Prima Donna will be on in The National Concert Hall on April 21st. Tickets on sale now.
“image by Keith Dixon”
Prima Donna is a beautiful fusion of ballet and opera, never before presented on an Irish stage. It showcases the talents of two of Ireland’s finest and most well-known artists – prima ballerina Monica Loughman and soprano Sandra Oman. Weaving together the worlds of ballet and opera and with beautiful choreography by Monica Loughman, Sandra Oman will sing some of the world’s most famous and well-loved operatic arias – she will perform both Puccini’s “O mio babbino caro” and “Vissi d’arte” while Monica balletically interprets them. Together they will explore the world of Bizet’s Carmen – arias like the famous Habanera, the Toreador’s aria and the Chanson Bohème will be sung and also danced by the magnificent cast of male and female dancers and singers from St. Petersburg, Russia and from Ireland. Ballet excerpts from Don Quixote will be woven into the Carmen sequence, along with arias and duets from The Barber of Seville and Don Giovanni, to create a specifically Spanish world of dance and music. Ballet excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherezade will also be performed in the first half of the show, along with Saint-Saens’ “The Dying Swan”.
This exquisite show will also feature magnificent couture gowns, specially created for Sandra Oman, by Irish couturier Que-Va (Caoimhe Keane). A particular high-light will be a re-creation of the famous green “Atonement Dress” that Kiera Knightley wore in the movie. This dress was recently voted in polls the most famous dress in movie history! Sandra will wear it for the operatic sequence from Puccini’s La Bohème (also featured in Atonement). She will also have a magnificent, bespoke, white pearl-embossesd gown for the iconic Lucia di Lammermoor sextet and a Carole Lombard-inspired red “cut on the bias” gown for the Carmen fusion segment. Monica Loughman’s costumes are also bespoke ballet creations, specifically made for the show in St.
Petersburg, Russia. Her tutu as Carmen and Kitri (Don Quixote) reflects a particularly Spanish feel, not unlike the costumes of Spanish flamenco
Sandra and Monica will reference the great Divas of the 20th century who most inspired them on their artistic journeys – the iconic ballet divas like Dame Margot Fonteyn, Anna Pavlova and Zizi Jeanmaire and the operatic divas like Renata Tebaldi, Maria Callas and Dame Joan Sutherland. The opening number of the show, the beautiful “Vissi d’Arte”, performed by Sandra and Monica together, with three young dancers of ascending ages, reflects the life of the Prima Donna – “I lived for my art, I lived for my love”.
Prima Donna is a spectacular, sensual and unique celebration for lovers of ballet, opera or simply great theatre. With an outstanding cast of ballet soloists from the Mikhailovsky Ballet Theater, St. Petersburg, Russia, the Monica Loughman Elite Ballet Company, seven of Ireland’s premier opera singers and an orchestral ensemble led by pianist and conductor Niall Kinsella, Prima Donna promises to be the must-see event of 2018 at the National Concert Hall
Presented by Pat Egan Sound Ltd.
We will have school summer shows in June 2018 – News to follow.
We will also have further dates to announce shortly.
Thanks to our supporters
In the Russian system the existence of the “school” and the “company” are rarely considered separately – it is almost as if they are purely symbiotic. The idea of dance training followed by joining a job market is an altogether more modern concept. In Russia, training and performing go hand in hand – throughout the entire career of a dancer the teacher is present as evidenced by the broad mentoring role attributed to pedagogues. The Irish ballet company developed by Monica Loughman marries ballet training and performance once again. This is important. The entire Irish Arts Council budget for opera and dance combined is less than what most European countries spend on their National Ballet Company. A model is therefore required in Ireland that is as sustainable as it is realistic. Nothing speaks to the success of Monica Loughman’s development of ballet like the reviews of hundreds of audience members enchanted and inspired by the performances.
There is a danger that many people may regard the Arts as the preserve of a privileged coterie. We must actively promote and encourage a wider approach than this: a philosophy that art, in all its forms, is a means by which a fuller and more satisfying life may be achieved by the people at large. We must teach the young the value of developing their talent not only as a means of creating beauty but also as a means of expressing their creativity and feelings. We must emphasise to parents the need to foster this talent, as they see it emerge.” The Taoiseach, 14 November 1973 Seanad Eireann Debate Vol. 76 No. 1
Monica Loughman’s Elite Ballet – The Nutracker funded by The Arts Council and the Minister for Arts