What's on Cork stages: Classic opera, and fab festival too...

Theatre Nights: Ahead of panto season, there is plenty of entertainment on Cork's stages
What's on Cork stages: Classic opera, and fab festival too...

Emma Nash, who is appearing in La Boheme at the Opera House

NOW, you should all know that The Sleeping Beauty, the big Christmas pantomime at the Opera House, opens on Thursday next week, December 1.

In between those highly popular performances, though, the Opera House has somehow managed to fit some other rather good events.

On Monday, December 5, Cara O’Sullivan Associate Artists present an abridged and semi-staged rendering of Puccini’s La Bohème. Conducted by John O’Brien, and under the directorship of Conor Hanratty, Emma Nash, Gavan Ring, Rachel Croash and Rory Musgrave will perform this wonderful classic.

They will be joined by a host of Irish soloists, narrator Éadaoin O’Donoghue, and the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra. Sung in Italian with English surtitles, 8pm.

The next evening, December 6, Abba Forever are back with a special Christmas show, guaranteed to have you dancing in the aisles. Oh - that’s already sold out!

The Improvised Panto, that crazy late night show for adults only, gets going on December 9.

Booking for all Opera House shows on 021 427 0022 or www.corkoperahouse.ie.

On Saturday, December 3, Cinderella, that heart-warming story of love and good triumphing over wickedness, opens at the Everyman. Don’t forget Wonderful Wednesdays with special prices, and also the family tickets!

Something else that is selling out fast is A Very Bublé-esque Christmas, presented by the Everyman Sunday Songbook team on Sunday, December 4.

Michael Bublé’s velvety reworkings of old festive classics have transformed and elevated them for a whole new generation.

Linda Kenny, Damian Smith, Alf McCarthy and Alan Carney star, with MC / Narrator Alf McCarthy, and of course the band.

Earlier starting time of 7.30pm for Sunday Songbook. Call 021 450 1673 or see www.everymancork.com for all bookings.

That delightful winter festival, Quiet Lights, takes place in venues across the city, from today until Sunday, highlighting the new wave of Irish and international folk, traditional, and experimental.

Martin Hayes is appearing at Quiet Lights festival
Martin Hayes is appearing at Quiet Lights festival

There is a special focus on Raelach Records this year, to acknowledge the significant impact the label has had on Irish traditional music. Free lunchtime concert at UCC tomorrow, and what is described as a 3hr soundbath on Sunday at St Peter’s from Myles O’Reilly and friends.

Too many events to be listed here, but check them all out on https://www.quietlights.net/.

Superstars Big Country have just announced three shows in Ireland this December, one of them being The Oliver Plunkett on December 18.

With singles such as Fields of Fire, Chance, In A Big Country (which sold 2 million), East Of Eden and Look Away, along with albums like The Seer, Steeltown, Peace In Our Time and the triple Grammy-nominated, The Crossing, they hardly need introduction. Tickets on sale right now at www.ticketmaster.ie.

The big 10x10 Minute Play Event opens at the Cork Arts Theatre next Tuesday, November 29, and runs to Saturday, December 3. “It has been three long years since the last one, because of that pesky pandemic, but the event is back stronger than ever,” assures director James Horgan. “Once again we will have ten mini-plays each evening with something to suit all tastes. Audiences will also get to vote for their favourite play of the evening which adds to the sense of occasion.”

Booking on 021 450 5624 or www.corkartstheatre.com.

Finally, a reminder that the Cork Orchestral Society has some pleasant concerts to anticipate in the festive season, including a stunning pairing between tenor Gavan Ring and pianist Gary Beecher on December 7 in the Curtis Auditorium at the School of Music, with a performance of Schubert’s Winterreise song cycle.

On December 11, at St Michael’s, Blackrock, the Fleischmann Choir performs Magnificat and Nunc dimittis by Leo Sowerby, and 7 Spiritual Songs by August Söderman, while vocal ensemble Madrigal ‘75 and conductor James Taylor present their ever-popular Christmas Concerts on December 21 and 22, in the Curtis Auditorium. All details, and tickets, are available at www.corkorchestralsociety.ie.

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