“Doyle’s electronic opera strongly implied that this work was no experiment, demonstrating the skilled and experienced hand of a composer who knows what he wants…at once hypnotic, fascinating and beautiful” Das Opernglas
“Impressive singing from a versatile cast is supported by Doyle’s electronic score which is surprising affectingly tender and gentle.”**** The Irish Times
HERESY is the first opera by composer Roger Doyle, who is known as “The Godfather of Irish Electronic Music”.
HERESY was premiered in 2016 as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Dublin’s renowned Project Arts Centre. It centres on the life and works of the 16th century genius Giordano Bruno who was burned at the stake for heresy after a nine-year long trial by the Vatican.
The opera is written for five high voices including male soprano, Robert Crowe, 14-year old wunderkind, Aimee Banks, the celebrated early music and traditional music singer, Caitríona O’Leary, soprano, Daire Halpin and Morgan Crowley who sings the role of Bruno amongst others. The orchestration is entirely electronic and the libretto is by Irish playwright and dramaturg Jocelyn Clarke and American director Eric Fraad.
HERESY begins with Bruno teaching his system of magic memory to King Henry III of France and includes scenes with Circe and Sophia, his literary inventions and feminine ideals. Further scenes focus on episodes at the court of Queen Elizabeth I, for whom he was reputed to have spied against the French and Spanish; his trial before the Inquisition, presided over by his nemesis, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine; a hallucinatory scene in his prison cell the night before he is burned at the stake where he is visited by himself as a young boy, Circe and Sophia, and James Joyce; his death by fire and his apotheosis among the cosmos.
About Giordano Bruno
For anyone who dares to voice dangerous ideas and risk imprisonment or exile, Giordano Bruno remains a hero and a martyr for free speech and the right to challenge authority, dogma and orthodoxy. Giordano Bruno, named Filippo Bruno and called the Nolan, (born 1548, Nola, near Naples—burned at the stake February 17, 1600, Campo dei Fiori, Rome) was an Italian renaissance philosopher, priest, professor, playwright, spy and occultist whose theories anticipated modern science. For his championing of Copernicus and his cosmological speculations Johannes Kepler called him the “Defender of Infinity”. Amongst his forward-thinking ideas was a prefiguration of quantum theory, a belief in the existence of infinite inhabited planets revolving around infinite sun-like stars and that the universe had no center.
His writings influenced works by Shakespeare, Molière and James Joyce for whom Bruno remained a lifelong hero
1. Act One – Overture
2. The Throne Room Of Henry III
3. SceneLink 1
4. There Are Countless Suns
5. SceneLink 2
6. The Divine Sophia
7. SceneLink 3
8. At The Court Of Elizabeth I (Part I)
9. At The Court Of Elizabeth I (Part II)
10. At The Court Of Elizabeth I (Part III)
11. SceneLink 4
12. Entr’acte – Magic Memory
1. Act Two – Overture
2. Bruno – Belarmine
3. Scenelink 5
4. The Trial
5. I Have Nothing To Recant
6. SceneLink 6
7. The Cell – Hallucinations
8. A Material Universe
9. Death By Fire
10. Belarmine Coda9