Horse Ape Bird Premieres at Solstice Arts Centre

Tuesday, 28 June, 2022
Sharon Carty And Amy Ní Fhearraigh With Chorus In Horse Ape Bird Phtos Ste Murray

Our very first youth opera, Horse Ape Bird, composed by David Coonan with libretto by Dylan Coburn Gray, premiered at the Solstice Arts Centre last week before a second performance at Maynooth University.

After months of music rehearsals in Kildare and Meath, the 16 young singers who made up the Horse Ape Bird chorus, came together with the cast and creative team just three short weeks ago to get stuck into production rehearsals. Led by director Zoe Ní Riordáin and conductor Elaine Kelly, they worked intensively to prepare this exciting new opera for the stage. For many of the young singers, this was their first experience of how an opera comes together and we were blown away by some of their responses to the process.

“Very inspiring! Very surreal! and very magnificent”
“Working to this professional a level has been a really unique experience at our age”
“I loved working with so many talented musicians, both professional and people my own age!”
“Completely surreal but in a brilliant way. I’ll cherish the memories I made for the rest of my life”

​Watch to learn more about the opera and get a taste of rehearsals as the team prepared for the premiere

We'd like to say a huge thank you to our co-producers the Solstice Arts Centre, Music Generation Kildare and Music Generation Meath as well as our partners at the Music Department, Maynooth University and St. Patrick's College, for all their support and enthusiasm in producing this work and to each and every one of the talented young people who participated who brought it to life on stage. We only wish we could do it all over again!


Music Generation is Ireland's National Music Education Programme. A Music Network Initiative, co-funded by U2, The Ireland Funds, The Department of Education and Local Music Education Partnerships. Locally, Music Generation Meath is supported by Louth and Meath Education and Training Board and Meath County Council. Locally, Music Generation Kildare is supported by Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board and Kildare County Council.