Irish National Opera begins 2019 with its most extensive tour yet. The company’s production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice will visit 11 venues between Thursday 7 February and Saturday 2 March for a total of 13 performances.
The all-Irish cast is headed by INO artistic partner, mezzo-soprano Sharon Carty, whose debut in the role in Galway won widespread critical plaudits. Sharon has been praised as “quite simply sensational” by the German magazine Der Opernfreund. And she made her Wexford Festival Opera debut as Lucy Talbot in William Bolcom’s Dinner at Eight in October, when Operawire described her “subtle shading and carefully accented vocal line” as bringing “depth and ambiguity to her character”.
Her performance as Orfeo is “compelling, both vocally and dramatically” (Goldenplec). She is “well matched by Sarah Power’s mysterious Euridice” (Sunday Independent). Emma Nash is a “powerfully soaring Amore” (Sunday Independent), and the production also features an ensemble of four singers and four United Fall dancers who “gave the opera an added dimension” (Journal of Music). Peter Whelan, another INO artistic partner, conducts the Irish Baroque Orchestra, and his handling of Orfeo was praised for being “consistently attentive to the balance of voices and instruments” (The Irish Times).
Gluck’s version of the Orpheus myth features the composer’s most famous aria, the profoundly moving Che farò senza Euridice. With a “sublime” set by Sabine Dargent, “meticulous” lighting by Stephen Dodd (Exeunt Magazine) and “simply stunning” costumes by Catherine Fay (Irish Independent), Emma Martin’s provocative and unmissable production is a stirring, multi-disciplinary, multi-sensory experience.
The tour will open in the Civic Theatre, Tallaght (Thursday 7 February, Friday 8) and travel to Bray (Mermaid Arts Centre, Tuesday 12), Waterford (Theatre Royal, Thursday 14), Carlow (Visual Carlow Theatre, Saturday 16), Cork (The Everyman, Tuesday 19), Ennis (Glór, Thursday 21), Tralee (Siamsa Tíre, Saturday 23), Dún Laoghaire (Wednesday 27, Thursday 28), and Wexford (National Opera House, Saturday 2 March).
There will also be concert performances in Drogheda (St Peter’s Church of Ireland, Sunday 10 February) and Celbridge (Castletown House, Sunday 17 February).
Irish National Opera has had a busy and highly successful inaugural year. The company, which mounted its first production in February 2018, had a remarkable output in its startup year — 39 performances of 8 works in large cities and small towns, including a visit to the Barbican Theatre in London.
INO artistic director, Fergus Sheil, said, “I am delighted that one of our standout shows of 2018, Emma Martin’s profound and deeply moving production of Orfeo ed Euridice, featuring the gut-wrenching sincerity of Sharon Carty, will now be seen by opera lovers all over the country. Our Orfeo brings 21st-century Irish creative perspectives to bear on one of the 18th century’s most haunting operas.”
“Just five days after the end of the Orfeo tour we will be taking our prize-winning production of Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh’s The Second Violinist to Amsterdam for two nights, and on Sunday 24 March we have the opening night of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with Celine Byrne in the title role. Madama Butterfly will be presented at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin and at the Cork Opera House.”
Cast & Creatives
Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-87)
Orfeo ed Euridice (1762)
Sung in Italian with English surtitles
Orfeo – Sharon Carty
Euridice – Sarah Power
Amore – Emma Nash
Peter Whelan – Conductor
Emma Martin – Director
Sabine Dargent – Set Designer
Catherine Fay – Costume Designer
Stephen Dodd – Lighting Designer
Irish National Opera Chorus
Irish Baroque Orchestra
Co-production with United Fall
In partnership with Irish Baroque Orchestra
Irish National Opera is funded by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.
Tickets for all performances may be purchased online.
All photos courtesy Irish National Opera