opera

Feel Good Opera The Gondoliers this October

North West Opera present Gilbert & Sullivan's The Gondoliers

The North West Opera return to An Grianán this October for an evening of beautiful melody and light-hearted banter with their production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers on Fri 27th & Sat 28th October.

Packed with crowd-pleasing vocal arrangements and tongue-in-cheek humour, The Gondoliers is a tale of the search for the heir to the throne of the fictional state of Barataria and all the plot twists that follow before the matter is resolved.

William Gilbert’s laugh-out-loud lyrics and Arthur Sullivan’s sumptuous and often giddy music will be performed by a combination of professional singers, orchestra and a veritable feast of local talent.

Billy Patterson and soprano Ann Jennings play The Duchess and Duke of Plaza-Toro in The Gondoliers.

Soprano Ann Jennings and former LMS director Billy Patterson play The Duchess and Duke of Plaza-Toro, combining fabulous vocals with natural comic flair.

The eponymous Gondoliers are portrayed by professional tenor Arthur Swan and James McLaughlin formerly of the D’Oyly Carte opera.

Donal Kavanagh, a devotee of all things Gilbert & Sullivan, is relishing the role of the Grand Inquisitor Don Alhambra.

Fresh from his success in the lead as the Phantom of the Opera, Robert Kelly takes on the role of Luiz, secretly in love with Casilda played by professional soprano Diana McLaughlin.

Following North West Opera’s critically acclaimed and tremendously entertaining production of Die Fledermaus last year, Deigh Reid is returning to employ his directorial, musical and comic instincts.

Rehearsals for The Gondoliers

Rehearsals for The Gondoliers

Ann Jennings Musical & Artistic Director of NWO is excited about having assembled such a talented team: “The Gondoliers contains some of Sullivan’s most inspired music – all the principals have fantastic pieces and the chorus have their fair share of glorious music too. We have put together a great cast that can do justice to the score but also have great comic acting ability to make the most of Gilbert’s humour”

Not the type to sit on her heels, Ann Jennings will then be jetting off to Europe in December where she has been signed up as Musical Director to lead a team of West End singers & dancers, in a new Andrew Lloyd Weber International gala, putting the soloists through their paces both vocally and musically.

You can follow the show’s rehearsal progress on Facebook northwestoperaireland.

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Opera professionals arrive in Donegal for Strauss’s sparkling operetta

This week the North West Opera present Johann Strauss’s sparkling operetta Die Fledermaus. Like the champagne that flows through it, Die Fledermaus bubbles with uplifting music and comical moments from curtain up. 

The colourful romp follows 24 hours in the lives of a group of Viennese bourgeoisie where disguises, hoaxes and flirtation fuelled by copious amounts of champagne culminate in hilarious results – all set to Johann Strauss’s stirring and sumptuous orchestral score.

die.fledermaus.cast

An international cast of opera professionals has been arriving in Donegal over the last week, including German conductor Anton Zapf and his orchestral musicians, South African Tenor Arthur Swan, Dutch Bass-Baritone Frits Kamp and Northern Irish Bass David Robertson. They join the NWO’s resident sopranos Ann Jennings, Diana McLaughlin, Deborah Cunningham and Baritone Paul Martin.

Die Fledermaus soloists rehearsing with orchestra

North West Opera also have their strongest chorus to date, with 47 talented singers drawn from Donegal and Derry/Londonderry.

For more information about the musicians, cast and the final preparations for this fabulous show see Facebook North West Opera Ireland.

Die Fledermaus is on this Friday and Saturday 4 and 5 November at 8pm. Book now!

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Anton Zapf to conduct North West Opera’s Die Fledermaus

North West Opera are delighted to announce that Anton Zapf will join them to conduct Strauss’s Die Fledermaus this November at An Grianán.

Anton has an amazing CV, working all over the world as an opera and concert conductor with over 60 orchestras in 15 countries. Also a composer for choir and orchestra, his works have been widely performed in Europe. He will be arriving in Donegal about 10 days prior to the opera to work intensively with the orchestra, soloists and chorus.

Die Fledermaus is a entertaining and colourful comedy set to wonderful music by Johann Strauss. The light-hearted plot follows 24 hours in the lives of a group of Viennese bourgeoisie centred around an elaborate plan for the revenge of The Bat. Disguises, hoaxes and abundant flirtation fuelled by copious amounts of champagne culminate in comical results.

