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Cúirt gets creative for young readers

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Louise O'Neill, author of Asking for It.

A day of workshops and readings for young people aged 13 and older will take place on Saturday, April 23, as part of this year’s Cúirt Festival.

Writers Juno Dawson, Simon Van Booy, Sarah Maria Griffin and Selina Nwulu, will encourage young people to take part and give them feedback on their work.

Juno, formerly James, Dawson, is the award-winning author of dark teen novels Hollow Pike, Cruel Summer and Say Her Name. She has also published two non-fiction books, Being a Boy and This Book is Gay. A book about mental health entitled Mind Your Head is due out later this year. Last year, Juno announced her decision to undergo gender transition and has been writing a column for Glamour magazine documenting her journey.

British-American Simon Van Booy has won multiple awards for his fiction and plays, including the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. He is much in demand and his Cúirt masterclass for adults sold out in record time.

Sarah Maria Griffin is a young Irish writer who studied for an MA in Writing at NUIG. Her memoir on emigration, Not Lost, depicts the difficulties and opportunities faced by young Irish emigrants.

Selina Nwulu is the young poet laureate for London. Her work reflects her advocacy and research into themes of social justice, identity politics and equality. Her first collection, The Secrets I Let Slip, is out now.

Cúirt Labs will finish with a reading by novelists Louise O’Neill and Rachel B. Glaser in the Town Hall Theatre, which is included in the ticket price.

Louise O’Neill’s latest book is the award-winning Asking for It. American Rachel B. Glaser’s new novel Paulina and Fran (Granta) explores intense friendships and has been praised for ‘its darkly poignant humour’.

Attendance for this day-long event is €10, payable on the day. Cúirt Labs will take place in Galway Arts Centre, where Scottish artist and illustrator Shona Shirley MacDonald will customise the space with fantastical characters and compositions. It begins at 10am.

■ For bookings and information, contact Galway Arts Centre on 091-565886.

Connacht Tribune

Vivaldi’s “explosive” opera Bajazet comes to Town Hall

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Gianluca Margheri as Bajazet and Niamh O’Sullivan as Asteria. Photo: Kip Carroll

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Vivaldi’s opera, Bajazet, will be performed in Galway’s Town Hall Theatre next Tuesday, January 25, starting at 5pm. It’s a co-production between Irish National Opera (INO) and London’s Royal Opera House, in partnership with the Irish Baroque Orchestra (IBO).

The Artistic Director of the INO, Fergus Sheil, describes Bajazet as “an explosive opera with characters that are larger than life, inhabiting a world of power games, brinkmanship, violence, betrayal, impersonation, disguise, defiance and revenge”.

Lots of drama then in the three-act opera which was first performed in 1735 in Verona.  According to Fergus, that’s “matched with a musical score that jumps off the page. Vivaldi’s vocal writing is as colourful as you expect from the composer of The Four Seasons. He challenges his singers to perform with outstanding virtuosity and the vocal acrobatics drive the drama forward”.

This is the second Vivaldi opera to be staged by the INO – the first was Griselda in 2019, which was also the first time a Vivaldi opera was presented in Ireland.

It’s being conducted by INO Artistic Partner Peter Whelan, who is also Artistic Director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra. He is working with the IBO on this production, as he did with Griselda.

Set in the 14th century, this drama filled with powerful men and strong women begins after the Ottoman sultan, Bajazet, has been defeated by the Tartar prince, Tamerlano. Bajazet and his daughter, Asteria, are now prisoners.

Asteria is in love with a Greek prince, Andronicus, and Bajazet asks him to take care of her, although Andronicus is Tamerlano’s ally.

However, Tamerlano also has designs on Asteria. He’s engaged to another princess, Irene, but intends to break off that engagement to pursue the deposed sultan’s daughter.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Covid closures force Echo to start his own Street Rebellion

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Echo Harte...adapting to pandemic restrictions.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Tuam native Echo Harte has been a regular performer in Galway venues for several years as part of a myriad of various acts. His latest – an alternating collective formed last summer – is a little more used to gigging on the street.  Street Rebellion was a project that found its niche in the restrictions-heavy period that prevented live music from happening indoors. Echo and his group took advantage by drawing huge crowds on Shop Street, initially playing popular covers but, over time, integrating original material in their set.

One such song is Separate Ways, a track that Echo has had since 2016 but one that has been revitalised by Street Rebellion’s participation on its new recording.

Separate Ways is a country-rock ballad set for release on January 28. The new version features drums from Zingro, bass from G Lynott and backing vocals from Echo’s sisters, Emma and Katie Harte.

The singer-songwriter released his debut album Masks in the last couple of years and there is a sophomore LP en route. With the impetus harnessed by Street Rebellion’s success, he is looking to kick on early in 2022.

“It was great to come at it from another angle and to give the song what I think it deserved initially,” he explains.

“I did all the instruments on the first versions, and I wouldn’t consider myself a skilled drummer. I met Zingro from Street Rebellion – he’s from Italy and he’s toured with Pantera. He’s toured Africa and Europe and America – he’s a very experienced and hands-on drummer and he really brought a new life to the song.

“Once we started playing it live, I had the confidence to revisit it. I first brought it out in 2016 and I didn’t have a lot of experience releasing music. I didn’t know how to promote it or give it the attention that it needs. After a few years, I decided it was time to re-release it.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Piper Pádraic making mark on rich tradition

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Pádraic Keane from Maree who has just released his solo piping album, In Full Tune.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Pádraic Keane from Maree was seven years old when he began playing uilleann pipes – a learner set, he explains. His initial instrument had been tin whistle but he soon moved on to the pipes, which are a family tradition on both sides.  Pádraic’s father, Tommy Keane, is a renowned uilleann piper and member of na Pióbairí Uilleann, who worked with greats of Irish music, including Liam Clancy, Liam O’ Flynn and Alec Finn of de Danann, as well as with the likes of Elvis Costello.  Pádraic’s mother, Jacqueline McCarthy, plays concertina and her father,  Tommy McCarthy, was a highly-regarded piper, whistle player and concertina player from West Clare. He and his wife, Kathleen, spent many years in London, where they reared their family before returning to live in Miltown Malbay.

London-born Jacqueline and her husband, Tommy, who’s originally from Waterford, settled in Maree in the late 1980s and music was ever-present as they reared their three children.  Pádraic has an older sister, Siobhán, and a twin, Maisie, both of whom play fiddle and “a bit of concertina”, while fiddle is his second instrument.

Pádraic, a teacher in Coolarne National School, Turloughmore, has now added his link to the family piping chain with his debut album, In Full Tune.  He’ll have a formal launch in the city’s Crane Bar later in Spring when lockdown eases, but it’s available to purchase now.

Thirty-one-year-old Pádraic won Ceoltóir Óg na Bliana in the 2011 TG4 Gradam Ceoil when he was just 19, making him one of the youngest ever recipients of that accolade. He has toured all over Ireland and in the USA as a soloist with The Irish Chamber Orchestra and has collaborated with the late composer and pianist Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, who once jokingly described the uilleann pipes as “being like an octopus”, given the instrument’s many elements.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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