Giordano Bruno Comes to Dublin: “Heresy” Opera

Heresy Opera by Roger Doyle

Heresy is the world premiere and first opera by renowned Irish composer, Roger Doyle. Mr. Doyle, considered “The Godfather of Irish Electronic Music,” speaks of his vast body of compositions as “a celebration of the multiplicity of musical languages and evolving technologies.”

Based in Dublin, META PRODUCTIONS was founded in 2013 by Roger Doyle & Eric Fraad. It is committed to exploring new forms of opera for the 21st century & creating works that live within the best traditions of opera & reformulating these in innovative & unique ways.

META PRODUCTIONS has assembled a dazzling team of artists for this unique operatic extravaganza: libretto by playwright and dramaturg, Jocelyn Clarke and world renowned American director Eric Fraad, with sets and costumes by internationally acclaimed Austrian Bruno Schwengl, and lighting design by the Abbey Theatre’s Kevin McFadden.

The ensemble cast features Morgan Crowley (tenor / counter tenor), Caitriona O’Leary (mezzo soprano), Daire Halpin (soprano), Robert Crowe (male soprano), and a boy soprano. These early and contemporary music specialists each undertake a diversity of roles during the performance.

For anyone who dares to voice dangerous ideas and risk imprisonment or exile, Giordano Bruno remains a hero and a martyr for free speech and the right to challenge dogma and orthodoxy. Giordano Bruno (called The Nolan), originally named Filippo Bruno, (born 1548, Nola, near Naples-burned at the stake February 17, 1600, in the Campo dei Fiori, Rome) was an Italian renaissance philosopher, priest, professor, playwright and occultist whose theories anticipated modern science. His writings prefigured quantum theory by 350 years and influenced numerous works by Shakespeare, Molière and James Joyce for whom Bruno remained a lifelong hero.

Heresy focuses on episodes from Bruno’s life and features fantastic scenes that allow for great theatricality and emotional effect. Scenes are presented in which Bruno demonstrates his system of magic memory before the court of Henry III of France, confidential conversations with Elizabeth I of England and her spymaster Sir Francis Wallsingham, expositions of his trials in Rome and Venice before the inquisition, fragments of his outrageous play, Il Candelaio, a dramatic reverie in his cell the night before he is burned at the stake for heresy and scenes that time travel to the present day and beyond as he trail blazes amongst the deities in the cosmos and predicts the future. Throughout this operatic adventure Mr. Doyle’s electronic score complements this scorching story by incorporating many qualities of a traditional orchestra while providing far-reaching dramatic and musical possibilities that go beyond normative operatic instrumentation.