Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Irish Early Music Ensemble eX to Present Two Spectacular Original World Premiere Productions

Co. Dublin, Ireland — 22 Aug. 2009 — Supported by a generous grant from the Arts Council of Ireland, the innovative Irish early music ensemble eX, under the artistic direction of Eric Fraad and Caitríona O’Leary, presents a series of two adventurous original premier productions and two master classes which are open to the public including Shipwrecked, an Adventurous Renaissance Cabaret Oratorio and Motion of the Heart an Occult Mannerist Masque
Irish Early Music Ensemble eX to Present Two Spectacular Original World Premiere Productions Including Shipwrecked, an Adventurous Renaissance Cabaret Oratorio and Motion of the Heart an Occult Mannerist Masque

Supported by a generous grant from the Arts Council of Ireland, the innovative Irish early music ensemble eX, under the artistic direction of Eric Fraad and Caitríona O’Leary, presents a series of two adventurous original premier productions and two master classes which are open to the public.

The series commences on Sunday 20th September 8:00 PM in the Great Hall of the Irish Museum of Modern Art with Shipwrecked, a Cabaret Oratorio featuring renaissance music from Spain, Ireland and England and an encounter between these diverse genres and national styles. The production will be staged by Eric Fraad with dazzling costumes created by the Italian period designer Alessio Rosati who designed eX’s critically acclaimed production The Rape of the Lock in 2008.

Shipwrecked is adapted for the stage by Caitríona O’Leary, Eric Fraad and Jocelyn Clarke from a letter written in 1589 by Francisco de Cuellar, a captain from the Spanish Armada, who was shipwrecked off the west coast of Ireland in 1588 and spent seven months in Connaught and Ulster on the run from the English. Captain de Cuellar’s stranger-than-fiction tale of apocalypse, survival, adventure, romance, brutality and compassion is engaging on a human level and a political one as it brings to life both his personal odyssey and one of Ireland’s - and western history’s - most climactic and transformative events.

Three artists, English period dancer, Steve Player, Spanish tenor, Juan Sancho and actor Keith Dunphy will perform the character of Francisco de Cuellar. Mr. Dunphy, a native of Waterford, studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and is well known for his intense and dynamic performances with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The music, which is arranged by Caitríona O’Leary, serves as a programmatic sound track to the narrative and creates a unique and fascinating stylistic synthesis bringing together some of the world’s most celebrated early music and traditional Irish virtuosi. Performers will include, Sony BMG recording artists, Hille Perl (viola da gamba), Lee Santana (Lute, Vihuela) and Steve Player (Guitar, Dance), EMI/BMG recording artist Caitríona O’Leary (Voice), Clara Sanabras (Voice) and Francesco Turrrisi (Percussion) along with Siobhán Armstrong (Harp), Emer Mayock (Irish Whistle) and Mel Mercier (Percussion).

On Sunday 6th December at 3:00 PM, in the Shaw Room in the National Gallery of Ireland, eX will present Motion of the Heart with Guest Music Director Erin Headley. Ms. Headley has been a central figure in the world of early music for the past thirty years. Among her numerous credits and over 200 hundred recordings she has single handedly been responsible for the rediscovery of the Lirone, and the vast repertory for this remarkable string instrument that is today a normal member of the continuo of many baroque ensembles. She is co-founder of the award-winning ensemble Tragicomedia and has performed with many of the world’s most celebrated groups including Les Arts Florissants with whom she has been a regular member for the past twenty-eight years. Her new ensemble Atalante premiers in the Purcell Room in London this coming October.

Staged as an esoteric occult masque by Director Eric Fraad, Motion of the Heart explores the emotional, spiritual, anatomical, mystical and symbolic functions of the heart through the mannerist music of the early English and Italian baroque. This complex piece will feature music from Narcissus Marsh’s Lyra Viol Book, a remarkable and rarely performed manuscript of 17th century consort and vocal music collected by Narcissus Marsh, Archbishop of Dublin, Cashel and Armagh. Marsh was the man who coined the term microphone and founded Ireland’s first public library. The Marsh Lyra Viol Book contains compositions by English composers of the 17th century including, William Lawes (1602-1645), John Coperario (1575-1626), John Jenkins (1592-1678) and Theodore Steffkins (1629-1673).

Both Shipwrecked and Motion of the Heart will be recorded and released internationally by Heresy Records, a new early music label that will launch in 2010.

For more information please visit www.eXireland.com

Details for Concert Calendar Listing

SHIPWRECKED
Sunday 20th September at 8:00 PM
Great Hall of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Military Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8
Tickets €22.50 Concession €17.50
Tickets available in advance online at: www.tickets.ie
Tickets also available at the door

Music Direction: Caitríona O’Leary, Hille Perl, Lee Santana
Stage Director: Eric Fraad
Adaptation for the Stage by Caitríona O’Leary, Eric Fraad, Jocelyn Clarke
Set and Costume Design: Alessio Rosati
Lighting Design: Cormac Veale
Hair and Make up Design: Neil Gogoi

Cast
Caitríona O’Leary, Voice
Clara Sanabras, Voice and Guitar
Juan Sancho, Voice
Hille Perl, Viola da Gamba
Lee Santana, Lute, Vihuela
Steve Player, Guitar, Dance
Siobhán Armstrong, Harps
Emer Mayock, Whistles
Mel Mercier, Percussion
Francesco Turrisi, Percussion

Actors
Keith Dunphy, Francisco de Cuellar
Abby Phillips, Elizabeth I
Robert Donnelly, Phillip II

Master Class:
Hille Perl, Lee Santana and Caitríona O’Leary
Admission Free to the Public

Monday 14th September 2009 at 6:30 PM
Trinity College Department of Music in the Boydell Room

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MOTION OF THE HEART
Sunday 6th December at 3:00 PM
The Shaw Room, National Gallery of Ireland
Merrion Square West, Dublin 2

Tickets €22.50 Concession €17.50
Tickets available in advance online at: www.tickets.ie
Tickets also available at the door

Music Direction: Erin Headley
Stage Direction: Eric Fraad
Set and Costume Design: Alessio Rosati
Lighting Design: Cormac Veale

Cast
Nadine Balbese, Soprano
Caitríona O’Leary, Mezzo Soprano
David Morris, treble and bass Viol
Erin Headley, bass Viol
Jörg Jacobi, Organ and Harpsichord
Others TBA

Master Class:
Erin Headley
Friday 27th November 2009 at 6:30 PM
Trinity College Department of Music in the Boydell Room
Admission Free to the Public

For more information please visit www.eXireland.com

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