It’s a nervous tic. Singers<br />

just tend to keep vocalising in the dressing<br />

room, keeping it going. You’re just tiring<br />

yourself out and it’s unnecessary. He was so<br />


experienced, he knew that. I was someone<br />

who suffered from performance anxiety and<br />

nervous tension, and a choreographer once<br />

advised me, just before going on stage, to<br />

take a piece of your sleeve in your fingers.<br />

Just feel the material in your fingers and<br />

bring yourself into that moment. The opposite<br />

of being nervous is being focused and<br />

concentrated. That was another good tip.<br />



There is this pronounced knowledge that<br />

opera is too hifalutin’ or not understandable<br />

or too expensive or elitist. But I see<br />

arguments to the contrary all the time. I’m<br />

making a stand that that is fake news. They<br />

say that young people aren’t interested in<br />

opera. And yet they’re pouring out of music<br />

colleges all the time wanting to be opera<br />

singers. Charles Mackerras [Australian<br />

conductor, 1925–2010] had a very long<br />

career and he said to me once that he was<br />

quite young when he got his first conducting<br />

job at Covent Garden. He turned around and<br />

he saw all these grey heads in the audience.<br />

He went, “Oh my god! What have I done? I’m<br />

in a dying artform.” 50 years later he turned<br />

around and saw a similar sea of grey heads.<br />




Obviously, the music is just divine. We’re<br />

talking about a genius here. He wasn’t<br />

messing around. He knew how to write<br />

absolutely glorious melodies, but melodies<br />

that speak to the heart. And of course, in<br />

Così <strong>fan</strong> <strong>tutte</strong>, like in most other things, the<br />

