The highly successful screening of live opera broadcasts from New York at Dungarvan’s SGC cinema has been saluted by the Waterford-born head of Opera Ireland.

Speaking to The Munster Express, Niall Doyle said the success of the broadcasts, made possible by the SGC’s digital projection was a testament to foresight of the cinema’s management.

“I’m delighted as a Waterford man to see the Metropolitan Opera shows being beamed live to audiences in Dungarvan,” he said. “Eugene Tobin and his team at the SGC should be proud of their achievement in bringing the Met across the Atlantic in this manner.”

Back in 2006, the Met broadcast a live stage performance of Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ in High Definition in cinemas across the United States.

It proved such a huge success that the entire Met Season can now be seen live on cinema screens worldwide, drawing large new audiences to opera.

In association with RTE Lyric FM, Opera Ireland is now presenting this “unique operatic experience” to Irish audiences at only three locations nationwide – Movies@Dundrum, Movies@Swords and the SGC.

“We have very little live opera in Ireland so to be in a position to present the entire Met Season like this is certain to prove a great addition to operatic life here,” said Niall, a proud Mount Sion native.

Eugene Tobin is just as pleased with the success of the screenings to date. “Screen one was full to capacity for ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ last Saturday night with a great night had by all attending,” he said.

“The main comments we received afterwards was that it was the same as being in the Met itself, with some saying that with the picture and sound quality it was even a better experience than being there. Once you come to one opera you are hooked, with newcomers booking the next opera during the interval.”

Three more operas from the Met Season are to be played at the SGC, namely:

‘Madama Butterfly’ (Puccini) on March 7th at 6pm, ‘La Sonnambula’ (Bellini) on March 21st at 5pm and ‘La Cenerentola’ (Rossini) on May 9th at 5.30pm.

“Madama Butterfly is proving very popular with bookings so far in excess of 450 people so therefore it looks like we will be having the broadcast in all four screens,” said Eugene.

“People are booking with us from Clare to Dublin as the word is now out there about how amazing the quality of the performances are on our screen.”

* Opera Ireland presents live opera at the Gaiety Theatre in the form of ‘Don Giovanni’ (Mozart) on February 28th, March 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th at 8pm and Mazeppa (Tchaikovsky) on March 1st, 3rd and 6th at 8pm. For bookings, locall 1890-673727.