Out of the Ordinary has just finished a remarkably successful run at the Dublin Fringe Festival.
This piece is a world first – a community virtual reality opera developed by Irish National Opera in conjunction with disparate communities all over Ireland.
Created through a series of online and in-person workshops, the opera explores new methods of co-creation, placing our communities at the centre of the opera creation process. A professional creative team has worked alongside participants living across Ireland, learning from each other, developing the composition, narrative and design through ongoing conversation and collaboration throughout 2021 and 2022. The process has allowed exploration of a different way of making work. Presented in virtual reality, it is hoped the work will start conversations around opera, technology and art, who it’s for and what it can be.
The creative team includes:
Director Jo Mangan, Composer Finola Merivale, Librettist Jody O’Neill, VR Developers Algorithm creative production studios, VR Consultant Camille Donegan from Virtual Reality Ireland, conductor Nil Venditti, soprano Daire Halpin, mezzo-soprano Naomi-Louisa O’Connell and a chamber ensemble of professional musicians.
This piece has already won a Fedora Digital Opera prize for it’s use of ground breaking technology to both devise work with communities and bring that work to new opera audiences. It is also part of TRACTION: a European project consisting of 9 international partners, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 initiative. This exciting project brings together experts from the arts, technology and academic sectors to research and develop new technologies and ways to involve local communities in opera. Out of the Ordinary/As an nGnách is one of three pilot projects in Ireland, Portugal and Spain that will test these new processes.
Out of the Ordinary/As an nGnách is an experimental new opera which was conceived pre-covid, developed during covid and presented as we emerge in a post-covid era. It’s ambition to bring together disparate communities, uncover common themes and devise new ways of making opera collaboratively has been achieved despite the enormous challenges of these times.
It was my privilege and pleasure to create the role of Daol – an other worldly energetic entity unleashed from the earth by the negligent actions of her residents. Nalva attempts to guide her people to a safe new shores and appease Daol’s restless energy.
Out of the Ordinary/As an nGnách will tour venues around Ireland and abroad in 2022/23.