Massenet’s Operatic Masterpiece
Saturday, 20th August 2022
Performance Ends 10:05pm
Pre-Performance Talk: Introduction to the Opera
One hour before each performance, an informative free talk will be given to ticket holders for the performance. The talk will last 25mins approximately and will be given by our host, George Fleeton. No booking is necessary and will be held in the Carolan Suite. Admission is FREE.
The National Concert Hall, Dublin
Box Office: +353 (0) 1 417 0000 or www.nch.ie
LIBRETTO after Goethe, adapted from The Sorrows of Young Werther
By Édouard Blau; Paul Millet; Georges Hartman
Imperial Theatre, Hofoper, Wien, 16 February 1892
Set in 18 Century Germany and loosely based on Goethe’s revolutionary 1774 novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther –Massenet’s great operatic masterpiece, in which an obsessive poet chases a love he cannot have… and cannot forget. Charlotte, who is trapped in a loveless marriage to Albert sends Werther away on several occasions. She, too, is infatuated and absorbed with the treasured letters she receives from him – the one she truly loves. Werther’s final dismissal by Charlotte on Christmas Eve leads to the already tortured Werther taking his own life. This dying act imprinted on her soul forever.
A Metropolitan Opera National Council regional finalist and prize winner in the Licia Albanese Competition, Mr. Fennell’s professional debut came when he jumped in for Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival. This opportunity led him to The New York City Opera where he sang 13 roles over six seasons. Critics have praised his fearless high register and emotional depths; his concert work in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and the requiems of Verdi and Mozart alone have taken him to top concert halls across the United States and abroad.
In 2019-20 the title role in Les Contes d’Hoffmann for the Deutsches National Theater Weimar for Staatstheater Mainz. He makes his debut in the role of Leicester in Rossini’s Elisabetta, Regina d’Inghiterra for Odyssey Opera in Boston and sings Don José in Carmen for Kansas City Lyric Opera. Amongst his other roles include: Mr. Fennell’s operatic highlights include Rodolfo in La Bohème with New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Saratoga, National Theater Mannheim, Edmonton Opera, Manitoba Opera; The Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto for Deutsche Opera Berlin, The Prague National Theater, The Slovak National Theater, Theater Bremen; Werther in Werther for Staatstheater Braunschweig and Opera Zuid (Netherlands); Alfredo in La Traviata with New York City Opera and The Slovak National Theater; Tamino in Die Zauberflöte for Sarasota Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera; Roberto in Roberto Devereux for Dallas Opera Originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Mr. Fennell now lives in Berlin, Germany. He received a BA in music from Gettysburg College and a Masters in Voice and Artist Diploma from Boston University where he was a member of the Opera Institute. When he is not on stage, Mr. Fennell is on the ice playing hockey, a sport he has played since the age of 7.
Carolyn Holt is a mezzo from a farming background in Ireland. She will perform the role of Charlotte in Lyric Opera Ireland’s production of Massenet’s Werther at the National Concert Hall, Dublin in 2022. She recently performed the role of Madame Larina in Eugene Onegin as an ‘Opera First’ Alvarez Young Artist with Garsington Opera, and covered the role of Mrs Sedley in Britten’s Peter Grimes at the Royal Opera House in 2022.
She was the winner of the Dermot Troy Prize for the best Irish singer in the 2019 Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition, a competition which in 2020 again awarded her a €5000 prize in their inaugural bursary. She has covered and performed with the Royal Opera House, Garsington Opera, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera and Irish National Opera.
She sang the role of Sister Helen Prejean in the UK staged premiere of Dead Man Walking in Glasgow to great critical acclaim. Opera Magazine wrote: “Carolyn Holt’s Sister Helen was impeccably sung, sensitively acted and never less than sincere”. She has been a Garsington Alvarez Young Artist 2020-2022, covering Kitchen Boy in Dvořák’s Rusalka, Coryphee Dame Rossini’s Le Comte Ory, Madame Larina in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (with performance) and Mrs Grose in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw.
