Evangelia Rigaki & Marina Carr: Old Ghosts (Online via OperaVision)

16 June 2023 19:00 - 16 December 2023 12:00

James Joyce and Nora Barnacle are living in Trieste. Joyce has embarked on his great enterprise, the composition of Ulysses. After a night on the town, he sits at his writing desk, working on his masterpiece. As he begins to write, he is visited by two ghosts, Homer and Penelope, who have a thing or two to say to him and to each other. As morning approaches, Joyce composes a letter to his aunt, inquiring after everyday Dublin life, details of which will become the thread of his iconic masterwork. Meanwhile, Nora pines for home, longing to return to her beloved west of Ireland.

Old Ghosts, written in response to the Penelope chapter of Ulysses, is a new opera commissioned from CMC composer Evangelia Rigaki and playwright Marina Carr. It imagines James Joyce in conversation with Nora Barnacle, Homer and Penelope herself as possible inspirations for the character of Molly Bloom and the final chapter of Ulysses. In a first-time collaboration for two of lreland’s leading companies, lrish National Opera and ANU Productions, Old Ghosts was performed live at the Museum of Literature Ireland in February 2023. It marks the culmination of Ulysses 2.2, a nationwide curated year of multidisciplinary artistic responses to the 18 episodes of Ulysses that chronicle an ordinary day in the life of Leopold Bloom. The OperaVision stream on 16 June coincides with Bloomsday, a commemoration and celebration of the life of the Irish writer observed annually in Dublin and by Joyce fans across the world. 

Old Ghosts is a co-production between Irish National Opera and ANU and is part of Ulysses 2.2 by ANU, Landmark Productions and MoLI.


Old Ghosts will be available to stream free on 16 June on the INO's OperaVision at 19.00 CET here.

The recording will be available until 16 December 2023 at 12.00 CET.