Inside Culture

Broadcast on 11th April 2016

On tonight’s first episode of Inside Culture, presenter Fionn Davenport visits Wide Open Opera company as they prepare for their production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.

The opera was first performed in Italy two hundred years ago. It wasn’t well received then but has gone on to become of the most popular operas by any composer.

As we visit rehearsals we hear from Artistic Director Fergus Shiel and Director Michael Barker-Caven about this comic masterpiece and how it is being interpreted for twenty first century audiences. We also get to the heart of its most famous aria, Largo al Factotum, with baritone Gavan Ring who plays Figaro.


Block T in Smithfield in Dublin has provided studio space for hundreds of artists and creatives since it was first set up six years ago. It has recently been forced to close its doors and look for a new premises, leaving many of its inhabitants without a workspace. To some extent it may be a victim of its own success, adding value to the city centre quarter. However this is not necessarily a bad thing. Fionn visits Block T to speak to Managing Director Laura Dovn who sees this latest twist in Block T’s fate as an opportunity to look for a new business model in the arts. He hears from Block T resident and local woman Orla Fitzpatrick as well as Studio Manager Chris Cullen and Cormac Brown from Block TV. Together they reflect on how Dublin nurtures its artists and freelance creatives and they ask if we can do better.

David Rieff is an American policy analyst and non-fiction writer and his work covers a wide breadth of material from war crimes to more personal works on his mother, the intellectual Susan Sontag.

The importance of memory is often summed by the dictum “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” But there are times when some things are best forgotten – at least according to David Rieff, author of ‘In Praise of Forgetting’ joins Fionn in studio to discuss memory and forgetting in this decade of commemoration. is a website that maps cities around the world according to emotions and senses. The team behind it have mapped 12 cities including London, San Francisco and Madrid to create Chatty Maps that chart how we perceive a city of area. To explore her own city of Dublin and to find out more about maps weighted for human emotions Zoe Comyns spoke to Daniele Quercia of GoodCityLife and took us with her on her journey to work.