Thurs 30 November – Sat 2 December  Bookings
Introductory Talk & Music with Composer & Music Director Noah MosleySat 28 October, 6:30pm   Bookings

Mad King Suibhne is a new opera by Composer and Music Director Noah Mosley.  Based on an Irish poem that was probably compiled in the twelfth century, it explores what happens after King Suibhne kills his childhood friend during a battle. He goes mad at the violence of the world and flees to the forest where he finds some comfort in nature and discovers that he is able to withstand certain temptations. He is coaxed back home by a supportive witch, his half-brother who tricks him, and the thoughts of his Queen Eorann. Back home he finally accepts the need to govern wisely the world he is faced with rather than despair at all of its imperfections.

The libretto of Mad King Suibhne brilliantly balances a fast-paced and magical world of animals, colour and the supernatural with more serious themes like the difficulty of loving someone with a mental illness, and the potentially destructive effects of an aggressively competitive society.  The conflict between wildness and civilization is ongoing but the original poem and the opera deal with an even more important theme, our desire to make the world a better place and how hard it is to act out that desire.

Accompanied by a ten-piece orchestra, the opera was originally designed to be performed in a barn setting with internal wooden structures.  The piece will take place in our 13th century monastic barn continuing a legacy started by the remarkable 140ft installation as context for the set.

Noah_Mosley conducting (events page)On Saturday 28 October at 6:30pm, composer and music director Noah Mosley joins us to introduce the original poem and discuss his inspiration as the process of writing an opera.  An aria from the opera will be performed.

The opera was 18 months in the making, from initial discussions through to the final piece.



‘Mosley has a gift for melody’ Opera Magazine


Thursday 30 November – Join us at 6:30pm for an audience with the composer Noah Mosley and to watch the final dress rehearsal.

Friday 1 December – Opening night performance.

Saturday 2 December – Come along to the show or attend our gala evening for pre-performance drinks and supper afterwards.

Performance duration is 1 hour 25 minutes (no interval).

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