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Irish National Opera

20 Shots of Opera

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This performance is no longer viewable as video-on-demand for rights reasons but other material about the production is still available.

Irish National Opera’s 20 Shots of Opera made 2020 a year to remember for positive reasons. Conceived, composed, rehearsed, recorded, filmed and edited in just six months by 160 opera professionals from all corners of the artform, these 20 short operas showcase the breadth and depth of Irish operatic talent.

Concentrated and intense like shots of espresso, these 20 operas have something to say on a huge range of topics; finding human connection, dealing with rejection, grief, illness and death, coping with psychological challenges, protecting the environment, living off-grid, pandemic dating, wetsuits, latex gloves, super-spreaders, Beethoven’s laundry, microbiology and doughnuts.

Sung in English. Subtitles are available in English, German and French with the option of auto-translation into over 100 other languages.

#1 Mrs. Streicher
A setting of letters Beethoven wrote to Nannette Streicher about struggles with his laundry, servants and mental state. He whips himself into a frenzy of paranoia and compares his maid’s laziness with Christ’s suffering on Golgotha.

 

Music Gerald Barry
Text Ludwig van Beethoven
Cast Gavan Ring (Tenor), Stephen Irvine (Tuba)
Director Gerald Barry
Commissioned by Timothy King and Mary Canning

#2 Rupture
Sometimes we are our own worst enemy... We fall victim to a conscience poisoned by society's repressing landscape. A rupture occurs within ourselves – the timeless fight between good and evil.

 

Music & Text Éna Brennan
Cast Rachel Goode (Woman), Sarah Richmond (Conscience)
Director Jo Mangan
Commissioned by Jean and Ian Flitcroft

#3 Ghost Apples
Alone in her lab, a scientist studying the 1.26 million square kilometre mass of floating plastic known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch looks for patterns, and some kind of meaning. By looking at the phenomena of ghost apples, and seabird corpses loaded with plastics, she starts to uncover the disastrous and indelible imprint humankind is making on our planet.

 

Music Irene Buckley
Text Jessica Traynor
Cast Kelli-Ann Masterson (soprano)
Director Conor Hanratty

#4 Glaoch
When conversations occur through screens, our eyes can't meet. Our connection falters, then breaks. In these times of rift and rupture, who haunts the glitch?

 

Music Linda Buckley
Text Doireann Ní Ghríofa
Cast Sarah Shine (soprano), Gemma Ní Bhriain (mezzo-soprano)
Director Hugh O'Conor

#5 The Colour Green
Mark Boyle, having given up technology for a life in rural Galway, meditates upon his daily rituals; of writing by hand and the ease to which sleep finds him.

 

Music Robert Coleman
Text Mark Boyle
Cast David Howes (Mark Boyle)
Director Hugh O'Conor

#6 verballing
A Garda is coached on how to answer awkward questions. It's awkward. Awkward question for you: what's the difference between answering truthfully and telling the truth? Another one: what's the difference between self-defence and pre-emptive offence? Last one, promise: do you trust Gardaí always know the difference?

 

Music David Coonan
Text Dylan Coburn Gray
Cast Amy Ní Fhearraigh (Amy, A Garda)
Director Caitriona McLaughlin
Commissioned by Catherine and William Earley

#7 Her Name
At a boarding school in Dublin City, a young boy secretly mourns the loss of his mother.

 

Music Alex Dowling
Text Mark O’Halloran
Cast Seán Hayden (boy soprano), Matthew Hayden (actor)
Director Hugh O'Conor
Commissioned by Matthew Patrick Smyth

#8 Through and Through
A traditional ballad is reimagined as modern-day fairytale in three dreamlike scenes. A noblewoman murders her lover, is taunted by a magical talking bird (who has witnessed the crime) and, ultimately, is accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake.

 

Music & Text Peter Fahey
Cast Daire Halpin (soprano)
Director Annabelle Comyn

#9 At a Loss
A woman sits awake in a screen-lit room, awaiting news about her mother’s imminent passing. Tuning into the tides of electrical hum around her, she wonders about the parallels between this power and the force that gives life to the body.

 

Music & Text Michael Gallen
Cast Orla Boylan (soprano)
Director Michael Gallen

#10 erth upon erth
A response to a terrifying walk through a Covid Hot Zone in a Birmingham hospital in April as seen through the lens of a Medieval English poem.

 

Music Andrew Hamilton
Text Anonymous
Cast Sinéad Campbell-Wallace (soprano)
Director Jo Mangan

#11 Dichotomies of Lockdown
In seven sad, funny, and absurd vignettes, two people navigate the changes within their world and within themselves in a time of pandemic. As they jump from one situation to another, we see how they adapt to new rituals and new vocabulary.

 

Music & Text Jenn Kirby
Cast Aebh Kelly (mezzo-soprano), Andrew Gavin (tenor)
Director Aoife Spillane-Hinks

#12 The Patient Woman
Fail me not, doc. You’re all I’ve got, doc. Join the dots, doc. A three act tragicomedy where a woman finds the strength to embrace her doctor’s failure.

 

Music Conor Linehan
Text Louis Lovett
Cast Imelda Drumm (The Patient Woman), Brenton Ryan (Doctor), Amelie Metcalfe (Nurse)
Directors Muireann Ahern, Louis Lovett
Commissioned by Gaby Smyth

#13 A Message for Marty (or ‘The Ring’)
When Marty breaks Jackie's heart, her sister takes matters into her own hands, and calls him out as explosively as she can. A comic short which shows what happens when Belfast girls lose their temper in a very, very public way!

