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Successful Opera Gala at St John’s Smith Square

The elegant 200 year old English baroque church in the heart of Westminster provided an appropriate venue for Irish Heritage’s Opera Gala on Thursday 12th April 2018.

An enthusiastic audience of over 200 people enjoyed a wide-ranging programme performed by four artists. The established stars were soprano Ailish Tynan and tenor Owen Gilhooly and making their professional debuts on the London stage were soprano Sarah Brady and baritone Sean Boylan.

Sarah Brady is the recipient of the 2017 Royal Dublin Society Music Bursary whose prize included this debut performance with Irish Heritage in London.

The singers were accompanied by pianist James Baillieu and harpist Jean Kelly.

Among the highlights of the evening were Sarah Brady’s performance of “Je veux vivre” (Juliet’s waltz) from Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet, Owen Gilhooly’s “Let me like a soldier fall” from Wallace’s Maritana, Ailish Tynan’s rendering of the traditional air “The Spanish Lady” and Sean Boylan’s “Deli vieni alla finestra” from Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The four artists combined their talents for memorable performances of “Mir ist so wonderbar” from Beethoven’s Fidelio and a rousing finale of “Brindisi”, the drinking song from Verdi’s La Traviata.

Among the audience were His Excellency the Ambassador of Ireland Adrian O’Neill and Mrs O’Neill, the President of the Royal Dublin Society Ms Bernie Brennan and the Chairman of the Blackwater Valley Festival Opera Michael Alen-Buckley.

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