Despite being struck with cancellations due to Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021, she reached the live final rounds of the 2021 Tenor Viñas Contest, and was a semi-finalist in the 2021 Zenith Opera Competition, 2021 Offenbach Grand Prix, and the 2020 Premiere Opera Competition, which were all held online. She was also a semi finalist in the 2019 Grange International Singing Competition and was awarded second place at the Bampton Opera Young Singers’ Competition 2019.
Carolyn regularly performs at home with Irish National Opera, notably in 2018 singing The Voice (Mother) in Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman, for which she again received excellent critical acclaim (Bachtrack wrote “Carolyn Holt as the voice of Antonia’s mother stood out with her rich and seductive mezzo-soprano”.)
Scottish baritone Christopher Nairne is a Samling Artist and graduate of the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. This summer he performed the role of Marcello La bohème for Nevill Holt Opera and reprised Count Carl-Magnus A Little Night Music (co-production with Leeds Playhouse and Opera North). In Autumn 2022 he will perform as a soloist with the Scottish Opera Highlights tour.
Roles for Opera North include: Morales Carmen, Novice’s Friend Billy Budd at the Aldeburgh Festival at Snape Maltings, Verva Osud, Prince Yamadori Madama Butterfly, William Dale in the UK premiere of Silent Night, Schaunard La bohème and Dimitri The Greek Passion. Other roles include: Count Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo Così fan tutte, the title role Owen Wingrave, Schaunard and Silvio Pagliacci.
Concert engagements include: Butterworth’s setting of A Shropshire Lad at Glasgow City Halls (BBC Radio); Handel’s Israel in Egypt (Royal Northern Sinfonia); Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Aberdeen Chamber Orchestra). Christopher also sang Apostle in Elgar’s The Apostles (conducted by Edward Gardner the Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Edinburgh International Festival).
Ami Hewitt is a Soprano from Dublin. She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and TUD conservatory of Music and Drama (formally DIT), where she attained her BmusEd degree majoring in vocal performance. She more recently graduated with distinction from a Masters degree in Voice and Opera at Conservatorium Maastricht in The Netherlands.
Ami was a finalist in the Omroep Max (Dutch) inaugural televised program ‘Aria’, which aired on Npo1 in 2021. The Competition was in association with Dutch National Opera with the National youth Orchestra conducted by Leonard Evers.
As an ABL aviation studio artist with INO during the 21/22 season, Ami has enjoyed understudying the roles of Frasquita (Carmen), Idaspe (Bajazet), and Marzelline (Fidelio), as well as giving concert performances in University Concert Hall Limerick, and Castletown house accompanied by Richard McGrath.
In the coming season Ami looks forward to being one of the young artists in The Wexford Factory (Wexford festival opera), and singing the role of the stepmother in their production of Alma Deutscher’s ‘Cinderella’.
As a musician of many talents with a charismatic personality and artistic sensibility, Alexandra Cravero has quickly imposed herself as one of this generation’s new and upcoming conductors. With a National Diploma and Masters in viola and conducting from the National French Conservatory, Alexandra was also finalist at the Besancon, Pedrotti, and Cadaques competitions.
She has assisted Pierre Boulez, Kurt Masur, Tito Ceccherini, Patrick Davin and directed the BBC, the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, the Sofia Radio, the Theatre de La Monnaie and the Opera National du Rhin Orchestras.
On the operatic stage, she has directed, among others, Annick Massis, Michael Spyres, Magdalena Kožená, Etienne Dupuis.
Her vast operatic repertoire spans many centuries: Carmen, The Pearl Fishers, Norma, Faust, Porgy and Bess, the Cunning Little Vixen, Reigen, Doctor Atomic, to name a few. Upcoming events will see Alexandra Cravero direct the Tales of Hoffmann, Tosca, Traviata, and the Orchestre National de Lille at the Paris Philharmonic Hall.
