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IBO Spring/Summer Season Launches!

Irish Baroque Orchestra - Ireland’s Olivier Award-winning period instrument orchestra - launches a season of memorable performances for audiences in its Spring-Summer Season 2024. This broad and wide-ranging season sees extraordinary music by the Baroque period's greatest minds presented across the length and breadth of the country, and on prestigious international stages. 

Highlights include:

a celebration of the great Baroque composers Bach, Vivaldi and Handel in individual concerts and collaborative partnerships;

the annual Dublin HandelFest – now in its fourth year;

a summer tour of ‘Mr. Charles the Hungarian’

and the launch of IBO Infinity - initiatives to improve social outcomes in the inner city Dublin community.

Irish Baroque Orchestra begins a new 2024-2026 Bach cycle with the extraordinary St.

Matthew Passion, directed by Peter Whelan, with performances in Dublin and Drogheda on

March 1 / March 2. A highlight of concert seasons and festivals around the world for more than 150 years, St. Matthew Passion is a must for all lovers of Bach, presented in this performance by the IBO and its own curated chorus.

IBO’s Artistic Director, Peter Whelan, directs Vivaldi’s L’Olimpiade, Irish National Opera’s

Spring co-production with the Royal Opera House and Opera Fribourg, in partnership with

Irish Baroque Orchestra. The opera tours Ireland in April / May, followed by residencies at the Royal Opera House and Opera Fribourg. Set in Ancient Greece at the time of the Olympic Games, Vivaldi’s 1734 opera Is about amorous rivalry and tangled relationships and ends in two marriage announcements. The production is sung in Italian with English subtitles.

In partnership with Blackwater Valley Opera Festival, Irish Baroque Orchestra returns at the

end of May to perform once again in Lismore Castle and Dromore Yard, County Waterford.

Guest director Nicholas McGegan directs ‘Giulio Cesare’, one of Handel’s most-loved operas. A Festival Finale concert featuring soprano Sarah Brady and countertenor Iestyn Morris, brings a splash of Italian sunshine to Dromore Yard, with a programme of dazzling Vivaldi arias.

Dublin HandelFest 2024, presented by Irish Baroque Orchestra in partnership with the Office

of Public Works, takes place from July 19 – 21 in Dublin Castle. This year the highlight concert focusses on the celebrated mid-18th century black Irish singer Rachael Baptist and her extraordinary singing career in Ireland and the UK. The full festival programme will be published in March.

In celebration of Ireland’s own classical music tradition, Irish Baroque Orchestra is delighted to share the story of ‘Mr. Charles the Hungarian – Handel’s Rival in Dublin’ with international

audiences when it takes the concert on tour this summer. Directed by Peter Whelan, it presents a reconstruction of a dazzlingly virtuosic concert that Mr. Charles performed at the Smock Alley Theatre Dublin in May 1742. The music includes Handel’s ‘Water Music’, Overture to ‘Il Pastor Fido’, and Concerto Grosso Op. 3 No. 3 alongside a horn duet by Mr. Charles which he performed with his wife. The concert premiered to great acclaim on the opening night of Dublin HandelFest 2023. IBO tours the concert to the UK and Belgium, with a high-profile festival debut to be announced in due course.

This season Irish Baroque Orchestra launches IBO Infinity, a diverse and wide-ranging series

of initiatives aimed at improving social outcomes in our Dublin community. These include

working with people on a journey from the justice system to employment in front-of-house and backstage teams, a new programme of Cushion Concerts in Dublin’s inner city, a workshop for refugees at Dublin HandelFest, and free tickets to core season events for refugees and people recovering from addiction. The objective of IBO Infinity is to harness the power of the orchestra to improve lives.

The Irish Baroque Orchestra wishes to express sincere thanks to a significant donor who wishes to remain anonymous. Culture Ireland has generously supported the IBO’s international activities in the Spring/Summer season. The IBO acknowledges the core support from Arts Council Ireland/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, from whom it receives principal funding.

Photo Credit: Orla Keeshan, taken at Dublin HandelFest 2023 courtesy of the Office of Public Works.

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