THE CORK OPERA HOUSE have turned the the tragic story of Queen Dido and her Trojan lover Aeneas into a ‘rollicking, sexy, steampunk extravaganza’ in what promises to be one of the highlights of the Kilkenny Arts Festival.
The production features home-grown stars Cara O’Sullivan and Mary Hegarty, and a bold, Balkan-flavoured new orchestration created by Baroque and contemporary music specialist, Marja Gaynor. This innovative take on Henry Purcell’s masterpiece will take place at the Watergate Theatre this evening (Wednesday) at 8pm (followed by post-show talk) and on Thursday at 7pm.
Another highlight is Dán which will take place at St Canice’s Cathedral on the closing night of the festival. Dán is a unique collaboration bringing together some of the world’s most respected traditional and jazz musicians from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and England. Singer Alyth McCormack joins musicians from Guidewires, Kan and the Breton Quartet on an tour that explores the shared musical heritage of the Celtic Fringe and pushes the boundaries of traditional music.
Stopping off in Kilkenny, the 14-strong ensemble takes you on a musical journey inspired by traditional sea shanties and featuring poems specially written by Cork poet Theo Dorgan. From Irish gigs and Scottish stratspeys to English hornpipes and Breton gavottes, Dán celebrates the diverse cultures and shared passions of these outstanding musicians, and brings the music strand to an enthralling climax in St Canice’s.
Another event that is garnering interest is An Evening with Mike Scott when the legendary frontman of the Waterboys joins novelist and music journalist Peter Murphy in the Ormonde to read from his writing and reflect on life and music. This event takes place on Wednesday (August 15) at 7.30pm. For more information see www.kilkennyarts.ie