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O'Reilly Theatre, National Opera House


€35 – €160

Priority booking for Friends opens from
24 April 2024. Become a Friend


Approx. running time: 150 minutes

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Opera in two acts by Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto by Domenico Gilardoni

Fully-Staged Production
Sung in Italian with English surtitles

First Performance
Teatro della Canobbiana, Milan, Italy, 1831


The opera was originally a one-act farsa which premiered at the Teatro Nuovo in Naples in 1827, before Donizetti revised it as a two-act work with added recitatives and other material. Inspired by two comedies written by Antonio Simone Sografi between 1794 and 1816 it follows the theatrical traditions of Goldoni, Gozzi and Metastasio, subjecting the bad habits of the operatic world to biting criticism. Convenienze has appeared in a number of translations and under various titles such as Viva la Mamma and Viva la Diva.


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Daria Garbinati
Sharleen Joynt
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Donna Agata Scannagalli
Paolo Bordogna

Creative Team

Madeline Boyd
Set and Costume Designer
Madeline Boyd
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Choreographer and Assistant Director
Amy Share Kissiov

The Plot

Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali (Conventions and Inconveniences of the Stage) is a two-act farce that shines an exaggerated spotlight on the behind-the-scenes working of a theatre and the rehearsal process, showing what can go wrong when the egos of the performers get in the way of putting on a good show. The title refers to the ‘convenienze’, which were the rules relating to the ranking of singers (primo, secondo, comprimario) in the 19th-century Italian opera and the number of scenes, arias etc., that they were entitled to expect.

A regional (and mediocre) operatic troupe is rehearsing a new work and faces numerous obstacles. The prima donna acts every bit the diva, refusing to rehearse. The Tenor finds himself in the wrong production and quite out of his depth. The Seconda Donna’s mother (played by a baritone) demands that her daughter be given a more prominent role, before deciding to take on several roles herself. Not be outshone, the Prima Donna’s husband takes to the stage too.

When the show eventually collapses and the company tries to flee under cover of night, rather than pay back all the investors (whose money has already been spent), the Impresario has other plans…

Dates and times

Sunday 20 Oct7:30pm 7:30pm Book
Friday 25 Oct7:30pm 7:30pm Book
Monday 28 Oct5pm 5pm Book
Saturday 2 Nov7:30pm 7:30pm Book

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