central message is about love. And what is<br />

love? And what should love be? There are so<br />

many extraordinary moments. I’m a sucker<br />

for the trio in Act I [“Soave sia il vento”].<br />

Every time I hear it I’m just transported away.<br />

It is gorgeous. It’s music that feeds the soul<br />

and that lifts you up and that brings you<br />

somewhere else. Music has that power.<br />



Not to make a caricature. To find more<br />

substance and depth in her pronouncements<br />

on love. Because she believes in choice, in a<br />

woman’s power, and that love should make<br />

you happy. She really doesn’t buy into the fact<br />

that love should be tortuous and painful and<br />

horrible. She doesn’t have much soulful music.<br />

And yet, in her more bouncy, in-your-face<br />

music, I need to find the soul and the essence,<br />

and imbue the music with that, as well.<br />



I’ve derived so much pleasure out of my work,<br />

my experiences in opera, my colleagues.<br />

There was one particular thing which felt<br />

really special, important in some way beyond<br />

what we were doing. It was during the Peace<br />

Process, in the run up to the Good Friday<br />

Agreement. The Arts Council of Northern<br />


Ireland (ACNI) contacted Scottish Opera,<br />

because they had a designated department<br />

that worked on outreach projects. What<br />

ACNI wanted was to give money to a project<br />

that was going to bring both sides of the<br />

border together in some artistic way. So they<br />

commissioned a piece of musical theatre.<br />

They brought in a wonderful man, David<br />

Munro, who was at the time in Scottish Opera,<br />

a composer, and later musical director of the<br />

Celtic Tenors, and now Celtic Thunder. He<br />

composed a musical based on the William<br />

Trevor short story, The Ballroom of Romance.<br />

People from Leitrim and Enniskillen were<br />

encouraged to take part. He wrote a beautiful<br />

arietta that Bridie sang to herself in the mirror<br />

before going into the ballroom, and tenor<br />

James Nelson had the role of Mr Dwyer, who<br />

owned the ballroom. But everybody else<br />

was either from Enniskillen or somewhere<br />

in Leitrim, from communities that had been<br />

separated by the closing of border roads. It<br />

was one of the most moving experiences I<br />

had. At the wrap party there was a table where<br />

everyone was crying and hugging. It appears<br />

that two of the young girls who were in the<br />

chorus had become great mates during the<br />

production. It transpired, during the party,<br />

that when their mothers were of a similar age,<br />

they, too, had been great friends. But they’d<br />

lost touch. It made a very deep impression<br />

on me about the difficulties and struggles of<br />

ordinary people, and not even the people who<br />

had suffered death or injury. Just how the<br />

social history of the area had been impacted.<br />

For a brief, shining moment, as it were, that<br />

production brought these communities<br />

together. The very special warmth that was<br />

generated has stayed with me. It touched me<br />

deeply, how much love there was in that whole<br />

experience, and also how much sadness.<br />



I do feel there was a fork in the road for me<br />

at one point. When I was young I saw music<br />

as a hobby. So when I left school I qualified<br />

as a dental nurse. This was at the very tail<br />

end of the Aids epidemic in Ireland. Nurses<br />

were being asked to volunteer to work with<br />

HIV positive patients. I understood the true<br />

risks and had no fear about it. So I ended up<br />

being involved in preparations for surgeries.<br />

The surgeons noticed I wasn’t squeamish, I<br />

was calm. One day they offered to send me<br />

to England to train as a theatre nurse. And<br />

I remember having to say to the HR person<br />

that my problem was that I was interested in a<br />

different kind of theatre.<br />




Ferrando Dean Power Tenor<br />

an officer, lover of Dorabella<br />

19, 21, 23, 25, 27 (AFTERNOON), 29, 31 MAY, 2 JUNE<br />

William Morgan<br />

Tenor<br />

24, 26, 27 (EVENING) MAY<br />

Guglielmo Benjamin Russell Baritone<br />

an officer, lover of Fiordiligi<br />

19, 21, 23, 25, 27 (AFTERNOON), 31 MAY, 2 JUNE<br />

Gianluca Margheri<br />

Baritone<br />

24, 26, 27 (EVENING), 29 MAY<br />

Don Alfonso John Molloy Bass<br />

an old philosopher<br />

19, 21, 23, 25, 27 (AFTERNOON), 29, 31 MAY, 2 JUNE<br />

Milan Siljanov<br />

Bass<br />

24, 26, 27 (EVENING) MAY<br />

Fiordiligi Anna Devin Soprano<br />

a lady from Ferrara<br />

19, 21, 23, 25, 27 (AFTERNOON), 29, 31 MAY, 2 JUNE<br />

sister of Dorabella Sarah Brady Soprano<br />

24, 26, 27 (EVENING) MAY<br />

Dorabella Sharon Carty Mezzo-soprano<br />

a lady from Ferrara<br />

19, 21, 23, 25, 27 (AFTERNOON), 29, 31 MAY, 2 JUNE<br />

sister of Fiordiligi Gemma Ní Bhriain Mezzo-soprano<br />

24, 26, 27 (EVENING) MAY<br />

Despina Majella Cullagh Soprano<br />

maidservant to the sisters<br />

19, 21, 23, 25, 27 (AFTERNOON), 29, 31 MAY, 2 JUNE<br />

Emma Morwood<br />

Soprano<br />

24, 26, 27 (EVENING) MAY<br />



Conductors<br />

Director<br />

Set & Costume Designer<br />

Lighting Designer<br />

Video Designer<br />

Chorus Director<br />

Associate Director<br />

Assistant Director<br />

Répétiteur & Continuo<br />

Language Coach & Répétiteur<br />

Peter Whelan<br />

19, 21, 23, 25, 27 (AFTERNOON), 29, 31 MAY; 2 JUNE<br />

Elaine Kelly<br />

24, 26, 27 (EVENING) MAY<br />

Polly Graham<br />

Jamie Vartan<br />

Sinéad McKenna<br />

Jack Phelan<br />

Elaine Kelly<br />

Davey Kelleher<br />

Stephanie Dufresne<br />

Aoife O’Sullivan<br />

Annalisa Monticelli<br />


Fiordiligi (cover)<br />

Dorabella (cover)<br />

Guglielmo (cover)<br />

Despina (cover)<br />

Studio Conductor<br />

Kathleen Nic Dhiarmada<br />

Madeline Judge<br />

Eoin Foran<br />

Jade Phoenix<br />

Medb Brereton Hurley<br />



Sopranos<br />

Jade Phoenix<br />

Niamh St John<br />

Jessica Hackett<br />

Megan O’Neill<br />

Mezzo-sopranos<br />

Leanne Fitzgerald<br />

Madeline Judge<br />

Sarah Kilcoyne<br />

Heather Sammon<br />

Tenors<br />

Andrew Masterson<br />

William Pearson<br />

Ben Escorcio<br />

Ciarán Crangle<br />

Basses<br />

Matthew Mannion<br />

Kevin Neville<br />

Lewis Dillon<br />

David Scott<br />


First Violins<br />

Sarah Sew LEADER<br />

David O’Doherty<br />

Anita Vedres<br />

Cillian Ó Breacháin<br />

Jennifer Murphy<br />

Second Violins<br />

Larissa O’Grady<br />

Aoife Dowdall<br />

Christine Kenny<br />

Emma Masterson<br />

Violas<br />

Adele Johnson<br />

Andreea Banciu<br />

Gawain Usher<br />

Cellos<br />

David Edmonds<br />

Yseult<br />

Cooper-Stockdale<br />

Aoife Burke<br />

Double Bass<br />

Dominic Dudley<br />

Flutes<br />

Meadhbh O’Rourke<br />

Naoise Ó Briain<br />

Oboes<br />

Daniel Souto<br />

Jenny Magee<br />

Clarinets<br />

Conor Sheil<br />

Suzanne Brennan<br />

Bassoons<br />

Sinéad Frost<br />

Clíona Warren<br />

Horns<br />

Hannah Miller<br />

Caoime Glavin<br />

Trumpets<br />

Darren Moore<br />

Pamela Stainer<br />

Timpani<br />

Noel Eccles<br />



Production Manager<br />

Michael Lonergan<br />

Company Stage Manager<br />

Paula Tierney<br />

Stage Managers<br />

Elizabeth Barry<br />

Anne Kyle<br />

Assistant Stage Managers<br />

Rachel Ellen Bollard<br />

Rachel Spratt<br />

Technical Stage Manager<br />

Danny Hones<br />

Technical Team<br />

Abraham Allen<br />

Martin Wallace<br />

Joey Maguire<br />

Pawel Nieworaj<br />

Peter Boyle<br />

Fergus McDonagh<br />

Chief Electrician<br />

Donal McNinch<br />

LX Programmer<br />

Eoin McNinch<br />

LX Team<br />

Nathan Lennon<br />

Paul Hyland<br />

Video Assistant<br />

Eoin Robinson<br />

Wigs, Hair, Make-up Supervisor<br />

Carole Dunne<br />

Wigs, Hair, Make-up Assistant<br />

Tee Elliott<br />

Costume Supervisor<br />

Sinead Lawlor<br />

Tailors<br />

Denis Darcy<br />

Gillian Carew<br />

Costume Makers<br />

Denise Assas Tynan<br />

Anne O’Mahony<br />

Wardrobe Supervisor<br />

Niamh Kearney<br />

Costume Breakdown Artist<br />

Molly Brown<br />

Costume Intern<br />

Kellie Donnelly<br />

Dressers<br />

Marie Brady<br />

Jessica Healy Rettig<br />

Rebecca McConnan<br />

Guia A Macapez<br />

Perseus E O’Brien<br />

Saoirse Wadding<br />

Jenny Whyte<br />

Specialised Prop Makers<br />

Scenedock<br />

Ancient Lights<br />

High Nelly Engineering Ltd<br />

Teresa Young<br />

Frances White<br />

Props Supervisor<br />

Stephanie Ryan<br />

Costume Hire<br />

Peris Costumes<br />

Set Construction<br />

Theatre Production Services<br />

Scenic Printing<br />

Showtex, Plustec<br />

Scenic Artist<br />

Sandra Butler<br />

Assistant Scenic Artist<br />

Susan Crawford<br />

Armourer<br />

Laurence Thermes<br />

Crewing Contractor<br />

ESI<br />

Lighting Provider<br />

QLX<br />

Video Hire<br />

SSS<br />

Surtitle Operator<br />

Maeve Sheil<br />

Transport<br />

Trevor Price<br />

Odhran Sherwin<br />

Photography<br />

Agata Stoinska<br />

Ruth Medjber<br />

Ros Kavanagh<br />

Video<br />

Charlie Joe Doherty<br />

Graphic Design<br />

Alphabet Soup<br />

PR Consultant<br />

Conleth Teevan<br />

Programme edited by<br />

Michael Dervan<br />





Olivier award-winner Peter Whelan<br />

is among the most dynamic and<br />

versatile exponents of historical<br />

performance of his generation, with<br />

a remarkable career as a conductor<br />

and director. He is artistic director<br />

of the Irish Baroque Orchestra as well as curator of<br />

Early Music for Norwegian Wind Ensemble. He is<br />

also an acclaimed solo artist with an extensive and<br />

award-winning discography as a solo bassoonist. As<br />

conductor he has a particular passion for exploring<br />

and championing neglected music from the Baroque<br />

and Classical eras. Orchestral highlights of the 2022–<br />

23 season include Antwerp Symphony Orchestra<br />

and Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, as well as<br />

returns to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the<br />

National Symphony Orchestra in Dublin. Recent<br />

opera productions have included Gluck’s Orfeo ed<br />

Euridice (for his debut with San Francisco Opera),<br />

Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute<br />

with Irish National Opera, and Handel’s Radamisto<br />

with English Touring Opera. In 2022 he conducted<br />

Vivaldi’s Bajazet for INO, a co-production with the<br />

Royal Opera House which was met with outstanding<br />

reviews and for which he won an Olivier Award for<br />

Outstanding Achievement in Opera. His work in<br />

concert and the recording studio has been widely<br />

praised for its “rich insight, style and charisma” (The<br />

Guardian), its “stylish verve” (BBC Music Magazine)<br />

and “phenomenally energetic direction” (Artsdesk).<br />

As an early music champion, he represents “the very<br />

best of contemporary trends in bringing this music to<br />

life: flex and zest with tempi...an incredible alertness<br />

to colors and moods” (Operawire).<br />


CONDUCTOR 24, 26, 27 (EVENING) MAY<br />


Elaine Kelly is the resident<br />

conductor of Irish National Opera.<br />

Upon her appointment in late<br />

2021, she conducted a national<br />

tour with Peter Maxwell Davies’s<br />

The Lighthouse. She made her US<br />

debut in Emma O’Halloran’s Trade/Mary Motorhead<br />

in New York’s Prototype Festival in January, and<br />

her Los Angeles Opera debut in the same double<br />

bill in April. She also conducted nine new works by<br />

Irish composers in INO’s internationally praised 20<br />

Shots of Opera in 2020 as well as the film of Amanda<br />

Feery’s A Thing I Cannot Name in 2021. She held the<br />

position of studio conductor in the INO Opera Studio<br />

from 2019–21, and worked as assistant conductor<br />

and chorus director on performances of Rossini’s<br />

La Cenerentola, Mozart’s The Abduction from the<br />

Seraglio, Puccini’s La bohème, Strauss’s Elektra,<br />

Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh’s The First Child,<br />

Beethoven’s Fidelio, Bizet’s Carmen, and films of<br />

Maxwell Davies’s The Lighthouse and Gerald Barry’s<br />

Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. In March 2022 she<br />

was invited to work as assistant conductor on Opéra<br />

National de Bordeaux’s production of Donizetti’s<br />

L’elisir d’amore. In 2014 she won the inaugural ESB<br />

Feis Ceoil Orchestral Conducting Competition which<br />

led to engagements with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.<br />

