Brief encounter with passionate music lovers
THE SOCIAL NETWORK:Brevity is the soul of wit and music feeds the soul, so the new partnership between the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the Lir Academy is surely on to something with its series of Opera Briefs, which opened at the Lir, on Pearse Street in Dublin, on Monday evening. This week’s programme included one-act operas by Monteverdi, Menotti and Barber.
Producer and soprano Kathleen Tynan was in attendance along with RIAM head Deborah Kelleher, as was Loughlin Deegan, the director of the Lir, and Prof Brian Singleton of Trinity College Dublin.
Former head of the Abbey Theatre Ben Barnes attended, along with singer and actor Maria Tecce, who is currently performing with the comedy group The Nualas. She said she had never done stand-up before and it was “a baptism of fire”, but thankfully the tour was going well.
Barnes is now the director of the Theatre Royal in Waterford – and a Monteverdi fan, having recently directed Orfeo for Opera Theatre Company.
The composer Tom Lane, who is on the Seán Ó Riada PhD scholarship for music composition in Cork, was in the audience to support the director, Conor Hanratty. They recently had success with Lane’s Ikea-inspired opera Flatpack at Dublin Fringe Festival, and Lane has just finished working on a deconstructed version of Die Fledermaus as part of an initiative with Pan Pan theatre company.
The up-and-coming tenor Richard Shaffrey took time out from his rehearsals for the title role of Albert Herring, which will be on at Project Arts Centre in Dublin in January. Shaffrey said Benjamin Britten’s comic opera was very funny.
Who we spottedThe head of music at RTÉ, Séamus Crimmins; Tony-nominated set designer Joe Vanek; soprano Lynda Lee; Kirsty Harris from Opera Theatre Company; Eugene Downes, the former CEO of Culture Ireland.