• Antonio Vivaldi
  • January - February 2022
  • Nationwide Tour


An extraordinary thriller. A dark, tense, claustrophobic environment.

Powerful men, strong women. Desires of the heart clashing with rank and duty. If you liked the high-wire singing in INO’s Vivaldi Griselda in 2019, you’ll love the adrenalin rush of the instrumentally virtuosic vocal writing and show-stopping arias in Bajazet.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions on theatre openings, we have had to cancel the performances of Bajazet in Letterkenny (18 Jan), Sligo (20 Jan) and Kilkenny (27 Jan). The opening night performance on 15 Jan at the Solstice Arts Centre has been moved to 18 Jan at 5pm. Venues will be in touch with ticket holders with further information. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Concert performances will now take place at 5pm in Cork on the 20 January and in Maynooth on the 27 January.

The performance will last for approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes including an interval.

Sung in Italian with English surtitles for staged performances.

Bajazet...In Focus will take place online on 13 January at 7pm. Tickets are free and available here.


“a credit to Thomas’s insightful direction” - The Guardian ★★★★
“wonderful singing...highly entertaining” - Irish Independent
“Musical rewards abound in Bajazet, with storm arias . . . battle arias . . . rage arias and nature arias” - Opera News [New York]





Cast and Creative Team


Tamerlano James Laing
Bajazet Gianluca Margheri
Asteria Niamh O’Sullivan
Andronico Eric Jurenas
Irene Claire Booth
Idaspe Aoife Miskelly

Creative Team

Conductor Peter Whelan
Director Adele Thomas
Set & Costume Designer Molly O’Cathain
Lighting Designer Sinéad Wallace
Associate Director Emma Woods
Fight Director Kev McCurdy
Irish Baroque Orchestra



The Ottoman Emperor Bajazet has been defeated by Tamerlano, the Turko-Mongol conqueror, who has occupied Bajazet’s royal palace in Bursa. Bajazet would rather die than continue to live at the mercy of his enemy. He intercedes with one of Tamerlano’s allies, the Greek prince Andronico, to take care of his daughter Asteria. Andronico loves Asteria, but Tamerlano also has designs on her. Tamerlano decides that he will marry Asteria and renounces his vows to Irene, Princess of Trebizond. Tamerlano compounds the situation by asking Andronico to plead his cause with Bajazet and Asteria. Andronico’s reward will be Irene’s hand and the throne of Greece. Asteria is upset when Tamerlano proposes to her. She fears that Andronico is complicit and tells Bajazet of her concerns. Bajazet refuses to agree to this marriage proposal, and pledges his life for his daughter’s freedom. Irene is shocked to hear from Andronico about Tamerlano’s changed intentions. She agrees to pass herself off as her own servant, so that she can divert Tamerlano’s attention back to her cause.


Andronico and Asteria discuss her pending marriage with Tamerlano. Andronico warns her that taking the throne will cost her both his love and her father’s love. She questions Andronico’s love because of his role in the marriage arrangement. When he hears that she is an unwilling bride, he swears to try to stop the nuptials. But Asteria warns him that it is already too late. Andronico is heartbroken and knows that to prevent the marriage he will have to tell Bajazet. Asteria urges Tamerlano to wed her quickly before her father finds out. Meanwhile Irene arrives and tries to convince Tamerlano to marry her instead. Asteria reassures Irene that she will find a way to make Tamerlano change his mind and return to Irene. Bajazet is appalled when he learns of the marriage and storms the ceremony to try to stop it. Asteria cannot bear to see her father so upset. She reveals the dagger with which she planned to kill Tamerlano. Tamerlano orders the executions of both Asteria and Bajazet.


Bajazet and Asteria plan to evade Tamerlano by suicide, using poison that Bajazet has been hiding. Andronico comes clean with Tamerlano about his true feelings for Asteria. The furious Tamerlano wants to kill all three but steps back from the threat. He will put Bajazet to death, and humiliates Asteria by forcing her to serve at his dinner table, with the helpless Bajazet and Andronico watching on. Asteria turns the situation to her advantage, and laces a drink for Tamerlano with poison. Her gesture is spotted by Irene, who intervenes and chooses the moment to reveal her true identity. Tamerlano would have Asteria and Bajazet take the poison, but Andronico spills the drink she is holding. Tamerlano decides to reward Irene by marrying her, and orders Asteria to punishment in his harem. Idaspe arrives with the news that Bajazet has taken poison and Asteria begs Tamerlano to kill her, too. Irene and Andronico persuade him to forgive Asteria. Moved by the tragedy of Bajazet’s death he pardons both Asteria and Andronico.

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