Outdoor Cork city locations to resound with classic opera this summer

Photo: Miki Barlok

This summer, Cork Opera House launches its Cara O’Sullivan Associate Artist Programme with a series of outdoor operas inspired by the much-missed soprano.

The Programme will celebrate and promote four opera singers, providing opportunities for them to perform locally for Cork audiences throughout 2021. 

The newly appointed Associate Artists are sopranos Emma Nash and Rachel Croash, tenor Gavan Ring and baritone Rory Musgrave. They will kick off the inaugural programme with Puccini’s La Bohème Verdi’s La Traviata and Mozart’s Cosí Fan Tutte in July as they perform these reimagined classics at five locations across the city. 

This project is the brainchild of Cork Opera House CEO, Eibhlín Gleeson, in collaboration with directors John O’ Brien and Conor Hanratty. “This is a very special moment for Cork Opera House for two reasons,” says Ms. Gleeson. “Primarily, we are taking this moment to celebrate the enormous contribution made by Cara O Sullivan to opera and to our region. In addition, this is an opportunity for Cork Opera House to provide the people of our beloved city with operatic repertoire at this very strange and unusual time for the arts.”

”The programme has been created in Cara’s memory and is designed to provide a platform to singers in her name,” Ms. Gleeson says, “creating employment and continuing the incredible tradition of supporting and encouraging operatic talent in our community. With this programme, we celebrate and remember Cara's enormous generosity and the support and kindness she showed to other singers. Our four chosen Associate Artists are among Ireland’s brightest, established opera singers and we are privileged to welcome them to this programme and our outdoor series.” 

Ms Gleeson’s words were echoed by Cara’s good friend and contemporary, soprano and Opera House board member, Majella Cullagh:“I know that Cara would have been happy and proud to be the inspiration for the Cork Opera House programme supporting artists and operatic productions. They adored her and were grateful for her knowledge and generosity of spirit. 

“In the last decade of her life, when she was Cork based, Cara was thrilled to be involved in so many wonderful operatic engagements in the city. Her participation raised the bar for everyone when she brought her world-class voice, work ethic and professionalism to play. The newly formed Cara O’Sullivan Associate Artists programme is a fitting tribute to her cherished memory and ensures that she will remain an inspirational figure into the future.”

Under the directorship of Conor Hanratty and John O’Brien, the four Associate Artists will perform the reimagined classic operas accompanied by répétiteur, Conor Palliser with narration by actor Éadaoin O’Donoghue. 

The socially distanced live shows for the public are set to take place at Emmet Place, St Anne's Park, Cork City Gaol, and St. Mary's Dominican Church. Private performances for the residents and staff of Marymount University Hospital & Hospice are also planned. 

The performances will be free to the public but limited in capacity and those scheduled at Marymount Hospice will be available only to residents of the Services for Older People and Specialist Palliative Care service.

Booking details to follow. Visit www.corkoperahouse.ie or keep an eye on social media channels for booking announcements. 

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