She was Musical Director of the University of Limerick<br />

Orchestra (2019–21), the Dublin Symphony Orchestra<br />

(2017–19) and has worked with the National Symphony<br />

Orchestra, Dublin Youth Orchestra and Cork Concert<br />

Orchestra. Elaine is a BMus and MA graduate of the<br />

MTU Cork School of Music.<br />






Polly read English at Trinity<br />

College Dublin and completed her<br />

masters at RADA. Her directing<br />

credits include Olga Neuwirth’s<br />

Orlando (Vienna State Opera),<br />

Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in<br />

patria (Longborough Festival Opera), a triple bill which<br />

included the world premiere of Freya Waley-Cohen’s<br />

WITCH (Royal Academy of Music, London), Mozart’s<br />

Die Zauberflöte (Royal College of Music, London),<br />

Dani Howard’s Robin Hood (The Opera Story),<br />

Orlando Gough’s Bloom Britannia (Barefoot Opera),<br />

Ullmann’s The Emperor of Atlantis (Loud Crowd<br />

at Bold Tendencies), Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas<br />

(Blackheath Halls), Frank Martin’s Le Vin herbé<br />

(Welsh National Opera and Theater St Gallen), Karl<br />

Amadeus Hartmann’s Simplicius Simplicissimus<br />

(Independent Opera Director Fellow 2016), Peter<br />

Maxwell Davies’s Kommilitonen! (Welsh National<br />

Youth Opera), Unheard Voices: CREW (WNO), and<br />

Nighthawks (New Earth Theatre). Her associate<br />

director credits include Rossini’s Mosè in Egitto<br />

(Teatro di San Carlo, Naples), Gordon Getty’s Usher<br />

House and Debussy’s La chute de la maison Usher<br />

(San Francisco Opera). Earlier this season she<br />

directed the world premiere of Pierangelo Valtinoni’s<br />

Il piccolo principe at La Scala, Milan. Polly is artistic<br />

director of Longborough Festival Opera.<br />

Jamie Vartan studied Fine Art at<br />

Brighton Polytechnic & Theatre<br />

Design at Central St Martins. He has<br />

worked extensively as a designer in<br />

theatre, opera and dance in Ireland,<br />

the UK and Europe. His designs for<br />

opera include Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh’s<br />

The First Child, The Second Violinist and The Last Hotel<br />

(Landmark Productions/Irish National Opera); Bartók’s<br />

Bluebeard’s Castle, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel<br />

(INO) and Rossini’s William Tell (INO and Nouvel Opéra<br />

Fribourg); Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia (Wide Open<br />

Opera); Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Tchaikovsky’s The<br />

Queen of Spades (La Scala); Verdi’s La traviata (Malmö);<br />

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (Opéra national du Rhin);<br />

Anthony Bolton’s The Life and Death of Alexander<br />

Litvinenko, Puccini’s La bohème (Grange Park Opera);<br />

Bizet’s Carmen (Lisbon); Ariadne auf Naxos (Salzburg);<br />

Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking (Oldenburg);<br />

Delius’s A Village Romeo and Juliet (Wexford Festival<br />

Opera, winner best set design, The Irish Times Irish<br />

Theatre Awards); Puccini’s Manon Lescaut (Bilbao<br />

and Valencia); Verdi’s Falstaff (Grange Park Opera,<br />

Oman and Parma). His designs for theatre include<br />

Medicine, Woyzeck in Winter, Arlington, Ballyturk and<br />

Misterman, winner best set design, The Irish Times<br />

Irish Theatre Awards (Landmark Productions/Galway<br />

International Arts Festival); Happy Days (Olympia/<br />

Landmark Productions); Grief is the Thing with<br />

Feathers (Complicité/Wayward Productions/Landmark<br />

Productions/Galway International Arts Festival);<br />

Bondagers (Edinburgh Lyceum); Ravens: Spassky v<br />

Fischer (Hampstead Theatre); Knives in Hens (Perth);<br />

Have Your Circumstances Changed? (Artangel), and<br />

The Lost Child Trilogy (David Glass Ensemble). His film<br />

design includes The Last Hotel (Sky Arts).<br />







Sinéad McKenna an internationally<br />

renowned Irish set and lighting<br />

designer working extensively<br />

across theatre, opera, dance and<br />

film, and has received two Irish<br />

Times Irish Theatre Awards for best<br />

lighting design and a Drama Desk nomination for<br />

outstanding lighting design for a musical. Previous<br />

designs for INO include Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda,<br />

Puccini’s La bohème (Bord Gáis Theatre livestream),<br />

Vivaldi’s Griselda and Offenbach’s The Tales of<br />

Hoffman. Recent set and lighting designs include<br />

Walking with Ghosts and The Approach (Landmark<br />

Theatre). Lighting designs include Ghosts (Landmark<br />

Productions/Abbey Theatre), Faith Healer (Abbey<br />

Theatre), Piaf (Gate Theatre), Dēmos (Liz Roche<br />

Company), Parade (Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris) and<br />

