Here-and-Now, Festival in a Van and Róisín O: This week’s live and online events

A new opera premieres online and the Irish Museum of Modern Art celebrates 30 years

Kelli-Ann Masterson, soprano on set, as the Irish National Opera are this week filming the different parts of a new opera which will be premiered virtually on Monday July 28th. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Kelli-Ann Masterson, soprano on set, as the Irish National Opera are this week filming the different parts of a new opera which will be premiered virtually on Monday July 28th. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

Event of the Week

The Narrow Gate of the Here-and-Now, IMMA: 30 Years of the Global Contemporary
July 30th, Irish Museum of Modern Art, imma.ie

The Irish Museum of Modern Art celebrates its 30th year at the cutting edge of art in Ireland, and what better way to mark it than with a museum-wide exhibition exploring three decades of innovative Imma projects. The title sounds a bit oblique, but the aim of the exhibition is to place Imma’s origins and evolution in the context of a wider movement towards globalisation, the growth of the internet and the rise of neoliberal politics in the West.

The Narrow Gate of the Here-and-Now, IMMA: 30 Years of the Global Contemporary.
The Narrow Gate of the Here-and-Now, IMMA: 30 Years of the Global Contemporary.

This will be the first time the museum will be entirely given over to showing the Imma collection, and the exhibition will feature four distinct phases throughout the year, beginning with Queer Embodiment, looking at the huge legislative changes for Irish society in Ireland over the past 30 years, from the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1993 to the repeal of the Eighth Amendment in 2018.

With three more chapters will follow – The Anthropocene (September 24th), Social Fabric (November 5th) and Protest and Conflict (November 19th) – each taking a different angle on the past three decades. There are lots of other events and activities in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham to celebrate Imma’s 30th, so plan for a fun, inspirational day out.

A Thing I Cannot Name
July 27th, 7pm, €5, irishnationalopera.ie
The Irish National Opera delivers the world premiere screening of a new opera composed by Amanda Feery, with libretto by Megan Nolan, as part of the West Cork Literary Festival, and you’re invited to join the Zoom audience for this 20-minute film, revolving around three women, Rebecca, Jean and Catherine, who are driven by very different desires, but connect with each other across time through old-fashioned letters.

The opera is sung in English, but the universal language of longing comes through loud and clear. Prior to the screening, the composer and librettist will be in conversation with Julie Kelleher, CEO and artistic director of the Mermaid Arts Centre in Bray.

Gate Theatre World Premiere: In Middletown
Town Hall Theatre, Galway, July 27th, tht.ie; Glór, Ennis, Co Clare, July 29th, glor.ie
Outdoors is the new indoors again this summer, and the Gate Theatre is keen to get out into the fresh air with its latest production. So the Gate came up with a wizard wheeze - travel around the country in its trusty “Gate Truck” and bring the entertainment to the people. And who’s in the driving seat?

None other than acclaimed theatre-maker Mikel Murfi, who has been commissioned by the Gate to come up with a piece that would work within Covid-19 restrictions while bringing us all together under the same (hopefully clear) sky.

In Middletown tells the tale of a furniture removals man who is living a very middling life - until he decides one day to pack his own stuff into his truck, remove himself from his banal routine, and go and see the world. The whole thing will be performed on the Gate Truck’s flatbed, but believe me, the production values - and the entertainment value - won’t be off the back of a lorry. This week the Gate Truck stops off at counties Galway and Clare, and you really want to be there.

Festival in a Van presents Words Move
Monaghan, August 1st, festivalinavan.com
How much fun can you squeeze into a single commercial vehicle? The good people of Monaghan will find out soon enough as Festival in a Van rolls into town, trailing its Words Move strand, which is travelling around the land throughout July and August. The van stops at Castleross Nursing home and Camphill Community in Ballybay for two private shows, then parks up at a chosen spot for a public performance (email creative@monaghancoco.ie for more info).

The event is held in collaboration with Mohaghan County Council, and the safety of the audience is paramount, so wear your mask and keep your distance while still enjoying the performances from award-winning Irish language poet Caitríona Ní Chléirchín from Emyvale in Co Monaghan, who has written a poem specially for Words Move, and vocal quartet Landless, who will be performing a variety of songs from the Irish, Scottish, English and American traditions.

West Side Story in Concert
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, August 1st, ticketmaster.ie
They’ve waited nearly 18 months, but finally star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria can get up close and personal in this new Irish production of the classic Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim musical set on the West Side of New York, and telling the timeless story of the Sharks v The Jets, the gangland equivalent of the Montagues and Capulets, and featuring lots of great songs, dance routines and flick-knife face-offs.

This will be the first in-house production in front of a live audience since the pandemic invaded our turf, and a welcome return to work for 71 industry professionals who have been kicking their heels over the past year and a half. Gavin Ryan and Leah Barniville lead the cast, the production will be directed by Claire Tighe and the show’s musical director will be David Hayes.

Róisín O takes to the Button Factory’s stage on August 1st.
Róisín O takes to the Button Factory’s stage on August 1st.

Button Factory presents Róisín O
Button Factory, Dublin, August 1st, 7.30pm, €22.20, buttonfactory.ie
The Dublin singer-songwriter has not been idle through the various lockdowns. Besides finding herself feverishly writing new songs, the daughter of Mary Black and sister of The Coronas’ Danny O’Reilly also took part in the Irish Women in Harmony project, which recorded a version of The Cranberries’ Dreams last year to highlight the plight of women experiencing a surge in domestic violence during the pandemic.

This socially distanced show is enabled by the Live Performance Support Scheme provided by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht and Sport, and will cater to just 85 fans, comfortably seated in a safe environment, monitored by official Covid wardens just to make sure everyone’s well looked-after.

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