An Opera for Galway – Celebrating 700 years at St Nicholas’ Church

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Galway Daily music

St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church is one of the most recognisable hubs for music in Galway, giving voice to music from all corners of the globe.

But while it has given people a chance to enjoy to enjoy sounds they might never have heard before, whether local or international, that same attention hasn’t been turned on the church itself, until now.

Paper Boat: An Opera For Galway is a celebration of the 700 hundred years of history contained within St Nicholas’ walls, and all the people who give it life.

The opera features a cast of 100 singers singers and musicians, in a production from Music for Galway in association with the Irish National Opera.

With a libretto written by Jessica Traynor and music by Elaine Agnew, the community opera Paper Boat weaves together history, mythology and current events to tell a story of human endurance, inspired by the diverse communities who engage with the cultural and spiritual hub that is St Nicholas”. 

The 70 minute opera will take place on April 23 as part of a celebration of the church’s 700th anniversary.

Tickets can be purchased from music for Galway online here.

Launch of the ‘I Claim Sanctuary’ installation by artist Philip Fogarty.

That same evening will see the launch of I Claim Sanctuary, a sound installation by artist Philip Fogarty, this incredible experience will be open at St. Nicholas’ until the end of June.

Weaving sounds from past, present and future, and featuring material from the opera Paper Boat, a cast of Galway voices and original music, this twelve-part sound installation takes the themes of a momentous operatic production to new places, marking a defining moment in the seven-hundred-year history of Saint Nicholas’ Collegiate Church.”

The installation was commissioned in conjunction with Paper Boat as part of the anniversary celebration.

I Claim Sanctuary will be launched at 12:30pm on Saturday, April 23, with speakers The Very Reverend Lynda Peilow, Galway TD Hildegarde Naughton, and choral director Mark Duley.