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Wednesday, 07 July 2021

Irish National Opera The Lighthouse at Kylemore Abbey

The Light House Eventbrite image
Kylemore Abbey, a long supporter of arts and culture, is delighted to be able to welcome this beautiful production from the Irish National Opera in conjunction with Galway County Arts Office. Set to the beautiful backdrop of the Diamond Hill as viewed from the Kylemore Abbey estate, the evening promises to showcase this opera as never seen before.

“The Lighthouse, first performed in 1980, is a chamber opera, but it builds to a shattering conclusion worthy of opera at its grandest.” The New York Times

Irish National Opera in association with Galway County Arts office is presenting an outdoor  screening of Edwina Casey’s new film of Peter Maxwell Davies’ spooky chamber opera, The Lighthouse in the iconic Kylemore Abbey on Wednesday 14 July. The late-night screening will take place when darkness has fallen and promises to be an unforgettable opera experience.

The event in Kylemore Abbey is supported by the Galway County Council Arts Office as part of their annual programme. “We were delighted to have the opportunity to partner with the Irish National Opera to present a very unique outdoor event in the County”, said Arts Officer Sharon O’Grady. “We have had so few events with live audiences so this is particularly exciting. The Lighthouse will be a very special evening for opera and music lovers alike and the stunning setting of Kylemore Abbey and Gardens makes it magical”.
Irish National Opera announced its new 2021/22 season last week, a diverse and dynamic programme, which includes 58 performances in twenty spaces at twenty different locations. INO’s artistic director Fergus Sheil explains that “It’s been a most exciting year,  hectic, changeable, unpredictable and challenging. And yet peculiarly rewarding as the best laid plans had to be revisited and reshaped to keep opera alive as we found new ways of bringing it to our audience. The Lighthouse is one of three new films we produced this year when lockdown did not allow live performances with an audience. “

Director Edwina Casey worked with Hail Mary productions to create the world premiere film of the The Lighthouse. The opera’s eerie atmosphere will be accentuated through late night screenings at remote outdoor locations, where socially distant audience members will use supplied headsets to access perfect audio.  

The Lighthouse is based on an actual event in December 1900 when three lighthouse keepers mysteriously disappeared from a lighthouse off the coast of Scotland. A visiting supply ship found the building in order, but the keepers had vanished without trace.  The cast of three singers, bass John Molloy, baritone Ben McAteer and tenor Brenton Ryan, all perform multiple roles in the opera. The characters explore the psychological state of the fractious men, relive an official investigation and project a supernatural explanation. 

Located just over one hour from Galway City, Kylemore Abbey is one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions. Kylemore Castle was built in the late 1800s by Mitchell Henry MP, a wealthy businessman, and liberal politician. Inspired by his love for his wife Margaret, and his hopes for his beloved Ireland, Henry created an estate boasting ‘all the innovations of the modern age’. An enlightened landlord and vocal advocate of the Irish people, Henry poured his life’s energy into creating an estate that would showcase what could be achieved in the remote wilds of Connemara. Today Kylemore Abbey is owned and run by the Benedictine community who have been in residence since 1920.

The Lighthouse will be screened at Hook Head Lighthouse Wexford, The Bowling Green Kinsale, Valentia Island Lighthouse,  Listowel handball alley, Kylemore Abbey Galway, The green at Mary Immaculate College campus Limerick and Fanad Head Lighthouse in Donegal. Full details below. 

For more information please see
Wednesday 14 July 2021
Kylemore Abbey, Co. Galway
Time: 10.45pm Tickets: €5

Irish National Opera is funded by The Art Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.