Orfeo hits Eigse festival’s high notes

While Monteverdi may not have invented opera, his Orfeo is unanimously accepted as the first operatic masterpiece. OTC is delighted to welcome back its founding artistic director Ben Barnes, who brings a dynamic new interpretation to the timeless story of Orpheus in the Underworld.

While Monteverdi may not have invented opera, his Orfeo is unanimously accepted as the first operatic masterpiece. OTC is delighted to welcome back its founding artistic director Ben Barnes, who brings a dynamic new interpretation to the timeless story of Orpheus in the Underworld.

After the sell-out success of The Magic Flute in February, OTC is returning to the GB Shaw Theatre for one night only on Thursday June 14 as part of the Eigse Carlow Arts Festival.

Opera Theatre Company – Ireland’s National Touring Opera Company –continues its 26th year with this musically and emotionally compelling work. The company has a leading reputation in the field of baroque operas, and a proven track record having enjoyed full houses and critical acclaim for many previous productions.

Sung in English, Monteverdi’s Orfeo displays raw emotions and a bold dramatic force which has the power to enthrall us now as it did for those in Italy who heard it first, 400 years ago. The captivating music is performed by the OTC baroque ensemble, conducted from the keyboard, by Andrew Synnott.

Design is by the multi-award-winning Joe Vanek, with lighting by John Comiskey. The authoritative cast includes baroque specialist Oliver Mercer (Orfeo), Irish sopranos Sadhbh Dennedy and Daire Halpin, Karolina Blixt, returning US bass Matthew Treviño (Magic Flute), Peter O’Donohoe, and OTC young associate artists Fearghal Curtis and Padraic Rowan. Orfeo will delight the first time opera-goer and the seasoned fan.  Contact the box office in GB Shaw Theatre for further details on 059 91 72400 or book online at www.gbshawtheatre.ie. Tickets priced at €20 are out now.

Elsewhere for Eigse, there is lots to delight and dazzle with a host of music and arts to keep all tastes happy. The festival features music, theatre, literature, culture, visual arts, family events and street events. The Salty Dog sessions is one interesting aspect of the festival, when organisers take themselves away from their home in Stradbally’s Electric Picnic and travel to Carlow. Organisers will be in town to find five bands to take with them to this year’s Picnic. For more on the huge variety of events taking place, visit www.eigse.com.