Heresy Opera

HERESY is an ambitious, contemporary electronic opera based on episodes from the life and works of Giordano Bruno and the first opera by the celebrated Irish composer, Roger Doyle, with a libretto by noted playwright and dramaturg, Jocelyn Clarke and directed by American opera director Eric Fraad, with set and costume design by Bruno Schwengl and lighting design by Kevin McFadden.

Cast: Caitriona O’Leary, Daire Halpin, Morgan Crowley, Robert Crowe.

Heresy will be presented as part of Project 50, a season of work celebrating 50 years of Project Arts Centre.
28 October – 05 November 2016.

Heresy Opera by Roger Doyle

Heresy was formerly called The Death By Fire Of Giordano Bruno during its development phase.

Mystic magus, heretic priest, hermetic philosopher, spy and playwright, Giordano Bruno was one of the renaissance’s most brilliant and controversial figures. Burned at the stake in 1600 after a nine-year trial by the Roman inquisition, Bruno envisioned a cosmos without a centre, infinite galaxies and inhabited planets. 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.

A martyr for truth and tragic hero, a complex visionary who challenged the intellectual, religious, and social conventions of his time and re-imagined the composition of the universe, Bruno is the ideal subject for opera. A cultural superstar in his own time, Bruno’s importance and relevance has grown over the centuries as his speculations and predictions have come to pass and he and his philosophy achieved cult status.

Heresy features episodes from Bruno’s life and fantastic scenes that allow for great theatricality and effect. The opera presents acts where Bruno demonstrates his system of magic memory before the court of Henry III of France, diverse expositions of his trials in Rome and Venice before the inquisition, episodes in his cell the night before he is executed where he is visited by a diversity of characters from his life, his works and from the future including James Joyce, scenes that time travel to the present day and beyond as he trail blazes amongst the deities in the cosmos and predicts the future. Mr. Doyle’s electronic score incorporates many qualities of a traditional orchestra while providing far-reaching dramatic and musical possibilities that go beyond normative operatic instrumentation.

Funded by The Arts Council and Lyric FM


On this recording: Alex Smith – Boy Soprano.
Presented at the Dublin Theatre Festival 2013.


“a richly rewarding work that runs the full, glorious gamut of human emotion”
The Irish Times on Doyle’s album Chalant – Memento Mori (2012)

“This is a phenomenal listening experience of Wagnerian dimensions ─ and, arguably, Wagnerian ambitions. The whole concept is amazing […] an impeccably imagined alternative world experience. Fascinating, and well worth the time required to properly immerse oneself in the weird and wonderful contents of Roger Doyle’s head.”
Fanfare Magazine on Doyle’s album Babel (2014)

“Fascinating, witty and moving – this disc deserves to be a cult hit” on Doyle’s album Time Machine (2016)



Click below to listen to extracts from the full album or listen on Bandcamp

Please note Heresy was formerly called The Death By Fire Of Giordano Bruno during its development phase.