Signum Records has announced a new partnership with Irish National Opera (INO), with plans to release the company’s first official recordings. Signum Records is a leading British independent label, specialising in classical music.
The partnership will begin with the release of the world premiere recording of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground on 5 November, followed by Puccini’s La bohème (The Bohemians, 1896) in March 2022.
Alice’s Adventures Under Ground is a surreal journey through Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. It received its fully staged premiere at London’s Royal Opera House in February 2020.
INO has been unable to stage its own performance this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. Instead, the company is releasing the world premiere recording alongside a film of the opera this November, with a cast including renowned Irish singers soprano Claudia Boyle as Alice, mezzo-soprano Clare Presland singing the Red Queen, baritone Gavan Ring playing the White King and bass Alan Ewing as Humpty-Dumpty. André de Ridder conducts the Irish Chamber Orchestra. The film premieres at 7.30pm on 5 November; viewers can buy it on demand at a cost of €9. Purchases include seven days’ access. It is available via specialist concert streaming service OnJam.
March 2022 will mark the second INO release from Signum with a studio recording of Puccini’s ever-popular La bohème. Sopranos Celine Byrne and Anna Devin are among the cast, showcasing some of Ireland’s best singers on an Irish opera company recording for the first time. Byrne made her operatic debut singing the role of Mimì, and is now considered one of the greatest international interpreters of the role. She returns to INO to sing Micaëla in the company’s production of Carmen (Bizet, 1875). Devin sings the role of Musetta. The Irish National Opera Orchestra performs under the baton of Sergio Alapont.
Steve Long, CEO of Signum, commented: “Our new partnership with the Irish National Opera brings a hugely exciting addition to the Signum family of artists. This recently formed opera company already has a great reception for its live performances and vibrant recorded content. We look forward to bringing many of their future productions to a global audience.”
Funded by the Arts Council and formed in 2018, Irish National Opera is Ireland’s newest opera company. It aims to produce high-quality and accessible opera in venues throughout Ireland as well as further afield. In its first two years, INO produced 72 performances of 12 operas across 24 Irish venues, with plans to expand even further in the coming years.
The company’s executive director, Diego Fasciati, said: “We are thrilled to embark on a partnership with Signum Records. We are a young company and producing high-quality albums that feature our talented singers, musicians and orchestras is a key step in our development and growth. We have ambitious plans.
“Our first album is the world premiere recording of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, which will be released in November 2021. Our second release will be a studio recording of Puccini’s La bohème featuring Irish sopranos Celine Byrne and Anna Devin as Mimì and Musetta. We have several other recording projects in the pipeline and we look forward to bringing them all to fruition in collaboration with Signum.”
Alice’s Adventures Under Ground will be available on Signum Records from 5 November 2021, while La bohème will be released on 4 March. Opera For All’s reviews of both recordings will be live shortly.
For further information on Irish National Opera, visit the company’s website.
The world premiere recording of Irish National Opera’s production of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground marks the first release for the company’s new partnership with Signum Records.