The Earl of Kildare by Fergus Johnston

Interview with Fergus Johnston

A short video interview with Fergus Johnston about his opera The Earl of Kildare and the upcoming premiere of Scenes and Interludes from the opera by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra on 27 February 2009.

The Earl of Kildare is Fergus Johnston's second opera, the first of which was a chamber opera, Bitter Fruit, written in 1992. The opera is based on the historical figure of Silken Thomas (Thomas Fitzgerald, the 16th century Earl of Kildare and deputy Governor of Ireland) and his disastrous revolt against the rule of King Henry VIII. With a libretto by Celia de Fréine, the themes of patriotism, treachery, love and intrigue are central to this highly dramatic story.

The opera received a workshop performance by Living Opera, with full cast and piano score reduction, on 6 February 2009 at the Mermaid Arts centre, Bray, Co. Wicklow. The performance was directed by John McKeown and conducted by Fergus Sheil.

RTÉ have commissioned Scenes and Interludes from the opera, which will be premiered by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and conductor James MacMillan on 27 February 2009 at the National Concert Hall, Dublin.

Fergus Johnston was interviewed by Niamh Heery in the Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, Co. Wicklow on 5 February 2009.

The views expressed in this video are those of the persons concerned and are not necessarily the views of the Contemporary Music Centre.

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