Mezzo Masterpieces

Tuesday, 6 October, 2020
Ino 3 Mezzos Web Slider

Irish National Opera joins forces with the Office of Public Works to present three of Ireland's greatest living singers, mezzo-sopranos Tara Erraught, Paula Murrihy and Sharon Carty, in live-streamed concerts with orchestra from three stunning Irish heritage sites, Kilkenny Castle, Castletown House and Dublin Castle.

The three evening (8pm) concerts will be live-streamed on Saturday 24 and Saturday 31 October, and Sunday 15 November, all with a socially-distanced Irish National Opera Orchestra.

The Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Patrick O'Donovan, says “As Minister with responsibility for the OPW I am delighted to announce this collaboration between my Office and INO, pairing outstanding voices and composers with three of Ireland’s unique architectural masterpieces.”

INO Artistic Director Fergus Sheil adds “We are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with the OPW and present three of Ireland’s finest singers in three of the country’s most distinctive and imposing buildings. The most recent of the three, Castletown House, dates from the 18th century. The others have histories going back even further, to the 12th century for Kilkenny Castle and the 13th for Dublin Castle, giving them lifespans that predate the history of opera by a number of centuries.”

The concert series kicks off on Saturday 24 October with Tralee mezzo-soprano and New York Metropolitan Opera star Paula Murrihy performing in the Picture Gallery which opened in 1976 in the first stage of the restoration of the iconic Kilkenny Castle. The conductor is INO artistic partner Peter Whelan, who is also artistic director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra. Paula wowed audiences in her INO debut as Judith in Enda Walsh's searing production of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle at the 2018 Dublin Theatre Festival. GoldenPlec described her as “a marvel to behold, giving an impassioned and physically-committed performance, her voice rich and expressive, full of colour.” Paula's all-Mozart programme also features the young baritone Seán Boylan, a recent graduate of the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Kildare mezzo-soprano Sharon Carty, another INO artistic partner, headlines the second concert. She performs in her native county, in the exquisite 1760s decoration of the Long Gallery in Castletown House, Celbridge, on Saturday 31 October. Sharon won rave reviews as Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo Ed Euridice at Galway International Arts Festival in 2018 and on tour the following spring. The Arts Review described how “A superlative Sharon Carty, carrying the lion's share of the vocals, perfectly pitches mood and emotion with some sublime singing”. Her programme of baroque music by Handel, Vivaldi, and Charpentier under Finnish harpsichordist and conductor Aapo Häkkinen also features Wexford soprano Kelli-Ann Masterson, who has been a member of the ABL Aviation Opera Studio since 2019.

The final concert features another Metropolitan Opera star and INO artistic partner, Dundalk mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught, whose voice has been described by The Times in London as “warm as smouldering embers, tender throughout, with unfaltering coloratura.” Tara made her INO debut in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in 2018 and followed up last year with a flawlessly virtuosic and compassionate performance in the title role of Rossini’s Cinderella/La Cenerentola. The Irish Examiner reported that she “made the demanding vocal fireworks seem effortless.” Tara will perform live from Dublin Castle on Sunday 15 November, under the splendid ceiling in St Patrick’s Hall that was painted by Italian artist Vincenzo Waldré in the 1780s. INO's artistic director Fergus Sheil conducts, and also appearing in this all-Italian evening of arias by Bellini, Rossini, Puccini, and Cilea, is soprano Amy Ní Fhearraigh. She was a member of the 2018-19 ABL Aviation Opera Studio. Her scheduled performances in the central role in INO's upcoming revival of Brian Irvine and Netia Jones's much-lauded Least Like The Other, Searching for Rosemary Kennedy, have been postponed due to the current Level 3 coronavirus restrictions.

The concerts will be available exclusively as live-streams, with individual tickets priced at €15 each, or €40 for all three.

The streams can be viewed more than once and will be available on demand for 14 days from the dates of the concerts.

Booking opens on Wednesday 7 October.

For links and more information please go to www.irishnationalopera.ie

An account with www.Dice.fm is required to pay for and access the streams.