27 November 2021 The Irish Film & Television Network
First Irish opera film The Lighthouse to screen in cinemas for one night only this November
20 Oct 2021 : News Desk
The Lighthouse
A new production of Peter Maxwell Daviesís chamber opera The Lighthouse, directed by Irish filmmaker Edwina Casey, is set to screen in cinemas across Ireland next month.

The filmed opera, which will screen for one night only on Tuesday, November 16th, marks the first time an Irish opera film has been released in Irish cinemas.

Presented by the Irish National Opera, conducted by Elaine Kelly and starring Gavan Ring, Ben McAteer, and John Molloy The Lighthouse is based on an actual event in December 1900, when a visiting supply ship to a Scottish lighthouse finds the building in order but the keepers vanished without a trace. 

The three singers who play multiple roles, explore the psychological state of the fractious men, relive an official investigation and project a supernatural explanation. The composer, who based the structure of the opera on the Tower of the Tarot, leaves no simple answers. 

“For some time it has been an interest of mine to put opera on the big screen so I was delighted when the Irish National Opera approached me about directing The Lighthouse for stage and screen,” said director Edwina Casey, when speaking about the film. “Written in 1979, The Lighthouse in its simplest form is a chilling horror story about keepers going mad due to isolation.”

“We shot the production over two weeks in Draíocht Theatre, Blanchardstown while everyone was locked-down in their homes,” added Casey. “I can’t help but feel some of that eeriness crept into what we made! I am delighted that this project is getting a cinema release and I hope audiences find connection with Maxwell Davies’ operatic masterpiece on a whole new scale."

Diego Fasciati, Executive Director of the Irish National Opera added: “An Irish-produced opera film screened in Irish cinemas is another first from Irish National Opera. Over the summer, we screened ‘The Lighthouse’ in eight outdoor locations, from Fanad Head to Valentia Island. Now that cinemas are reopened, we are excited to make our debut on the silver screen, this will allow us to reach audiences far and wide.” 

The filmed opera will screen in cinemas ahead of the stage production, also directed by Casey who was the winner of the Bingham Ray New Talent Award at the Galway Film Fleadh, going on tour nationwide with live performances in venues from Saturday 20th November.

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