Today [11 August 2021] Signum Records announced its partnership with Irish National Opera (INO), with plans to release the company’s first official recordings. The partnership will begin with the release of the world premiere recording of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground this November, followed by Puccini’s La bohème in March 2022.

Funded by The Arts Council, Irish National Opera is Ireland’s biggest, newest and most dynamic opera company which aims to produce high-quality and accessible opera in venues throughout Ireland as well as further afield. In its first two years, INO produced 72 performances across 24 Irish venues, with plans to expand even further in the coming years. Already boasting critical acclaim from the press, its recent lockdown production ’20 Shots of Opera’ was called “an exhilarating jaunt” by the Wall Street Journal.

Last year Alice’s Adventures Under Ground received its fully-staged world premiere at the Royal Opera House as a co-production with the Irish National Opera. The Observer’s five-star review of the production called Barry “in the innovative line of the great Irish artists”. Having been unable to stage its own performance this year due to COVID restrictions, INO is instead releasing the world premiere recording alongside a film of the opera this November, with a cast including renowned Irish singers Claudia Boyle, Clare Presland, Gavan Ring and Alan Ewing.

March 2022 will mark the second INO Signum release with Puccini’s La bohème. Celine Byrne and Anna Devin are among the stellar cast, showcasing some of Ireland’s best singers on an Irish opera company recording for the first time. Byrne made her operatic debut singing the role of Mimi, and is now considered one of the greatest international interpreters of the role. She returns to INO in the same month to sing Micaëla in their production of Carmen.

Steve Long, CEO of Signum, said, “Our new partnership with the Irish National Opera brings a hugely exciting addition to the Signum family of artists.  This recently formed Opera company already has a great reception for its live performances and vibrant recorded content.  We look forward to bringing many of their future productions to a Global audience.”

Diego Fasciati, Executive Director of Irish National Opera, said, “We are thrilled to embark on a partnership with Signum Records.  We are a young company and producing high-quality albums that feature our talented singers, musicians and orchestras is a key step in our development and growth. We have ambitious plans. Our first album is the world premiere recording of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, which will be released in November 2021.  Our second release will be a studio recording of Puccini’s La bohème featuring Irish sopranos Celine Byrne and Anna Devin as Mimì and Musetta. We have several other recording projects in the pipeline and we look forward to bringing them all to fruition in collaboration with Signum.”

Signum, founded in 1997, boasts a catalogue of over 600 titles and includes artists such as The King’s Singers, Philharmonia Orchestra, James Rhodes and Tenebrae. In 2017 they were awarded Label of the Year by the Gramophone Awards, and recently achieved 300 million streams. Last year, the label secured their second GRAMMY win with Houston Chamber Choir’s Duruflé: Complete Choral Works, having previously won ‘Best Classical Crossover’ in 2008 for The King’s Singers’ album Simple Gifts. 

Alice’s Adventures Under Ground will be available on Signum Records from 5th November 2021, while La bohème will be released on 4th March.