CLARECASTLE singer Dean Power will be back home next month when he plays at Ss Peter and Paul Church in a fundraiser for Croí.
Dean is a full-time opera singer, based in Germany, but is currently working in England at an opera festival in Glyneborne.
Speaking about the current project, he said, “It’s a production called Billy Budd and it’s by Benjamin Britten. In terms of opera, it’s an amazing production. We only premiered it a few days ago and the reviews have been brilliant. I don’t think I’ve ever seen ones as positive.”
He’s only in England for a short time. “I’m only here for two months. I’m full time over in Munich in the Bavarian Opera House. I was in the opera studio [a small group of young singers who are somewhat like apprentices] for two years and then they took me into the ensemble. In every production there might be a few big stars brought in to fill the main roles and then the ensemble would make up the rest. We’re basically working all the time. That’s how I have a full-time job.”
On the night there will be several special guests and Dean said they will all bring a lot to the evening. “Ruth Kelly is coming. She’s from Ennis and in the last few years, she has made a lot of progress and has won a few competitions. Then you have Ross Scanlon, who has been over in London and at the moment he’s working with the Welsh National Opera on a production of Paul Bunyan, another Benjamin Britten piece. It’s 100 years since the birth of Benjamin Britten so his productions are on all over the place.
“You also have Peter O’Donoghue, who is a fantastic singer. There’s Gemma Ní Bhriain, who’s a very young singer and was a prizewinner in the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition. Funnily enough, I haven’t heard her singing myself but she’s doing fantastic stuff and I’m really looking forward to hearing her.”
Talking about the material for the night, Dean said, “We’re going to try and have some pieces that people will recognise and there’s going to be a few light pieces. The five of us will all have a piece that we really enjoy singing ourselves that doesn’t have to be a crowd-pleasing type piece. It’s something that we enjoy ourselves and that might push the audience; that’s not going to be heard in every opera type concert.”
He says the world of opera is quite small and in the last few years, the young man from Clarecastle has had the chance to work with some of the top names.
“It shows how small the world of opera music is. A few years ago I was listening to a load of singers and it seemed so far away from where I was. I’d be listening to them but I couldn’t match a person to them, just the image that their publicist was selling or whatever.
“I never thought I’d get to meet them but I was on Spotify and I typed in a song I was looking for from an album of great tenors or something. Some of the most famous singers were on it and I just thought to myself ‘Oh my God, I got to work with him, I got to work with him, I got to work with him’.
“It wasn’t an ego thing or anything but it just shows how small this world is. It didn’t take long to build that bridge between what seems so far out there and what you’re doing in college. Of course, I’ve had a lot of luck and worked like a dog for it but it’s amazing to see the difference in three years. If you put in a lot of work and are really dedicated, you can get somewhere,” he concluded.
Tickets are available from 087 4159217 or Mary’s Pharmacy, Mike Doab Butcher’s, Ward’s shop the post office in Clarecastle, O’Connor’s Newsagents, the Market, Ennis and Talty’s Shop, Lissycasey.