Ireland gets a national opera company

The Irish Arts Council has announced the merger of Opera Theatre Company and Wide Open Opera to become its ‘preferred provider of main-scale opera in Dublin’, from 2018.

Both companies have Fergus Sheil as artistic director. The Arts Council says the merger ‘will result in the return to the Dublin stage, after a gap of some eight years, of regular Irish productions of the great operatic repertoire.’

Irish singers are hailing the move as a breakthrough and a blessing.

More here.

Any chance of some matching blue-sky thinking in England?


Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin

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  • This merger is merely formal recognition of a pretty farcical situation that’s existed for years; one man, Fergus Sheil, holding the Artistic Directorships of both main opera companies in the republic, and basically having a monopoly on all state funding for the art form. Here’s some (possibly incendiary) suggestions for the UK: assuming no extra funding is forthcoming (and under a Tory administration it’s a safe bet), merge ENO with Birmingham Opera, move the company out of London, create a viable opera company in the Midlands instead of a perpetually struggling one in London. Alternatively, close ENO and move ETO to Bristol, creating a South West Opera company, and redistribute ENO’s funding to this, Birmingham, Scottish Opera and WNO and boost opera in the regions.

    • Totally agree with the suggestion of moving ENO to Birmingham, where it might begin to be as successful as Birmingham Royal Ballet. Moving ETO to Bristol so they have a permanent base also intelligent – as long as they are still allowed to tour to the south-east where I live!!! The Coliseum could then revert to staging musical spectaculars again!!

  • Thanks to Arlene Foster and enforcer, Northern Ireland can now have Castleward Opera back again, its Glyndebourne by Strangford Lough, Another £1bn to be sent over once they start to vote on stuff, trebles all round. As long as the Tory government is on its arse, money will pour into NI without touching the sides. Those boilers should be paid off soon!

    http://www.irishnews.com/news/2016/10/29/news/arlene-foster-has-no-regrets-over-being-pictured-with-a-uda-commander-760193/

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