As venues welcomed audiences back, UTO brought exciting, international-quality performances of the world’s greatest operas to towns and cities throughout the province of Ulster.

BBC Radio Ulster’s Classical Connections presenter John Toal hosted a stellar quartet of singers performing a programme of much-loved opera arias, duets and ensembles. Renowned pianist Ruth McGinley accompanied the singers in music by Mozart, Puccini, Rossini and Verdi, and the evening also featured a world premiere by Brian Irvine, commissioned by Ulster Touring Opera with support from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Carrickfergus born, Northern Irish mezzo-soprano and Samling Foundation Scholar, Carolyn Dobbin, was joined by a pair of opera’s rising stars: Irish soprano Amy Ní Fhrarraigh and Belfast-born baritone Malachy Frame. Completing the quartet was international tenor Gavan Ring, who has performed for Glyndebourne, Irish National Opera, Opera North and La Monnaie among many others.

UTO also invited audiences to try out the company’s ground breaking augmented reality opera projects in the foyer of the theatres. UTO is part of the innovative XRX programme, supported by NI Screen, Future Screens NI and Digital Catapult NI. Through the programme, UTO is developing a ‘Teeny Tiny Opera’, an augmented reality app for young audiences composed by award winning Belfast born composer Brian Irvine. Audiences has the first opportunity to try out the augmented reality app in the foyer in the Night at the Opera performances, prior to public release, as well as hearing soprano Amy Ní Fhearraigh perform the 5-minute piece live during the concert.

“I enjoyed everything about tonight, if there were more events like this I would go.”

“The whole evening was wonderful. The voices were superb whether solo, duet or quartet, and the programme was varied. It was obvious that the ‘company’ enjoyed what they were doing.”

“All performers were so professional and animated in their performances. I loved everything. ”

A link to the full audience survey report can be found here


Soprano: Amy Ní Fhearraigh
Mezzo Soprano: Carolyn Dobbin
Tenor: Gavan Ring (Patrick Hyland on 18th February)
Baritone: Malachy Frame

Pianist: Ruth McGinley

Host: John Toal


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