Presented by John O’Brien and The Everyman
Curated by the highly acclaimed composer, conductor and director, John O’Brien, Sea Trilogy brings together a cast of singers, dancers, directors, choreographers and designers as well as an 8-voice female ensemble and a 15 piece orchestra.
The first piece, by John O’Brien and directed by Éadaoin O’Donoghue, is the short opera Coiscéim, from a text by Colmcille: Aoibhinn dom bheith air cnoc oileáin. This ancient reflection on exile expresses loss and regret through the beauty of nature.
Directed by Sophie Motley, Irene Buckley’s The Lament of Art O’Leary, a setting of poet Vona Groarke’s translation of the poem composed as a ‘caoineadh’ by Eilbhín Dubh Ní Chonaill, expresses the passionate rage and desire of a pregnant widow for her murdered husband.
Sea Trilogy closes with Ralph Vaughan Williams’ setting of Riders to the Sea by JM Synge, directed by Liz Roche. Set on the Aran Islands in Inishmaan, the opera explores the epic in the intimate as we follow the character of Maurya and her daughters Nora and Cathleen, who are all bound together in grief at the loss of the men in their family to the sea.
All three works are deeply rooted to Ireland, to the land and the sea, and to the tradition of ‘keening’ or ‘caoineadh’; a form of singing that comes from deep within and which reaches back to an ancient mythological place.