‘… remember when the judgement’s weak, the prejudice is strong: a stranger why will you despise?’

Revivals of neglected Irish operas are coming thick and fast these days: January saw the DIT Conservatory stage Michael William Balfe’s Victorian chamber opera ‘The Sleeping Queen’, and before that Opera Theatre Company and the RTE National Symphony Orchestra gave a rare concert performance of Robert O’Dwyer’s ‘Eithne’ in October. Now the DIT is doing it again, this time delving back even further into Ireland’s music-theatre past with ‘Midas’, a comic opera by Kane O’Hara, first staged in Dublin in 1762.

Hugely popular in its day, ‘Midas’ featured regularly in Dublin and London theatres for over a century, and was staged as far afield as Philadelphia and St Petersburg. While Irish audiences could appreciate its subtle digs at the judiciary and landlordism, everyone else enjoyed the music and the mad story of Midas’ cloth-eared judgment of two rival singers. An early case of a successful Irish cultural export, audiences get the chance to experience this work afresh in a new semi-staged presentation given by DIT singing students.

Conservatory lecturer Rachel Talbot, whose PhD research led to the creation of a performing edition of this work, will give an introductory talk.

The performance takes place on Thursday 8 March, 7.30pm, at St Laurence’s Church, Grangegorman (near Grangegorman Rd Lower, in the new DIT campus). Tickets available at Eventbrite.ie

Kane O’Hara

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