• Brian Irvine and John McIlduff
  • December 2023

The Scorched Earth Trilogy

A series of three street-art operas.

“short, sharp, sardonic commentaries on the climate crisis… anarchic and funny ” - The Times

The Scorched Earth Trilogy is a large scale projected Opera with audio experienced through your headphones transmitted by Isolde, a groundbreaking new mobile app.

Prepare to be enthralled by the electrifying synergy of composer Brian Irvine, writer/director John McIlduff and digital video artist Conan McIvor from the daring realm of Dumbworld. In these unique works they join forces with INO conductor/artistic director Fergus Sheil, to craft an opera experience like no other.

The Trilogy explores our fractured relationship with the Earth, the environment, climate change, pollution, consumerism, political motivation and governance as well as notions of living, care, hope and togetherness. They are a mesmerising tapestry of street art, music, performance, and animation. The award winning team plunge us into a world of high-octane orchestral opera that fuses wide screen epic with visceral, tender and exhilarating moments of singing and animation.

They are at once poignant, engaging, potent, moving and very funny. It’s opera… but not as you know it… its opera that challenges your understanding of street art, orchestral music and singing all the while questioning the manner in which we connect with each other and with the world around us.

Isolde is developed by Nuwa for Irish National Opera in consultation with Dumbworld and funded as part of the Next Stage Initiative from Fedora and Opera Europa.

Isolde is currently in the beta testing phase of development.

Join the conversation with #ScorchedEarthTrilogy

Trickle Down Economics

Welcome to a pissing contest at Davos. Swollen by champagne and self-congratulation, a gang of suited politicians relieve themselves against a wall.

Won’t Bring Back the Snow

Forced into the city by the disappearance of its natural habitat, a father and daughter polar bear search through trash for something to eat.


Revival presents a dystopian world of children forced to wear gas masks as they skip and swing. But these same children are at the heart of an ecological revolution...

A co-production with Dumbworld.


Performances on 14 November are presented with support from Irish Design Week. 

Cast & Creative Team


Doreen Curran Mezzo-soprano
Francesco Giusti Countertenor
Eamonn Mulhall Tenor
Owen Gilhooly Baritone
Brendan Collins Baritone
Megan O'Neill Soprano
Nicole White Actor
Maria Nilsson Waller Actor
Children's Chorus The Independent Theatre Workshop
Irish National Opera Orchestra

Creative Team

Brian Irvine Composer
John McIlduff Writer/Director
Fergus Sheil Conductor
Katie Davenport Designer
Monica Ennis Costume Supervisor
Laura Fajardo Assistant Set Design/Props
Conan McIvor DOP/Video Design
Enda O'Connor VFX

Download Isolde App

The Scorched Earth Trilogy is delivered with the support of Isolde, a groundbreaking new app that supports synced audio experiences. In order to access this experience, you will need the following: 

1. An Apple or Android Smartphone device with the following minimum Operating System versions: 

  • Android: 9 
  • iOS: 15.0 

2. Wired or Bluetooth headphones

3. Access to the Isolde app

You can access the app via: