As theatrical life returns to (relative) normality, this month sees both Dublin music conservatories presenting new student opera productions, with the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) staging a double-bill of Francesca Caccini’s La liberazione di Ruggiero and Elizabeth Maconchy’s The Sofa, and TU Dublin Conservatoire presenting Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park. Coinciding for the first time in many years, this allows audiences to glimpse the up-and-coming talent of both institutions, as well as a first chance to see inside the new state-of-the-art facilities at TU Dublin.

RIAM Opera offers a return of Francesca Caccini’s La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola di Alcina, last seen in Dublin in 2019 as a RIAM ‘Opera Brief’. In this new production, Caccini’s early work (the first opera by a female composer) is paired with Elizabeth Maconchy’s 1957 short opera The Sofa, with both directed by Sinéad O’Neill, who directed La Calisto for RIAM Opera in January 2020. Conducted by (respectively) David Adams and Andrew Synnott, both operas feature twisted tales of thwarted love, magic and enchantment, from the worlds of Renaissance fantasy and nineteenth-century Paris. As is now a regular feature of RIAM’s annual shows, this production is given in collaboration with the Design for Stage and Screen programme at IADT Dún Laoghaire, promising wild costumes and set designs.

Running from Tuesday 17 to Saturday 21 January at the Samuel Beckett Theatre, Trinity College Dublin, further information and booking details for RIAM Opera double-bill are available at

In its new home across the river, TU Dublin Conservatoire presents the Irish premiere of Mansfield Park (2011) by Jonathan Dove. Based on the novel by Jane Austen, this will be the first major production in the newly-opened Concert Hall in the East Quad building at TU Dublin’s Grangegorman campus. Conducted by David Brophy, the production is designed and directed by Vivian Coates, with a cast of current students and recent graduates.

There will be three performances of Mansfield Park, with a preview on Thursday 26, followed by shows on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 January. Booking is available through