Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Beau Soir at Danlann an Chlár

Les chanseuses et Michael

Un conseil de goûter le charme d'être au monde
Cependant qu'on est jeune et que le soir est beau,
Car nous nous en allons, comme s'en va cette onde:
Elle à la mer, nous au tombeau.

It is said that two heads are better than one and this was certainly the case when singers Karoline O Sullivan and Maeve Cairney  pooled their resouces to offer 'un beau soir'  de chanson francaise  at Karoline's former alma mater , Colaiste Muire, Ennis. The songs, a mix of  solos and duets were drawn from a range of genres, from Baroque and Romantic opera to songs from the movies and some Edith Piaf numbers, some en francais and some in English but all linked by a French connection elucidated in contextual introductions from both performers. The title was taken from a song setting by Debussy of a poem  by Paul Bourget, an appeal to relish the fleeting charm of life. It made a change from the more usual Italian  to hear the well known aria by Gluck,  'Jai perdu mon Eurydice'  in French.

Both ladies looked radiant in evening wear, the flame haired Maeve the guest artist of Karoline, her golden curls perfectly  matching her dress.  Both these ladies are seasoned performers, having met in the medieval banquets at Dunguaire Castle. This was a programme quite different from their normal repertoire, I am guessing, but they were very well rehearsed and both gave assured confident performances. They were sympathetically accompanied by Karoline's former music teacher, Michael Hennessy and there were more resonances with the past with stage sets from the recent production of the school musical, Beauty and the Beast providing the backdrop.

Despite the inclement weather, there was an excellent turnout of over 100 or so with  entertainers  including Lady Alison Bowyer of Knappogue Castle and a clatter of ecclesiastical cantors  from  Ennis Cathedral Choir including tenor, Tony Murray, Fr Tom Hogan of Ennis Parish and Bishop of Killaloe, Kieran O Reilly there to  support the ladies who are active in liturgical circles.
 This was  a charming and uncomplicated evening.  I admire both these performers not only for their excellent musicianship but also for their initiative in creating their own performing opportunity of their chosen repertoire and their hard work in promoting the endeavour.   I suggest that a judicious selection of the French lyrics and a translation are included in their programme should they repeat the evening  It would  enhance  the experience to have the written words to help savour the richness of the text particularly in the more lyrical  numbers.

Although a very wide stage space, the Danlann Theatre in Colaiste Muire is a very comfortable, and one of a  few in Clare crucially with an in house grand piano.

Details of the ladies' future events can be found on their respective websites     and 

Wishing them well in their forthcoming  musical endeavours .

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