Old Ghosts | online as part of Ulysses 2.2

Old Ghosts | online as part of Ulysses 2.2

Past Performances

Watch online

16 June–16 December 2023

Useful Information

Running time: 44 mins

Old Ghosts | online as part of Ulysses 2.2

composed by Evangelia Rigaki
libretto by Marina Carr
directed by Louise Lowe
conducted by Elaine Kelly

Old Ghosts, written in response to the Penelope chapter of Ulysses, was a new opera commissioned from the composer Evangelia Rigaki and playwright Marina Carr. It imagines James Joyce in conversation with Nora Barnacle, Homer and Penelope herself as possible inspirations for the character of Molly Bloom and the final chapter of Ulysses. It was created by Irish National Opera and Anu Productions as part of Ulysses 2.2, a year-long artistic response to the 18 episodes of Ulysses that chronicled an ordinary day in the life of Leopold Bloom. Ulysses 2.2 was produced by Landmark Productions, Anu Productions and Museum of Literature Ireland and funded by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

The world premiere of Old Ghosts was performed live at the Museum of Literature Ireland from 2-4 February 2023. It marked the culmination of the Ulysses 2.2 year-long programme. Old Ghosts was also free to view worldwide online on OperaVision from 16 June – 16 December 2023. 

James Joyce and Nora Barnacle are living in Trieste. Joyce has embarked on his great enterprise, the composition of Ulysses. After a night on the town, he sits at his writing desk, working on his masterpiece. As he begins to write, he is visited by two ghosts, Homer and Penelope, who have a thing or two to say to him and to each other. As morning approaches, Joyce composes a letter to his aunt, inquiring after everyday Dublin life, details of which will become the thread of his iconic masterwork. Meanwhile, Nora pines for home, longing to return to her beloved west of Ireland.


Joyce Christopher BowenNora Jade PhoenixHomer William GauntPenelope Doreen Curran


Composer Evangelia RigakiLibrettist Marina CarrDirector Louise LoweConductor Elaine KellyDesign Owen BossCostume Designer Saileog O’HalloranAssociate Costume Designer Mae LeahyLighting Designer Ciaran BagnallDigital Producer Hugh FarrellProducers for ANU Lynnette Moran & Matt SmythProducer for Landmark Productions Anne ClarkeProject Manager for Ulysses 2.2 Gráinne PollakSaxaphone Kevin HanafinHarp Dianne MarshallPercussion Richard O’DonnellCello Yseult Cooper-StockdaleDouble Bass Caimin Gilmore