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Streaming on August 17th 2023

Old Friends and Other Days

A film by Northern Ireland Opera

Old Friends and Other Days, a film by Northern Ireland Opera, supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has been lovingly described as ‘like a beautifully messed-up Merchant Ivory Film’.  This 35-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?

The viewer is instantly plunged into an atmospheric, decaying, beautiful world where ambiguity reigns supreme and the stream of consciousness is governed by the world of song. Is it a sanctuary to enrich your senses or could it be purgatory?  Our four muses take us through these fleeting moments of reflection, discipline, loneliness and joy, where they tempt and entice us to reminisce on what has gone before.  What happens once everyone’s suitcases are packed? Where will our muses take us next?

Original concept and direction by 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: taking the ordinary into extraordinary and back again.  Four of Northern Ireland’s  shining lights in opera are featured in this film: Carolyn Dobbin, Mary McCabe, Emma Morwood and Sinéad O’Kelly.

  • ‘Old Friends and Other Days has recently won Best Short Feature and an Audience Award at the London International Short Film Festival.  Find out more here.
  • Read about the film in the ‘Art Beat’ column of The Irish News via this link.
  • Watch Cameron Menzies and Carolyn Dobbin talking about this project on UTV Life via this link.
  • Watch interviews with Cameron Menzies, Carolyn Dobbin, Mary McCabe and Ciaran Scullion (Arts Council of Northern Ireland) at the premiere in Belfast via this link.



  • Paris Shorts Festival: Best Narrative Short, Best First Time Director, Best Costume and Production Design
  • Onyko: Best Short Film
  • Madrid Art Film Festival: Best Music Film
  • London International Short Film Festival: Best Short Feature and Audience Award


  • British Short Film Awards: Best Long Short Film


  • 4TH Dimension Independent Film Festival

Official Selection

  • Belfast Film Festival 2021
  • London International Short Film Festival 2021
  • The British Short Film Awards 2021
  • Prague International Indie Film Festival 2021

Created by funding from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Renewal and Stability Fund. Produced by Causeway Pictures, post-production by Outpost Belfast.

Old Friends and Other Days

Winner: Best Short Feature, London International Short Film Festival


'Think opera isn't for you? Think again.'

Belfast Telegraph Review


Emma Morwood

Mary McCabe

Mezzo Soprano
Carolyn Dobbin

Mezzo Soprano
Sinéad O'Kelly

Bryan Evans

Deborah Hamilton

Mark Hamilton

Allison Harding

Clara Kerr

Michael McEvoy

Maeve McGreevy

Rosie Mullin

Vasiliki Stasinaki

Creative Team

Original Concept and Director
Cameron Menzies

Music Director and Arranger
Bryan Evans

Jennifer Rooney

Set and Costume Designer
Colin Richmond

Linda Britten, Australia

Make-Up and Hair Design
Nuala Campbell (Titanic FX)

Lighting Designer
Paul Keogan

Sound Recording
Rocky O'Reilly, Start Together Studios

Director of Photography
Aidan Gault

Joshua Mulhall

Post Production
Outpost Belfast

Production Manager
Marty Moore

Chris Patterson

Executive Producer
Kate Watkins

Executive Producer
Cameron Menzies