Opera in the Open

Wood Quay Amphitheatre, Wood Quay, Dublin 8

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Opera In The Open • Live Performances • Wood Quay Amphitheatre
Opera in the Open

Opera in the Open returns to the Amphitheatre in Wood Quay Venue every Thursday throughout August (4th, 11th, 18th & 25th) at 1pm.

11th August - La Fille du Régiment - Donizetti 
18th August - The Magic Flute/Die Zauberflöte - Mozart 
25th August - Tosca - Puccini

No ticket required, all are welcome to attend the free performances. 
We look forward to seeing you there.


Thursday 4th August @ 1pm

Dido & Aeneas - Purcell 

Premiere: Josias Priest’s Boarding School for Girls, London 1687
Dido - Deirdre Masterson
Aeneas - Brendan Collins
Belinda - Sandra Oman
Sorceress - Bríd Ní Ghruagáin

2nd Woman/1st Witch/Chorus - Anna-Maria Husca
2nd Witch/Chorus - Sarah Kilkoyne
Sailor/Chorus - Stephen Walker
Spirit/Chorus - David Mulhall

Musical Director/Piano - David Wray
Director - Mary MacDonagh

Performed Complete

Dido & Aeneas is based on Book 4 of Virgil’s Aeneid and is considered Purcell’s only true opera being sung throughout. The first performance was at Josias Priest’s Boarding School for Girls in 1687 and in that performance the cast was all female. The story concerns the love of Dido, Queen of Carthage, for the Trojan hero Aeneas and her misery when he leaves.

Dido offers Aeneas safe harbour whilst on his journey to find a site for a new city to replace Troy. She falls in love with Aeneas but cannot admit it and is persuaded by her confidante Belinda to confess her love to him. A Sorceress, who hates Dido, plots to divide and separate them by conjuring up a storm. After Dido & Aeneas have spent a night together she sends a messenger to urge Aeneas to return home immediately and remember his duties. Aeneas gather his crew and tells Dido he must depart. The Sorceress and her witches gloat over their victory and sing of their delight. Dido, in despair, kills herself unable to bear losing him, singing one of the most famous English arias - ‘When I am laid In earth’ - Dido’s Lament.

Thursday 11th August @ 1pm

La Fille du Régiment - Donizetti 

Premiere: Opéra Comique (Salle de Bourse), Paris 1840

Marie - Maria McGrann
Tonio - Andrew Gavin
Sergeant Sulpice - David Scott
Marquise of Berkenfield - Bríd Ní Ghruagáin
Hortensius/Caporal - TBC
Duchess of Crakenthorp - Aileen Donohoe

Musical Director/Piano - David Wray
Director - Peter McCamley

La Fille Du Régiment is set at the time of the Napoleonic wars in the early 19th century and takes place in the Swiss Tyrol area. War is raging in the Tyrols and the Marquise de Berkenfield, who is travelling in this area, is alarmed to the point of needing smelling salts which her steward Hortensius administers. Sergeant Sulpice arrives and promises to restore order. Marie, a ‘vivandière’ or canteen girl in the regiment arrives and tells Suplice about a young boy, Tonio, that she’s in love with. Tonio is dragged in as a prisoner for prowling around the camp. Marie saves him and tells the company that he had saved her life. Tonio decalres his love for Marie but she tells him that he must get the approval of her ‘fathers’ - all the men in the regiment!

The Marquise arrives and mentions her name and Sulpice then recalls a letter he discovered with Marie when she was found as a child on a battlefield. The Marquise realises that Marie is her long lost niece and takes her away to her castle.

Tonio proposes to join the ranks of soldiers and confesses his love for Marie.

After some months in the castle, the Marquise tells Sulpice that Marie is resisting learning proper etiquette and asks him to help as Marie has been set up to Marie the Duke of Crakenthorp.

The regiment, led by Tonio, arrives and he asks to marry Marie. The Marquise refuses and later confesses that she is actually the mother of Marie.

