The Royal Irish Academy of Music begins its 2017 musical journey with a presentation of Henry Purcell’s enchanting opera The Fairy Queen.

A comic Baroque extravaganza inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this enchanting new production of Purcell’s masterpiece, under the direction of RIAM Director-in-Residence Conor Hanratty, and conductor David Adams, comprises some of the most beautiful vocal music ever written in the English language.

Filled with even more playful fairies than Shakespeare’s original, this fresh new production is brought to Irish audiences by students of the RIAM and Design for Stage and Screen, IADT, Dún Laoghaire, and will offer an exciting chance to experience Titania, Oberon, Puck et al as never seen before. Purcell’s engaging opera is a sensual, almost decadent celebration – for, as the libretto claims, “one charming night gives more delight than a hundred lucky days.”

RIAM’s Head of Vocal Studies and Opera, Kathleen Tynan says, “The Fairy Queen is true Baroque entertainment –full of glorious music, snatches of Shakespeare’s text, dance and the spectacle of beautiful sets and costumes. This imaginative productive is a wonderful showcase of talented young singers, orchestral players and designers from the RIAM and IADT, who are working collaboratively in the output of opera.”

The Fairy Queen is presented in collaboration with Design for Stage and Screen, IADT Dún Laoghaire.

Date: Sunday, 8th (Preview), Tuesday 10th, Wednesday 11th, Friday 13th and Saturday 14th January
Time: 7.30 pm 8th, 10th, 11th and 13th January; 4.00 pm 14th January
Venue: Samuel Beckett Theatre
Admission: €25/€20 and €18/€12 (Preview)


The week after these performances in Dublin, the Academy will make its first mark on the international opera stage with a performance of Monteverdi’s Tirsi e Clori and Handel’s Clori, Tirsi e Fileno at the historic and highly prestigious Liszt Academy in Budapest. This follows an acclaimed presentation of these rarely performed gems in collaboration with The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art at Project Arts Centre in April 2016.

In, addition, in March the Academy will present the world première of Vampirella, a contemporary chamber opera by Irish composer Siobhán Cleary and librettist Katy Hayes. This opera is inspired by a short story by Angela Carter, and will be presented at Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre in partnership with The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art.

the thin grey line
Illustrations courtesy of students of Design for Stage and Screen, IADT Dún Laoghaire, for 2017 production of The Fairy Queen

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