Opera for all as Derry gears up for Puccini’s Tosca

Lucy Ramsay enjoys the singing of John Porter from Lifford from Northern Ireland Opera who performed a selection of Arias in the Richmond Centre on saturday. The singers are part of the cast from Northern Ireland Opera's inaugural performance of Puccini's opera, Tosca. Performance's will be taking place on 31st March, 1st April (matinee), 2nd April 2011 in three different locations, St Columb's Cathedral, the Guildhall and St Columb's Hall with the singers, orchestra and audience making the brief journey between venues. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 20.3.11
Lucy Ramsay enjoys the singing of John Porter from Lifford from Northern Ireland Opera who performed a selection of Arias in the Richmond Centre on saturday. The singers are part of the cast from Northern Ireland Opera's inaugural performance of Puccini's opera, Tosca. Performance's will be taking place on 31st March, 1st April (matinee), 2nd April 2011 in three different locations, St Columb's Cathedral, the Guildhall and St Columb's Hall with the singers, orchestra and audience making the brief journey between venues. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 20.3.11

With just a week to go until Puccini’s classic opera Tosca arrives in Derry, NI Opera have staged a series of free workshops and masterclasses to give the public a taster of the music and spectacle that comes with opera.

The new regional opera company, which is funded by the Arts Council, hopes to bring opera to a wider audience across

Northern Ireland. Last night, the School of Creative Arts at the University of Ulster’s Magee campus hosted an opera masterclass with local mezzo soprano, Doreen Curran. Educational workshops are also taking place in schools in Derry and Belfast to introduce pupils to potential careers in music and singing.

NI Opera also recently staged two taster events in the city in two rather unexpected locations. Chorus singers, Aaron O’Hare and John Porter, treated visitors to the City of Culture Office and shoppers in the Richmond Centre to an impromptu performance, singing a selection of arias.

NI Opera’s Tosca – which takes place on March 31, April 1, and April 2, – will involve singers, the orchestra and audience making the brief journey between three different venues during each performance. Act 1 is in St Columb’s Cathedral, Act 2 in the Guildhall and the final act in St Columb’s Hall. It promises to be a night to remember and will appeal to those who have never been to an opera before, as a great opportunity to come along and try it out.

Tickets for Tosca are now available from the Millennium Forum box office at: www.millenniumforum.co.uk or tel: 71. 264455. www.niopera.com.