Romantic souls, who have had their spirits fired up by Valentine’s Day this weekend, can continue to enjoy themselves on Friday, February 21 when Cork tenor, Finbar Wright will perform Italian love songs at the City’s Town Hall Theatre.
The event is Finbar’s tribute to the late, great Italian singer Luciano Pavarotti, who, early in Finbar’s career, advised the young Corkman to stay away from the grand operatic arias and to focus on songs from the Italian tradition such as O Solé Mio, Arrivederci Roma, Nessun Dorma and Volare.
“I do believe he was right,” says Finbar now. “They are wonderfully written and train your voice without you having to put too much effort into it. And they are glorious songs.”
As one of Ireland’s best-known tenors, Finbar Wright has performed for world leaders including Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, and shared stages with singers such as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Jerry Lee Lewis. He even recorded an official soccer anthem for Arsenal in 1998, when he was recording in London and was overheard by someone involved with the club. That event came about by chance, and it was a long time ago, but he’s never been let forget it, he says with a laugh.
Finbar, who was a priest for seven years, also performed as soloist during Pope John Paul II’s Mass in Phoenix Park during the 1979 papal visit. At that time he was Senior Cantor in Maynooth College, having had been involved in music since childhood, including a two-year period in Spain as a student priest, when he had immersed himself in Spanish music.
His love affair with music began when he was six years old – he credits his “lovely piano teacher, Maura Hourihane” for creating that passion.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Comedian Shane for city show
Shane Clifford, who has been described by podcaster and comedian Blindboy as ‘The best comedian in Ireland, hands down’, will be at the city’s Town Hall Studio next Thursday, December 1, at 8.30pm to perform his new show, AW Class.
It’s being presented by the Lisa Richards Agency who are promising loads of laughter as Tralee man Shane tries and fails to get to grips with rugby fans, posh dogs, sinister yoghurt and retail breakdowns.
Shane who previously worked in Tesco, was 30 when he did his first stand-up show about six years ago. That was after he had quit his job, gone travelling and decided, on a whim, to upload some silly videos to the internet. He dealt with issues such as mental health and masculinity in an original and funny way in these videos and has since gone on to gain a reputation as an original voice on the Irish comedy scene, playing festivals and venues including Whelan’s.
Tickets €15, plus €1 booking fee, from tht.ie, 091-569777 or from the Town Hall Theatre box office.
INO present Donizetti comedy at Town Hall
Irish National Opera will return to Galway next Thursday, December 1, to present Donizetti’s Don Pasquale in the Town Hall Theatre at 8pm.
Donizetti’s sparkling operatic comedy is an intergenerational tug-of-war about love and money. It features Don Pasquale, a grumpy old bachelor; Ernesto, his good-looking young heir; and Norina, an attractive young widow.
This unorthodox love triangle is the basis for a hilarious and touching show that offers an entertaining slant on the threat of being disinherited, a mock marriage and a spendthrift wife.
Sung in Italian with English surtitles, it’s conducted by Teresa Riveiro Böhm and directed by Orpha Phelan, with Graeme Danby as Don Pasquale and Kelli-Ann Masterson as Norina.
Tickets for Don Pasquale are €30/€27, plus €1 booking fee, from tht.ie, 091-569777 or from the Town Hall Box Office.
Music festival set to return after a successful debut
Musicians, artists and DJs from more than 15 countries congregated in Galway City at the weekend to take part in the inaugural Songs From An Open Road (SFAOR).
Organisers Pádraic Boran and Pat Neary say the overwhelmingly positive reaction from audiences and participants alike augurs well for its future. They are hopeful it marks the beginning of a new international winter World Music festival in Galway.
There were a couple ‘firsts’ over the weekend. For many who attended the beautiful Loft @Seven in Bridge Street, it may well be a case of an ‘I was there’ moment, as an intimate but appreciative crowd saw a stupendous set from Indian futurist jazz percussionist Sarathy Koewar and his band. This was their Irish debut and also marked the beginning of a pioneering world tour from the burgeoning group. Pat and Pádraic are hopeful that this exciting talent will return to Ireland and Galway soon.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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