“Elsewhere”: a Revolutionary Journey

In the world of opera, where tradition often reigns supreme, there are moments when innovation breaks through the conventional barriers, offering audiences a glimpse of something truly extraordinary. One such moment arrives with the National Tour of “Elsewhere,” a bold new opera by Michael Gallen, presented in association with Straymaker, The Abbey Theatre, Miroirs Étendus, and Once Off Productions.

Having captivated audiences during its successful run at the Abbey Theatre in 2021, “Elsewhere” embarks on a journey across Ireland, promising to ignite imaginations and challenge perceptions. This groundbreaking production, based on the true story of the radical “Monaghan Asylum Soviet” of 1919, brings together a stellar creative team and a cast of acclaimed performers to weave a tapestry of riotous carnival dreams, musical warmth, and incidental truths.

At the heart of “Elsewhere” lies the captivating tale of the Monaghan Asylum staff who, in an act of defiance and solidarity, declared themselves an independent Soviet commune. Their courageous strike, amidst the backdrop of the 1918 Flu pandemic and societal upheaval, serves as a powerful testament to the human spirit’s resilience in the face of adversity.

Central to the opera’s narrative is Celine, a patient locked in the moment of the Soviet, whose visions blur the lines between fantasy and incarceration. Through her interactions with the enigmatic “Inspector of Lunatics,” audiences are transported into a world where the boundaries of reality are fluid, and the echoes of revolution reverberate through the corridors of history.

“Elsewhere” is not just a retelling of past events; it is a reflection on themes that resonate deeply in today’s world – freedom, care, and mental illness. Through its intricately crafted score, melding the hum of murmured rosaries, the eccentric lilt of border dialects, and the glitched ornamentation of traditional song, the opera invites audiences on a journey of introspection and discovery.

Led by director Tom Creed and conductor Fiona Monbet, the creative team behind “Elsewhere” pushes the boundaries of opera, blending genres and mediums to create a sensory experience that is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. From the dynamic performances of the cast to the innovative set and costume designs, every aspect of the production is crafted with meticulous attention to detail.

As “Elsewhere” embarks on its national tour, audiences have the opportunity to witness a groundbreaking piece of contemporary theatre that defies categorization. With performances scheduled in Dublin, Monaghan, Cork, and Galway, this opera promises to be a journey like no other – a journey into the heart of revolution, where the lines between reality and imagination blur, and the spirit of defiance burns bright.

In collaboration with the Arts Council of Ireland, Creative Monaghan, L’Institut Français Paris, and La Région Hauts-de-France, “Elsewhere” represents a coming together of artistic vision and community support. It is a testament to the power of collaboration and creativity in bringing stories to life and sparking conversations that resonate far beyond the stage.

As Straymaker continues to push the boundaries of opera and music-theatre, it reaffirms its commitment to finding new ideas at the margins of disciplines, places, and identities. With projects like “Elsewhere,” the company not only challenges the status quo but also celebrates the diverse tapestry of voices that make up the fabric of contemporary culture.

In a world that is constantly evolving, “Elsewhere” stands as a beacon of innovation, reminding us of the transformative power of art and the endless possibilities that lie beyond the confines of tradition. It is a show that demands to be seen and heard – an invitation to embark on a journey to “Elsewhere,” where the boundaries of imagination are boundless, and the spirit of revolution lives on.

BOOKING: https://www.abbeytheatre.ie/whats-on/elsewhere-tour/



Concept/Composer: Michael Gallen
Libretto: Michael Gallen, Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Carys D Coburn 
Director: Tom Creed 
Conductor: Fiona Monbet 
Vocal Director: Romain Louveau
Choreographer: Shawn Ahern 
Set & Costume Designer: Katie Davenport 
Lighting Designer: Sinead McKenna 
Video Designer: Luca Trufarelli (Read more about him HERE )
Associate Director: Eoghan Carrick 
Associate Set & Costume Designer: LaurA Fajardo Castro
Associate Lighting Designer: Matt Burke
Producer: Maura O’Keeffe 

Line Producer: Cally Shine



Singers: Daire Halpin, Fearghal Curtis, Adrian Dwyer, Carolyn Holt, Amy Ní Fhearraigh, Aaron O’Hare, and Sarah Shine

Ensemble Miroirs Étendus: Aurélie Martin, Constant Madon, Cyprien Noisette, Elsa Moatti, Julia Macarez, Sarah Margaine, Michèle Pierre, Amélie PotierSarah Van der Vlist, Romain Louveau

Photos and videos by Ros Kavansgh





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts