Scenes from HERESY

by Roger Doyle

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    Plus 2 posters for premiere performances and cover artwork for a 2015 work-in-progress promo CD (with original title), libretto, show programme, production shots. 95 minutes of music.

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HERESY (originally titled The Death By Fire Of Giordano Bruno) is a contemporary opera based on episodes from the life and works of Giordano Bruno and the first opera by the celebrated Irish composer, Roger Doyle. The libretto is by noted playwright and dramaturg, Jocelyn Clarke, and director Eric Fraad.
The full opera runs to about 2 hours. This is a 95 minute 'Scenes From...'

Mystic magus, heretic priest, hermetic philosopher, spy and playwright, Giordano Bruno was one of the renaissance’s most brilliant and controversial figures. Burned at the stake in 1600 after a nine-year trial by the Roman inquisition, Bruno envisioned a cosmos without a centre, infinite galaxies and inhabited planets. His writings prefigured quantum theory by 350 years and influenced numerous works by Shakespeare, Molière and James Joyce for whom Bruno remained a lifelong hero.

A martyr for truth and tragic hero, a complex visionary who challenged the intellectual, religious, and social conventions of his time and re-imagined the composition of the universe, Bruno is the ideal subject for opera. A cultural superstar in his own time, Bruno’s importance and relevance has grown over the centuries as his speculations and predictions have come to pass and he and his philosophy achieved cult status.

HERESY features episodes from Bruno’s life and fantastic scenes that allow for great theatricality and effect. The opera presents acts where Bruno demonstrates his system of magic memory before the court of Henry III of France, diverse expositions of his trials in Rome and Venice before the inquisition, episodes in his cell the night before he is executed where he is visited by a diversity of characters from his life, his works and from the future including James Joyce, scenes that time travel to the present day and beyond as he trail blazes amongst the deities in the cosmos and predicts the future. Mr. Doyle’s electronic score incorporates many qualities of a traditional orchestra while providing far-reaching dramatic and musical possibilities that go beyond normative operatic instrumentation.

The premiere took place on the 28th October and ran till November 5th 2016 at The Project Arts Centre, Dublin - made possible with an Opera Production Grant from the Arts Council.
Admin & production contact: Aoife White META Productions
META Productions was founded by Roger Doyle and Eric Fraad who are its co-artistic directors.

Video extracts from a performance of Act 1 in 2013 at the Dublin Theatre Festival 'in development' programme can be seen here:
and here:


released October 26, 2016

On this recording: Morgan Crowley - Tenor (all tenor tracks); Ahmad Alkaran - Guest Tenor (track 13 at the end); Daire Halpin - soprano (tracks 5-8); Caitriona O'Leary - Mezzo soprano (tracks 2,5,11,13,14); Iestyn Morris - Counter Tenor (tracks 2,11,13), Robert Crowe - Male soprano (tracks 7,8,10); Alex Smith - Boy Soprano (tracks 2,11,13); Aimee Banks - Girl Soprano (tracks 1,3).

All music composed, engineered and produced by Roger Doyle © PRS/MCPS 2013-16. A recording of the full opera will be released in 2017.



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Roger Doyle Ireland

Irish composer whose music is a celebration of the multiplicity of musical languages and evolving technologies.
25 albums released.

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Track Name: There Are Countless Suns
There are countless suns and countless earths all rotating round their suns in exactly the same way as the planets of our system.
We see only the suns because they are the largest bodies and are luminous.
The countless worlds in the universe are no worse and no less inhabited than our earth. For it is utterly unreasonable to suppose that those teeming worlds which are as magnificent as our own, perhaps more so, and which enjoy the fructifying rays of a sun just as we do, should be uninhabited and should not bear similar or even more perfect inhabitants than our earth.
Destroy the theories that the earth is the centre of the universe! Open the door through which we can look out into the limitless, unified firmament... show us that the other worlds float in an ethereal ocean like our own!
Take comfort, the time will come when all men will see as I do.
When all men will see as I do.
Track Name: At The Court Of Elizabeth I (part 2)
The Nolan is a man of universal intelligence and well versed in all sciences. He has no religion.
Bring him to me.
Your Majesty. There is a soul flame kindled at the sun of thought which lends us wings, lends us wings.
We do not trust the King Of France nor Monsieur Mauvissiere
The Duke Of Guise, the Catholic League they're serpents in our lair.
We do not trust the King Of Spain and fear the Holy See
And Mary Stuart Queen Of Scots will never let us be.
We do not trust the King Of Spain nor Monsieur Mauvissiere.
The Duke Of Guise, the Catholic League they're serpents in our lair.
We do not trust the King Of Spain and fear the Holy See
And Mary Stuart Queen Of Scots will never let us be.
Track Name: At The Court Of Elizabeth I (part 3)
We need a friend at the French Embassy. Mauvissiere and the Spanish Ambassador abuse our hospitality and plot against us. You're well placed Bruno. Will you be our spy?
I may not be a lion but I am a lion's cub. And I have a lion's heart. Men fight wars, women win them. I have need of your talents Bruno.
I am your servant Your Highness.
Will you be our eyes and ears against the French Ambassador who plots against us night and day?
Let me but write and publish my books and I will do as you command.