Once Upon a Bridge and Epiphany (Druid Theatre).<br />

She has designed for many notable companies<br />

including Donmar Warehouse, The West Yorkshire<br />

Playhouse, Cork Opera House, The Everyman, Lyric<br />

Theatre Belfast, Rough Magic, CoisCéim, Decadent,<br />

Gare St Lazare, Corn Exchange and THISISPOPBABY.<br />

Davey is a director based in Dublin,<br />

working across opera and theatre.<br />

His work with INO includes directing<br />

Conor Mitchell’s A Message for<br />

Marty (or The Ring) for INO’s<br />

acclaimed 20 Shots of Opera series<br />

in 2020. He was assistant director for Puccini’s Tosca,<br />

Bizet’s Carmen and Verdi’s Aida (INO) as well as<br />

Rossini’s The Barber of Seville (Wide Open Opera).<br />

He has directed outreach projects with Music<br />

Generation and Maynooth University, and recently,<br />

Music Rooms with The Ark and INO. He was a<br />

member of the INO Opera Studio 2021–22. Theatre<br />

directing credits include the award-winning Tom<br />

Moran is a Big Fat Filthy Disgusting Liar, Michelle<br />

Read’s Bang! for Dublin Theatre Festival 2020 &<br />

2021, A Short Cut To Happiness for the Edinburgh<br />

Fringe Festival (nominated for Scotsman Mental<br />

Health Award), comic drama Seahorse, multiform<br />

music & puppetry works, Glowworm and<br />

Birdy, spoken-word sci-fi, These Lights, and the<br />

geopolitical allegory The Olive Tree, which has toured<br />

internationally. He produced the revival and tour<br />

of TRYST with Sickle Moon Productions (The Civic/<br />

Project Arts Centre/Lyric Theatre Belfast/VAULT<br />

London) and has worked as an associate director<br />

with the Cork Opera House (ProdiJig: The Revolution,<br />

The Wizard of Oz, and The Cork Proms), and continues<br />

to work with their emerging outreach <strong>programme</strong>.<br />

He is the artistic director of Dublin Youth Theatre,<br />

a guest tutor and director at The Lir Academy,<br />

Dublin, an associate artist at The Civic, Tallaght,<br />

and a director and playwriting mentor for their<br />

Tenderfoot <strong>programme</strong>.<br />






Stephanie is a dancer, actor and<br />

choreographer from the west<br />

of Ireland. She holds a BA in<br />

dance from the Rotterdam Dance<br />

Academy and is a graduate of the<br />

full-time <strong>programme</strong> for screenacting<br />

at the Bow Street Academy in Smithfield.<br />

Since graduating she has enjoyed combining her<br />

skills for companies and choreographers like Protein<br />

Dance, Chrysalis Dance, Dam Van Huynh, Marguerite<br />

Donlon, Liz Roche, Emma Martin/United Fall and Junk<br />

Ensemble. She played the lead role of Karen in Selina<br />

Cartmell’s production of The Red Shoes for the Gate<br />

Theatre in 2017 and has appeared as a performer in<br />

music videos for Talos, Dean Lewis, Crash Ensemble<br />

and Galia Arad among others. Stephanie’s show<br />

After Love premiered at the Galway International Arts<br />

Festival in 2021. She has collaborated previously with<br />

Irish National Opera on Gluck’s Orfeo ed Eurydice,<br />

Gerard Barry’s Alice’s Adventure’s Underground,<br />

Bizet’s Carmen and Rossini’s William Tell. She was<br />

one of four performers in INO’s Least Like The Other<br />

which recently finished a run at the Royal Opera<br />

House in London, where it was nominated for an<br />

Olivier Award. She made her opera-directing debut<br />

in Benedict Schlepper-Connolly’s Dust in INO’s highly<br />

praised 20 Shots of Opera.<br />

Aoife O’Sullivan was born in Dublin<br />

and studied at the College of Music<br />

with Frank Heneghan and later<br />

at the RIAM with John O’Conor.<br />

She graduated from TCD with<br />

an Honours degree in Music. In<br />

September 1999 she began her studies as a Fulbright<br />

Scholar at the Curtis Institute of Music and in 2001<br />

she joined the staff there for her final two years. She<br />

was awarded the Geoffrey Parsons Trust Award for<br />

accompaniment of singers in 2005. She has worked<br />

on the music staff at Wexford Festival Opera, and on<br />

three Handel operas for Opera Theatre Company<br />

(Orlando, Xerxes, and Alcina), and for Opera Ireland<br />

on Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and Britten’s<br />

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She also worked at<br />

the National Opera Studio in London and was on the<br />

deputy coach list for the Jette Parker Young Artist<br />

Programme at the Royal Opera House. She has played<br />

for masterclasses including those given by Malcolm<br />

Martineau, Ann Murray, Thomas Allen, Thomas<br />

Hampson and Anna Moffo. She worked on Mozart’s<br />

Zaide at the Britten Pears Young Artist Programme<br />

and on Britten’s Turn of the Screw for the Cheltenham<br />

Festival with Paul Kildea. She has appeared at the<br />

Wigmore Hall in concerts with Ann Murray (chamber<br />

versions of Mahler and Berg), Gweneth Ann Jeffers,<br />

Wendy Dawn Thompson and Sinéad Campbell<br />

Wallace. She is now based in Dublin where she<br />

works as a répétiteur and vocal coach at TU Dublin<br />

Conservatoire and also regularly for INO.<br />






Annalisa Monticelli is a highly<br />

sought-after musician who has<br />

performed and recorded in Europe,<br />

Asia, North and South America as a<br />

soloist, with vocal and instrumental<br />

ensembles, and with various<br />

orchestras. She studied piano, voice, conducting,<br />

chamber music, jazz and education in Italy and<br />

the USA with renowned musicians including Bruno<br />

Canino, Daniel Rivera, Eugenia Rozental, Cinzia Gizzi<br />

and Douglas Weeks. She gave her first solo recital<br />

at the age of 10 and gained her first piano degree at<br />

the age of 16 with maximum marks. She started her<br />

professional coaching career working for the Montalto<br />

Opera <strong>programme</strong> in Montalto Ligure in Italy under<br />

the guidance of tenor Ugo Benelli and accompanying<br />

masterclasses by Wagnerian soprano Rebecca Turner<br />

and others. After three years in the USA, she moved<br />

to Ireland in 2014 to work as a répétiteur for the Royal<br />

Irish Academy of Music, where she later became<br />

Italian and vocal coach. Since then she has performed<br />

in all Irish major venues, released CDs, worked as<br />

Italian coach, accompanied masterclasses for the<br />

Institut StimmKünst in Zurich and performed and<br />

taught in Italy, England, Poland, France, Lithuania,<br />

Malaysia and north America. To further her education,<br />

she is undertaking a PhD in TU Dublin. Her research<br />

focuses on Michele Esposito and his piano school<br />

based in Dublin in the late nineteenth century. She<br />

is currently <strong>programme</strong> director/répétiteur at DkIT<br />

Dundalk; conductor of Anam Chamber Choir and<br />

executive director/chief accompanist/Italian coach<br />

for the Bassi Brugnatelli International Symposium.<br />



FIORDILIGI 19, 21, 23, 25, 27 AFTERNOON, 29, 31 MAY, 2 JUNE<br />

Irish soprano Anna Devin is widely<br />

admired for her “impeccable<br />

Baroque style” (Bachtrack), and<br />

“vocal control...artistry and musicodramatic<br />

intelligence” (Opera<br />

News). In addition to Così <strong>fan</strong> <strong>tutte</strong>,<br />

her engagements in the current season have included<br />

a tour of Bach’s Mass in B minor with the Orchestra of<br />

the Age of Enlightenment and upcoming concerts in<br />

the West Cork Chamber Music Festival. She has also<br />

performed Elisabetta in Rossini’s Willian Tell for INO,<br />

Almirena in Handel’s Rinaldo with Glyndebourne Tour,<br />

Michal in Handel’s Saul at the Théâtre du Châtelet<br />

in Paris, Rosane in Vivaldi’s La verità in cimento at<br />

Zurich Opera House and the title role in Cavalli’s<br />

La calisto at Teatro Real, Madrid. In concert she has<br />

performed Handel with the Irish Baroque Orchestra,<br />

the Royal Northern Sinfonia and at the London Handel<br />

Festival. She has also appeared at the Albert Hall<br />

with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, given a New<br />

Year’s Day concert with the RTÉ National Symphony<br />

Orchestra, and performed Mendelssohn’s Symphony<br />

No. 2 (Lobgesang) with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.<br />

In addition to her work on stage, she is proud to be<br />

an Ambassador for the British Dyslexia Association.<br />

She is passionate about nurturing new talent and<br />

has given masterclasses at the Royal Irish Academy<br />

of Music as well as coaching at the Royal Academy<br />

Opera Course, London. When not on stage, she is a<br />

keen runner and enjoys keeping fit and relaxing with<br />

her husband, two daughters and a Norwegian Forest<br />

Cat in their Bedfordshire home.<br />





Irish soprano Sarah Brady is a rising<br />

star on the operatic and concert<br />

stages. A graduate of the Royal Irish<br />

Academy of Music, she joined the<br />

prestigious young artist program<br />

OperAvenir at Theater Basel in<br />

2017. In the 2019–20 season, she became a member<br />

of the ensemble at Theater Basel and was nominated<br />

as Upcoming Artist of the Year by Opernwelt for her<br />

achievements during this year. Since the 2020–21<br />

season, she has been a member of the ensemble<br />

of Staatsoper Hannover. Highlights of the 2022–23<br />

season in Hannover include the Swan Princess in<br />

Rismky-Korsakov’s The Tale of Tsar Saltan, Gretel in<br />

Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, and a revival of the<br />

Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, which<br />

was nominated as “Important Stream of the Year” by<br />

Opernwelt in 2021. Outside of Hannover, she makes<br />

her debut with the Nederlandse Reisopera singing<br />

Gretel, and her orchestral engagements include<br />

Jörg Widmann’s ARCHE at the Concertgebouw,<br />

Amsterdam, and Haydn’s Theresienmesse in<br />

Utrecht. This year also sees the release of her debut<br />

album Matters of the Heart, a CD of songs by Robert<br />

Schumann and Richard Strauss recorded at SRF<br />

Studios in Zürich for Prospero Classical. She makes<br />

her INO debut in Così <strong>fan</strong> <strong>tutte</strong>.<br />



DORABELLA 19, 21, 23, 25, 27 AFTERNOON, 29, 31 MAY, 2 JUNE<br />

Irish mezzo-soprano Sharon Carty<br />

has firmly established a reputation<br />

as a respected interpreter of both<br />

early and contemporary works,<br />

and she also has a busy schedule<br />

in mainstream opera and concert<br />

repertoire. She is an alumna of the RIAM, Dublin,<br />

University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, and<br />

the Oper Frankfurt Young Artist <strong>programme</strong>. She is<br />

an Irish National Opera artistic partner, and was a<br />

creative associate on the Arts Council’s pilot Creative<br />

Schools scheme. Her opera repertoire includes many<br />

of the important lyric and coloratura mezzo-soprano<br />

roles, and on the concert platform she has sung most<br />

of the major sacred concert works, including all the<br />

major works of Bach, as well as Handel’s Messiah,<br />

Mozart’s Mass in C minor, and numerous chambermusic<br />

works. She is also a dedicated song recitalist,<br />

most recently appearing in song recitals with pianists<br />

Finghin Collins, Jonathan Ware and Graham Johnson.<br />

Recent highlights include her London and Amsterdam<br />

opera debuts with Donnacha Dennehy and Enda<br />

Walsh’s The Second Violinist, and her Wexford Festival<br />

Opera debut as Lucy Talbot in the European première<br />

of William Bolcom’s Dinner at Eight. 2019 saw her<br />

tour in the title role in Irish National Opera’s critically<br />

acclaimed production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice,<br />