The Duchess of Crakenthorp and her nephew (the Duke) arrive and Marie is told about her ‘mother’. She agrees to submit to her mother’s wishes but the soldiers rush in and reveal her previous career as a regiment canteen girl. The Duchess and her entourage leave and the Marquise finally consents to the marriage of Marie and Tonio.

Thursday 18th August @ 1pm

The Magic Flute/Die Zauberflöte - Mozart  

Premiere: Freihaus-Theater auf der Weiden, Vienna 1791

Tamino - Andrew Gavin
Pamina - Kelli Ann Masterson
Papageno - Simon Morgan
Papagena - Megan Pottinger
1st Lady - Maria McGrann
2nd Lady - Anna-Maria Husca
3rd Lady - Sarah Richardson
Queen of the Night - Catherine Donnelly
Sarastro - Fionn Ó hAlmhain
Monastotos - Ben Escorcio

Musical Director/Piano - David Wray
Director - Mary MacDonagh

The Magic Flute, written in 1791, opens in the thick of action. Three ladies in the service of the Queen of the Night save Prince Tamino from a serpent. When they leave to tell the queen, the bird catcher Papageno appears. He boasts to Tamino that it was he who killed the creature. The ladies return to give Tamino a portrait of the queen’s daughter, Pamina, who they say has been enslaved by the evil Sarastro. Tamino immediately falls in love with the girl’s picture. The queen, appearing in a burst of thunder, tells Tamino about the loss of her daughter and commands him to rescue her .The ladies give a magic flute to Tamino and silver bells to Papageno to ensure their safety on the journey and appoint three spirits to guide them.

In a dramatic reversal when Tamino eventually meets the kidnapper Sarastro and his temple-goers, they turn out to be anything but evil. Tamino finds Pamina and they propose to marry. Sarastro makes Tamino and Pamina undergo trials walking through fire and water before they can marry as true tests of virtue.

Before then the Queen of the Night returns for the the opera’s most famous aria and orders her daughter to murder Sarastro. Though she and her 3 Ladies are eventually defeated, her voice echoes into the night.

 Thursday 25th August @ 1pm

Tosca - Puccini  

Premiere: Teatro Costanzi, Rome 1900

Tosca - Sylvia O’Brien
Cavaradossi - Richard Shaffrey
Scarpia - Simon Morgan
Sagristano/Spoletta - David Mulhall

Musical Director: David Wray
Director: Peter McCamley

Puccini's masterful melodrama is a sexually charged, edge-of-your-seat thriller, in which a great singer, a rebellious painter and a corrupt police chief engage in a deadly test of wills.

From its famous, dissonant opening chords, Tosca conjures up a world of political instability and menace.

The plot is a simple one of love and jealousy. Cavaradossi is an idealist, and almost everything we want in our romantic hero (but a stronger sense of self-preservation wouldn’t go amiss). Scarpia is the villain with no redeeming features (he may love his mother, but we are never told).  The opera, however, is called Tosca, after the woman caught – and finally falling – between two completely opposed views of life. So we have the necessary ingredients for disaster on all character fronts, and can sit back to enjoy the hypnotic appeal of a car-crash in slow motion.

When Mario Cavaradossi agrees to help a fugitive escape, he sets in motion a chain of events that will lead to disaster for him and all around.

Opera In The Open
Directed by Mary MacDonagh
Musical Director - David Wray
Hair and make Up - Ali Murphy
Sound - Terry Heron/Audio Services

Opera in the Open takes place at Wood Quay Amphitheatre, Civic Offices, Dublin 8. 

Opera in the Open is an initiative of Dublin City Council that presents live performances of operatic work in the open air in Dublin City Centre. Each performance is undertaken in an abridged format, is narrated in English and lasts one hour during lunchtime from 1 to 2pm.

There is no fee for attending these performances.

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