Friday, October 13 - ‘Out of the Ordinary’: A Virtual Reality Community Opera

Friday, October 13

2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm

Old Convent Hall, Mercy Road

Admission: €5

Duration: 30 minutes

In partnership with Ballina 2023 and the Irish National Opera

Out of the Ordinary/As an nGnách is a virtual reality community opera.

It tells the tale of a community forced to flee their barren homeland, which, due to their own actions, can no longer sustain them.

Nalva, the main character, builds a boat to take her people on an epic journey to find a new home.

But as they begin their voyage, they don’t realise they are being pursued.

Daol, a powerful force of nature, furious at being released from the leached soil, churns up the seas and causes a huge storm, plunging the boat underwater.

When Nalva and her people eventually resurface, they find themselves at a new and unfamiliar land.

Can they make a home here?

Will they learn to live in harmony with nature, or will they repeat the mistakes of the past?

And will the destructive energy of Daol find peace, or will she continue to wreak havoc?

It’s all to play for. Why not climb aboard?


Experienced through a virtual-reality headset, this is opera like you’ve never encountered it before . . .”

“Finola Merivale composed her spare, eighteen-minute score for two singers, small chamber ensemble and two amateur choirs.

Its haunting power is as unforgiving as the story, a myth-like allegory of the relationship between humanity and the environment it endangers.” – Michael Dungan, The Irish Times


Out of the Ordinary has been co-created with communities around Ireland, through activity that took place online and in person in 2020 and 2021.

The opera is composed by Finola Merivale, with libretto by Jody O’Neill, and is directed by Jo Mangan. Creative production company Algorithm has created the virtual world with support from Virtual Reality Ireland.