and Bach’s St Matthew Passion in the Netherlands,<br />

as well as her debut at the Spoleto Festival in Italy, in<br />

Silvia Colasanti’s new opera, Proserpine. She received<br />

critical acclaim for her first disc of Schubert Songs<br />

with pianist Jonathan Ware, released in May 2020.<br />





DORABELLA 24, 26, 27 EVENING MAY<br />

Dublin mezzo-soprano Gemma Ní<br />

Bhriain graduated in June 2014 with<br />

a BA in Music Performance from<br />

the Royal Irish Academy of Music<br />

where she studied with Veronica<br />

Dunne. She spent two seasons<br />

as a member of the Atelier Lyrique Opera Studio at<br />

Opéra national de Paris, where she debuted in five<br />

roles, including two world premieres. From 2016<br />

she spent two seasons at the International Opera<br />

Studio at Zurich Opera House. There her many roles<br />

included Cléone in Charpentier’s Médée, Le Pâtre,<br />

La Chatte and L’écureuil in Ravel’s L’en<strong>fan</strong>t et les<br />

Sortilèges, Zweite Dame in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte,<br />

Valletto in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea<br />

and Ramiro in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera. Over the<br />

past number of years, she made her concert debuts<br />

at Théâtre de Champs-Elysées and for Radio France,<br />

and gave her solo recital debut at Amphithéâtre<br />

Bastille, Opéra national de Paris. In 2018 she made<br />

her company and role debut with Irish National Opera<br />

as Niklausse in Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann.<br />

In 2020 she performed in Linda Buckley’s Glaoch for<br />

INO’s 20 Shots of Opera and last year she sang Anna<br />

in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda and Mother in the Coviddelayed<br />

premiere of Elaine Agnew’s Paper Boat,<br />

presented by Music for Galway in association with<br />

INO. She is also part of a new chamber ensemble,<br />

Trio Cantare, with pianist Cahal Masterson and cellist<br />

Yseult Cooper-Stockdale. Their debut recital, at the<br />

Drogheda Classical Music Festival in October 2021,<br />

was later broadcast on RTÉ lyric fm.<br />



GUGLIELMO 19, 21, 23, 25, 27 AFTERNOON, 29, 31 MAY, 2 JUNE<br />

Benjamin Russell is currently<br />

a member of the ensemble of<br />

the Hessisches Staatstheater<br />

Wiesbaden, and studied at the<br />

International Opera Studio of Zurich<br />

Opera House after having received<br />

his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Royal<br />

Irish Academy of Music. There he studied singing with<br />

coach Brenda Hurley and teacher Sylvia O’Regan.<br />

At Wiesbaden he has sung Yeletsky in Tchaikovsky’s<br />

The Queen of Spades, Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le<br />

nozze di Figaro, Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte,<br />

Wolfram in Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Figaro in Rossini’s<br />

Il barbiere di Siviglia, the title role in Mozart’s Le<br />

nozze di Figaro and Sharpless in Puccini’s Madama<br />

Butterfly. In June 2011 he sang Junius in Britten’s<br />

The Rape of Lucretia at the Aldeburgh Festival, the<br />

recording of which was nominated for a Best Opera<br />

Recording Grammy Award. He performs regularly in<br />

concerts, at home and abroad, including Mahler’s<br />

Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and Bach’s Cantata<br />

No. 82 with the Wiesbaden Symphony Orchestra,<br />

Puccini’s Messa di Gloria with the Hungarian National<br />

Philharmonic Orchestra and Fauré’s Requiem with<br />

the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra<br />

at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. Competition<br />

successes include Richard Tauber Prize at the<br />

Wigmore Hall Song Competition 2019, third Prize in<br />

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Singing Competition<br />

2018, and finalist in the Veronica Dunne International<br />

Singing Competition 2010.<br />




GUGLIELMO 24, 26, 27 EVENING, 29 MAY<br />

Born in Florence, Gianluca Margheri<br />

began to study music dramaturgy<br />

before studying singing at the<br />

Cherubini Conservatory of Music in<br />

Florence. In 2009 he won the Toti<br />

dal Monte International Competition<br />

in Treviso, and debuted as Villotto in Haydn’s La vera<br />

costanza under Jesús López-Cobos at Teatro Real<br />

Madrid, at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège and the<br />

theatres of Saint-Étienne, Rouen and Reggio Emilia.<br />

Recent highlights include his debut in the title role<br />

of Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Hungarian State Opera),<br />

Rossini’s Stabat Mater (Opera Firenze), Alidoro in<br />

Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Teatro Massimo, Palermo),<br />

Purcell’s The Fairy Queen (Hungarian State Opera),<br />

the title role in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (Theater<br />

St Gallen), Asdrubale in Rossini’s La pietra del<br />

paragone and the Count in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro<br />

(Teatro Lirico di Cagliari), and Talbot in Donizetti’s<br />

Maria Stuarda in Riga. He sang Asdrubale under<br />

Daniele Rustioni for his Rossini Opera Festival<br />

Pesaro debut, and Garibaldo in Handel’s Rodelinda<br />

for his Gran Teatre del Liceu debut in Barcelona.<br />

He made his INO debut in the title role of the Olivier<br />

Award-winning production of Vivaldi’s Bajazet, a coproduction<br />

with the Royal Opera. He is an enthusiastic<br />

concert singer with a repertoire encompassing works<br />

by Charpentier, Handel, Mozart, Fauré and Brahms.<br />

Conductors he has collaborated with include James<br />

Conlon, Zubin Mehta, Marco Armiliato, Friedrich<br />

Haider, Riccardo Frizza, Andrea Battistoni, Roland<br />

Böer, Alan Curtis, Jonathan Webb and Gabriele Ferro.<br />


TENOR<br />

FERRANDO 19, 21, 23, 25, 27 (AFTERNOON), 29, 31 MAY, 2 JUNE<br />

Irish tenor Dean Power is a former<br />

member of the ensemble at the<br />

Bavarian State Opera in Munich,<br />

and started his residency after<br />

graduating from the company’s<br />

Opera Studio at the end of the<br />

2011–12 season. After nine years as an ensemble<br />

member, 2020–21 was his final season and he is<br />

now expanding his already growing career as an<br />

international solo guest artist. Recent and upcoming<br />

notable house debuts include Graf Elemer in<br />

Strauss’s Arabella (Zurich Opera House), Snout in<br />

Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Opéra de<br />

Lille) and Puccini’s Il Trittico (Salzburg Festival).<br />

In October 2021 he created the role of Gary in<br />

Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh’s The First Child<br />

at Dublin Theatre Festival (Landmark Productions/<br />

Irish National Opera). On the concert platform recent<br />

performances include Acis in Handel’s Acis and<br />

Galatea with Irish Baroque Orchestra, Bach’s St John<br />

Passion with the National Symphony Orchestra in<br />

Dublin, Ryba’s Stabat Mater with Prague Symphony<br />

Orchestra, his Portuguese concert debut in Bach’s<br />

Christmas Oratorio with the Orquestra Sinfonica<br />

Portuguesa. In his 2022–23 season Dean makes his<br />

company debut at the Teatro Real Madrid as Graf<br />

Elemer in Arabella, followed by his Salzburg Easter<br />

Festival debut as Heinrich der Schreiber in Wagner’s<br />

Tannhäuser and a return to the Bavarian State Opera<br />

as Third Jew in Strauss’s Salome.<br />




TENOR<br />

FERRANDO 24, 27, 27 EVENING MAY<br />

British tenor William Morgan’s<br />

current and future engagements<br />

include the title role in Bernstein’s<br />

Candide, Marco in Gilbert &<br />

Sullivan’s The Gondoliers (Scottish<br />

Opera), Talus in the world premiere<br />

of Michael Zev Gordon’s Raising Icarus (Birmingham<br />

Contemporary Music Group), Victorin in Korngold’s<br />

Die tote Stadt (English National Opera), Le Chevalier<br />

de la Force in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites<br />

(Teatro dell’Opera di Roma), and the world premiere<br />

of Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s Scenes from the Wild,<br />

