Opera in the Open



August 3rd


Pagliacci (Ruggero Leoncavallo)


The opera opens with Tonio delivering the Prologue, reminding the audience that actors have feelings too and that the show is about real people.  We are then introduced to a group of players arriving in a village to perform at 3pm that afternoon.  Canio is the lead player, married to Nedda.  He is jealous and will not tolerate anyone making a move on his wife.   Nedda is having an affair with Silvio, who asks her to run away with him.  Tonio is also in love with Nedda but she laughs at him.  Canio overhears Silvio and Nedda planning to run away that night.  Canio sings his famous aria, Vesti la giubba, declaring that the show must go on, even when your heart is breaking.  That night, at the performance, the play resembles the scene Canio had observed that afternoon and he soon begins to loose his grip on reality.  Forgetting the play, he demands the name of her lover.  Nedda swears she will never tell him and it becomes clear that they are not acting.  Silvio, who is in the audience, approaches the stage to intervene.  Canio grabs a knife and stabs Nedda.  The dying Nedda calls out Silvio's name asking for help and Canio stabs him too.  The opera ends with Canio declaring "La Commedia è finita!"


Cast: Sandra Oman, Owen Gilhooly, Brendan Collins, Simon Morgan

Director: TBC

Musical Director: Andrew Synnott


August 10th


Cox and Box (Arthur Sullivan)


Sergeant Bouncer, a landlord, is letting his flat to two different lodgers, Mr. Cox and Mr. Box, neither of whom knows about the other. Cox, a hatter, works all day; Box, a printer, works all night; so they never come in contact, except that they occasionally pass on the staircase. Cox has noted that he supplies of tea, sugar, coal etc. keep disappearing but Bouncer suggests it was the cat!  Box comes home that night, lights his fire, takes out some bread and lies down on the bed for a catnap. Cox re-enters, having gotten a day off from his employer. He is delighted to find a roll on the table, but surprised to find the fire already lit.  General mayhem ensues. Each suggests the other should leave but neither will budge. Finally, they realise that it is all Bouncer's fault, and they may as well be friends. They serenade each other on the guitar.  They soon discover however that they share more than a flat...........


Cast: David Howes, Fearghal Curtis, Simon Morgan

Director: TBC

Musical Director: David Wray


August 17th


Rita (Gaetano Donizetti)


Rita is the landlady of a pub and treats her poor, timid, THIRD husband Peppe like dirt! All of a sudden, Rita's first husband, Gaspar shows up.  Everyone believed he had drowned. In reality, Gaspar had run away to Canada. Believing that Rita has died in a fire, Gaspar has returned to obtain her death certificate so that he can remarry. When the two meet, Gaspar tries to run away. Peppe, however, sees this as an opportunity to free himself from Rita's slaps because Gaspar is her legitimate husband. The two men agree to a game whereby whoever wins has to remain with Rita.  Both try to lose, but ultimately Gaspar is the "lucky" winner.  Rita refuses to go back to Gaspar however, as he was just as abusive to her as she is now to Peppe!  Gaspar, pretending he has lost the hand, induces Peppe to declare his love for Rita and his firm intention to remain as her husband. The crafty Gaspar, having achieved his purpose, heads off on his merry way!  Ain't marriage great?......


Cast: Sandra Oman, Richard Shaffrey, Simon Morgan, Eoin Cannon

Director: Eoin Cannon

Musical Director: David Wray


August 24th


Gianni Schicchi  (Giacomo Puccini)


As Buoso Donati lies dead in his curtained four-poster bed, his relatives gather round to mourn his passing, but are really more interested in learning the contents of his will.  They find that he has left all his money to a Monastery.  Rinuccio, a young nephew, wants to enlist the assistance of Gianni Schicchi, whose daughter Lauretta he hopes to marry.  The relatives sneer at Schicchi because of his humble origins.  Rinuccio and Lauretta beg Schicchi to help as Rinuccio cannot marry Lauretta unless he inherits some money.  Lauretta makes a final plea to him with "O Mio Babbino Caro" and he agrees to look at the will.  An idea comes to him.   Buoso has now died.  Schicchi arranges for the body to be hidden.   The doctor arrives and Schicchi conceals himself behind the bed curtains, mimics Buoso's voice and declares that he's feeling better; he asks the doctor to return that evening.   Schicchi reveals to the family that he will disguise himself as Buoso and dictate a new will.  Everyone's delighted!  The notary arrives, and Schicchi starts to dictate the new will, leaving the bulk of the estate to himself!!! Schicchi slyly reminds them of the penalties that discovery of the ruse will bring.  There is now no bar to Rinuccio and Lauretta's marriage.

Cast: Ecaterina Tulgara, Brendan Collins, Collette Delahunt, Richard Shaffrey, Sandra Oman, Martha Bredin, Fearghal Curtis, David Howes, John Molloy, Simon Morgan, Tim Shaffrey

Director: Eoin Cannon

Musical Director: David Wray


August 31st - TBC