Vampirella, a new Irish opera by composer Siobhán Cleary with libretto by Katy Hayes will get its World Première at Smock Alley Theatre this March.
This spring the Royal Irish Academy of Music presents the world première of a new chamber opera, Vampirella, by Irish composer Siobhán Cleary, inspired by a short story by Angela Carter. Presented in partnership between the Royal Irish Academy of Music and The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College, performances will take place in Smock Alley Theatre from 21st to 25th March.
Set in 1914, Angela Carter’s story tells of Hero, an English soldier on a cycling holiday in the Carpathian Mountains, who seeks shelter in a lonely castle where he meets and disarms the beautiful vampire Countess. Hero’s virgin innocence saves him from being eaten alive by the beautiful bloodsucking woman, but it will not save him from the butchery of the First World War. As the lovely lady vampire meets her match in the person of a virgin boy, so Carter’s baroque prose meets its match in this dramatic musical composition, with playful lyricism underpinning the drama, humour and ornate language, and Carter’s inspiring original material honed into a libretto by Katy Hayes.
Irish talent has frequently been drawn to the vampire myth; Dubliner Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula has been absorbed and firmly embedded into the global vampire narrative.
The story returns once again to Ireland, to provide lifeblood for this original contemporary Irish chamber opera written specifically for the talented singers and instrumentalists of the RIAM and funded by an Arts Council Project Award.
Siobhán Cleary’s Vampirella is presented by the Royal Irish Academy of Music in collaboration with The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College Dublin. It is directed by Conor Hanratty and conducted by Andrew Synott.
Smock Alley Theatre
Exchange Street Lower
Tel: 01 677 0014
Lead image courtesy RIAM