Five opera premieres described as “snapshots of lives on the edge”, were staged by Northern Ireland Opera last week in Belfast.

With music by five Northern Irish composers, including Conor Mitchell working with leading contemporary playwrights, musicians from the Ulster Orchestra and a talented cast of nine singers from across Ireland performed these compact, hard-hitting works conducted by Fergus Sheil and directed by Rachel O’Riordan.

Fionna Maddocks writes for The Observer:

“In this bouquet of new works, each opera was skilful, provoking laughter as well as sorrow and, at an average duration of 10 minutes, never a moment too long.”

Read the full review

All five works will be performed at Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall on Friday 13 July, 8pm as part of New Music 20×12 at Southbank Centre.

Find out more / book tickets

Watch a film of the New Music 20×12 composers talking about their commissions

You can experience all 20 commissions across one weekend at Southbank Centre from 13-15 July. Don’t miss your chance to get involved in talks, debates and workshops, as well as a unique opportunity to book a one-to-one composer surgery with one of the New Music 20×12 composers.

Find out more / book tickets

PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music 20×12 is a UK-wide commissioning programme initiated by Jillian Barker and David Cohen, and delivered in partnership with the BBC, LOCOG and NMC Recordings.


New Music 20×12 presents 20 bite-size pieces mixing up jazz, folk and experimental music

The New Music 20×12 Weekend Celebration at Southbank Centre presents 20 new compositions of 12 minutes in length, encompassing  a range of genres and composers – from jazz to folk, brass bands to contemporary classical – all inspired by the dynamism of sport.

On Friday 13 July,  Northern Ireland Opera present new short opera works  including Our Day by Conor Mitchell and Mark Ravenhill,  set against a backdrop of events in Northern Ireland in 1972.

On Saturday 14 July, Imagined village and An Tobar combine for a folk double bill, and on Sunday 15 July the London Chamber Orchestra are joined by Graham Fitkin’s The Band to perform Track to Track,  a new work by Graham Fitkin with text by Glyn Maxwell.

The weekend also includes a host of workshops, one-to-one composer surgeries, talks and free related events.

Find out more about the full weekend of free and ticketed events.