a song cycle commissioned by City of London<br />

Sinfonia with the tenor solo written for him. Recent<br />

engagements include Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don<br />

Giovanni and Ferrando in Così <strong>fan</strong> <strong>tutte</strong> (Longborough<br />

Festival), Prunier in Puccini’s La Rondine (West<br />

Green Opera), First Priest in Birtwistle’s The Mask of<br />

Orpheus, Reporter in Philip Glass’s Orphée, Writer in<br />

the premiere of Iain Bell’s Jack the Ripper (English<br />

National Opera), Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to<br />

Music (BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at BBC<br />

Proms), Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s<br />

Progress (Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra), Tamino<br />

in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Scottish Opera), and<br />

a Johann Strauss Gala tour by Raymond Gubbay.<br />

William has performed concerts at the Oxford<br />

Lieder Festival, Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room, the<br />

Royal Overseas League, the Royal Festival Hall, The<br />

Barbican, St John’s Smith Square, and Canterbury<br />

Cathedral, and in broadcasts for BBC Radio 3. He is<br />

a graduate of London’s Royal College of Music, was<br />

a National Opera Studio young artist sponsored by<br />

English National Opera, and continues to study with<br />

Tim Evans-Jones.<br />



DESPINA 19, 21, 23, 25, 27 AFTERNOON, 29, 31 MAY, 2 JUNE<br />

Majella Cullagh is one of Ireland’s<br />

foremost international opera<br />

singers. Her repertoire spans<br />

baroque to bel canto, verismo to<br />

contemporary music. Engagements<br />

include Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda<br />

(Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, and Royal Swedish<br />

Opera), Rossini’s La gazza ladra (Arena di Verona),<br />

Handel’s Amadigi (Opera Theatre Company/Covent<br />

Garden Festival), Massenet’s Manon (Opera New<br />

Zealand), Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Opera North),<br />

Verdi’s La traviata (Glyndebourne On Tour), Puccini’s<br />

La bohème (Royal Albert Hall) and Zemlinsky’s Der<br />

Zwerg at the Teatro di San Carlo, Naples. Oratorio<br />

performances include Verdi’s Requiem in Milan and<br />

Amsterdam, Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall<br />

and Rossini’s Stabat Mater at the Rossini Festival in<br />

Bad Wildbad. Majella has an impressive discography<br />

of over forty recordings including Rossini’s Le siège de<br />

Corinthe (Naxos), Mercadante’s Zaira (Opera Rara)<br />

and Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (Chandos). She joined<br />

the vocal faculty of the MTU Cork School of Music<br />

in 2020 and has adjudicated at competitions and<br />

conservatoires in the UK and Ireland.<br />




DESPINA 24, 26, 27 EVENING MAY<br />

Born in Belfast, Emma Morwood<br />

studied at the University of<br />

Edinburgh, the Royal Northern<br />

College of Music, where she was<br />

a major award winner, and she<br />

currently studies with Karen<br />

Cargill. She has sung with many of Europe’s finest<br />

orchestras and conductors. Concert highlights<br />

include Handel’s Messiah with the Irish Chamber<br />

Orchestra at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, and<br />

with Edinburgh Royal Choral Union (ERCU) at the<br />

Usher Hall, Edinburgh; Berg’s Sieben frühe lieder at<br />

the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow; Barber’s Knoxville:<br />

Summer of 1915; Schoenberg’s String Quartet No.<br />

2 with the Edinburgh Quartet; and Verdi’s Requiem<br />

(ERCU). She sang the lead role of Iris Robinson in<br />

Conor Mitchell’s Abomination: a DUP Opera at the<br />

Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in 2022. Other roles include<br />

Musetta in Northern Ireland Opera’s (NIO) critically<br />

acclaimed production of Puccini’s La bohème; Ulster<br />

Touring Opera’s inaugural concert series A Night at<br />

the Opera; Costanza in Vivaldi’s Griselda with Irish<br />

National Opera; Amore and Minerva in Monteverdi’s<br />

The Return of Ulysses with Opera Collective Ireland.<br />

She also appears in the award-winning NIO film Old<br />

Friends and Other Days. Future performances include<br />

Haydn’s Creation with the Ulster Orchestra and Alien<br />

in the world premiere of Anna Pidgorna’s A New World<br />

with Red Note Ensemble. As well as being a qualified<br />

paraglider pilot, Emma has two children, Lucas and<br />

Orla, and in her spare time enjoys climbing, wild<br />

swimming and yoga. She is grateful for the continued<br />

support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and<br />

National Lottery.<br />


BASS<br />

DON ALFONSO 19, 21, 23, 25, 27 AFTERNOON, 29, 31 MAY, 2 JUNE<br />

John Molloy is one of Ireland’s<br />

leading basses and hails from Birr.<br />

He studied at the DIT Conservatory<br />

of Music and Drama, the Royal<br />

Northern College of Music in<br />

Manchester and the National<br />

Opera Studio in London. He made his INO debut in<br />

2018 as Antonio in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro<br />

and in March 2021 performed Colline in Puccini’s<br />

La bohème. Roles he has undertaken for Opera<br />

Theatre Company include Sparafucile in Verdi’s<br />

Rigoletto, Trinity Moses in Weill’s Mahagonny, the<br />

title role in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Zuniga<br />

in Bizet’s Carmen and he also appeared in Stephen<br />

Deazley’s children’s opera BUG OFF!!! Other roles<br />

include Alidoro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Scottish<br />

Opera), Guccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi (Royal<br />

Opera House, London), Masetto in Mozart’s Don<br />

Giovanni (English National Opera), Arthur in Peter<br />

Maxwell Davies’s The Lighthouse and the title role in<br />

Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (Nationale Reisopera,<br />

Netherlands), Le Commandeur in Thomas’s La cour<br />

de Célimène (Wexford Festival Opera), Angelotti in<br />

Puccini’s Tosca, Luka in Walton’s The Bear, Banco in<br />

Verdi’s Macbeth and Dulcamara in Donizetti’s L’elisir<br />

d’amore (OTC and Northern Ireland Opera), Raimondo<br />

in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (Opera Holland<br />

Park), Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Sarastro in<br />

Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Bonze in Puccini’s Madama<br />

Butterfly (Lyric Opera Productions), Snug in Britten’s<br />

A Midsummer Nights Dream (Opera Ireland) and<br />

Henry Kissinger in John Adams’s Nixon in China (Wide<br />

Open Opera). International concert repertoire includes<br />

Beethoven’s Missa solemnis, Verdi’s Requiem,<br />

Mendelssohn’s St Paul, Haydn’s Creation, Handel’s<br />

Messiah and Stravinsky’s Renard.<br />





DON ALFONSO 24, 26, 27 EVENING MAY<br />

Milan Siljanov is recent graduate of<br />

the Bavarian State Opera’s Young<br />

Artist Programme and a current<br />

member of the company itself. He<br />

is a Samling Artist and he studied<br />

on the opera course at the Guildhall<br />

School of Music and Drama under the tutelage of<br />

Rudolf Piernay. He won the prestigious Wigmore Hall/<br />

Kohn Foundation International Song Competition<br />

in London in 2015 and took second prize at the<br />

ARD Music Competition in Munich in 2018. Recent<br />

engagements include Leporello in Mozart’s Don<br />

Giovanni (Bavarian State Opera), Der Einarmige in<br />

Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten (Verbier Festival),<br />

