'We want to make opera part of this contemporary dialogue': Irish National Opera Launch New Season

Andrew Gavin and Raphaela Mangan at the launch of Irish National Opera’s new season.

'We want to make opera part of this contemporary dialogue': Irish National Opera Launch New Season

Five productions announced for first half of 2019, featuring Celine Byrne, Julian Hubbard, Jennifer Davis, Gavan Ring, Aaron Monaghan and Sharon Carty.

Irish National Opera launched their programme for January–June 2019 yesterday (20 November) at an event at Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin.

The season will include 32 performances of five operas, including new productions of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and a new work by composer Evangelia Rigaki and writer Melatu Uche Okorie called This Hostel Life. INO also reprise their productions of The Second Violinist and Orfeo ed Euridice.

At the launch, INO Artistic Director Fergus Sheil described the five works as a ‘microcosm of our aims and ambitions.’

Opera is something that is both historic and contemporary, that’s exciting and is of our times. Even when we do something like Madama Butterfly, it’s looking at things like imperialism, empire, colonialism and how that unfolds – a lot of those things are very current still and occupy our minds. We want to… make opera part of this contemporary dialogue, whether it’s through older pieces like that or a new piece like The Second Violinist. 

New season
With performaces taking place between January and June, this will be the first six-month season for the company as it moves from a calendar year to an autumn-spring performance season.

Performers will include Celine Byrne and Julian Hubbard in Madama Butterfly; Anna Devin and Jennifer Davis sharing the role of Pamina in The Magic Flute, with Gavan Ring as Papageno; and INO Studio members Rachel Croash, Amy Ní Fhearraigh, Andrew Gavin and Robert McAllister in This Hostel Life. Aaron Monaghan will continue to lead as Martin in The Second Violinist and Sharon Carty and Sarah Power will reprise their title roles in Orfeo ed Euridice.

Sheila Pratschke, Chair of the Arts Council, also spoke at the launch about the impact of Irish National Opera:

We are at an important point in the history and development of opera in Ireland – restoring regular Irish produced grand opera to Dublin and continuing to drive the spread and development of opera around the country…. INO is imaginatively living up to the responsibility and promise of both the Irish and National parts of its name…[with] an unbroken run of early success across a great spread of genres, locations and audiences.

The launch yesterday was followed by an ‘Opera Jukebox’, in which audience members chose from a list of 48 arias to be performed by INO artists. 

The Irish National Opera’s production of Verdi’s Aida, starring Orla Boylan and directed by Michael Barker-Caven, begins its four-date run at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on Saturday 24 November. 

For further details about Irish National Opera and the upcoming season, visit www.irishnationalopera.ie.

Published on 21 November 2018

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