Category: Music

No Carmen but NCH highlights still enough to relish

I had intended writing about Irish National Opera’s new production of Bizet’s Carmen due at Dublin’s Bord Gáis Energy Theatre this week but, alas, Covid-19 stepped in and brought the curtain down. It promised to be an interesting staging with Kerry’s Paula Murrihy as the sultry gypsy temptress of the title role and Kildare’s Celine…

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Fidelio’s long trek brings it to stage in Dublin’s NCH

In 1803 Emanuel Schikaneder, who collaborated with Mozart on The Magic Flute but was then director of Vienna’s Theater an der Wien, approached Beethoven with an operatic libretto – Vestas Feuer (Vestal Flame). Initially the composer reacted favourably and completed almost two scenes before becoming disenchanted and laying it aside. However, two of its arias…

Commemorations of Beethoven moving countrywide

As I mentioned at the beginning of the year, 2020 commemorates the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in Bonn in December 1770. Son of Johann, a court musician, and his wife Maria Magdalena, Ludwig was their second child. An older brother, also named Ludwig, lived only a few days in April of the previous year.…

NCH resounds to a joyous celebration for Veronica McSwiney

Earlier this month the National Concert Hall was the venue for a significant celebration – the 80th birthday of treasured pianist Veronica McSwiney. The occasion, promoted by Dublin International Piano Competition, found her in spectacular form, playing with her usual aplomb and communicating with her audience through the mastery of her musicianship. The evening was…

Music world will long remember Mawby and Cleobury

A happy and celebratory New Year as we remember Beethoven’s 250th anniversary. Born in Bonn in December 1770, he was the second son of court musician Johann and his wife Maria Magdalena. Somewhat harsh and severe, Johann was Ludwig’s first teacher. The composer’s mother was a quiet and serious person and Beethoven was very fond…

Camerata Ireland showcases magnificent young talent

A fortnight ago I wrote about some of our young musicians and their competition successes. This week I am mentioning another group who are further advanced in their respective careers. An opportunity of hearing five of them arose at the NCH’s recent Friends’ Gala with Camerata Ireland under its founder/director Barry Douglas. The orchestra is…