Irish National Opera: Call for Young Performers in Kildare & Meath

Irish National Opera, in partnership with Music Generation Kildare, Music Generation Meath and Solstice Arts Centre are launching a recruitment campaign to find young performers from Kildare and Meath to take part in a fully staged production of a brand new world premiere.

‘Horse Ape Bird’ is a newly commissioned work, written by David Coonan and Dylan Coburn Gray. The opera tells three true stories about scientists adopting animals, treating them like humans, and then abandoning them when they fail to learn to act like humans.

Following two days of audition workshops in late November, INO will select up to 40 young people to take part in the chorus who, from January, will begin an intensive process of music rehearsal before eventually staging the work in the Summer over the course of 3 weeks of intensive rehearsals. The piece will receive two performances on the 24 June at the Solstice Arts Centre and 26 June at the Aula Maxima, St Patrick’s College.

INO are looking for young people aged between 13-18, living in Kildare or Meath, with a passion for singing, acting or performing. If you’ve ever dreamed of taking part in a live opera performance or been curious about what it’s like to be on stage, this is the perfect opportunity for you. You don’t need to have any stage experience, formal music training or know anything about opera to take part.

How do I take part?

They will be holding audition workshops in Kildare and Meath. Audition workshops aren’t like ‘X Factor’ style auditions. Instead, INO will spend half a day with everyone taking part, giving you the chance to sing and perform small parts of the opera as a group. It’s an opportunity for you to see if you would like to take part in the opera and will help them select the final ensemble for the piece. You don’t need to prepare anything in advance.

The audition workshops will take place on the below dates.

21 November | 2-5pm | Solstice Arts Centre, Meath

28 November | 2-5pm | Maynooth University, Kildare

What happens I’m successful in the audition?

You’ll have a lot of fun and learn a lot too! Successful applicants will get to sing in the ensemble for Horse Ape Bird alongside professional opera singers and a professional chamber orchestra. Over the course of a few months, starting in January 2022, you’ll work with a director, conductor and many other artists to prepare this brand new work for public performances in both Kildare and Meath next June. This opportunity will suit post-primary school students that are not in an exam year.

You’ll need to make sure you’re available for all the rehearsal and performance dates outlined below. A detailed schedule is available on request.

For young people living in Kildare, you’ll need to be available for rehearsals on the following dates:

  • Saturdays 29 January, 27 February, 26 March, 16 April, 14 May
  • Sunday 15 May
  • 6-23 June (exc Sundays)

For young people living in Meath, you’ll need to be available for rehearsals on the following dates:

  • Saturdays 22 January, 19 February, 19 March, 16 April, 14 May
  • Sunday 15 May
  • 6-23 June (exc Sundays)

Performance dates are 24 and 26 June.

How much does it cost to take part?

If you’re successful in gaining a place in the chorus, you will need to make a contribution of €100 toward the cost of the tuition. If you’d like to pay this in instalments or you’re concerned that you might struggle to pay the fee at all, then we’re happy to chat with you to make an appropriate arrangement.

For further information and to register your interest, please see