Opera in the Open - 2015 French Season

Dublin City Council in partnership with the French Embassy in Ireland is pleased to present a season of French Opera in the Open.  To celebrate the relocation of the French Embassy’s Cultural Service to Merrion Square, a special one-off performance of Orphée et Euridice by Christoph Willibald Gluck will be performed in Merrion Square Park at 1pm on Thursday 30th July 2015.

Dublin’s much loved annual opera event will then return to the Amphitheatre, Wood Quay where the programme of French Operas will continue. Lunchtime concerts will take place every Thursday during the month of August from 1 -2pm each day.

“Opera in the Open is one of Dublin’s most popular summertime events.  Now in its sixteenth year this season marks a special collaboration with the French Embassy with a wonderful selection of French Opera performances. Come along to our Amphitheatre and enjoy sunny afternoons (hopefully) and beautiful music” said Ray Yeates, Arts Officer, Dublin City Council.

Take this opportunity to find out more about French Opera and relax on the grass in the leafy surrounds of some of Dublin’s hidden gems.  The Amphitheatre is located just off Wood Quay and is easily accessible from Winetavern Street, which runs up to Christ Church Cathedral.

Yet another fantastic selection of some classic French operas awaits you.  Each performance features excerpts from the Opera sung in French but narrated in English.  Not only do we have an opportunity to appreciate the development of Orpheus and his adventures through the medium of Opera between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries but also Offenbach’s parody of Gluck’s Orphée et Euridice (1762) in the form of Orphée Aux Enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld, 1858).

Programme info available at : http://bit.ly/OperaFlyer


For further information contact:

Dubin City Council Arts Office are: artsoffice@dublincity.ie or  01 222 5455

  https://twitter.com/DubCityCouncil       www.facebook.com/DublinCityCouncil



Notes to the Editor:

Programme Schedule:

Launch Merrion Square Park:

30th July, 1pm ORPHÉE ET EURIDICE Christoph Willibald Gluck


Main Programme - Civic Office Amphitheatre:

6th August, 1pm CARMEN Georges Bizet

13th August, 1pm PYGMALION Jean-Philippe Rameau

20th August, 1pm L’HEURE ESPAGNOLE Joseph-Maurice Ravel

27th August, 1pm ORPHÉE AUX ENFERS Jacques Offenbach

Interesting information on this years French Opera in the Open Season

Orphée et Euridice (French version: Orphée et Euridice; English: Orpheus and Eurydice)

Twelve years after the 1762 premiere, Gluck re-adapted the opera to suit the tastes of a Parisian audience at the Académie Royale de Musique with a libretto by Pierre-Louis Moline. This reworking was given the title Orphée et Eurydice, and several alterations were made in vocal casting and orchestration to suit French tastes



After the premiere, most reviews were critical, and the French public was generally indifferent. Carmen initially gained its reputation through a series of productions outside France, and was not revived in Paris until 1883; thereafter it rapidly acquired celebrity at home and abroad, and continues to be one of the most frequently performed operas



The opera was performed 30 times in 1748 and was revived to rapturous acclaim three years later. Most significantly, it inspired a musical retort from Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the philosopher and composer whose ideas were chipping away at the foundations of France's monarchical regime.


L'heure espagnole

In an interview published two days before the premiere, Ravel explained his approach to his new opera. "I have written an opéra-bouffe. Apart from [Gonzalve] who sings sérénades and cavatines with deliberately exaggerated melodies, the other rôles will give, I think, the impression of being spoken."


Orpheus in the Underworld

The "Infernal Galop" from act 2, scene 2, is famous outside classical circles as the music for the "can-can" (to the extent that the tune is widely, but erroneously, called "can-can"). Saint-Saëns borrowed the Galop, slowed it to a crawl, and arranged it for the strings to represent the tortoise in The Carnival of the Animals.