A Thing I Cannot Name
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Irish National Opera is delighted to celebrate World Opera Day with a free digital stream of A Thing I Cannot Name, the critically acclaimed filmed opera composed by Amanda Feery with libretto by Megan Nolan.
The opera tells a captivating story about three very different women, whose only connection is the fierce intensity of their individual desires. INO’s World Opera Day celebrations kick off at 7pm when composer Amanda Feery and director Aoife Spillane-Hinks join James Bingham (INO) for an online conversation about the creative process involved in the work. This is followed at 7:40pm with A Thing I Cannot Name available to stream free of charge via onjam.tv.
Amanda Feery's work has been praised for its “zinging punch” (The Irish Times), and she has always wanted to compose a project around female desire, to explore it without romanticising it, to delve into feelings of acute longing, of infatuation and lust, examining the darker, deeper recesses. The opera’s title A Thing I Cannot Name comes from a quote by André Breton and refers to the difficulty experienced when trying to describe yearning and desire. A Thing I Cannot Name is Megan Nolan’s first opera, her first novel, Acts of Desperation was published to huge acclaim earlier this year and was described by Marian Keyes as “brilliant writing about female desire . . . honest and visceral”.
A Thing I Cannot Name was created with members of the 2020/21 ABL Aviation Opera Studio, Irish National Opera's professional development programme. A twenty-minute opera on film, it features sopranos Kelli-Ann Masterson and Rachel Goode, mezzo soprano Aebh Kelly together with an ensemble of piano, percussion, double bass, violin, electric guitar and flute. Filmed in The Complex, Dublin in early Summer, A Thing I Cannot Name had its world premiere at the West Cork Literary Festival, streaming for one night only, on Monday 28 July 2021.
Following months of theatre closures this year’s World Opera Day has a special focus on the opera reboot, honouring a new awakening of the art with a special focus on jobs for the next generation of talent. A Thing I Cannot Name is the perfect opera for such a celebration, conceived and created by young artists at the cusp of their careers.
World Opera Day was initiated with joint forces of Ópera Latinoamérica, OPERA America and Opera Europa but is also supported by international partners as well as national opera networks. Visit worldoperaday.com for more information.