As part of Irish National Opera‘s forthcoming tour of Werther, they have been working with select venues and community partners to explore the creative ideas and themes in the story of Massenet’s opera. We are delighted to be selected as one of these venues and have partnered Irish National Opera with M.A.D Youth Theatre and Dundalk Youth Centre to prepare and perform a community showcase.

The participants from M.A.D Youth Theatre and Dundalk Youth Centre, have been attending workshops facilitated by musician Mark Corcoran who is currently An Táin Arts Centre’s Songwriter in Residence. Mark had already been working with a number of the young people on Emergence, a celebration of the next generation of musicians and an initiative of Dundalk Youth Centre working with the Spirit Store to provide a platform for new young musical talent in the town. Mark then recruited singer /songwriter Sophie Coyle, who took time out from finishing her latest album, to help co-facilitate the Irish National Opera workshops and set the young people on a path exploring the themes from Werther, so that they could compose and write their own songs in response to these themes.

At the end of this process the participants will have the opportunity to perform in the foyer of An Táin Arts centre at 7:15pm on Tuesday 2nd of May, prior to the performance of Werther on our main stage.

Speaking to Kwasie Boyce of M.A.D Youth Theatre, he told us how the young people have been really engaged with the process. “M.A.D Youth Theatre is proud to take part in this opportunity and the workshops at An Táin Arts Centre. Our members are always interested in learning new skills in particular around things that are socially engaging.” M.A.D Youth Theatre are just after finishing a run of their latest show This is a Room, which had packed out audiences in our studio theatre for three performances last week. “This is a Room has been a fantastic opportunity to speak about issues that are relevant to young people and their communities, around issues like homelessness, coming into adulthood, finding their way and looking to the future.” says Kwasie. M.A.D Youth Theatre are currently working on their upcoming M.A.D little drama festival which will take place in our studio theatre in May.

James Bingham, Studio and Outreach Producer for Irish National Opera told us “Irish National Opera always look forward to bringing our productions to An Táin Arts Centre. We’re passionate about bringing opera to venues across the country and sharing this wonderful art form with local communities. If opera is to flourish in Ireland in the 21st century, it’s important that we listen to local communities and include new voices in the world of opera. I’m delighted that we’re working with M.A.D. Youth Theatre and Dundalk Youth Centre, who have been working hard writing new songs inspired by the theme of Werther. Giving young people local to Dundalk the platform to share their own creative talents and ideas about the stories INO tells is a wonderful way to add their voice to the conversation.”

This community showcase between Irish National Opera, M.A.D Youth Theatre and Dundalk Youth Centre will take place prior to the performance of Werther at 7:15pm on Tuesday 2nd of May in the foyer of An Táin Arts Centre. Tickets for Werther can be purchased from our box office 042 9332332 or our website.