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Die Fledermaus At Lough Crew
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Die Fledermaus at Lough Crew

George Fleeton

Lough Crew Garden Opera, now in its twelfth year, takes place in a tented village about ten miles west of Kells in Co. Meath.

It’s a one-off summer festival, which this year features the younger Johann Strauss’ best known operetta, Die Fledermaus, first performed in 1874 in Vienna.

At that time French operettas by Offenbach were all the rage there, and Strauss the waltz king embraced this lighter form of opera and wrapped it in his well acclaimed and effervescent music.

At Lough Crew there will be two performances of Die Fledermaus, in the round, starting at 8pm on July 08 and 09.

The inspiration and imagination behind this wonderful initiative in rural Meath is Emily Naper, and the grounds of her stately home generously accommodate this annual event. I remember the last occasion as one full of atmosphere and good spirits, in rolling parkland full of cattle, sheep, pre-historic passage graves and a huge, partly restored and floodlit stone portico.

At a time when the future of mainstream opera production in Ireland has never been more parlous, she not only is to be congratulated for flying this flag but must also be ardently supported by all who are passionate about opera-in-performance in this country.

Full details may be found at

George Fleeton runs Downe Independent Promotions, teaches Opera studies in Higher Education in Belfast, and produces and presents CkassicsClub on FM105 Down Community  Radio.