Mozart’s The Opera Director from Irish National Opera: the best classical music this week

The RTÉ Concert Orchestra’s current Essential Classics series ends with a popular selection of Schubert and Beethoven

The Opera Director
Gaiety Theatre, Dublin Saturday April 21st 3pm Adm free but ticketed
Irish National Opera's MusicTown presentation of Mozart's The Opera Director is being given in connection with the company's production of the composer's Le Nozze di Figaro, as the composition of the two pieces overlapped. There's just a single, afternoon performance of The Opera Director, which was originally titled Der Schauspieldirektor and is often known in English as The Impresario. It was commissioned as part of a theatrical display by the Austrian emperor to impress foreign dignitaries and guests at his Schönbrunn palace. The musical torso that's left concerns the rivalries of an audition process. INO have cast it with four young singers (Rachel Croash, Maria McGrann, Andrew Gavin and David Howes) and actor Ross Gaynor in an updated scenario by the director Caroline Staunton and writer Arthur Riordan; Sinéad Hayes conducts the Irish Chamber Orchestra. INO is pitching this as a family event, and have invited people who don't normally go to the opera: schools and youth groups. So, although admission is free, places are limited and tickets are only available by direct collection from the Gaiety Theatre box office.

Essential Classics
NCH, Dublin Thursday April 26th 8pm €12-€39.50/€10.50-€35.50
The RTÉ Concert Orchestra's current Essential Classics series ends with a popular selection of Schubert (his Rosamunde Overture and Fifth Symphony) and Beethoven (the Emperor Piano Concerto). The concert reunites Irish pianist Michael McHale and Finnish conductor Tuomas Hannikainen, whose first Irish collaboration dates as far back as 2005, when they teamed up with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast.

RTÉ NSO/Carlos Kalmar
NCH, Dublin Friday April 27th 7.30pm €15-€35/€13-€31
Storm Large of Pink Martini fame, who performed Kurt Weill's Seven Deadly Sins with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in 2015, is back in Dublin to tackle the same piece with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. The programme, which brings a return NSO appearance by Uruguayan conductor Carlos Kalmar, has an utterly conventional second half, Schubert's Unfinished Symphony and Ravel's La valse. It's the opening work that is the most unusual of the evening, Phenomenon by Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen (born 1973). This will be the first work by a composer from Thailand to be performed at an NSO concert.

Michael Dervan

Michael Dervan

Michael Dervan is a music critic and Irish Times contributor