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Experience a set of six staged concerts taking place between October 2023 and May 2024. From short opera, song cycles, cabaret to musical theatre from the golden age, each event will take you into a world of beautiful music, drama and emotion in the special, intimate surroundings of The Playhouse. 

All productions fully staged with singers in costume, accompanied by a pianist. 

Presented by Northern Ireland Opera in partnership with The Playhouse as part of Plugged In

Find out more about each event…

A skeleton in front of a black background


27 OCTOBER 2023

Dark, magnificent music by two legendary composers – powerful themes of life and death at Halloween.

In ‘Songs and Dances of Death’ by Mussorgsky- baritone Brendan Collins plays Death, performing four songs where the devil relives his success in calling over four people to be with him and lose their lives.

In ‘Kindertotenlieder’ by Mahler - a mother, performed by Margaret Bridge, sings of her love for her lost children in five songs.Tristan Russcher will be on piano.

Click here for more details.

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18 NOVEMBER 2023

 ‘La Voix Humaine’, by Francis Poulenc. A one woman, fully staged performance by Mary McCabe (with David Quigley on piano).  Based on a play by Jean Cocteau, inspired ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’ by Pedro Almodovar. We eavesdrop on a woman as her life falls apart while her boyfriend dumps her over the phone so he can marry someone else. 

Click here for more details.


27 JANUARY 2024

‘Les Nuits D’Éte’ and ‘A Chloris and other mélodie’. French songs by Berlioz and Hahn exploring universal themes of love and loss. 'Les Nuits' performed by mezzo Jenny Bourke, 'A Chloris and other melodie' performed by soprano Anna Gregg with pianist Bryan Evans.

Click here for more details.

A statue against a black background


2 MARCH 2024

Four opera singers will perform well-known Irish songs by Irish and Northern Irish composers, from Hamilton Harty to Neil Hannon. Including new arrangements of the much loved songs ‘Carrickfergus’, ‘Méilte Cheann Dubhran’ and the Neil Hannon classic, ‘Sunrise’. Singers are soprano Susie Gibbons, mezzo Jenny Bourke, tenor Michael Bell, baritone Seamus Brady. Pianist is Frasier Hickland. An evening of songs, songwriting, traditional music with a twist, songs loosely themed around emigration, nostalgia, water and the sea.

Click here for more details.

Worn brown boots against a black background


20 APRIL 2024

‘The Lost Boy: Street Scenes and Soldiers’ Tales’: cabaret and music theatre songs about loss, love and hope, performed by Conor Quinn. Featuring work from cabaret, music theatre: the small ensemble includes piano, drums and bass, 'The Lost Boy’ explores a young man’s journey into adulthood with themes of hope, loss of youth, and songs inspired by unrest and war. Click here for more details.

A crystallised red heart against a black background


25 MAY 2024

‘Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered’: songs from the golden age of musical theatre, including works by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim and Rodgers and Hammerstein, performed by soprano Wendy Ferguson and pianist Ruth McGinley. Enjoy well-loved classics with some hidden gems too for an hour of witty, heart-rending and spectacular songs performed by two legendary Derry musicians.

Click here for more details.


Elle, La Voix Humaine
Mary McCabe

Pianist, La Voix Humaine
David Quigley

Soprano, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
Wendy Ferguson

Pianist, Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
Ruth McGinley

Soprano, 'Sea Wrack'
Susie Gibbons

Mezzo Soprano 'Sea Wrack'
Jenny Bourke

Tenor 'Sea Wrack'
Michael Bell

Baritone 'Sea Wrack'
Seamus Brady

Pianist 'Sea Wrack'
Frasier Hickland

Vocalist 'The Lost Boy'
Conor Quinn

Baritone, 'Songs and Dances of Death'
Brendan Collins

Mezzo 'Kindertotenlieder'
Margaret Bridge

Pianist, 'Songs and Dances of Death' and 'Kindertotenlieder'
Tristan Russcher

Soprano 'Les Nuits D'Été' and 'A Chloris at Hillsborough
Mary McCabe

Mezzo Soprano 'Les Nuits D'Été at the Courtyard
Sinéad O'Kelly

Mezzo Soprano 'Les Nuits D'Été' at The MAC
Jenny Bourke

Soprano 'A Chloris' at The MAC
Anna Gregg

Pianist 'Les Nuits D'Été
Bryan Evans



Cameron Menzies

Hair and Make Up
Nuala Campbell and Connie McGrath

Lighting Design
PSI Productions