My Personal Selection of the best arts events of 2011
With 2011 and the new year begun it is time to have a look back at the highlights of 2011 before time dims the memories. There was much to enjoy here at home and I enjoyed travelling to events in France and the UK. Here are some of the stand out events I experienced. Click on the enhanced text for my review.
Best Opera Performance: Maria Wexford Opera Festival
2011 was a year when I saw all sorts of opera, visiting festivals in Wexford and Aix en Provence. The thrill of a night at the New York Met production of Anna Bolena came via satellite to a Limerick cinema The most fun performance was the Opera in the Open production of Cosi Fan Tutti in Wood Quay Gardens, Dublin. but the most surprising was delivered by the young voices of Dublin Youth Opera Theatre right here in my home town of Ennis in their Jukebox opera, Thicker than Water. I loved the quirky production of Dido and Aeneas at Cork Opera House but if I have to choose one of the shorter works I enjoyed the opera production of Gianni Schicchi directed by Roberto Recchia at Whites Hotel,Wexford. Despite all that has been written about the state of opera in the country, it is worth noting that Ireland does have opera houses, even if they are outside the Pale, and it is good to see opera being produced in them. My pick for 2011 is the Wexford Opera Production of
|Peggy Seeger - Best Solo Gig|
Best solo gig. Peggy Seeger at Sixmilebridge Folk Club
Albert Niland way back in January when he played at Dolan's Limerick. Jimmy Crowley showed what a pro he is at the Sixmilebridge Winter Music Wekend . Cecile Giraud used her cello to tell her musical biography at the OFF festival at Avignon. Sid Bowfin aka Adrian Garrett was my favoutite solo act at Spraoi . My pick of solo artists this year though was the veteran folk singer Peggy Seeger also heard at Sixmilebridge. She was truly extraordinary.
Best Band Gig . Gilbert O Sullivan at the Olympia
|Gilbert - Best Band Gig|
|Malcolm and Roisin|
Best Classical Recital.
Roisin O Grady Malcolm Proud Harpsichord Coffee Concert Christchurch Cathedral , Waterford
Difficult to choose between Roisin O Grady beautiful recital of Baroque repertoire and cellist Peter Sebestyen's performance in Gort but my best recital prize goes to Roisin O'Grady accompanied by Malcolm Proud for their Sunday morning coffee concert at Christchurch, Waterford.
Best Choral Performance: Come The Sails Choral Event to mark
the opening of the Tall Ships Festival in Waterford
|Best Choral Piece - Opening of the Tall Ships Festival|
|Avignon France - Best Festival|
I loved the simplicity of the Ukuhooley by the Sea in Dun Laoghaire, a one day festival dedicated to that humble instrument, the ukulele. Waterford proved itself a festival town specialist with three terrific festivals, The Tall Ships Festival, Spraoi and the Imagine Arts Festival . My home town, Ennis hosted two trad festivals and the excellent niche Ennis Book Club Festival. My festival pick for 2011 however was the OFF Festival at Avignon, a Gallic version of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Best Musical: ALLSTARSWARS
|Best Musical - The All Stars Wars|