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The NI Opera Studio presents DESIRE, featuring Francesco Giusti performing works by 18th century composers Handel and Bononcini, which will be released on our YouTube channel on World Opera Day, 25th October 2020. 


Counter-tenor and NI Opera Studio alumnus Francesco Giusti performs pieces by Bononcini and Handel, featuring dancer Adam Ashford in two short films inspired by the work of the celebrated castrato Farinelli. We explore the idea of the sex symbol and virtuoso performer: a female voice in a male body; palpable desire.

For the Handel short film the director explores the nurturing femininity of the earth element, our inner identity and deepest desires. For the Bononcini short film, the director has drawn inspiration for the film from the element of water: its power and its tempestuous and chaotic nature; the allure and the uncontrollable wildness of the waterfall. Both pieces are emotive, reflective and mournful, yet originally performed by a hugely sexually-desired castrato. The Handel piece is ‘Vaghe Fonti’ and the Bononcini ‘Infelice Mia Costanza’.

Find out more about the Northern Ireland Opera Studio, our development programme for emerging opera singers from the island of Ireland here or follow us on Twitter.


Francesco Giusti
Adam Ashford

Creative Team

Rhiann Jeffrey
Keith McAlister
Musical Director
Kate Guelke
Chris Thompson
Judith Wiemers
Keith McAlister