Bar-oque and roll operatics in Offaly

Susanna Fairbairn as Galatea, by way of Offaly

A DOOMED love story, that old faithful of opera, and set in the 1700s is lifted forward to a bar in Offaly today by Opera Theatre Company.

Coming to Lime Tree Theatre on Friday April 7, 8pm, 15 members of the Ireland Baroque Orchestra are the music to Handel’s ‘Acis and Galatea’.


Music director to this event Peter Whelan will conduct from the harpsichord. Enabled by his repertoire spanning four centuries, Whelan has been working on the production since early February with soloists Eamonn Mulhall (tenor, Acis), Susanna Fairbairn (soprano, Galatea), Edward Brint (bass baritone, Polyphemus) and Andrew Gavin (tenor, Damon).

Peter Whelan tees up Arts page for this “real, modern take on an old love story that is very true to Handel’s original”.

“‘Acis and Galatea’ is a small love story that carries a heavy punch today,” he feels. “Boy meets girl and falls in love. Act 1 is about the timeless quality of that which is with us from the beginning of time to now.

Opera Theatre Company tours with Handel’s Acis and Galatea

“Then… they come out of that Garden of Eden feeling and this is the question of what the opera is about, community and pulling together even when society is divided. It’s about what is unity”.

Essentially Polyphemus wants to cut in on the act, desiring Galatea for himself. “There is a gruesome moment three-quarters of the way through”.

Act 2 is about considering the best way back from morbidity and this challenge, the coming to terms with what has happened.

There are five singers to the chorus and one overlaps with the four principals. We hear of Handel’s “glorious music, full of emotion, with and soaring melodies”.

And yes, there are comic moments and wit, as with any night down the pub when people come together with the inevitable push-pull that defines the human dynamic in life.

Book for Friday 7, 8pm at