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DOTTER OF HER FATHER'S EYES

An opera based on the graphic novel by MARY & BRYAN TALBOT

Dublin Worldcon 16th August 2019

DOTTER OF HER FATHER'S EYES

An opera based on the Costa Biography Award Winning graphic novel

Dotter Of Her Father's Eyes by MARY & BRYAN TALBOT

Dublin Worldcon 16th August 2019

Performed at

CCD AUDITORIUM, DUBLIN

Composer GARY LLOYD

Libretto by MARY TALBOT

Choreographer BETTINA CARPI

WORLDCON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

Conductor KETIH SLADE

Producer & Contractor ADAM ROBINSON

Leader JAMES PATTINSON

Host VINCENT DOCHERTY

Singers

Mezzo Soprano NAOMI ROGERS as Lucia Joyce

Soprano ISABELLE MOHAN as Young Mary Talbot

Tenor ANDREW MASTERSON as James Joyce

Dancers

Gabrielle Orr as Lucia Joyce

Chris Owen as James Joyce

And acting, our special guest:

James Bacon as James Atherton, Mary Talbot's Father

Three extracts from the opera were performed at the concert:

The Dispute Of Lucia & James

Young Mary Seeks Attention

The Death Of Lucia

Photographs from DUBLIN WORLDCON

by SIMON BUBB

With many thanks to Dublin Worldcon 2019

and to Simon Bubb for these amazing photographs!

Below... some images from behind the scenes...

Dotter Of Her Father's Eyes is a twin biographical narrative about father-daughter relationships.  In one thread we follow the lives of James Joyce and his daughter Lucia who became passionate about the burgeoning expressive art form of contemporary dance whilst the Joyce family were living in Paris.  Very sadly Lucia's parents were not supportive of this and Lucia developed serious issues of mental health, spending her later life in mental health institutions and she tragically died in an asylum in Northampton in 1982.

The other narrative thread follows the relationship between Mary Talbot herself and her father, a recognised world class Joycean scholar who for example wrote the entry for Encyclopedia Brittanica about James Joyce.  Mary wanted to be a ballerina when she was a child, but growing older realised that she really wanted to be an academic and a writer which was strangely lost on her father.

At the Huddersfield Literature Festival event in 2015 we presented three short extracts devised to be representative of the overall piece See photos below).  Not so long after the event we realised that what we had in mind was simply going to be too expensive as a first venture for our company, and that there was also some narrative key missing that we couldn't quite put our fingers on, so we shelved the piece, put it on the backburner and came up with fresh ideas to pursue instead... but the lure of making this piece never left us...

In May 2018, an unexpected conversation with our friend the phenomenally enthusiastic, highly capable mezzo-soprano singer Naomi Rogers, in the cafe bar of the Royal Northern College of Music, very rapidly  and unexpectedly inspired us to conclude that we should make Dotter Of Her Father's Eyes as an opera, with dance, thus smashing the problems of narrative and the need for elaborate expensive sets... and of course then creating a whole wealth of fresh problems to consider not least of which was 'how?!!'

At the close of 2018 in an amazing joining of dots and forces we were invited by Dublin Worldcon to show some extracts from the opera as part of their (huge) convention concert - the appropriate local tie of course being the Joyce family, and we are friends anyway of many of the people who are part of this global convention organisation.

Following the wrestle to get the extracts composed (my problem!), the libretto written by Mary, the dance choreographed and rehearsed by Bettina, and all the other necessary elaborate preparations especially on the part of Adam Robinson, James Bacon (the convention Chair) and Vincent Docherty, the concert took place at CCD Dublin, with additional utterly enormous amounts of help from many good friends and colleagues, on 16th August at CCD Dublin.

 

We hope you enjoy the photographs here which are kindly provided by the official Dublin Worldcon convention concert photographer, the very able SIMON BUBB, plus some of his and other people's snapshots and photographs from behind the scenes.

Very soon we will be able to share video of the concert (I still have to finish off the audio post-pro on it) so watch this space!

Meantime and on-going, we will continue to work hard towards staging the opera in full.  This may take some time... but we're going to do it, we have to, because I promised Bettina, and Mary & Bryan, and Naomi, and Izzy, and, and, and...

Gary Lloyd November 2019

A little bit of history here...

The photos below are from Company Carpi's first works in progress for our adaptation of Mary & Bryan Talbot's Costa Award Winning

'DOTTER OF HER FATHER'S EYES'

At

Huddersfield Literature Festival

15th March 2015

Featuring performances from Bettina and Christopher Owen

Choreography by Bettina Carpi

Original Music by Gary Lloyd

Hosted by Festival Director Michelle Hodgson

Photographs by Jonathan Jacob.