• Elaine Agnew & Jessica Traynor
  • April 2022
  • Galway

Paper Boat

Music for Galway and Galway 2020 present Paper Boat: An Opera for Galway in association with Irish National Opera

To the people of Galway,

famed for your welcome, your endurance

of siege and famine,

I beg for sanctuary.

Take your place among Galway’s musical tribes for a dramatic celebration of 700 years of St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, and the people who give it life.

With a libretto written by Jessica Traynor and music by Elaine Agnew, the community opera Paper Boat weaves together history, mythology and current events to tell a story of human endurance, inspired by the diverse communities who engage with the cultural and spiritual hub that is St Nicholas’.

Join a cast of over 100 singers and musicians for the world premiere concert performance of this unmissable Galway opera.

Performance duration: c. 70 minutes | Sung in English

Doors open 40 minutes before the performance.

I Claim Sanctuary

Concert tickets also give access to I Claim Sanctuary by artist Philip Fogarty, a newly commissioned site specific sound installation for St. Nicholas’, inspired by Paper Boat.

This new sound installation weaves sounds from past, present and future, and featuring material from the opera Paper Boat, a cast of Galway voices and original music, this twelve-part sound installation takes the themes of a momentous operatic production to new places, marking a defining moment in the seven-hundred-year history of Saint Nicholas’ Collegiate Church.

The installation will be launched on 23 April and run until June 2022.

A Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture legacy project presented by Music for Galway in association with Irish National Opera


Cast and Creative Team

Mother Gemma Ní Bhriain
French Bríd Ní Ghruagáin
Young Man Rory Dunne
Lynch Brendan Collins
Paper Boat Ensemble
Athenry Music School String Ensemble
Coole Music and Arts Young String Ensemble
St Patrick's Brass Band
Choristers of St Nicholas Schola Cantorum
Coole Harmonies and Guests
Conductor Sinead Hayes
Artistic Advisor/Chorus Director Mark Duley

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