"It's been a most exciting year at INO," says Irish National Opera's artistic director, Fergus Sheil. "Hectic, changeable, unpredictable and challenging. And yet peculiarly rewarding as the best laid plans had to be revisited and reshaped to keep opera alive as we found new ways of bringing it to our audience."

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INO’s new season opens with a series of late-night, outdoor screenings of Edwina Casey’s new film of Peter Maxwell Davies’ spooky chamber opera, The Lighthouse; sites include Hook Head Lighthouse in Wexford and Fanad Head Lighthouse in Donegal. Also in July is the world premiere of Amanda Feery and Megan Nolan’s A Thing I Cannot Name, a filmed opera exploring experiences of female desire, which will be shown as part of the West Cork Literary Festival.

Least Like The Other — Searching For Rosemary Kennedy

INO’s largest-ever outdoor undertaking is Richard Strauss’s epic Elektra taking place in the atmospheric setting of the Castle Yard, Kilkenny staged in association with Kilkenny Arts Festival in August. Belfast soprano Giselle Allen is the vengeful heroine with searing vocal lines, in a brand-new production directed by Conall Morrison. In September, Brian Irvine and Netia Jones’s explosive and thought-provoking work of experimental music theatre Least Like The Other — Searching For Rosemary Kennedy goes on tour. First presented at Galway International Arts Festival in 2019, this probing and disturbing examination of the fate of JFK’s sister Rosemary travels to Dublin, Cork and Limerick in a new, 16-track surround-sound version. Fun, furious, frantic, and utterly fantastic, the surreal world of Lewis Carroll is given an extra twist in a new film of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground starring soprano Claudia Boyle streaming in November.

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Irish soprano Sinéad Campbell Wallace stars in Beethoven’s optimistic and life-affirming opera Fidelio in the Gaiety Theatre in November. A national tour follows of the live production of The Lighthouse with Gavan Ring, John Molloy and Ben McAteer. Next up is Vivaldi’s Bajazet, with virtuosic vocal writing and show-stopping arias, this extraordinary opera will kick off 2022 with a national tour before travelling to the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre in Covent Garden.

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Next comes Bizet’s masterpiece Carmen with irresistible, unforgettable musical panache and featuring Paula Murrihy in the title role, with Celine Byrne as Micaëla in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in March.

Fidelio

In June 2022, two great Irish singers play rival queens Maria and Elisabetta struggling for dominance in Donizetti’s magnificent Maria Stuarda. Mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught sings the title role, with soprano Anna Devin as her nemesis Elisabetta. A new community opera, Paper Boat, from Elaine Agnew and Jessica Traynor’s is a Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture legacy project, presented by Music for Galway.

Horse Ape Bird

Ambitious, playful, thoughtful, weird, Horse Ape Bird by composer David Coonan and writer Dylan Coburn Gray is INO’s first-ever specially-commissioned youth opera. Also coming in 2022 is INO’s first ever virtual reality community opera Out of The Ordinary. Written in conjunction with communities in Inis Meáin, Tallaght and South Dublin and rural Ireland, with composer Finola Merivale and director Jo Mangan, this truly ground-breaking project, recently won the coveted €50,000 Fedora Digital Prize for 2021.

For more information and booking details, go here.