In Focus

Get the inside track on opera.


...Beethoven struggled for years with his great freedom opera, Fidelio? He wrote no less than four overtures for it, and always preferred to call it by its original name, Leonore.

...Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground has a cast of just seven, but they perform 53 roles, involving 76 costume changes, all in just 54 and a half minutes? Only Alice remains Alice all the way through.

...In rehearsal for the first production of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, the singer in the title role was so persuasive with Act II’s insults (“Obscene and unworthy prostitute...Vile bastard”) that a fight ensued between the two queens. In the event, after a real Queen, Maria Cristina, attended a dress rehearsal, she identified so strongly with Mary Queen of Scots’ fate that performance of the opera was forbidden.

Delve deeper into the background of opera with Irish National Opera’s free In Focus series. Each event takes a closer look at an opera in INO's season, exploring the music and the context in which it was created.


Fidelio ...In Focus 1 November 2021
Alice's Adventures Under Ground...In Focus 15 November 2021
Carmen...In Focus 28 February 2022
Maria Stuarda...In Focus 30 May 2022


In Focus pre-performance talks will take place ahead of selected performances this season. Talks will take place one hour before the performance at selected venues and will last 30 minutes.

The Focus Saturday 20 November to Saturday 11 December
Bajazet...In Focus Saturday 15 January to Sunday 5 February 2022