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Admired, idolised, exploited: celebrities spark our imagination, awake obsessions with their talent and beauty, and stir feelings of jealousy. Who do they belong to, and can they exist when the curtain closes and the cameras are turned off?

The NI Opera Studio presents a double bill of 18th-century musical drama that explores fame as a timeless phenomenon with music by Jean Philippe Rameau, Nicola Porpora, Johann Adolph Hasse, Giovanni Bononcini, and Leonardo Vinci.

In Nélée et Myrthis, a sporting champion has clear ideas about the entitlements of success. The woman of his choice, a celebrated poet, is not the type to bow to male bravado. Who will gain the upper hand?

Sex symbol, virtuoso performer, healer of depression: Farinelli’s Follies traces the career of the celebrated castrato Farinelli. His selling point: a female voice in a male body. His public persona: impeccable, impenetrable?

Performed by the NI Opera Studio and an instrumental ensemble.


Creative Team

Musical Director
Keith McAlister
Rhiann Jeffrey
Concept and dramaturgy
Judith Wiemers