Gilhooley returns home to star in opera in UCH

Louise Harrison

Reporter:

Louise Harrison

Limerickman and internationally renowned baritone Owen Gilhooley will be performing in the national tour of Opera Theatre Company’s production of Cosi fan Tutte at the University Concert Hall on Feburary 5.

Limerickman and internationally renowned baritone Owen Gilhooley will be performing in the national tour of Opera Theatre Company’s production of Cosi fan Tutte at the University Concert Hall on Feburary 5.

This is Owen’s first time performing the role of Guglielmo and he’s enjoying it. “It’s a fun role to play as you actually get to play two characters,” he said.

Although costumes and make-up play a large part in the plot as characters dress in disguise which adds a comical element, the staging is contemporary and sung in English which Owen believes provides a good narrative and makes Mozart’s opera more accessible.

“I like my quiet time before performances where I can look over my score and think about how the character is feeling in the various scenes. I also like to get into my costume early so I feel I’m the character and not myself anymore,” explained Owen.

His exceptional talent was nurtured from a young age by Jean Holmes at the Limerick School of Music. He went on to study at the Royal College of Music and then the National Opera Studio London.

To date he has won many competitions, performed numerous concerts and played multiple roles with English National Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Verbier Festival Switzerland, Opera Ireland and Wexford Festival 
Opera.

In 2012 Owen received critical acclaim from the New York Times and the British press for his performances in works by Sibelius and Rimsky-Korsakov at the Buxton Opera Festival in Britain.

Although extremely busy, this energetic singer found time to establish the Mid-West Vocal Academy, his own music school in his home place of Lisnagry in 2010 and in September 2012 began studying for a Doctorate of Music in Performance at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and Dublin City University.

“It’s very busy at the moment. I’m balancing two days of teaching in Limerick with three days in Dublin, as I’m also teaching at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and studying for a DMus.

“All that on top of my ongoing performances makes for a super busy schedule but I wouldn’t have it any other way. This year includes no less than three Irish Premieres so I count myself very, very lucky.”