Andrew Synnott (1970-)

20, 26, 29 October |  1 November

World premiere of two one-act operas Counterparts & The Boarding House from Joyce’s Dubliners

Adaptation and text by Arthur Riordan

Sung in English with English Surtitles

Co-production of Opera Theatre Company and Wexford Festival Opera

This double-bill is scored for piano, string quartet and a cast of six singers


In this dark tale, we follow the growing frustration of Farrington, a lumbering alcoholic copyist, over the course of one afternoon and evening. His mind-numbing work is made intolerable by an overbearing boss who demeans him in front of colleagues. Washing away his misery in several of Dublin’s pubs Farrington is humiliated once more when he physically tries to measure up to a visiting English acrobat. Worse still, an actress that Farrington eyes up is uninterested in him. Frustrated, he returns home where his mood worsens, and he violently takes out his anger on his son Tom. The music and libretto are infused with this growing sense of frustration and dread. The tragedy of Tom’s plight is central to the opera’s heart-breaking conclusion.

The Boarding House

Jack Mooney introduces The Boarding House, run by his mother. It caters both for clerks and visiting music-hall entertainers. The scheming proprietor, Mrs Mooney, allows her daughter Polly to spend time with the men who stay there. She knows that young men like it when a pretty girl is not too far away. A relationship blossoms between Polly and the successful clerk Bob Doran. Mrs Mooney carefully observes and tracks it until the most profitable moment. When she is sure the relationship has been observed by others, she knows that Mr Doran has no choice but to propose to Polly out of social propriety. The music and libretto poke fun at all of the characters as this entertaining drama unfolds.

The Festival ShortWorks are made possible by the generous support of The Lord Magan of Castletown.

20 Oct - 3.30 p.m.
26 Oct - 3.30 p.m.
29 Oct - 11 a.m.
1 Nov - 3.30 p.m.

Tickets €30

Creative Team

Music Director
Andrew Synnott
Stage Director
Annabelle Comyn
Set Designer
Paul O'Mahony
Costume Designer
Joan O'Clery
Lighting Designer
Rory Beaton


Polly/Mrs Delacour/Barmaid/Tom
Emma Nash
Anna Jeffers
Andrew Gavin
David Howes
Peter O' Donohue
Cormac Lawlor