Tosca comes to Derry

Northern Irish singer Giselle Allen, who plays the lead role of Tosca in NI Opera's debut production. (110311JC2)
Northern Irish singer Giselle Allen, who plays the lead role of Tosca in NI Opera's debut production. (110311JC2)

With just weeks to go, preparations are well underway for NI Opera to stage their first spectacular production of Puccini’s Tosca in three iconic venues throughout the city.

The new regional opera company, which is publicly funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, is hoping to attract new and existing audiences to opera with its production of Tosca, to be staged in Derry from March 31 until April 2.

Tosca – a thrilling tale of lust, murder and power – will be performed as never before in Northern Ireland. Each act of the three-act thriller will be staged in a different iconic building in the city, with the audience, cast and orchestra moving between venues during the performance.

Act 1 will be staged in St Columb’s Cathedral, Act 2 in the Guildhall, and Act 3 in St Columb’s Hall. This multi-site opera will be a first for Derry and for Northern Ireland, and promises to be an evening to remember.

Oliver Mears, Artistic Director, NI Opera, told the ‘Journal’: “We want to create an unforgettable experience for the audience. By bringing opera to unexpected places and moving the audience between the three venues on the night, we hope to do that.

“It is an exciting time to be here in Derry with the UK City of Culture title and the thriving arts scene. NI Opera plans to add to that buzz by entertaining audiences with our unique version of Tosca.”

As well as providing unique productions, at affordable prices, NI Opera is committed to supporting and promoting young Northern Ireland talent.

Oliver Mears continued: “We are continually looking for emerging talent in Northern Ireland and cast local singers in our productions as often as possible. We have an exceptional cast for Tosca, with Northern Irish singer Giselle Allen in the lead role and a number of singers from Derry in the chorus.”

Rosa Solinas, Head of Music, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added: “NI Opera’s exciting version of Tosca will inspire both traditional opera audiences, and also those who have never been to an opera before.

“With an accessible story, beautiful music and the stunning setting of some of Derry’s most iconic buildings, this production will really bring opera to life.”

Tickets for Tosca are priced at £15, concession £12, now available from the Millennium Forum Box Office at: or telephone: 71. 264455.