OCI The Return of Ulysses

An opera by Claudio Monteverdi

in association with Kilkenny Arts Festival

with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin


In the first ever staging in Ireland of one of the greatest baroque operas, Monteverdi’s magnificent music finds a perfect creative match in the human drama of Homer’s Odyssey.

Ten years after the fall of Troy, the hero Ulysses has still not found his way home, as the gods quarrel over his fate. In Ithaca, his wife Penelope has waited faithfully, hoping against hope that he may still be alive. Meanwhile the suitors are circling…

The ground-breaking company Opera Collective Ireland joins forces with Kilkenny Arts Festival to showcase Ireland’s finest operatic talent of the younger generation in a new production by Tony Award-winning director Patrick Mason. Christian Curnyn returns to Ireland following superb performances of Idomeneo and Giulio Cesare at the Kilkenny Arts Festival to conduct one of the world’s most acclaimed early music ensembles, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience a glorious operatic marriage of Homer’s epic with renaissance Venice.

A heart-stopping tale of true love against adversity, performed in a vivid new English translation by Christopher Cowell.

A co-production with the Kilkenny Arts Festival generously supported by First Berlin GmbH.


“… a Ulysses to remember, which is unlikely to be equalled on these shores for some time”

Financial Times


“A collective triumph as Ulysses arrives in Ireland at last”

The Sunday Business Post


“The musical equivalent of the world’s best chef using just a clutch of the finest ingredients”

The Irish Times


“A multiplicity of elements that made for a rare and memorable night of music and drama”

Irish Examiner


“There were many highlights among the rest of the cast with soprano’s Emma Morwood’s Minerva casting a spell with her golden voice.”

BachTrack (Andrew Larkin)


“Also impressive in the 14-strong cast … were the bright interventions of Emma Morwood’s Minerva, functioning well at crucial turning points.”

The Irish Times (Michael Dervin)


“There was a uniform coherence and a number succeeded with aplomb. Among those [was] soprano Emma Morwood.”

The Sunday Business Post (Dick O’Riordan)



Christian Curnyn – Conductor
Patrick Mason – Director
Paul Keogan – Set & lighting design
Catherine Fay – Costume Design



Eoin Conway – Human Frailty / Peisander
Brendan Collins – Time / Antinous
Rachel Goode – Fortune / Juno
Emma Morwood – Love / Minerva
Andrew Boushell – Jove / Amphinous
Alan Ewing – Neptune
Gyula Nagy – Ulysses
Raphaela Mangan – Penelope
Andrew Gavin – Telemachus
Peter Harris – Eurymachus
Rory Musgrave – Eumaeus
Bríd Ní Ghruagáin – Euryclea
Ross Scanlon – Irus
Margaret Bridge – Melantho


Production video shows Emma Morwood (speaking at 0:53 sec) in OCI The Return of Ulysses



The Return of Ulysses


Love / Minerva