Haydn’s Nelson Mass with Staatskapelle Dresden,<br />

recitals at the Hugo Wolf Academy in Stutgtart,<br />

at the Oxford Lieder Festival and the Wigmore<br />

Hall with pianist Nino Chokhonelidze, a Japanese<br />

tour with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra<br />

performing Mozart’s Requiem; and Beethoven’s<br />

Choral Symphony with Bilbao Symphony Orchestra.<br />

Current roles at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich<br />

include Montano in Verdi’s Otello, Peter Besenbinder<br />

in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Sprecher in<br />

Mozart’s Die Zäuberflöte, Haraschta in Janáček’s<br />

The Cunning Little Vixen, Donner in Wagner’s<br />

Das Rheingold, Kilian in Weber’s Der Freischütz,<br />

Schaunard in Puccini’s La bohème and Dulcamara<br />

in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. He made his INO<br />

debut in Bizet’s Carmen in 2022.<br />





The Irish National Opera Orchestra, which performs in<br />

all of INO’s larger productions, is made up of leading<br />

Irish freelance musicians. Members of the orchestra<br />

have a broad range of experience playing operatic,<br />

symphonic, chamber and new music repertoire. The<br />

orchestra’s work includes Strauss’s Elektra in 2021<br />

and Der Rosenkavalier in <strong>2023</strong> (“delivers all the<br />

swelling romanticism and range of tone and colour<br />

you could ask for,” Irish Examiner). It is equally at<br />

home in music by Donizetti and Rossini (“wonderful<br />

energy and musical vision,” Bachtrack in 2022 on<br />

Rossini’s William Tell). The orchestra also performs<br />

chamber reductions for touring productions including,<br />

most recently, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale (2022)<br />

and Massenet’s Werther (<strong>2023</strong>). The orchestra’s<br />

contemporary repertoire has included Thomas<br />

Adès’s Powder Her Face (2018), Maxwell Davies’s<br />

The Lighthouse (2021), and Brian Irvine and Netia<br />

Jones’s Least Like The Other, Searching For Rosemary<br />

Kennedy, in which it made its international debut<br />

at the Royal Opera House in London in <strong>2023</strong>. The<br />

orchestra can be heard on the INO recording of<br />

Puccini’s La bohème on Signum Classics.<br />

The Irish National Opera Chorus is a flexible ensemble<br />

of professional singers that has ranged in number<br />

from four, in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, to 60, in<br />

Verdi’s Aida. The chorus is a valuable training ground<br />

for many emerging singers and has been heard in<br />

venues large and small throughout Ireland as well<br />

as internationally. The membership is mostly drawn<br />

from singers based in Ireland. There is currently a<br />

core of 16 singers who perform in all of the company’s<br />

large-scale productions. In 2022 the chorus<br />

appeared in Rossini’s William Tell, one of the most<br />

chorally demanding operas, and in <strong>2023</strong> many of<br />

the members also featured in solo roles in Strauss’s<br />

Der Rosenkavalier; members were also heard in solo<br />

roles in a touring production of Offenbach’s The Tales<br />

of Hoffmann. The chorus has collaborated with TU<br />

Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama and the<br />

Royal Irish Academy of Music, with senior students<br />

offered positions in the chorus, usually in tandem<br />

with specially devised professional development<br />

<strong>programme</strong>s for emerging singers.<br />


MON 20 – SUN 26 NOV <strong>2023</strong><br />


ENERGY<br />


TICKETS FROM €15<br />

BOOKING: bordgaisenergytheatre.ie<br />

Prices include a €1.50 facilities fee per ticket. Internet <strong>book</strong>ings<br />

