Thursday 26th & Friday 27th September.
The Thursday and Friday in the middle of the 2013 Soundwaves Festival saw full audiences, magic performances, and lots and lots of local talent.
To make this blog easier to read, we put the photographs onto separate pages. Click on the last picture in each section.
Thursday, 27th September. The Little Theatre was chockablock. Sold out. Chris Kelly and his North Dublin Opera had filled the house! Many of those present knew Chris from his time with the Moore School of Performing Arts, from Skerries Community College, and from his connection with Skerries Theatre Group – not to forget his long-standing involvement with Skerries Soundwaves. Over the years, he produced Breaking Apart, Alice in Wonderland, The Sketchers, Star-Crossed Lovers and A Disney Celebration, all performed in the Little Theatre.
This time, his musical bill was a real draw: People young and old love musicals. The North Dublin Opera artists chose favourites from Oklahoma, South Pacific, The King and I, Cinderella and The Sound of Music. Chris says the performers, who are all at the end of their studies as opera singers, really enjoyed putting on the show as this type of music is different from what they normally sing, and stretches their voices.
And while the voices did seem at times a little stretched, and the acting not fully persuasive, it was fascinating to see these young performers at the beginning of their professional careers and to wonder what the future might hold in store for them. They were Rebecca Brunton- Soprano, Keith Kearns- Tenor, Leanne Fitzgerald- Soprano, Chris Kelly- Bass/Producer, Elena Mcleod- Mezzo Soprano and Sarah Skerritt- Soprano/ Choir Mistress. Accompanying them was pianist, accompanist and local piano teacher, Catriona McElhinney Grimes.
The children who came on stage for a number of the songs – Doireann McAuley, Ellie McCarthy, Cathal Finnegan, Andrea Hickey, Alex Mahon, Emma Ryan, and Caoileann Woodcock, all from the MSPA – were only charming and sang beautifully. Fair dues to Susie and Michelle Moore, who were in the audience that night!
Thursday, 27th September. Theme-based poetry and music? How could that work? Magically, is the answer. Darren Hughes brought together two fellow poets and one fellow musician, and together they wove a tapestry of thoughts and sounds that carried us away. Darren, Marie Bashford-Synnott, and Enda Coyle-Greene (the poets) and musician Laura McGuire took it in turns to introduce the sections – Skerries / home / islands, the writing process, dreams, the past, happiness… Laura’s tunes on the tin whistle and fiddle, as well as her and Darren’s haunting songs, concluded each section and set the mood for the next.
Those who attended sat mesmerised throughout the evening. Poetry, I for one had nearly forgotten, can make you look at ‘ordinary’ things in a different like again.
Thank you, Darren, for putting on this very special event – let’s hope this is the beginning of a series. That’d be nice!
Friday 28th September. That Skerries has talent, is something we see time and again during our Soundwaves festival. The auditions were good – the talent show final was fantastic! All contestants performed twice, in a nearly-sold-out Matinee in the afternoon, and then at the completely sold-out Grand Finale.
I personally only got to see the Matinee – one of the big regrets of the Soundwaves Festival: I simply couldn’t be in two locations at the same time, and sometimes that meant losing out on a great event! The Matinee was really good… but the Finale, I was told, was only brilliant. Emily, mother of Jessica Diebold, one of the performers, writes: Very appreciative audience clapping along to most and constantly cheering. Very wacky hosts Cian Mulhall and Nathan Joyce had the kids in stitches. At the end all the performers were on stage and all the names were called out individually. Then the two winners sang again and the performers behind them all swayed to the music, waved their arms, clapped and clicked their fingers egged on by the two hosts. It was a really fun evening.
Click on the picture below to see some of the pictures taken at the Matinee.
Sublime: Piano Recital
Holmpatrick Church. Candle-lit. Filled with yet another very appreciative Skerries audience. A pianist – Thérèse Fahy – who is able to enchant the listeners with her music, and to introduce us to the pieces she is about to play in a way that opens them up to us wonderfully. Débussy (the first half of the programme) – not the most approachable of pieces, but the audience seems to listen intently. Granados, Ravel – the second half is livelier and ends with Franz Liszt’s interpretation of a quartet from Verdi’s Rigoletto: What a finish! You could practically hear the four different voices sing through the notes of the Steinway.
There was no choice – Thérèse simply had to give us an encore. And that she did, playing Débussy’s Claire de Lune, looking splendid in her white, pearly dress. In the end, we all went home very happy… except for our photographer. Let’s just say two words: Technical malfunction. What a shame. So we rely on a picture taken by cameraphone by a member of the audience – and leave the rest to your imagination. The Classical Night is one of the highlights of my Soundwaves Festival – I can’t wait what Ernestine will organise for 2014.