Today, the Wexford Festival Opera presents the world première of Dubliners, two one-act operas composed by Andrew Synnott, with librettos by Arthur Riordan after James Joyce's Dubliners.
It is the composer' second opera after Breakdown (Dublin, 2015). The two parts are Counterparts and The Boarding House.
In this dark tale, we follow the growing frustration of Farrington, a lumbering alcoholic copyist, over the course of one afternoon and evening. His mind-numbing work is made intolerable by an overbearing boss who demeans him in front of colleagues. Washing away his misery in several of Dublin’s pubs Farrington is humiliated once more when he physically tries to measure up to a visiting English acrobat. Worse still, an actress that Farrington eyes up is uninterested in him. Frustrated, he returns home where his mood worsens, and he violently takes out his anger on his son Tom.The cast includes soprano Emma Nash (Polly / Mrs Delacour), mezzo Anna Jeffers (Mother / Weathers), tenor Andrew Gavin (Bob / Alleyne / O'Halloran), baritone David Howes (Jack / Flynn), tenor Peter O'Donohue (Higgins) and bass-baritone Cormac Lawlor (Farrington). They are accompanied by piano and a string quartet. The composer conducts. Annabelle Comyn directs.
Jack Mooney introduces The Boarding House, run by his mother. It caters both for clerks and visiting music-hall entertainers. The scheming proprietor, Mrs Mooney, allows her daughter Polly to spend time with the men who stay there. She knows that young men like it when a pretty girl is not too far away. A relationship blossoms between Polly and the successful clerk Bob Doran. Mrs Mooney carefully observes and tracks it until the most profitable moment. When she is sure the relationship has been observed by others, she knows that Mr Doran has no choice but to propose to Polly out of social propriety. (reproduced from the Wexford Festival Opera website)
The performance should last about 64 minutes, including a 6 minute pause.