are subject to a maximum s/c of €7.15 per ticket/Agents €3.40


Anonymous<br />

Desmond Barry & John Redmill<br />

Valerie Beatty & Dennis Jennings<br />

Mark & Nicola Beddy<br />

Carina & Ali Ben Lmadani<br />

Mary Brennan<br />

Angie Brown<br />

Breffni & Jean Byrne<br />

Jennifer Caldwell<br />

Seán Caldwell & Richard Caldwell<br />

Caroline Classon, in memoriam<br />

David Warren, Gorey<br />

Audrey Conlon<br />

Gerardine Connolly<br />

Jackie Connolly<br />

Gabrielle Croke<br />

Sarah Daniel<br />

Maureen de Forge<br />

Doreen Delahunty & Michael Moriarty<br />

Joseph Denny<br />

Kate Donaghy<br />

Marcus Dowling<br />

Mareta & Conor Doyle<br />

Noel Doyle & Brigid McManus<br />

Michael Duggan<br />

Catherine & William Earley<br />

Jim & Moira Flavin<br />

Ian & Jean Flitcroft<br />

Anne Fogarty<br />

Maire & Maurice Foley<br />

Roy & Aisling Foster<br />

Howard Gatiss<br />

Genesis<br />

Hugh & Mary Geoghegan<br />

Diarmuid Hegarty<br />

M Hely Hutchinson<br />

Gemma Hussey<br />

Kathy Hutton & David McGrath<br />

Nuala Johnson<br />

Susan Kiely<br />

Timothy King & Mary Canning<br />

J & N Kingston<br />

Kate & Ross Kingston<br />

Silvia & Jay Krehbiel<br />

Karlin Lillington & Chris Horn<br />

Stella Litchfield<br />

Jane Loughman<br />

Rev Bernárd Lynch & Billy Desmond<br />

Lyndon MacCann S.C.<br />

Phyllis Mac Namara<br />

Tony & Joan Manning<br />

R. John McBratney<br />

Ruth McCarthy, in memoriam Niall<br />

& Barbara McCarthy<br />

Petria McDonnell<br />

Jim McKiernan<br />

Tyree & Jim McLeod<br />

Jean Moorhead<br />

Sara Moorhead<br />

Joe & Mary Murphy<br />

Ann Nolan & Paul Burns<br />

F.X. & Pat O’Brien<br />

James & Sylvia O’Connor<br />

John & Viola O’Connor<br />

Joseph O’Dea<br />

Dr J R O’Donnell<br />

Deirdre O’Donovan & Daniel Collins<br />

Diarmuid O’Dwyer<br />

Patricia O’Hara<br />

Annmaree O’Keefe & Chris Greene<br />

Carmel & Denis O’Sullivan<br />

Líosa O’Sullivan & Mandy Fogarty<br />

Hilary Pratt<br />

Sue Price<br />

Landmark Productions<br />

Riverdream Productions<br />

Nik Quaife & Emerson Bruns<br />

Margaret Quigley<br />

Patricia Reilly<br />

Dr Frances Ruane<br />

Catherine Santoro<br />

Dermot & Sue Scott<br />

Yvonne Shields<br />

Fergus Sheil Sr<br />

Gaby Smyth<br />

Matthew Patrick Smyth<br />

Bruce Stanley<br />

Sara Stewart<br />

The Wagner Society of Ireland<br />

Julian & Beryl Stracey<br />

Michael Wall & Simon Nugent<br />

Brian Walsh & Barry Doocey<br />

Judy Woodworth<br />




Opera is our passion. And we want to share that<br />

passion. Not just through live events in cities and towns,<br />

large and small, but also through educational initiatives<br />

in schools and colleges, and community activities that<br />

appeal to young and old alike.<br />


We take our productions to all corners of the land, from Dublin<br />

to Galway, Tralee to Letterkenny, Wexford to Sligo. Projects such<br />

as our site-specific production of Strauss’s Elektra in Kilkenny’s<br />

Castle Yard offer a unique way of engaging with our work. INO<br />

has developed its digital output and grown its online content. You<br />

can come to us wherever you happen to be. Our innovative online<br />

project 20 Shots of Opera was highly praised, as also were our film<br />

productions of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground,<br />

Peter Maxwell Davies’s The Lighthouse and Amanda Feery’s<br />

A Thing I Cannot Name. Outdoor screenings take our filmed<br />

productions to some of the most remote corners of Ireland and<br />

our revamped Street Art projected operas will allow us to increase<br />

our reach. Our partnership with Signum Records brings highresolution<br />

recordings of our work to new audiences worldwide.<br />

Image: Watching Peter Maxwell Davies’s<br />

The Lighthouse at Hook Head<br />



In June, our first youth opera, David Coonan and Dylan Coburn<br />

Gray’s Horse Ape Bird, gave young people the experience of<br />

performing in a professional operatic production. Our groundbreaking<br />

virtual reality community opera, Finola Merivale’s Out of<br />

the Ordinary/As an nGnách premiered at the Kilkenny Arts Festival<br />

and was also seen at Dublin Fringe Festival. It’s a voyage into the<br />

unknown and places people from diverse communities directly at<br />

the heart of the creative process. In October our World Opera Day<br />


“Irish National Opera is one<br />

of the great success stories...<br />

it is a dazzling achievement.”<br />


pop-up chorus allowed 100 choristers and opera enthusiasts to workshop and perform with<br />

a professional orchestra and soloists. Our pre-performance In Focus talks delve into varied<br />

aspects of opera with opera makers, from the histories of specific works, the development of<br />

the characters and the issues facing performers and composers.<br />


The professional development and employment of Irish artists are key to the success of Irish<br />

National Opera itself. The Irish National Opera Studio is our artistic development <strong>programme</strong>.<br />

It provides specially-tailored training, professional mentoring and high-level professional<br />

engagements for singers, répétiteurs, conductors, directors and composers whose success<br />

is crucial to the future development of opera in Ireland. We also work with third-level music<br />

students through workshops designed to give them a fuller understanding of the inner workings<br />

of the world of opera, that heady mixture of musical, artistic, theatrical and management skills<br />

that make possible the magic that is opera. Colleges and universities we have worked with<br />

include University College Dublin, National College of Art and Design, Maynooth University,<br />

University of Galway, TU Dublin and the Royal Irish Academy of Music.<br />


We are at the forefront of operatic innovation. Our award-winning virtual reality community opera<br />

Out of the Ordinary/As an nGnách uses new technologies to widen participation in the arts at<br />

community level. It explores the cutting-edge relationship between opera and digital technology.<br />

In <strong>2023</strong> we will bring this ground-breaking work on a national tour to all 32 counties. We recently<br />

won a major grant from FEDORA to develop a cutting-edge Street Art Performance app that<br />

has the potential to redraw the reach of performing arts and improve accessibility in the sector.<br />

Watch out for its availability on Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store.<br />


Our commissioned works explore issues from climate change to mental health. We present opera<br />

in thought-provoking and relevant ways. We nurture and develop emerging talent to ensure that<br />

the Irish opera landscape provides equitable opportunities and pay. We champion gender equality<br />

in the creative teams we work with. Opera is for everyone, and we are committed to inclusivity and<br />

diversity. Everyone, regardless of socio-economic, ethnic or national background, or physical and<br />

mental challenges, should have access and the opportunity to participate in opera.<br />




STUDIO MEMBERS 2022–23<br />









The Irish National Opera Studio is key to delivering a core<br />

aspect of INO’s mission, the development of the very best<br />

operatic talent we can find in Ireland. The studio is the<br />

company’s artistic development <strong>programme</strong>. The membership<br />

is selected annually, and the studio provides specially tailored<br />

training, professional mentoring and high-level professional<br />

engagements for a group of individuals whose success will be<br />

key to the future development of opera in Ireland.<br />

Members of Irish National Opera Studio are involved in all<br />

of Irish National Opera’s productions, large and small. They<br />

sing onstage in roles or in the chorus, understudy lead roles<br />

– enabling them to watch and emulate great artists at work –<br />

and, for non-singing members, they join in the world of opera<br />

rehearsals as assistants.<br />

Studio members also receive individual coaching, attend<br />

masterclasses and receive mentorship from leading Irish and<br />

international singers and musicians. Brenda Hurley, Head of<br />

Opera at the Royal Academy of Music, London, is the vocal<br />

consultant who guides our singers throughout the year.<br />

Other areas of specific attention are performance and<br />

language skills, and members are assisted in their individual<br />

personal musical development and given professional career<br />

guidance. They benefit from Irish National Opera’s national<br />

and international contacts and Irish National Opera Studio<br />

also develops and promotes specially tailored events to help<br />

the members hone specific skills and showcase their work.<br />

For information contact Studio & Outreach Producer<br />

James Bingham at james@irishnationalopera.ie<br />


Conductor Elaine Kelly was a<br />

member of the INO Opera Studio<br />

from 2019 to 2021. She has<br />

been INO’s resident conductor<br />

since 2021, and conducts three<br />

performances of Così <strong>fan</strong> <strong>tutte</strong>. She<br />

made her New York debut in Emma<br />

O’Halloran’s double bill TRADE/<br />

Mary Motorhead, an INO/Beth<br />

Morrison Projects co-production,<br />

at New York’s PROTOTYPE festival<br />

in Janaury. And she conducted the<br />

West Coast premiere of the two<br />

works for LA Opera last month.<br />

“Elaine Kelly is a discovery, tracing<br />

the musical lines with exactitude”<br />

wrote the Los Angeles Times.<br />


INO TEAM<br />

Pauline Ashwood<br />

Head of Planning<br />

James Bingham<br />

Studio & Outreach Producer<br />

Janaina Caldeira<br />

Bookkeeper (part time)<br />

Sorcha Carroll<br />

Communications Manager<br />

Aoife Daly<br />

Development Manager<br />

Diego Fasciati<br />

Executive Director<br />

Lea Försterling<br />

Digital Communications<br />

Executive<br />

Sarah Halpin<br />

Digital Producer<br />

Cate Kelliher<br />

Business & Finance Manager<br />

Audrey Keogan<br />

Development Executive<br />

Anne Kyle<br />

Stage Manager<br />

Patricia Malpas<br />

Studio & Outreach Executive<br />

James Middleton<br />

Orchestra & Chorus Manager<br />

Cathy Stokes<br />

Artistic Administration<br />

Manager<br />

Gavin O’Sullivan<br />

Head of Production<br />

Fergus Sheil<br />

Artistic Director<br />

Sarah Thursfield<br />

Marketing Executive<br />

Paula Tierney<br />

Company Stage Manager<br />

Robert Walters-Dorchak<br />

Marketing Intern<br />

Board of Directors<br />

Jennifer Caldwell (Chair)<br />

Tara Erraught<br />

Gerard Howlin<br />

Dennis Jennings<br />

Gary Joyce<br />

Sara Moorhead<br />

Suzanne Nance<br />

Ann Nolan<br />

Bruce Stanley<br />

Jonathan Friend<br />

Artistic Advisor<br />

Elaine Kelly<br />

Resident Conductor<br />

Irish National Opera<br />

69 Dame Street<br />

Dublin 2 | Ireland<br />

T: 01–679 4962<br />

E: info@irishnationalopera.ie<br />

irishnationalopera.ie<br />

@irishnationalopera<br />

@irishnatopera<br />

@irishnationalopera<br />

Company Reg No.: 601853<br />

Registered Charity: 22403<br />

(RCN) 20204547<br />








SUN 18 JUNE <strong>2023</strong><br />



TIME: 4PM TICKETS: €20/€15<br />

BOOKING: 01–231 2929 paviliontheatre.ie<br />


Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!