Local singers hit the high notes for Puccini’s Tosca

Aaron O'Hare (Scaroni)  pictured with Mark Haslett, Paul Millar and Seamus McCloskey from Hamilton Architects who are sponsoring the production of the opera Tosca. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 4.2.11
Aaron O'Hare (Scaroni) pictured with Mark Haslett, Paul Millar and Seamus McCloskey from Hamilton Architects who are sponsoring the production of the opera Tosca. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 4.2.11

Talented singers from Derry are among a number of performers rehearsing for Puccini’s classic Tosca, the first ever production from NI Opera which comes to the city at the end of this month.

The new regional opera company, which is funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, is committed to supporting and promoting young local talent and aims to cast local singers and musicians in its productions as often as possible. Tosca is to be staged in the city from March 31 until April 2

Oliver Mears, Artistic Director, NI Opera said: “We are continually looking for emerging talent in Northern Ireland. We have an exceptional cast on board for Tosca, with Giselle Allen in the lead role and a number of singers from Derry performing in the chorus. We are also very lucky to have secured local orchestra players for the production.”

“Our goal is to attract more young people from across Northern Ireland to experience opera and to seriously consider a future career in music and singing. As part of this, we are offering a series of schools workshops in Derry and Belfast to introduce pupils to opera and teach them about careers in the industry,” Mr Mears added.

Tosca – a thrilling tale of lust, murder and power – will be performed as never before. Each act of the three-act thriller will be staged in a different iconic building in the city.

Baritone Aaron O’Hare, a music student at Magee who sings in the NI Opera chorus and also understudies for the part of Sciarrone, said: “I am delighted to be involved with NI Opera’s first production. Tosca is a very exciting and dramatic opera and staging each act in a different venue in the city will be a real first for Derry. I’m really pleased to be part of it and looking forward to the opening night.”

Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development, Arts Council of Northern Ireland added: “As NI Opera’s principal funder, the Arts Council is looking forward to the company’s first production, Tosca. With an exceptional cast of singers, including some of Northern Ireland’s rising young stars, we hope that the audience will be treated to an evening to remember.”

Tickets for Tosca are now available from the Millennium Forum Box Office at: www.millenniumforum.co.uk or tel: 71. 264455.