Irish National Opera Announces Wagner, Berlioz, Verdi and Emma O'Halloran for 2024–25 Season

Naomi Louisa O'Connell in Emma O'Halloran's 'Mary Motorhead'

Irish National Opera Announces Wagner, Berlioz, Verdi and Emma O'Halloran for 2024–25 Season

Donizetti's 'L’elisir d’amore', Strauss' 'Die Fledermaus', and a collaboration with hip-hop collective the Kabin Crew also part of new programme.
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Irish National Opera (INO) has announced its 2024–25 season, which includes its first Wagner opera, The Flying Dutchman, in Dublin in March 2025, a double bill by Emma O’Halloran at the Kilkenny Arts Festival, Verdi’s Rigoletto, and a national tour of Strauss’ Die Fledermaus.

The season opens with two one-act operas exploring the complexities of modern life by Irish composer O’Halloran. Trade and Mary Motorhead, with a libretto by playwright Mark O’Halloran, premiered in New York last year and INO’s European premiere will take place at the Watergate Theatre in Kilkenny on Thursday 8 August and run until the 11th, followed by a nationwide tour in October visiting Dún Laoghaire, Cork, Kerry, Clare and Meath. Directed by Tom Creed, the cast features Naomi Louisa O’Connell, Oisín O’Dalaigh and John Molloy.

Also in October, INO will present a concert performance at the National Concert Hall of Berlioz’ 1862 comic opera Beatrice and Benedict with mezzo-soprano Paula Murrihy and American tenor David Portillo in the title roles. 

Verdi’s Rigoletto will be performed in December (1–7) for four evenings at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. A co-production with Santa Fe Opera and Opera Zuid, the work will be directed by Julien Chavaz and designed by Jamie Vartan, the team behind INO’s William Tell from 2023, described in the Journal of Music review as an ‘original, uplifting and positively charming interpretation’. 

In February 2025, INO will tour a production of Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus that showcases a range of Irish vocal talent including Sharon Carty, Jade Phoenix, and Sarah Shine, who previously featured in Donnacha Dennehy’s The First Child and Werther. Commenting on the Strauss work, INO Artistic Director Fergus Sheil said, ‘Opera isn’t all tragedy … and sometimes it’s great just to have an evening of fun … I love Strauss’s Die Fledermaus mostly for its tunefulness, upbeat musicality and Viennese lilt.’

The Flying Dutchman, which is a co-production with Garsington Opera, will be presented at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre for four evenings on 23–29 March 2025. Telling the tale of a cursed sea captain’s search for redemption through love, Wagner’s epic score will feature Giselle Allen, who featured in INO’s Elektra in 2021, as Senta, and Alfred Walker as The Dutchman.

Following Donizetti’s Don Pasquale last year, INO returns to the composer for his L’elisir d’amore at the Gaiety Theatre on 25–31 May, with soprano Claudia Boyle, American tenor Duke Kim and John Molloy. There will be additional performances in the National Opera House in Wexford on 4 June and Cork Opera House on 7 June.

This July, Irish National Opera are also teaming up with youth hip-hop collective the Kabin Crew to create a semi-staged showcase of The Sound of the Northside at the Everyman in Cork. Kabin Crew will perform with the INO Orchestra, conducted by Medb Brereton Hurley, in specially tailored arrangements by Áine Delany and directed by One Two One (Maud Lee and Zoe Ní Riordáin).

For full details on all productions and booking information, visit www.irishnationalopera.ie.

Published on 9 May 2024

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