27th March: 8.00pm
Verboten und verbannt! Degenerate Music
Spark Opera presents a programme of music censored and suppressed by the Nazis.
Characterised by the ‘big hits’, film chansons, operetta arias and cabaret numbers included in the ‘Entartete Musik’ exhibit of 1938, this concert features ‘degenerate’ music the Third Reich expressly banned. As the freedom and creativity of the Weimar era gave way to totalitarianism, a generation of composers – many of Jewish heritage – found themselves facing death or exile at the hands of the new regime. Their work – expressive, edgy, political and sexually permissive – remains rarely performed to this day.
Revealing these ‘un-German’ ‘alienating’ and ‘decadent’ gems, Verboten und verbannt! shines a light on forbidden and forgotten classics.
Musical Director Niall Kinsella is an Irish pianist, song accompanist and conductor. Regarded as one of Ireland’s most exciting young performers, he is an accompanist to many leading singers, also working regularly as a conductor and chorus-master. Niall is a graduate of the University for Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, where he took Postgraduate studies in Chamber Music and Lieder accompaniment, having previously graduated from the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, with a Masters in Music Performance in Piano. Niall is Artistic Director of Irish Songmakers, presenting an annual series of song recitals at the National Concert Hall, Dublin. He also has two critically acclaimed CDs on international labels Champs Hill Records (UK) and Gramola (Vienna).
Mezzo-soprano Dawn Burns is a former winner of the NI Opera Festival of Voice and recipient of the ACNI / BBC NI Young Musicians’ Platform Award. She is a previous member of the NI Opera Studio and Mid Wales Opera Young Artist Programme. Dawn’s recent opera highlights include Abomination: A DUP Opera with The Belfast Ensemble, and the roles of Ida (Die Fledermaus) Clarina, (Hidden Extras) at NI Opera. Her other roles include Nancy (Martha), Ino (Semele), Narciso (Agrippina) and Mercedes (Carmen). Dawn has worked in the chorus of Irish National Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera Holland Park and Grange Park Opera. Her concert highlights include performances with the BBC Proms and Ulster Orchestra. Dawn has featured as a guest soloist on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune and BBC Radio Ulster’s The Arts Show and Sounds Classical.
Owen Lucas is a Tenor based in Northern Ireland. Originally studying the oboe at RWCMD, Owen has gone onto to develop his passion for singing. He has been fortunate to been involved in the Glyndebourne Academy (2019), The Associate Artists of Northern Ireland Opera (2020) and sings regularly with St Anne’s Cathedral Choir, where recently he was the soloist for the choirs performance of Stainer’s Crucifixion. He is currently an NI Opera Studio Artist. He recently competed at the Dublin Feis where he won the Tenor Solo section.
Co. Down soprano Maria McGrann is a graduate of Queen’s University School of Music Belfast with a Masters in Music. She continued her studies at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and completed the Recital Artist’s Diploma. Maria then secured a place on Northern Ireland Opera’s Young Artist Programme and won the Audience Prize at the Glenarm Festival of Voice. Maria’s operatic engagements have included Adele Die Fledermaus (Northern Ireland Opera) Countess Ceprano Rigoletto (NI Opera), Madame Herz Der Shauspieldirektor (Irish National Opera,) Aurore Le Portrait de Manon (Wexford Opera Festival), Musetta La Boheme (Opera in the Open) and Zerlina Don Giovanni (Opera in the Open).
All proceeds will go to to the Red Cross Ukraine Appeal.