The Ballybruff Trilogy: Wild geese, wild priests and wild goings-on in rural 1970’s Ireland

Leanne Fitzgerald, mezzo-soprano plays Maeve Shine and Owen Gilhooly Miles, baritone in the role of PJ Shine

PRESENTED by Opera Workshop, The Ballybruff Trilogy is riotous, dark veined work by composer Luke Byrne, with a libretto by Opera Workshop Artistic Director Shirley Keane.

Wild geese, wild priests and wild goings-on in rural 1970’s Ireland make up this Irish Opera Triptych.

The Ballybruff Trilogy is three short operas in one featuring The Proposal, Parochial House, and the original short opera which started it all, Bloody Murder. 

A cast of six exceptional singers will be joined by a live five-piece ensemble, conducted by composer Luke Byrne. The operas lay bare the heart ache, the bitterness and frustrations of life in the rural parish of Ballybruff. Each short opera is a self-contained story,  but tales intertwine, passion turns to revenge and hate simmers with the ever present strong, black tea.

Working with Limerick based production partners Honest Arts, the cast brings together some of the best of Irish opera talent including Limerick’s Owen Gilhooly Miles (baritone); Catherine Donnelly (soprano) from Northern Ireland; Kerry native Leanne Fitzgerald (mezzo-soprano); Dublin based Rory Dunne (baritone), and Christopher Bowen (tenor); in addition are English singers, James Beddoe (tenor) and Grace Maria Wain (mezzo-soprano).

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The Ballybruff Trilogy plays at Belltable (7.30pm) on Wednesday May 29, Friday May 31 and Saturday June 1.

Founded in 2017 by Shirley Keane, Opera Workshop commissions new works and re-imagines familiar opera, mounting productions in unexpected places and in unexpected ways. 

“As champions of opera, we engage with other arts organisations, artists and emerging talent. We believe in sharing what we know and deeply value the ideas and learning we gather in return. 

“Opera Workshop was created to surprise and delight audiences and artists with opera forged in Limerick for the world. Imbued with a spirit of adventure and possibility, we always seek to share joy.”