Irish première of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’

The Irish première of Gerald Barry’s riotous new opera ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ will take place on October 26 at the Millennium Forum in

Derry as part of the City of Culture celebrations.

The performance marks the start of an all-Ireland tour, which will also include performances in Belfast, Cork and Dublin.

The opera, which is based on Oscar Wilde’s farcical comedy about sex and deceit, has already been a huge hit in Los Angeles and London. The

Financial Times called it, “a unique piece of music theatre that would surely have had Wilde smiling at its pure outrageousness”; The Guardian

praised the score’s “sheer uninhibited exuberance”, and the LA Times called it “hysterically funny”.

Featuring orchestral parts for pistols and wellington boots, as well as a duet sung through megaphones with a climax of plate smashing, this is no ordinary opera. It is, however, an hilarious and astonishing contemporary work that perfectly captures the spirit of one of Ireland’s best-loved playwrights and Ireland’s greatest living composer.

This brand new co-production from NI Opera and Wide Open Opera features a fantastic international cast led by Belfast-born Aoife Miskelly.

It is directed and designed by award-winning Antony McDonald, with Pierre-André Valade conducting Ireland’s Crash Ensemble.

NI Opera’s Artistic Director, Oliver Mears, said: “The wit and intelligence of Oscar Wilde’s play, coupled with Gerald Barry’s fizzling, utterly unique music, is a match made in heaven. The term ‘modern classic’ is overused, but this really is a very special opera that I’m certain will stand the test of time. It’s not often that people have the chance to see one of the first Irish performances of an opera that has attracted such attention, so I hope that opera lovers and fans of Oscar Wilde will come and see this sensational piece.”

The Importance of Being Earnest tour is generously supported by Sarasin & Partners LLP.