Ulster Touring Opera, a new cross-border company based in Belfast, has just launched its opening season: seven performances of ‘A Night at the Opera’ concert, with four performances in Northern Ireland and three in the Republic. As venues welcome audiences back, UTO brings exciting, international-quality performances of the world’s greatest operas to towns and cities throughout the province of Ulster. BBC Radio Ulster presenter Marie-Louise Muir hosts a stellar quartet of singers, performing a programme of much-loved arias, duets and ensembles. Renowned pianist Ruth McGinley accompanies the singers in music by Mozart, Puccini, Rossini and Verdi, and the evening also features a world premiere by Northern Irish composer Brian Irvine, commissioned by Ulster Touring Opera with support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Carrickfergus-born mezzo-soprano (and Samling Foundation Scholar) Carolyn Dobbin will be joined by a pair of rising stars: Irish soprano Amy Ní Fhearraigh and Belfast-born baritone Malachy Frame. Completing the quartet is Kerryman tenor Gavan Ring, who has performed for Glyndebourne, Irish National Opera, Opera North and La Monnaie, among many others.
UTO will also be inviting audiences to try out the company’s ground-breaking Augmented Reality opera projects in the foyer of the theatres. UTO is part of the innovative XRX programme, supported by NI Screen, Future Screens NI and Digital Catapult NI. Through this programme UTO is developing a ‘Teeny Tiny Opera’, an AR app for young audiences composed by award-winning Belfast composer Brian Irvine. Audiences will have the first opportunity to try out the AR app in the foyer in the ‘A Night at the Opera’ performances, prior to public release later in the spring, as well as hearing soprano Amy Ní Fhearraigh perform the 5-minute piece live during the concert.
Tickets are on sale now and the tour dates are below:
Saturday 5th February: Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey, 7.45pm
Wednesday 9th February: Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen, 8pm
Friday 11th February: Strule Arts Centre, Omagh, 8pm
Saturday 12th February: Garage Theatre, Monaghan, 8pm
Wednesday 16th February: Market Place Theatre, Armagh, 8pm
Friday 18th February: An Grianán, Letterkenny, 8pm
Sunday 20th February: Townhall Arts Space, Cavan, 8pm
For more information on the company, click here.