North West Opera present
Die Fledermaus
Fri 4 and Sat 5 Nov at 8pm
Tickets: €19/€16 Book now!

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La Bohéme: A Closer Look

Ahead of Opera Theatre Company’s production of La Bohéme at the end of the month, here’s a gallery of images from the opera to appeal to all you Romantic bohemians.

Set in 1930s Paris, a chance encounter in a freezing attic results in a red-hot affair between penniless poet Rodolfo and innocent seamstress Mimi. But will their love be strong enough to survive against the odds?

One of the most popular operas ever, Puccini’s memorable score, with ravishing music and thrilling arias, will enchant audiences of all ages, and this timeless classic promises a breathtaking and emotional experience.

Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.

Acclaimed Irish soprano Máire Flavin makes her role debut as Mimi in this production. A former OTC Young Associate Artist, Máire has also appeared with Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera and Glyndebourne and is a regular soloist with RTÉ NSO.

The role of Rodolfo is sung by Argentinian tenor Pablo Bemsch, who is a regular performer at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and has also performed at Zürich Opera House and Opera de San Juan, Argentina. Pablo studied at Musikhochschule Stuttgart and was a member the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and also a member of Zürich Opera Studio.

Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.

La Boheme also stars Sinead Campbell-Wallace (Musetta), Charles Rice (Marcello), Padraic Rowan (Colline) and Rory Musgrave (Schaunard), together with a professional chorus of twelve and a thirteen member chamber orchestra conducted  by Andrew Greenwood.

La Bohème will be sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.

 

Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.

 

Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.

 

Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.

 

La bohème preview from Opera Theatre Company on Vimeo.

Opera Theatre Company present
La Bohéme
Wed 25 May at 8pm
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Celebrating Opera Theatre Co’s 30th Anniversary with La Bohème

Opera Theatre Company return to An Grianán with Puccini’s magnificent La Bohème as they celebrate their 30th anniversary.

[box style=”red” closable=”un-closable”]Happy anniversary! To celebrate OTC’s 30th anniversary we are offering the first 30 tickets for La Bohème at a special early bird rate of €20. That’s a huge saving of €10 on the standard ticket price.[/box]

Known for its fresh and innovative approach Opera Theatre Company celebrates 30 years touring opera throughout Ireland this year. Founded to create and tour high quality professional opera, the company always implements a daring, imaginative approach to creating work, whether staged in a remote island slate quarry or in a plush 1,000 seater opera house.

Their national tour of La bohème is one of the highlights of OTC’s 30th anniversary programme. A romantic tale of love and loss, this touching new production follows a group of struggling artists in 1930’s Paris. A chance encounter between poet Rodolfo (Pablo Bemsch) and seamstress Mimi (Máire Flavin) results in a passionate love affair, thwarted by Rodolfo’s consuming jealousy, the lovers are only reunited when Mimi lies perilously ill.

The company is delighted to welcome back Ben Barnes to direct this anniversary production of La bohème. Founding artistic director of Opera Theatre Company, Ben Barnes has worked extensively in Canada and the US and was artistic director of the Abbey Theatre from 2000 to 2005.

“I think OTC’s project of presenting popular opera in places where it is rarely seen is commendable and I am pleased to be asked to direct La bohème this coming season with a really first rate cast and creative team. It’s hard to believe that OTC is entering its thirtieth year and as one of the original founders I’m glad to be in a position to help celebrate this important milestone” Ben Barnes.

(l to r) Rory Musgrave as Schaunard, Soprano Sinead Campbell Wallace as Musetta and Val Sherlock, Hair & Make up. at the announcement of the Opera Theatre Company national tour of La bohème at the Chez Max, Palace Street, Dublin.

(l to r) Rory Musgrave as Schaunard, Soprano Sinead Campbell Wallace as Musetta and Val Sherlock, Hair & Make up at the announcement of the Opera Theatre Company national tour of La bohème at the Chez Max, Palace Street, Dublin. PIC: NO FEE, MAXWELLPHOTOGRAPHY.IE

The opera boasts a sterling cast of Irish and international singers, including rising star soprano Máire Flavin (Mimi), Argentinian tenor Pablo Bemsch (Rodolfo), Sinead Campbell-Wallace (Musetta), Charles Rice (Marcello), Padraic Rowan (Colline), and Rory Musgrave (Schaunard), together with a professional chorus of twelve and a thirteen member chamber orchestra conducted by Andrew Greenwood.