Vivian J. Coates
Vivian J. Coates
Returning from abroad having worked with most of the opera companies in the UK, Vivian Coates has spent much of his career in Ireland nurturing young Irish talent on stage and guiding them on their first professional rung of the ladder. He has presented countless fully staged operas in Ireland through his company Lyric Opera, and is recognised for the tireless work he has done in keeping core opera alive in this city.
He is privileged to work across opera and musical theatre, directing and designing in most of the main theatres in Ireland; The Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, The Grand Opera House, Belfast, The National Opera House, Wexford and the National Concert Hall, Dublin. Opera productions include Aida , Il Trovatore, Don Giovanni, Hansel und Gretel, I Due Foscari, La Traviata, Carmen, Nabucco, Macbeth, La Bohéme. Turandot, Suor Angelica, The Turn of the Screw, Rusalka, Cavalleria Rusticana, Madama Butterfly and Attila among others. His musical theatre credits include Annie, The Sound of Music, Oliver!, Fiddler on the Roof, Carousel, 9 to 5, Camelot and many more.
Mr. Coates has received many international accolades for his work. In 2007 he was honoured with a Knighthood and title of Cavaliere by the Italian Government for his work in presenting Italian opera in Ireland. In 2015 he designed for The Music of Northern Ireland, which received 4 EMMY’S in the 2016 roll of honour. And his recent productions with The 2018 International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in Harrogate UK played to extraordinary acclaim, garnering five star reviews.
Recent productions include Sweeney Todd (The National Opera House), La Bohème,
Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Fidelio (NCH). Future productions include Madama Butterfly and The Sound of Music.
Niall is an Irish scenographer based in London. After graduating from Wimbledon College of Art in 2017 he was awarded the 1 year design residency at the National Theatre in London where he was Associate Set and Costume Designer on Translations. In 2021 he worked with Diane Page, winner of the JMK Award on a production of Statements after an Arrest under the Immorality Act at the Orange Tree Theatre.
Upcoming: Yellowman (Orange Tree Theatre); La Traviata (Northern Ireland Opera/Grand Opera House, Belfast)
Past productions: Into The Woods (Northern Ireland Opera/Lyric Theatre Belfast); Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act (Orange Tree Theatre); This Beautiful Future (Jermyn Street Theatre); Garage, No Planet B (New Nordics Festival); I RUN (Edinburgh Fringe/Theatre 503/Vaults Festival); The World We Made, (Change Festival); Nora: A Dolls House, Appropriate (LAMDA); Some Voices, Herons, Mary Barnes, (Platform Theatre); Little Shop of Horrors (Pleasance Theatre); Wake (Union Theatre).
As Associate/assistant: Translations, Peter Gynt, Dick Whittington, (National Theatre); Klippies (Young Vic); Caroline or Change (Broadway transfer); Missing Julie (Theatr Clywd)
Television/Film: Game of Thrones season V – VII (HBO); In The Earth, In Fabric, (Rook Films); LOVE, (Cuba Pictures/National Theatre); Dungarees, (BBC/BFI); Trigger. Charlie One, (Atomium Films)
Examples of Niall’s work can be found on his website: www.niallmckeeverdesign.com
John’s television career began in RTE, before moving to BBC Northern Ireland and later BBC Television Centre, London. Productions included Eastenders, Top of the Pops and Blue Peter.
His work has been seen in locations as diverse as Orlando Florida, Morocco (Medi 1 TV) and Singapore.
Television includes: Mastermind, The One Show, and Weakest Link for BBC, Ireland’s Got Talent (Virgin Media 1), Flinch (Netflix), Masterchef (Media Corp Channel 5), London Olympics 2012.
Theatre, exhibition and live events include: The Turner Prize, HBO Game of Thrones Exhibition, Bedbound (Dublin, Edinburgh and Royal Court London), Rapunzel and Peter Pan (Gaiety Theatre Dublin), Swan Lake (Ballet Ireland), The Mikado NCH and recently West Side Story in Bord Energy Gais Theatre, Dublin