St. Jarlath’s College has produced a yearly musical known as the Opera for the locals of Tuam since 1944, making it one of the longest continually running amateur shows in Ireland. From 1969 onwards, the shows were performed in association with Mercy Convent Tuam, and in 2009 the show (Hot Mikado) was produced in association with St Patrick’s College Tuam in the run up to the amalgamation. This proud tradition is one of the primary sources for the expression of musical and acting talent in the college, and has produced some exceptional talent throughout its long history. The Opera represents a fantastic experience for the students to grow in their artistic talents and appreciate what it takes to put on a fully formed show, as well as being a massive character building exercise; it brings confidence, a keen work ethic and a sense of a job well done to all students involved. The Opera has been very successful in recent years in the Connaught Tribune organised musical awards, winning a Best Overall and a Best Chorus award in 2008 for Hot Mikado. The current Musical Director is Shane Farrell. He has 2 Operas as musical director under his belt, including one where incredibly he was still a Leaving Cert himself. He has acted as musical director to many different musical productions around Galway County over the last two years, stepping in for his late mentor, the largely irreplaceable Noel Kirrane, who passed away last year. In recent years, the Opera has been directed by past pupil Ronan Lardner. Respected actor in his own right, he played lead roles during his own time in Jarlath’s, including the role of Judas in the millennium show of Jesus Christ Superstar, which involved a mix of pupils past and present. Since then he’s made his name in other shows around the province (both acting and directing) and brings a wealth of show experience to the position. Click here for photos of the 2013 Opera, Me and My Girl. Past Opera Programmes 1944 The Mikado 1945 H.M.S. Pinafore 1946 The Gondoliers 1947 The Quaker Girl 1948 The Country Girl 1949 The Pirates of Penzance 1950 The Maid of the Mountains 1951 The Arcadians 1952 The Geisha Girl 1953 Lilac Time 1954 The Vagabond King 1955 Iolanthe 1956 Patience 1957 The Student Prince 1958 The New Moon 1959 The Yeomen of the Guard 1960 The White Horse Inn 1961 The Arcadians 1962 The Country Girl 1963 H.M.S. Pinafore 1964 Brigadoon 1965 The Pirates of Penzance 1966 Iolanthe 1967 The Gondoliers 1968 The White Horse Inn 1969 The Quaker Girl 1970 Oliver! 1971 Guys and Dolls 1972 Annie Get Your Gun 1973 Oklahoma 1974 H.M.S. Pinafore 1975 My Fair Lady 1976 Oliver! 1977 Kiss Me Kate 1978 South Pacific 1979 Fiddler on the Roof 1980 The Pirates of Penzance 1981 The Gondoliers 1982 The Arcadians 1983 Iolanthe 1984 The Quaker Girl 1985 Oklahoma! 1986 Fiddler on the Roof 1987 H.M.S. Pinafore 1988 How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying 1989 Oliver! 1990 Brigadoon 1991 The Pirates of Penzance 1992 Carousel 1993 The Mikado 1994 Chess (World schools' premiere) 1995 Finian's Rainbow 1996 My Fair Lady 1997 God Bless Archie Dean 1998 Guys and Dolls 1999 Jesus Christ Superstar 2000 Oliver! 2001 Godspell 2002 Les Misérables 2003 Joseph 2004 Grease 2005 Little Shop of Horrors 2006 Half a Sixpence 2007 Big River 2008 Hot Mikado 2009 West Side Story