One of the most popular operas ever, Puccini’s melodious and memorable score, with ravishing music and thrilling arias and ensembles will enchant audiences of all ages, and this timeless classic promises a breathtaking and emotional experience. La bohème will be sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Acclaimed Irish soprano Máire Flavin will make her role debut as Mimi in this production, and is currently working in Così fan tutte for Opera North. A former OTC Young Associate Artist, Máire has also appeared with Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera and Glyndebourne and is a regular soloist with RTÉ NSO.

The role of Rodolfo is sung by Argentinian tenor Pablo Bemsch, who is a regular performer at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and has also performed at Zürich Opera House and Opera de San Juan, Argentina. Pablo studied at Musikhochschule Stuttgart and was a member the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and also a member of Zürich Opera Studio.

2016 is an exciting year for OTC and will also see a concert performance of Handel’s Ariodante in association with Irish Baroque Orchestra at Christchurch Cathedral for MusicTown Festival and Verdi’s Don Giovanni in a new translation by Roddy Doyle staged in Dublin Theatre Festival and at Cork Opera House.

Opera Theatre Company would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Arts Council.

www.opera.ie

 

La Bohème

Wednesday 25 May 2016 at 8pm

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Opera Professionals Descend on Donegal for Hansel and Gretel

In just over a week a plethora of international music talent will descend on Donegal to begin final rehearsals for the North West Opera’s lavish production of Hansel & Gretel.

Hansel and Gretel is a feast of fantasy, comedy and drama woven through with soaring arias, rich choral melodies and charming ballet sequences.

Anton Zapf conducts the North West Opera's  20 piece orchestra for Hansel and Gretel at An Grianán Theatre this November.

Anton Zapf will conduct the North West Opera’s 20 piece orchestra for Hansel and Gretel at An Grianán Theatre this November.

The NWO have been extremely fortunate to be able to welcome conductor Anton Zapf, who has worked with over 60 orchestras in 15 countries, including many national opera companies. It is Anton’s enthusiasm to be able to bring opera to all, and his long-standing friendship with NWO Musical Director Ann Jennings, that has drawn him to Donegal. He will lead a 20 piece orchestra of professional classical musicians drawn from all over Europe.

Ann Jennings (on piano) leads some of the adult chorus of Hansel and Gretel during rehearsals.

Ann Jennings (on piano) rehearses with some of the adult chorus of Hansel and Gretel.

The three principal soloists are all opera professionals of considerable experience.

The Witch/Mother is played by Soprano Ann Jennings, who has performed opera internationally for over 20 years.

Left to right: Anna-Louise Costello (Hansel) and Diana Bryan-McLaughlin (Gretel) in the North West Opera's Hansel and Gretel. An Grianan Theatre. Letterkenny November 2015

Left to right: Anna-Louise Costello (Hansel) and Diana Bryan-McLaughlin (Gretel) in the North West Opera’s Hansel and Gretel. An Grianan Theatre. Letterkenny November 2015

Hansel is played by Mayo born Anna-Louise Costello, a graduate of Dublin Conservatory of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, London and currently based in Berlin, Germany.

Gretel is played by American Soprano Diana Bryan-McLaughlin, trained by NY Met Soprano Sharon Christman, she has extensively performed in both traditional and modern opera works.

They are ably accompanied by the excellently trained North West Opera chorus, including the angelic sounding children’s chorus and ballet dancers from Zona Dance.

Dancers from Jessica People's Zona Dance Studios preparing for Hansel and Gretel.

Dancers from Jessica People’s Zona Dance Studios preparing for Hansel and Gretel.

About Hansel and Gretel

In Humperdinck’s native Germany, Hansel & Gretel is a hugely popular opera.

Since its first performance in 1893, it has captured the hearts of the audience and today is considered a national treasure. In fact the run up to Christmas in Germany would not be complete without it.

It is the perfect production if you already enjoy opera but also very accessible making it an ideal introduction to opera for newcomers.  The story on which it is based is universally known, and in addition this production will be sung in English making it easy to follow.

Hansel and Gretel follows on from the North West Opera’s highly successful productions of The Magic Flute, Carmen, La Boheme and La Traviata.

Do not miss out on this opportunity to see this beautiful grand opera on your doorstep!

Visit northwestoperaireland on facebook or go northwestopera.com for regular updates or see our event page to find out more or book tickets.

Hansel and Gretel
Fri 20 and Sat 21 Nov 2015 at 8pm
Tickets: €25, under 18s €18 Find out more

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