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12th October 2021

‘Old Friends and Other Days’ to premiere at the Belfast Film Festival

Northern Ireland Opera’s new film, ‘Old Friends and Other Days’ has been officially selected for the Belfast Film Festival where it will premiere at the Strand Arts Centre in Belfast on 10th November at 6pm. Created in Belfast in March 2021 in the middle of lockdown, with Renewal and Stability funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, this 45-minute cinematic experience will have you drawn in from the moment a lone voice starts a hauntingly beautiful lullaby. Who is she singing for? Do we ever know for sure?

With an original concept and direction by Northern Ireland Opera’s Artistic Director, Cameron Menzies, ‘Old Friends and Other Days’ takes the music of Irish composer William Vincent Wallace and one of his contemporaries William Balfe and theatricalises each piece into epic storytelling through song. Four of Northern Ireland’s shining lights in opera are featured in this film, Carolyn Dobbin, Mary McCabe, Emma Morwood, and Sinéad O’Kelly, with a cast which includes dancers and actors from across Northern Ireland.

Watch the trailer via this link:

Director, Cameron Menzies, comments ‘’Without the Renewal and Stability funding from the ACNI, this cinematic project would not have been possible. It allows us to take Irish Art Song and storytelling into the realm of cinema, to a potentially global audience, enabling us to showcase some of Northern Ireland’s finest talent worldwide.’’

Producer Chris Patterson, Causeway Pictures Ltd, said: ‘‘Causeway are proud to have been part of this visionary work which was filmed during lockdown. In a time when the arts are struggling we hope this film shows that talent will not be constrained and that entertainment remains important to the public psyche.’

Ciaran Scullion, Head of Music at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland said ‘The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is proud to support this wonderful new work from Northern Ireland Opera who have developed this stunning new film featuring some of the finest voices in the region.  Congratulations to all those involved in creating ‘Old Friends and Other Days’, which is certain to enchant and delight all who experience it as this year’s Belfast Film Festival.”

Find out how to book tickets for the premiere and all about the film here