Cork Opera House and Irish National Opera are joining forces to produce and present a pilot event in Cork Opera House on Saturday, July 10.
The event will be the first live opera performance with a gallery in attendance and will star Cork’s own Majella Cullagh.
This will follow the nation’s first music festival at Royal Hospital Kilmainham on July 3, while Christy Moore is also set to play an indoor concert at the INEC Killarney this weekend.
Casta Diva, An Evening with Majella Cullagh and Guests will take place at 8pm on Saturday, July 10.
Some of the country's finest operatic talent including soprano Emma Nash, mezzo soprano Niamh O Sullivan, tenor Gavan Ring and baritone Brendan Collins will join Majella in the performance along with pianist Gary Beecher.
"My colleagues and I are very excited at the thought of singing in front of a live audience once again. We have missed the energy and atmosphere of live concerts and we have missed singing together. We cannot wait to share our favourite arias and duets with the audience and we are looking forward to getting back on the stage of Cork Opera House for this special and historic event,” Ms Cullagh said.
The programme will feature Bellini's magical aria Casta Diva from Norma and the famous quartet from Verdi's Rigoletto along with many more special operatic moments.
While an official attendance has not been confirmed, the event will have a reduced capacity due to social distancing guidelines. It will be the first live operatic performance to an audience since March 2020.
"This is a great moment for Cork Opera House. It symbolises the beginning of our journey back to live performance and is a significant step towards the end of this very difficult time for artists, audiences and staff alike,” Cork Opera House CEO Eibhlin Gleeson said.
“We are privileged to be working with Irish National Opera and thrilled to be welcoming one of our all-time favourite divas, Majella Cullagh and her guests to our stage again. There is no better artist to welcome the people of Cork back to Cork Opera House than Majella. We know that this will be a special and poignant evening and we look forward to welcoming our patrons home to their opera house once again,” Ms Gleeson said.
Fergus Sheil, Artistic Director of Irish National Opera said the return of live opera will be an “emotional and memorable experience”.
“The pandemic has taught us to be resourceful, resilient and imaginative, as we have produced online concerts and productions, made films, planned site-specific projects and done everything we can to keep the operatic flame alive. But, everybody longs for one thing above all – the chance to enjoy thrilling operatic performances with artists and audiences in the same space,” Mr Sheil said.
Tickets for this event will be on sale on Monday, June 28 at www.corkoperahouse.ie. Due to reduced capacity, patrons are advised to book early.