Elsewhere – A New Opera by Michael Gallen

Following its hugely successful run on the Abbey Theatre stage in 2021, this bold new opera by Michael Gallen, based on the true story of the radical “Monaghan Asylum Soviet” of 1919”, is coming to Cork Opera House as part of a national tour.  Highlighted as one of the Irish Times’s Best of 2021, Elsewhere was also nominated for two Irish Times Theatre Awards, including Best Opera.

In 1919, the staff of the Monaghan Asylum barricaded the hospital gates and declared themselves an independent Soviet commune. Their strike brought asylum workers and patients together in collective action, presenting a revolutionary vision of what a care-centred society could look like. The moment of the Soviet is in constellation with our own, occurring during the 1918 Flu pandemic, and at a time when social and geographical borders were being redrawn. Marked by death and hardship, the strikers overcame sectarian divides to demand humane conditions and equal pay for women and men.

In Elsewhere, these events unfold through the visions of Celine, a patient who decades later remains ‘locked in’ to the moment of the Soviet, believing herself to be its leader. Through her interactions with the charismatic ‘Inspector of Lunatics’ we tread the borders between fantasy and incarceration. Drawing upon the hum of murmured rosaries, the eccentric lilt of the border dialect and the glitched ornamentation of Oriel sean nós song, Elsewhere’s score melds a delicate, introspective complexity with the raucous energy of revolt.

The libretto is co-written by Michael Gallen with poet Annemarie Ní Churreáin and playwright Carys D Coburn, and the production brings together a team of renowned Irish artists and rising international stars led by director Tom Creed and conductor Fiona Monbet. Singers and instrumentalists play a range of characters from patients and strikers to Marx and Jehovah, shape-shifting between work routines, football matches, negotiations, dances – in a dynamic that is both playful and uncanny. Over time we discover how Celine’s fate and that of the Soviet are entwined.

Dealing with themes of freedom, care and mental illness, Elsewhere explores the imagined future of a forgotten past.

La tragédie de Carmen

Based on the opera Carmen (1875) the tragic tale is relived through the music of George Bizet and Marius Constant in this adaptation from Peter Brook and Jean-Claude Carriére.

Conducted by Peter Shannon and directed by John O’Brien, La tragédie de Carmen features the Cara O’Sullivan Associate Artists making their role debut performances in this reimagined classic opera – Cork mezzo-soprano Niamh O’Sullivan as Carmen, Clare tenor Dean Power as Don José, Kildare bass-baritone Rory Dunne as Escamillo, and Wexford soprano Kelli-Ann Masterson as Micaela.

The highly charged music of Bizet is brought to life in this dark and emotional retelling live at Cork Opera House on Valentine’s Day, 14 February 2024. The performers will be accompanied on the evening by an ensemble of 15 players.

The performance is sung in French with English surtitles and spoken word.

Cork Opera House presents an Opera Recital with Dean Power – Culture Night

Cork Opera House introduces the second cohort of Cara O’Sullivan Associate Artists through a series of free recitals in The Blue Angel Hospitality Suite, opening our 2023/24 Opera Season on Culture Night.

Curated and performed by Clare Tenor Dean Power, this 45-minute aria recital showcases the lyrical nuances of the tenor voice with glorious music from the operatic canon.

The Vanbrugh and Marja Gaynor will join Cara O’Sullivan Associate Artist Dean Power under the musical direction of Ciara Moroney for Culture Night 2023 at Cork Opera House

Join us in The Blue Angel Hospitality Suite for music, insight and a post-recital cup of tea with the artist.

Cork Opera House presents Opera Gala in association with Irish National Opera

This Opera Gala introduces the second cohort of the Cara O’ Sullivan Associate Artists, a programme initiated by Cork Opera House in 2021 to honour the life and work of Cork’s gifted coloratura soprano, with the hope of contributing significantly to the future of opera in Cork city, so that generations to come can benefit from her enduring legacy. This Gala evening is free of charge to the public – a gift to the city in Cara O’Sullivan’s name.

The Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra will be conducted on the evening by founding artistic director of Irish National Opera, Fergus Sheil. They will accompany a host of Irish operatic talent in their inaugural performance as Cara O’ Sullivan Associate Artists – Cork Mezzo-Soprano Niamh O’ Sullivan, Dublin Bass-Baritone Rory Dunne, Wexford Soprano Kelli-Ann Masterson and Clare Tenor, Dean Power.

The programme for this Gala evening features many beloved arias and opera favourites such as the famous trio ‘Soave sia il vento’ from Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Nemorino’s wonderfully pensive aria ‘Una furtiva lagrima’ from Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore, Dvořák’s ‘Song to the Moon’ and Saint-Saëns exquisite ‘Mon Coeur s’ouvre à ta voix’.

Online booking is limited to two tickets per booking – for additional tickets please contact our Box Office on 021 427 0022.

Proudly supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.