Interview: Amanda Feery and Megan Nolan on writing a contemporary opera

Composer Amanda Feery and novelist Megan Nolan knew very little about writing operas when they began working together, but that enabled them to take a fresh and experimental approach to their joint project

Rachel Goode in the opera A Thing I Cannot Name by Amanda Feery and Megan Nolan. Picture: Jeda de Brí

When Amanda Feery and Megan Nolan sat down to write an opera, neither of them knew what they were doing.

Feery was a seasoned composer and part of Irish National Opera’s ABL Aviation Opera Studio, a programme which provides training and mentorship to singers, répétiteurs, conductors and directors. Up to that point, however, her work had focused on acoustic, electronic and improvised music for the likes of chamber ensembles and multimedia installations.

Nolan was a ...