 

Music & Text Conor Mitchell
Cast Emma Nash (Big Sister), Carolyn Dobbin (Jackie)
Director Davey Kelleher

#14 La Corbière
Drawing on the tragic, true story of a wartime shipwreck of a boat carrying Nazi German soldiers and a group of captive French sex workers, La Corbière highlights the dehumanising power of fear—in particular fear of the Other.

 

Music Gráinne Mulvey
Text Anne Le Marquand Hartigan
Cast Mairéad Buicke (Marie-Claire), Anne Marie Gibbons (Désirée)
Director Jo Mangan

#15 The Wait
We sit and watch as white swans sail serenely by. Yet once in a while, along comes a black swan, and our world turns upside down. A horse drowns. Next door. We all observe. But who is the horse and who is the watcher? And will we be next? Wait and see.

 

Music Emma O’Halloran
Text Mark O’Halloran
Cast Naomi Louisa O’Connell (mezzo-soprano)
Director Michael Barker-Caven
Commissioned by Genesis

#16 Close
Nothing is safe at the moment but then, nothing is ever ‘safe’ in matters of love. From the digital world of online dating, to meeting face to face for the first time; is finding true romance a dream or can Sam and Andi find a way to be together?
A journey of love for our times, an encounter full of trepidation where distance is just as vital as those soaring feelings of attraction. When romance is at stake, yet circumstances prevail… just how close would you get?

 

Music Hannah Peel
Text Stella Feehily
Cast Rachel Croash (Sam), Raphaela Mangan (Andi)
Director Sarah Baxter
Commissioned by Stephen Loughman

#17 TOUCH
A solitary man and woman become increasingly aware that their separate worlds consist of uniquely enclosed environments. Are they listening to their surroundings? Can they survive without listening? They discover that the sounds of five words are their only means of communication and perhaps their only means of escape.

 

Music Karen Power
Text Ione
Cast Naomi Louisa O’Connell (mezzo-soprano), Gyula Nagy (baritone)
Director Jo Mangan

#18 The Gift
A meditation on the love of a father for his estranged daughter. A last meeting, a reparation, a benign waiting to tell her Goodbye.

 

Music Evangelia Rigaki
Text Marina Carr
Cast Doreen Curran (Woman), Seán McGinley (Old Man), Erin Hennessey (Violin), Peadar Ó Loinsigh (Cello)
Director Jo Mangan
Commissioned by Ian and Jean Flitcroft

#19 Dust
A ballad of extinction, biodiversity loss and ecological collapse, Dust is a quiet lament from a near future.

 

Music & Text Benedict Schlepper-Connolly
Cast Michelle O’Rourke (mezzo-soprano), Stephanie Dufresne (actor), Dylan Tonge Jones (actor)
Director Stephanie Dufresne
Commissioned by Fedora

#20 Libris Solar
"And then the bliss came, as though in being suspended in this cosmic movement and losing the motility that comes from taking a stand and taking hold, I had found what I went down in the sea to find.” (Alphonso Lingis - The Rapture of the Deep)
A marine biologist meditates on the enigmatic figure of Libris Solar, an alchemical blend of human, non-human and neoprene.

 

Music & Text Jennifer Walshe
With additional text by Alphonso Lingis​
Cast Claudia Boyle (Freya Birren), Patrick Martins (Libris Solar)
Director Tom Creed
Commissioned by John Caldwell

In collaboration with RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Funded by Arts Council Ireland

RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Deirdre Brady, Bróna Cahill, Charles Cavanagh, Annette Cleary, Eoin Daly, Seamus Doyle, James Dunne, Sheelagh Harte, Stephen Kelly, David Kenny, Elizabeth Leonard, Stephen Mathieson, Lisanne Melchior, Annalisa Monticelli, Hugh Murray, Geraldine O’Doherty, Cormac Ó hAodáin, Maeve O’Hara, Elizabeth O’Neill, Macdara Ó Seireadáin, Carol Quigley, Bogdan Sofei, Yue Tang, Liam Wylie

Irish National Opera Orchestra
Yseult Cooper-Stockdale, Aoife Dowdall, Susan Doyle, Liam Duffy, Paul Frost, Paula Hughes, Stephen Irvine, David Kenny, Beth McNinch, Larissa O’Grady, Deirdre O’Leary, Niall O’Sullivan, Sarah Sew, Maeve Sheil

Conductors
Elaine Kelly, Fergus Sheil

Series Director
Hugh O'Conor

Production Design
Sarah Bacon

Costume Design
Katie Davenport

Lighting Design
Paul Keogan

Video Design
Luca Truffarelli

Animators
Holly Keating, Patrick Moynihan

Camera
Hugh Chaloner, Blat Garcia, Hugh O'Conor

Editor
Hugh Chalonor

Audio Production
Ergodos

Audio Producers
Adrian Hart, Benedict Schlepper-Connolly

Assistant Audio Producer
Catarina Schembri

Recording Engineer & Mixing Engineer
Eduardo Prado

Mastering Engineer
Christoph Stickel

Video Post Production
Leandro Arouca / Element

German Subtitle Translation
Christine O’Neill

French Subtitle Translation
Danièle Tort

Production Manager
Rob Usher

Stage Management
Lisa Krugel, Conleth Stanley, Paula Tierney, Kate Watkins

Technical Stage Manager
Adrian Leake

Chief Electrician
Simon Burke

Lighting Programmer
Eoin McNinch

Projectionist
Jeffrey O’Riordan

Costume Supervisor
Monica Ennis

Costumer Maker
Denise Assas

Costume Assistants
Nicola Burke, Caroline Butler

Wigs, Hair and Make-up
Carole Dunne, Paula Melián

Set Construction
Theatre Production Services

Lighting Provider
Cue One

Transport
Owen & Odran Sherwin