Dinner at Eight is William Bolcom’s most recent opera, having received its world-premiere under David Agler’s baton at Minnesota Opera in March 2017. As befits its setting, in Depression-era Manhattan, the music of Dinner at Eight teems with 1930s influences, especially jazz and blues. Based on the play by George S. Kaufman which ran on Broadway in 1932, it was quickly turned into a film with Jean Harlow. The Seattle-born composer, who turned 80 this year, successfully weds American musical comedy and opera to a libretto by Mark Campbell in a plot which revolves around an ill-fated dinner party. Dinner at Eight is essentially a comedy, laced with biting, darker elements of greed, infidelity and addiction and features a sizeable cast of characters hell-bent on fiddling while New York City burns around them. A co-production with Minnesota Opera and Atlanta Opera. Cast includes Mary Dunleavy, Stephen Powell and Sharon Carty. David Agler conducts the Wexford Festival Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
RTÉ lyric fm, Saturday 3rd November, 7pm-10pm